A DIY Influencer’s Clever Hacks Take Thrift Finds to a Whole New Level

published Jun 29, 2022
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For Sarah Teresinski, the DIY influencer behind Redeux Style, the act of upcycling thrifted items is nothing new. “I actually started upcycling in fashion over 15 years ago when my oldest daughter was a toddler,” Teresinski shares. “I wanted designer clothes for her and couldn’t afford them, so I started tearing up my old clothing and making her cute dresses out of old rocker tees.” From there, her projects evolved organically in scope; Teresinski now upcycles home decor, costumes, party decor, and more. “I think I’ve always had an inventor’s brain,” she reflects. “I tend to look at something and see something else, even as a little girl.”

Teresinski maintains active Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube pages, where she documents her upcycling for an audience of eager followers. “I love sharing my work online so much, because I don’t feel like I’m always teaching people things; I feel like the people that follow me on TikTok teach me so much,” she says. “The creativity people have amazes me!”

Teresinski refers to herself as a “sustainable stylist” and emphasizes the importance of reusing and refurbishing rather than always buying new. “I always say before you go to big box store, you should always hit the thrift store,” she says. “Take small steps — nobody’s perfect.”

Always up for a challenge, Teresinski has completed some pretty out-of-the-box upcycling projects over the years by utilizing thrift store items others wouldn’t think to use, from walkers and crutches to sports equipment, and more. Many of her other projects though are just about adding luxe-looking touches to a home on a budget. To that end, I’m sharing a few of Teresinksi’s most fabulous revamps below with the hopes that you’ll be inspired to upcycle something yourself.

A walker turned into a beverage station

Teresinski took an ordinary walker and turned it into an ice bucket perfect for summer entertaining. She’s actually completed this hack a couple of times, and it’s the perfect bar cart alternative for easy serving at a picnic or barbecue.

All you have to do is remove the walker’s wheels (unless you want your beverage station to be mobile) and then attach your buckets to the walker with duct tape or zip ties. To give the piece a little more of a deliberate design, you can cover your bucket and the pieces of tape with contact paper or peel-and-stick wallpaper, or paint them and the walker for a pop of color.

Household objects combine to make a stylish bedside table

Believe it or not, Teresinski’s nightstands are comprised of two basic household essentials: a laundry hamper and a cutting board! For this project, simply flip a wire laundry basket upside down and attach a cutting board to its base, which turns it into the perfect surface for water, a book, or lip balm.

Ceiling fan blades get a new lease on life

In Teresinski’s front entryway, ceiling fan blades make for perfect coat hangers. For this hack, she actually used the blade’s original hardware as her hooks and the blades as backplates. That involved removing the hardware, filling those original holes with play dough, spray painting the blades around the caning with a matte black color, then reinstalling the hardware further down the blades to mount them as hooks. This video was actually her first viral hit.

These projects provide just a few examples of Teresinski’s clever creations. The more obscure items she finds while thrifting, the better. “I have to rescue some of them and give them new life because next stop is most likely a landfill, and that’s never a good thing,” she says. “Then, it challenges me to come up with some way to take this item that no one wants and make it into something really cool and artistic.”