DIY & crafts

David Hoyle: Purpose and the joy of upcycling

22 Jan 2021 | Written by David Hoyle

The Joy Club David Hoyle

My name is David Hoyle, I’m 68 and I live near Wilmslow in Cheshire. I enjoy reading, crossword puzzles and keeping active. I also enjoy upcycling old furniture, and I am not the type of person who sits watching daytime television all day.

For most of my working life, I was a police officer. When I retired from the force, I worked as a car park attendant at sporting events and county shows. 

I have always led an active lifestyle. Since retirement, I have had some health issues but I did not let it get me down. I have continued to enjoy myself. I find that doing crosswords and jigsaws keeps my brain ticking over, and I go for a walk every day of between 30 and 60 minutes. Fresh air definitely cheers me up. I could not stand being in the house all day watching TV, and I think it’s best if you have interests to keep you occupied, no matter what they are.

I’ve become really interested in upcycling. I find people giving away furniture – such as chest of drawers or bedside cabinets – on Facebook Marketplace or Freecycle and then I give them a new lease of life. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to look at the upcycled items. I have even sold them back on the Internet. I also find that if I am having a clear out of either clothes or household items that I no longer use, instead of throwing them away I sell them on either eBay or Facebook Marketplace. I will not get rich doing this, but it’s an ideal way to make a bit of extra money!

David Hoyle upcycled blue chest of drawers

David’s guide to upcycling

  1. Go onto websites such as Facebook Marketplace or your local Freegle site to look for something you might be able to work on. I mainly get bedside cabinets or chests of drawers. Some of the items are given away for free or some are sold. I never pay more than £10 for an item.
  2. Once you have your chosen item, it’s time to give them an upgrade. The cabinets and drawers I find tend to be wooden, in either oak or teak colour. I lightly sand them down then using Frenchic paint I repaint them in a variety of different colours.
  3. Now it’s time for the finishing touches. If it’s a cabinet or set of drawers, I’d put new handles on them.
  4. Finally, it’s time to resell the items. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but the pleasure it gives me to see the upcycled item makes me feel happy. People who then buy the furniture always remark on how lovely they are. The profit I make from selling the items is not a lot, but it’s the satisfaction I get out of doing it.

David Hoyle upcycled pink bedside cabinet

All in all, I find keeping myself busy, especially during the current situation, helps my mental state, gives me a purpose in life and keeps me active.

David is part of The Joy Club’s Member Steering Group. You can read more about him (and our other members) here.