Improving Your Home Using Only Second Hand Items In 'Second Hand September'

Improving Your Home Using Only Second Hand Items In 'Second Hand September'

With Oxfam’s Second Hand September taking over, you might have started thinking about how you can be less wasteful; not only with your clothes but with every element of your home life. The scheme challenges individuals to not buy brand new clothes for an entire month, posing the question, can you improve your home by choosing only second hand? Thankfully, the team at www.Hillary’ are here to help and have come up with their favourite tips and tricks to freshen up your home for less...


Whether it’s using old pots and pans as plant pots, making lamps out of old bottles or painting an old piece of furniture and giving it a new lease of life, upcycling is the way to go if you’re looking to redecorate your home on a budget. As well as being a whole lot better for the environment, upcycling removes clutter from your house, so pop some fairy lights into a bottle or go a bit bigger and use old window frames as rustic photo frames. With no limits, you can be as creative as you wish.

Paint tester pots

Use leftover paint from previous projects or simple paint tester pots as an easy and cheap way to create a feature wall in your room or touch up your skirting boards. Perhaps use a range of different colours to create an eye catching pattern across your already-painted wall (frogtape is perfect for giving you straight lines – just ensure you remove the tape before the paint dries). Likewise, get a bunch of wallpaper tester strips from your local hardware store and create a collage wall using them for a fraction of the cost.

Bring the outdoors in

Fresh flowers work wonders in making your home look cosy and stylish, however buying flowers for every room is not always the most affordable option. If you have flowers already growing in your garden, trim a few and bring them indoors to add a little colour and life into your home.

Shop around for second hand furniture

Brand new furniture can be expensive, especially when there are countless individuals out there looking to flog their stuff for next to nothing. If you don’t have items to upcycle, shop around online; there are lots of places out there to find second hand furniture on a budget. Try searching in local charity shops, on eBay or even Facebook marketplace, where you might even find some items that are free so long as you are able to collect them.

Try not to turn your nose up at furniture that looks a little worn and try to reimagine it with a lick of paint, a fresh set of handles or some fablon.

Reupholstering instead of re-buying

Your furniture may look like it needs throwing out and replacing, but in reality it may just need a face lift. Laminate and veneer furniture to give it a new sheen and make it last that little bit longer and replace or wash old sofa covers instead of buying an entirely new sofa.

A clever upcycling tip to consider is to turn old, patterned bed sheets or shirts, for example, into cushions to squeeze a little bit more life out of your favourite patterns.

There are various products on the market, such as leather paint, that can help you bring faded leather sofas back to life or allow you to change colour according to your colour scheme, and if you’re tired of your fabric sofas, chairs and more then consider recovering them yourselves instead of throwing them out and buying new. For your wooden furniture that looks like its seen better days, try adding wallpaper or creating a custom look by covering imperfections with a painted pattern.

Change the layout

A trick for those with perhaps less time or budget than others is to simply move your furniture around the room, changing the layout. Not only will this give the appearance that the room has been redecorated, when in reality it hasn’t, but in some instances you can make the room look much bigger than it previously did.