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5 Ways to Upcycle for Unique Home Décor

5 Ways to Upcycle for Unique Home Décor

Everyone wants their home to be stylish, but decorating can cost a fortune. But there are ways to get the look you want at a fraction of the price. Welcome to the world of upcycling. Upcycling involves taking an item that has seen better days and, with a little elbow grease, turning it into something new and uniquely you. So, before you hit the stores to redo your home, consider these upcycling projects.

1. Updating a Dresser

A solidly built dresser can provide a lot of function. However, the look can become unappealing in time. Before you donate the dresser to charity, consider giving it a makeover. The easiest way to give it a whole new look is with paint. Whether the surface is already painted, natural wood, or even laminate, there are paints that will work for you.

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You can add designs to highlight your personal aesthetic. Use an ombre theme when choosing colors for the drawer fronts, or add some shine with a metallic finish. Not a fan of paint? Then try wallpaper! And, once you are finished, simply add some new hardware for a totally refinished piece.

2. Transforming Knickknacks

We all collect little oddities over time. We may even keep them when they don’t entirely fit our style. Luckily, your collection of vases, figurines, small storage boxes, and much more can be used to support a single style. You can take items with good form, such as a collection of bottles, and paint them the same color. That way, you can appreciate their look while maintaining a single color scheme. Many materials, including glass, wood, and metal make perfect decopatch projects. Select materials that you can use across multiple pieces to harmonize the look.

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3. Revitalize a Mirror

A mirror can be an excellent base for a variety of looks. If you have a number of compact mirrors from old makeup, pull them out of the compact and start collecting them. Once you have a small supply, they can be combined into unique wall art. Simply arrange them in a pattern and secure them to a base. Then, hang it on your wall to create a point of interest.

Larger mirrors may just need a frame update. If you like the look of the frame, but not the color, painting may be the ideal option. You can also create your own custom frame with some pieces of wood. Add decorative mosaic tiles or glass pebbles to bring some sparkle, or wrap the frame in faux leather for instant sophistication. You can create a unique look at a fraction of the cost of buying a similar item in stores.

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4. Damaged Clothing

Most people throw out clothes once they are damaged, even if the majority of the fabric is fine. If you have a piece that was made with quality materials, consider turning those articles into something new. Shirts and jeans can find new life as throw pillows, or take a piece of a great print and frame it for a unique art piece.

If you want the piece to stay in the world of fashion, consider reworking the fabric into an accessory. A small tote bag can be created from a range of starting pieces. You can also cover plastic bracelets with fabric, or create a new headband or scarf. While owning a sewing machine can make this projects easier, you don’t need a lot of fancy stitching to make it work. Smaller projects can even be sewn by hand.

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5. Repurpose Glass Jars

Many food projects come in nice glass jars, but the labels can be challenging to remove. To help the process along, soak glass in hot water with a bit of dish soap and a tablespoon of OxiClean. After a good soak, use a glass or tile scraper to remove the majority of the labeled. Still have sticky residue? A mixture of solid coconut oil and baking soda can help loosen the gunk with ease. Once the labels are removed, clean them like normal dishes and reuse them for any project you have in mind.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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