The shabby little desk appeared sad in the corner of our local charity shop, and I knew someone who was the ideal size to sit at it. My six-year-old grandson. Instantly, I started to visualise its revival, so snapped it up and hauled it out to my car. At five pounds it was a bargain!

I adore browsing around charity shops these days, unlike my younger years when I deemed secondhand outlets to be uncool. In fact, it’s become rather an addictive pastime, and I have to be careful when dropping off my unwanted items that I don’t come out with more than I have taken in.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to start the restoration and sanded down the wood in preparation for painting, secured loose joints with wood glue and held them in place with a clamp. For a more durable surface, I brushed on paint suitable for wood and metal.

One coat of paint wasn’t enough, but two were perfect. I had intended to add motifs, but decided the lid would be covered with all sorts – paper, pens and other bits. Any detail would be hidden most of the time and I was pleased with it as it was.

I thought the project was complete until I came across another little gem a week later in another of these wonderful goodwill establishments. There, I spotted a padded footstool balanced on a shelf with bric-a-brac. The upholstery was grubby and the wood-carved legs removed from the body of the stool were badly scuffed. I wondered if it was too tatty for an uplift, but at only two pounds it was worth the risk. If I couldn’t upcycle it, then I had simply given my money to a worthy cause.

After sawing the legs down to the required height, I painted them and the seat frame to match everything else.

There were many fetching fabric designs at Plymouth Indoor Market, so it was easy to choose a piece as the finishing touch. Stapling it to the seat was fun and simple to do. After reattaching the frame holding all components together and screwing the legs back in place, the stool was finished and the perfect partner for the desk.

Hey presto!

My grandson loves reading and producing writing and art at his new workstation. It keeps him amused, and I’m happy making a fine collection of his endearing creations produced there.

A tad different to my usual blog post, but I hope you have enjoyed reading it. It might come in handy if you fancy giving a timeworn item a fresh look one day.

Best wishes,
Sue. X