Upcycling for Kids with Lynne Lambourne

I’ve often thought if upcycling was a part of the Design Technology class at my old school  I’d have found my passion much sooner and learnt the skills needed to create all of the projects in my head without the help of YouTube (Ok maybe without as much help from YouTube). I know Jasper isn’t even two yet but I try and involve him in as many projects at home as is safe to do so and if he can’t help he watches, just this morning he took a hessian star made from some grain sack offcuts and had a little look in his bedroom to see where he could hang it – it’s ended up on the antler of a cardboard stags head which looks great…he’s clearly showing signs of potential (or maybe it was just beginners luck! ha).

I’ve long been a fan (and boarderline Instagram stalker) of Lynne Lambourne’s work, she is an upcycling queen and has been involved in some of the most interesting projects I’ve come across. When I discovered Lynne hosted kids upcycling bootcamps in the school holidays I simply had to share this discovery on the blog and find out all of the details. Here’s a little Q & A with Lynne to tell us more:

How did you get into upcycling & When did you realise it was a major passion of yours?

When I left London and moved to my current house I needed to furnish it and had very little money to do it, I soon realised that with a good eye you can find some fantastic things in charity shops and second hand online sites and transform them turning trash to treasure.From then on I was hooked and now find it insane to buy new, I love the challenge of creating something truly unique.

What’s your favourite upcycle in your home?
I love the yellow bed that my daughter and I did in her bedroom, we got it second hand for 99p! It was that horrible orange pine but we painted it with a layer of white and then two layers of bright mustard yellow, distressed it to reveal the white layer and give it some character and it looks fantastic now. Such an unexpected pop of colour in a room.


You’ve worked on some pretty exciting projects…what’s been your favourite so far? 

I worked helping Max MucMurdo upcycle a shipping container into a houseboat for George Clarkes Amazing Spaces on Channel 4, the man is an upcycling genius and we had so much fun doing it. I learnt so much and made some amazing upcycling buddies too. I also have loved touring the Uk on the Upcycling double Decker Bus which we converted into a mobile workshop teaching people to upcycle, people are so keen to learn more and join the upcycle revolution its wonderful.
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I think it’s great that you’re offering children the chance to learn how to upcycle, when did you start offering upcycling workshops for kids?
I have been doing it for about 3 years now, we have so much fun and there are quite a few mini upcyclers on the loose in this area now, I am always being stopped in the supermarket or on the street by enthusiastic children who have been on the bootcamps who love to tell me about the things they have made since coming. I love that I am inspiring them.
What sort of things will they learn & what age are the workshops aimed at? 
Children from 5 plus can come to bootcamp and some days we make tuna can clocks or decoupage old lampshades others we paint furniture or make pallet signs. Its always different depending on what we can find to upcycle.
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Where are your workshops based and when is the next bootcamp with availability?
The Bootcamps are run from my workshop in Henley every school holiday from 10-3pm on specific days, if you follow me on FB or Instagram the dates are always popped up there. The next ones are the 30th of August and the 4th of September.

Thank you so much for telling us a little more about the workshops Lynne, Can I book Jasper in as soon as he turns 5 please? We will drive down for a little upcycling mini break!

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Natalie Lockwood Interiors has been showcased at Grand Designs Live and Ideal Home Show as well as being featured in national newspapers and magazines.