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Done up North

TWO DAY WORKSHOP: In-depth Furniture Upcycling & Design - Dates available

TWO DAY WORKSHOP: In-depth Furniture Upcycling & Design - Dates available

Regular price £350.00
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Get an in-depth experience of Cutting Edge style furniture design and upcycling with Done up North on this weekend workshop.

You'll go right through the process of transforming a tired, old piece of vintage furniture right from design ideas all the way through to those final finishes.  

You'll walk away with an unique creation plus a wealth of knowledge and confidence to go on to create more yourself. 

Over the 2 days, I'll share so much of what I've learned for myself over the past 8 years upcycling and developing my style - and answer absolutely anything you want to know, whether its about restoring vintage or running an furniture upcycling business yourself. 

And while it's certainly information-PACKED, I am really delighted that everyone feeds back about the learning being so enjoyable as it's really important to me that we have fun creating too. That after all is what it's all about really!

It is a unique course that brings together the design aspect and modern wood refinishing techniques (including stripping process), upcycling and adapting with new fittings, as well as my personal take on the essentials of prep & repair & finishes that you would get on a straight-forward furniture painting workshop.

And of course you'll have me by your side giving you all the support and encouragement you need! 


Day 1 will cover:

  • Assessing your piece & deciding your design
  • Repairing, stripping and sanding ready for painting and design
  • Understanding paints, primers and painting techniques
  • Applying a design to your piece (techniques such as Tape Design or Stencilling)
  • Finishing your design with protective finishes

Pretty much everything you need to get you creating the stylishly upcycled vintage furniture you love!

Day 2 will allow you to do any of the following; 

  • Carry on working to complete larger pieces or more complex designs with further support from me
  • Learn a different design from Day 1 e.g. Decoupage, gilding, stencilling 
  • Explore further refinishing techniques * - for example, restoring wood veneers / using paint/varnish stripper
  • Explore more advanced repairs and alterations, changing or adding new fittings and fixtures
  • Get more advice with any questions you've got on any aspect of Furniture Upcycling

    *These will depend on the projects in the workshop on that day

With the core essential techniques covered in Day1, Day 2 gives you time for to develop more in-depth understanding, re-visiting what you learned and taking it further - as well as to ask any burning questions that arise as you absorb more. 

Upcycling is an ongoing learning process - every project teaches you something new so give yourself the time to really absorb the techniques and enjoy the process!  

The two day workshop also allow you to complete a larger piece, or a more complex piece with a series of drawers/doors or a more intricate / detailed design (e.g. small-medium sized chest of drawers / cabinet / dresser).  

It will allow you to explore more techniques and aspects of upcycling, whatever your project needs and you would like to be able to experience.

Booking 2 days together will also allow you to try out using paint & varnish stripper for stripping wood, if you would like to, as this requires overnight drying time.

We will set our plan for the day around what everyone needs to learn individually though everyone still learns collectively and gets to share in what is being shown. 

There is also now the option to join us on Day 2 by itself because of this more tailored day to different people's projects.   So you can join us whether you want to do more work on a your original project, or get help on another project, or simply get to try out other techniques and tools.   

See more detail & book on the Project Day page

    Here is what some of my past students have had to say: 

    "Just completed the upcycling workshop with Nicky at Done up North. It was a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Lots of useful tips and help along the way. Nicky makes the day very enjoyable and meeting other like minded 'upcyclers' from those of us who are novices to those already giving it a go. I would highly recommend her workshops. I especially enjoyed giving the geometric designs a go (with Nicky's help) and I am pleased with my finished result."

    "Nicky was brilliant!!!! A mine of information on all aspects, learning different techniques, with masking tape blows your mind with the outcome. It was a real fun experience and the time just whizzed by. It was great to see other people’s vision for their pieces and the results. Book on to a workshop you will not be disappointed. A great big thumbs up 👍 from me 😁"

    "Before I started working with Nicky, I was struggling to know where to start with masking tape design and what order you did the different steps. But I’m so glad I joined her workshop as I learnt all the skills I needed. Nicky really helped me get clear on the process, the tools required, how to avoid mistakes and importantly, when mistakes do happen, how to correct them!"  

    "I was not feeling confident about my skills and I was worried about making basic mistakes. Now, I feel so much more prepared to take on work and challenges in my journey with upcycling! Nicky provided awesome resources and guidance that I can keep with me forever."

    "Nicky's tutorials are so informative. Her work is inspirational. Highly recommended."

    "I really loved doing the furniture painting course with Nicky. She’s so patient and kind, very knowledgeable and incredibly generous with her time. I was so pleased with the end result. The course is great value for money in amazing surroundings and I feel empowered to get on with some projects solo now. Highly recommended."

    Workshop run time:

    10am-5pm (approx) over two consecutive days 

    Aim to arrive before 10am so you can be ready to start

    Workshop venues / dates:

    Northlight Arts Centre
    31 Potternewton Lane
    Chapel Allerton
    West Yorkshire
    LS7 3LW

    The venue has it's own parking and the venue is fully accessible. 

    What's included 
    All paint, materials, tools and protective wear (aprons, masks, gloves etc) will be provided. 

    There is the opportunity to pre-select a specific paint colour for your project, otherwise you can choose (with help if needed) on the day. 

    Guidance materials will be provided to take away after the workshop for the core techniques and products used. 

    Refreshments and snacks will be available throughout the day. 

    There is a coffee shop serving barista coffee, vegetarian & vegan sandwiches, toasties and cake at the venue.  

    What to bring: 

    You simply need to bring a small to medium sized wooden piece of furniture to work on such as a side table, bedside cabinet, small chest of drawers or cabinet.   

    I can help you choose based on what you are aiming to learn beyond the essentials.  For example if you have a larger piece or one with lots of drawers/doors then design might need to be less intricate and you would stick to one technique.  And vice versa smaller pieces will give you more time to try things out, in order to make a completed upcycle achievable in a weekend.    

    It's always a good idea to look for pieces with good flat surfaces which will take design well and the general rule of thumb is that you can lift and carry it unaided. 

    About me:

    I'm Nicky, an award-winning furniture designer / upcycler and northerner who has featured in interiors magazines like Reclaim and Real Homes, demonstrated at events such as Grand Designs Live and exhibited at Clerkenwell Design Week and Decorex.

    I am one of the current designers on BBC1's Money for Nothing. 

    I have been upcycling professionally for almost 8 years having left behind the 9-5 life in search of a more creative life! 

    I've been teaching other aspiring furniture upcyclers online and in person for over 5 of those years and I absolutely love getting to be part of your creative adventures and sharing in your enjoyment of discovering what you have achieved. 

    My main goal is to inspire everyone to have a go at repairing, restyling and repurposing and enjoy the many benefits it brings to your home, your life and your well-being - as well as of course being a much more planet and purse friendly option. 

    I'm happy to personalise private workshops, talks and demos if you are looking for something specific, please get in touch for a chat.  Email me


    Tiered Pricing:

    I want to make sure learning to repair, re-purpose and re-style is as accessible as possible for everyone to benefit from and enjoy.

    I will not be questioning anyone's race or financial position, but ask that you use these options only if you are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Colour) or on a low income or disability benefit. 

    Standard Rate: Priced at market value - suited for people with stable income and access to food, housing, and healthcare.

    Prices have been held at the same rate previously paid by students for the past 2.5 years (the One day workshop has increased slightly in listed price but this is only in line with the extended duration and content).

    Pay it Forward:  If you are able to afford the Standard Rate and can afford a little more, you might consider choosing to 'Pay it forward' and help someone else get started upcycling too by adding this option onto your order. More details >

    Supported Rate: This is for people with unstable/reduced/low income that creates some stress about meeting basic needs. Use "Supported" at check out for 15% off. 

    Supported+ Rate: This tier is suited for people with unstable or inadequate income that sometimes prevents access to food, housing, and healthcare. Use "SupportedPlus" at check out for 25% off.

    Optional BIPOC Discount:  I'm not assuming that all who identify as BIPOC require or want financial support to access. For those who do, I would like to offer this as a step  towards offering reparations and also addressing the issue of an extremely white-centric industry that has not, up to now, been an inclusive or safe space or welcoming space for BIPOC to feel encouraged to join in with and to be an act of solidarity and inclusion. I ask that this code is not used by white allies. Please use "Equity" at check out for 25% off. 

    If you are still unable to attend even with a discounted rate please contact me to see how I can help further through the Pay it Forward scheme or through other options like online learning. 

    Please note the Pay in 2 option needs to be fully paid for before the date of the workshop.

    For more please see the Terms & Conditions

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