With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us are dreading the thought of what to spoil our loved ones with. Well this year, show your other half just how much they mean to you by going for something much more personal and avoiding the boring old flowers again. Why not try make something with sentimental value for your partner with the help of renowned upcycler Max McMurdo? He’s designed 3 easy to make ideas, using commonly found items, that everyone can get involved with.
Mug with 3D design
“One of the loves of my life right now is Sugru. I initially thought it was just squidgy silicon material for fixing things but once I had a play with I realised it was much much more. You could purchase a suitable mug from Gumtree or find the unloved one at the back of the kitchen cupboard, try to select one with a curved half-heart shaped handle, give it a good wash ready for personalisation. Many of you will have tried your hand at painting plates and mugs in the past but the beauty of Sugru means you can make your design 3D! Wrap the mug’s handle in red Sugru - then produce another half of a love heart shape on the flat area of the mug next to the handle, try to work out which hand your partner drinks with to ensure its facing outwards when they drink! What I love most about this is that the Sugru doesn’t just look great, it also acts as a functional heat protector and it’s even dishwasher safe! If you’re feeling really adventurous, how about adding their initials too?
Salvaged wooden frame
This is a nice and easy bit of upcycling that is suitable for beginners and when combined with a beautiful sentimental photo, it’s sure to melt any heart! First of all, you’d need to select a nice portait photo of you and your lover. Then source two pieces of suitable timber - it could be something with emotional value such as driftwood from a beach you had a romantic walk on (or if not, some pallet wood would work just fine!) Measure the photo then cut half of a heart out from each piece of wood (just like the sketch below) Trace one from the other to ensure they are symmetrical. Place the two pieces of wood together with the photo behind to make sure it works visually, once you are happy, flip the whole thing over and screw a thin piece of plywood or MDC from behind to hold the photo in place and join the drift wood together. When you’re done, you can either leave the wood natural or give it a good wax or a nice paint job.
Wine & nibbles serving bridge
This one is for the more adventurous upcyclers! Take an off-cut of scaffold board and dish up your Valentine’s champagne and canapés in upcycled style. Trim the board down to size with an angle on either end so it can be easily picked up when flat on a kitchen worktop. Measure and mark the middle of the board and drill a hole just a fraction bigger than the neck of your wine bottle. Drill a 12mm hole on either side of the centre hole, mark and cut out the indents either side where the wine glass stem rests (as in the image below). Finally, sand the entire board and oil with food safe oils like olive oil and soy sauce as they’re great for adding colour to wood!
Max McMurdo is Gumtree’s upcycling ambassador. He’s on a mission to get Brits creative and join the #UpcycleRevolution. Head to Gumtree’s upcycling blog and see what else you can make.