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The London Upcycling Show

The London Upcycling Show

This is my post about The London Upcycling Show. If you can’t see the video please click here.

First time judge

I was both chuffed and excited when invited to be a judge at The London Upcycling Show. I’ve never judged anything (a part from my own standards!!!) and I also couldn’t wait to see the entrants’ pieces.

The show was organised by Groundwork London and The North London Waste Authority 
and was a wonderful way to demonstrate how you can make treasure from one man’s trash!

It was a really impressive day with demos and upcycling stalls and tips from my fellow judge Tommy Walsh (from Ground Force).

It turns out I’m not a very good judge as I actually just wanted everyone to win! They had all made such a great effort with some inspiring designs.

I wanted to write this post to pass along my appreciation to all involved. There are some brilliant ideas here which I hope will spark some ideas for you.

Best Bedside Cabinet For A Child

London upcycling show


Winner – Terry May
We felt this very practical piece would be great for older teens. This was an astounding transformation and had some clever features. I was particularly impressed Terry had wired in a USB socket. I want one!




The Young Barnet Foundation

I loved the vibrancy of this one. It felt at home with that magical land of a child’s imagination. My favourite bit was the fairy door at the front. It was also beautifully executed.



People’s Choice Winner – Kid’s Adventure Play

This cabinet blew my mind. We’ve all seen a boring piece like the ‘before’ photo. Most of us grew up with one! They managed to transform this into a multi sensory master piece with so many added extras to keep kids occupied.



Frances Ridout

This was striking in its simplicity, with some great decoupage and a strong football theme. I can imagine plenty of children getting excited about having this in their room.



Anna Burton
I loved this piece for its innocence. It was so beautifully crafted as well, with clever features like the blackboard on the side.

Best Upright chair

green chair


Winner – Camilla Tepasse
I totally fell for this entry. It actually made me gasp when I saw it as it was so fresh and uplifting. I’m definitely stealing this idea!




Ota Obiekwe
This chair really had the ‘wow’ factor and was incredibly eye catching. I loved the way the pattern of the fabric climbed up the legs as well. Really stunning.




Hornsey Vale Community Association
What a clever idea this was! They had made a throne of games! Lots of different games were incorporated into the chair which they had also given a fantasy style in keeping with the popular TV series.




Andrzej Jazdzewski
I had to sit on this one just to see how it felt and it was really comfortable. A very unique idea to use the artificial grass as fabric. This chair cleverly represented the theme of reducing waste as well.




Abi Park
It’s not long since I had a baby to keep occupied all the time. I really wish I’d had an intelligent device like this one to help me! I also think it’s a great one for improving a tot’s movement and balance.

Best Armchairarmchair

Winner – Barnet Furniture Centre
When you see the before picture you can see why someone might throw it out. Looking at the end product though just makes you realise you absolutely can make something incredible from someone else’s cast offs. Not only did this look and feel fantastic, but it was also expertly finished.fabric


Gabrielle Bailey
I am addicted to off-cuts of fabric, so this chair really appealed to me. I thought it was a lovely, quirky design and beautifully put together.




Overall Winner – Helen Westerby
Until you have had a crack at reupholstering you can’t know how tough it is to get a neat result. Helen clearly has a gift here as this was done brilliantly. She also went to the extra effort of removing the arms to modernise the whole design.wicker


Alex Forrester
The photo doesn’t really do this justice as the chair was skilfully painted and really brought back to life in a simple, but effective way.


Lee Brown
I’m sorry I don’t have a photo for Lee’s as it was a very handsome piece. He’d managed to make a sofa with an attached reading light out of an armchair, so it was very clever.

Best Side table



Winner – Lindsey Molyneux
Lindsey is clearly a perfectionist as this was done with an incredible eye. I loved it’s subtle colours and the attention to detail. Some lovely use of decoupage here.



Fiona McLeod
What a fun table. I’m a big fan of mosaic and it’s a great way of using up all the crockery you see thrown out when it’s seen better days.


Jasper Keech
I really feel like this table has a story to tell. I can imagine it intriguing people in years to come. A great way to add character to what was quite a dull piece originally.


Daniel Daviespainted

The simplicity of this one was what made it so effective. It was really carefully painted and exhibited an complementary use of colour.



Stanley Chapman
I’m afraid I don’t have a picture of this one. Stanley took a replica antique table and modernised it by removing the faux leather and replacing the centre with some skillful (and I imagine painstaking) woodwork.

Best Sideboardhedgehog house

Winner – Luke Newcombe
Luke really did go the extra mile. His piece was really to go out in a backyard and featured a system to allow drainage for plants and even a hedgehog house!



Adriana de Palma
This piece belongs in a funky seaside apartment. I loved the fresh colours and patterns and it was painted beautifully too.




Susana Padilla
What you can’t see from the picture is that Susana had lined this with sheets of music. What a fabulous music cabinet.



Gemma Seddon
Gemma is clearly very artistic. I loved the striking design of this which utterly transformed the furniture.




People’s Choice Winner – The Loop at Graham Park
Unfortunately you can’t see the interior of this as it was beautifully done. What a way to make a boring sideboard into an incredibly appealing one.


Well done to all the competitors, you really were all winners in my eyes. I hope you continue to upcycle and that I’ll see you again next year.

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If you fancy a go at upcycling, check out my post on how to upholster a chaise longue.

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