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DIY Mum Transforms Furniture Set For £127 With Lollipop Sticks, Saving £1000s

12 May 2022, 0:00 pm
  • Rosalyn Hackett, 41, bought an old wooden furniture set for €100 on Facebook Marketplace
  • She then spent a further €50 on materials such as wood filler, lollipop sticks, paint and superglue
  • For €150 (£127), and lots of hard work, Rosalyn managed to turn the old bits of furniture into stunning herringbone pieces

If you love a trendy furniture set but don’t want to blow the budget, take inspiration from this enterprising mum.

Rosalyn Hackett, 41, a healthcare worker and mum of three from Co. Waterford, Ireland, is a big fan of upcycling.

She bought an old wooden chest of drawers and two smaller bedside drawers for €100 and spent a further €50 on materials such as wood filler, lollipop sticks, paint and superglue.

For €150 (£127), and lots of hard work, Rosalyn managed to turn the old bits of furniture into stunning herringbone pieces, with comparable drawers online costing thousands.

Rosalyn told money-saving Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK: "I love upcycling and trying to create to give something new life.

"My family have just started our new build, @crelin_cottage and I was looking to try and create some key pieces to bring with us, as we are starting from scratch furniture-wise having been renting for so long.

"I kept an eye on Facebook Marketplace and saw a woman selling her furniture. I paid €100 for the chest of drawers and two lockers.

"I follow a lot of DIY and decor pages so I’m always on the lookout for inspiration. My 13-year-old daughter wanted a boho vibe for her 'new' bedroom so it set the base for the colours I wanted to use.

"I love that mix of black and natural wood.

"The materials I used are a box of 'Crafty Bitz' 1000 lollipop sticks for €8.50, straight edge nail clippers from Amazon, gorilla wood glue for €6, superglue for €4.50, Ronseal wood filler for €7.50, Sandolin extra durable wood stain in natural for €11.99, Frenchic Alfresco Blackjack paint for €31.95, sugar soap for €4 and various grades of sandpaper and a detail sander.

"That cost would be if someone had to buy all of the products, but I already had the paint, wood stain, sugar soap and gorilla wood glue.

"A small tin of the Frenchic paint which is approximately €15 would be loads.

“If you’re buying all of the products it would come to less than €100, but I still have most of the wood stain, paint, wood filler, wood glue and sugar soap left, so the actual effective cost is probably half of that.

"I washed the unit down with sugar soap then sanded it down. I painted the main unit lockers and specific drawers in black Frenchic paint. It took approx three light coats.

"For the herringbone, I had to cut each lollipop stick with straight edge clippers.

"This was probably the hardest part as I needed to ensure I had all of the sticks to the same length for the main central 'vein' of herringbone.

"I started in a central position on the drawer and positioned my lollipop sticks to get the pattern, then spread some gorilla wood glue on the area and used superglue on the back of the lollipop stick.

"I completed the central vein first as this gave me a stable base to measure the other sticks from. I then completed sections on the drawer fronts.

"I would recommend placing the drawers together when starting the next one to ensure continuity of the pattern for the unit.

"Once they were all placed I then used the Ronseal Wood filler almost like a grout. It is important to follow the instructions for this so as not to completely coat the drawer fronts.

"Once all dry I sanded with high grade sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish. I then applied the Sadolin wood stain to all of the exposed wood areas.

"The best thing I found to apply the wood stain was a sponge (I actually used one of the sponges I use for the kitchen). I just applied sparingly and evenly.

“I should say that I had to fill the original holes for the handles also with wood filler and sand down after before painting.

"I then had to measure for the new handle positions. I sourced the handles on Amazon.

"My tips are to have an idea of the look you are trying to create. Your vision may change as the project is progressing, but know the ultimate look you are going for.

"For this project, you definitely need straight edge nail clippers, as anything else splinters the lollipop sticks.

"I tried scissors, even a jigsaw to do a group of them! Also, take your time as it is time-consuming.

"So if you feel frustrated, step away from it for a while.

"I used the thin lollipop sticks but it is possible to get jumbo lollipop sticks so some people might find that easier.

"Make sure you prep correctly before painting. Sugar soap removes the grime and dirt and needs to be done before sanding.

"When using Frenchic paint there are a lot of fan pages on Facebook giving amazing advice.

"Also don't be afraid to make a mistake. You are upcycling for you so things can always be corrected or changed as your project progresses.

"I will definitely be continuing on using my remaining products (and some new). I already have another project on hand!

"I love Frenchic paint. It didn't require the use of a primer and the Alfresco range is suitable for outdoors so is really hard-wearing.

"While I don't have a direct comparison, there are similar herringbone chest of drawers for sale for €999, so I think I saved a good bit, most especially as this is solid wood and three pieces of furniture.

"As we are doing a new build after renting for 13 years we are starting new with furniture.

"Everything is so expensive and I don't think I would have been able to buy what I was looking for. I think ultimately it cost me €150 including the chest of drawers considering the number of products used.

"I'm so delighted that I was able to get the look I was going for and make massive savings on it.

"I am really delighted with how it turned out and am blown away with the reaction and support on social media.”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “It can be so tempted to splurge on beautiful furniture from designer brands.

“But Rosalyn’s savvy upcycling project proves you really don’t need to do that.

“She’s spent just £127 getting an old wooden furniture set to look modern, cool and seriously expensive - who’d have thought lollipop sticks could look so good?!"

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What do you think of this?
RayCottera week ago

Well done Rosalyn you have an amazing talent

MaryGilligan6 days ago

Fantastic work well done Roz♥️

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