I’m a part-time nurse making £ 500 pop from old furniture makeovers


BEING savvy with your furniture can help you save hundreds of pounds, but knowing what and how to do it can be the tricky part.

New research by 118 118 Money has found that Brits willing to tackle a bit of DIY can buy up to £ 1,200 in cash per recycled item.


Anna, a part-time nurse from Birmingham started retraining to earn money in her spare timeCredit: Supplied

There are two million Google searches mentioning ‘upcycling’ in the UK every year and searches for recycled furniture have increased 60% in the past 12 months.

Anna Coleborn, 29, a part-time nurse and mother of two from Birmingham, learned the trick to help recycle some of her used furniture and now she earns hundreds of pounds recycling in her spare time.

She started upcycling in 2020 while on maternity leave after the birth of her second daughter.

Anna transforms used furniture, gives it new life and sells it for up to £ 500 per item.

She started recycling furniture in the evenings, alongside her job as a nurse.

She launched her recycling business, Anna’s Art House, in October 2020, and uses chalk paint to give the pieces a unique design.

Anna said: ‘When I started I would only spend £ 10-15 on coins and list them for around £ 135, but as my knowledge and business grew I found that spending more on coins. better quality parts and restoring them was more profitable.

“Now most of the furniture I buy costs between £ 20 and £ 50, which I can then sell for between £ 200 and £ 500, depending on the room.”

“I’m really lucky because we have a charity shop near us where people donate their unwanted furniture that would otherwise go to landfill, that’s where I collect the majority of my parts. .

“If I have a hard time finding what I need, I sometimes use the Facebook Marketplace to find items, but it can be a bit hit and miss because you don’t know exactly what you are getting until you find out. ‘it be in your car!

“As I work from home my overhead is limited, but I spend around £ 25 per piece on materials, and due to design, prep and painting each piece takes two weeks.

“I use Etsy to sell most of my coins because I get more exposure on the site, but due to the fees you usually lose 15% of your profits and so having my own website has helped me keep more of my profits when I sell through there. “

Anna loves recycling old furniture


Anna loves recycling old furnitureCredit: Supplied
Anna can earn up to £ 500 per coin


Anna can earn up to £ 500 per coinCredit: Supplied

If you want to get started with upcycling but don’t know how to do it, Anna shares her advice.

She said: “If anyone was looking to start recycling furniture, I would tell them to go!

“It’s much cheaper and better for the environment than buying new, and you can customize it right in your home.

“I would also say, try not to worry about making it too perfect, when I started my business I spent hours trying to perfect it, but I think old parts are at their best when they are. a little robust and full of charm! ”

Anna’s top tips for recycling furniture

Check out your local charity stores or, if you’re having trouble, use sites like the Facebook Marketplace to find items.

Invest in high quality, well-made parts for your job.

Use well-known sites to increase your visibility and reach a larger audience, but be aware of the fees you might be charged.

Also, create your own website to have more control over your profit margins.

Don’t worry if the piece is too perfect – you can always change it if you don’t like it!

Popular upcycling projects that could earn you extra money

The search for 118 118 Money focused on five popular items that can be found around the house.

Using data from eBay, they determined how much profit could be made based on an average figure calculated on both the total value of the most expensive listings and items sold on the platform. popular resale, and on estimated supply costs for recycling.


The most popular recycling projects that could earn you extra cash are cupboards (potential profit of £ 347), tables (potential profit of £ 268) and bags (potential profit of £ 248).

But that’s not all, recycled lamps can also generate potential profits of £ 234 and recycled chairs can generate potential profits of £ 173.

Tips for selling items online

For some people, the biggest barrier to selling recycled items may be a lack of knowledge on how to use sites like eBay.

If that sounds like you, here are a few tips that might help you along the way.

Be sure to check eBay policies to find out how many free listings you get per month once you start selling. If you go over your allowance there is an additional cost of 35p per item.

Be aware of the additional fees you will have to pay after making a sale. This is usually 10% of the final sale price (capped at £ 250).

If you process payment for the sale through PayPal, fees may also apply.

Be sure to visit the PayPal Help Center for information on their service charges.

If your item has a unique selling point, for example if it is a first edition, or if it is rare in any way, this should be prominent in your eBay item description. .

Look for similar items on eBay to see what might be a reasonable price.

Make sure to include good quality photographs of your articles.

Be open and honest about the condition of the item (s) you are selling, and include a written description and photos of any defects, so buyers are aware.

Anna loves to recycle used furniture and give it new life


Anna loves to recycle used furniture and give it new lifeCredit: Supplied

Meanwhile, a thrifty woman turns the table at a £ 4 charity shop instead of shelling out £ 200 for an expensive alternative and people are in awe.

Additionally, a savvy mom shares a hack that transformed her daughter’s bed and keeps her from splashing hundreds on a new one.

I’m a furniture pinball machine, found an old table on the street, used glue to fix it, then put it on eBay and sold it for £ 200

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