Earth Day 2018: Upcycling in the Name of Nature!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Earth Day is this Sunday and I wanted to share with you guys an activity idea to celebrate all things green: Upcycling. Upcycling is taking something that was destined for the landfill and reinventing it into something else! This spares you and the planet from A. the need to buy a piece for furniture & B.  saves something that would have been thrown out.

Traditionally people think of planting a tree or picking up trash from a beach or park on Earth Day. Though amazing in it’s self, it makes conservation feel like a chore. So I think this is a great activity to do with children because it shows them that there is more to sustainable living than just reduction and cleaning up the environment.

As although you may not need a nightstand or a new piece of furniture, I think you should check out my Pinterest board on DIY & Upcycling ideas for Pinspiration! There I have pinned some of my favorite easy upcycle ideas.

So to show you what is possible and inspire you, I am going to show you step-by-step how I transformed trash to treasure in the name of Earth Day. In the spirit of all things cottage chic at the moment, I upcycled a boring 70’s throw back to a creamy white and glass-knobbed nightstand duo worthy of Joanna Gains (at least I think so!)

Fortunately I had the wherewithal to document most of my steps except a “before” image prior to my husband cutting it in half- now that part doesn’t yet make sense, so let me explain! This gem of a table was gifted to me by the neighbour who was cleaning out her home and found out that we were decorating our guest room.

First off I started with a four-legged side table like this which it ended up with two tables like this!

If you wanted to complete a similar project, I suggest the following tools and materials:

So, next I will outline the project steps.

  1. Steve used our circular saw to slice the table in half (parallel to the faux drawer) – this is what I do not have photos for
  2. If your table is glossy then I suggest you sand and prime the table. I lightly sanded the table with 60 & 80 grit sandpaper and used a can of acrylic spray primer left over from a previous project.
    night stand primed
    Nightstand Primed


  3. After letting the primer dry overnight, I applied the chalk paint on with both the roller and the brush to get into the detailed areas and flat surfaces.
    Nightstands drying- the cat helping.
    Both halves drying after first coat


  4.  Once the tables were dry I used the spray clear coat over all the surfaces with a focus on the top where the wear would be the most intense.
  5. Installation: I chose to install these tables in my spare bedroom. It was easy to use two L brackets on each table to secure the tables to the wall, making sure that at the very least one of them went into a stud for additional security. If you don’t have a stud within range be sure to use drywall plugs so the screws don’t just rip right out of the wall.


    Finished Product!

    And there you have it! The finished product are these adorable matching side tables which saved a beautiful piece of furniture from the landfill! So on this Earth Day, think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be all about planting a tree or picking up litter on the shoreline- although those are great initiatives as well!

Happy Earth Day Everyone,


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