Turn Your Junk Into Joy! Upcycling Old Washing Machines With Currys

In case you haven’t already guessed, I’m not a DIY person. DIY beauty yes but DIY drilling, hammering, sawing – not me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prissy little madam who can’t break a nail or smudge a lipstick (believe me I break & smudge a plenty for the right burger) but when it comes to real hammer-in-my-hand DIY, I just have zero clue what I’m doing or where to start. 

Enter Currys, who offered me the chance to attend an upcycling workshop – what is upcycling? Basically turning ordinary junk items into treasure! This workshop was to turn old washing machine drums into my wildest dreams, fully aided and assisted by the Old School Club.

Initially i was dubious but given that I’m in the process of buying a flat, I thought this would be a good chance to actually own my first piece of furniture (though I was worried that it would be more ‘furniture’ if anything)

AKA Stuff I have no experience with

So that brought me to the Battersea-based Old School Club on a Sunday afternoon, cowering from the rain in a giant converted warehouse. Seriously, it was the worst day to leave the house, I lost TWO (albeitly cheaply made) umbrellas to London’s cruel streets – one umbrella literally bent in half. IN HALF.

Epic voyage done, the plan for the day was to: pick a drum, turn it into a table, a lampshade, a storage box, a footstool. Easily said but my first thought was pretty much #SAYWHUH?

Fortunately the folks at Old School Club were super helpful and basically handheld me throughout the process- all I had to do was decide the direction and the beat that this (washing machine) drum was playing to..

I decided to make a storage box, with a flat, versatile lid that could be used as a table surface or, with a cushion on top, a footstool. Being a huge fan of Scandinavian minimalist and New York Loft industrial styles, I decided to go for a clean, textured aesthetic – lots of shiny metal and clean wood.

Whilst everyone else was painting their washing machine drums, I just felt like the pattern on my drum was too beautiful to cover (that and I’m not very good at painting) so I decided to put some elbow grease into it and buff it up to a brilliant glossy shine using furniture wax and a dry cloth.

I never thought I’d be impressed by the patterns on a washing machine..

Next, the lid! I wanted a wooden lid in order to contrast with the metal and there was a great old crate in the materials pile. The team helped me cut it into a circle and then I sanded down the edges to make them super smoooooth and splinter free.

The furniture wax came out again to give the wood a whitewashed look, without taking away from the natural wood patterns and I then painted the rim white to give it a clean, polished finish.

And can you believe it, that was my 3.5 hours up! Time really does fly when you’re having fun (and completely winging it) and the result was this stunning storage table box. What do you think?!

All in all, a great day exploring the unknown with Currys and The Old School Club. I ended up surpassing all my expectations and creating something which would actually go straight to use in my flat.

It was lovely to see the beautiful (and practical) side of an old drum. Who knew washing machine drums could be turned into such an array of wonderful things and so easily?! It really goes to show that we can make so much more of our old appliances if we think about it!

Now the only question left…. what to turn my hand to next? Fridge Ottoman? Blender lampshade? Kettle vase?

*Thanks to Currys and the Joe Blogs Network for the opportunity

What do YOU think of my new old drum? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!

By Zoe Dubs

Published by ZBW

Zoe is a Forbes '30 under 30' finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.