At the tip, Sarah Moore saves things from being dumped and transforms them into bespoke and valuable pieces.
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Oh, no, I like the look of your rubbish.
How do you make money for nothing?
I love a little rummage.
The answer could be hiding in the 30 million tonnes
of household waste we throw out every year.
I think that I might be able to make something out of that.
That's why entrepreneur Sarah Moore wants to get her hands on things
before they hit the skip.
That's... That's wartime.
I'm a passionate buyer, user and maker of old stuff
and I've turned that passion into a moneymaking business.
I make new stuff out of old stuff and I sell it for a profit.
And with some of the country's elite designers and makers...
That was brief.
Oh, the potential!
..she can transform her finds into desirable...
Work of art!
..and hopefully saleable items.
If Sarah is successful, then she can hand the profits back
to the very people who had no idea there was cash to be made
from their trash.
-Thank you. I'm astonished!
Today, Sarah is in Surrey at the Witley Recycling Centre.
Where you and I may see beat up and broken down,
Sarah sees the potential to make a bob or two.
People are flooding in here all day long,
all I've got to do is stop the good stuff from there
ending up in there.
She's been given special permission by the recycling centre
to transform the stuff all these lovely people plan to sling out...
..into a knockout.
I love it down here, everybody's so nice.
Don't let her sweet smile fool you.
If being nice doesn't get her the two items she needs,
she'll get nasty.
Hand over your rubbish.
I'd better put that back before somebody sees me!
Can Sarah turn the clutter
in Xana and her husband Tim's boot into cash?
-What are you doing? Are you clearing out...
-..or are you moving, or...?
and we've still got a lot of stuff to get rid of, so...
Really? So is that...?
I quite like your enamelware, but I'm interested in your chairs.
-Have you had them long?
A long time.
I've had them years and years and years and nobody's ever liked them.
And we've tried to eBay them and still nobody wants them.
I think they've got that retro look that people quite like.
There's been a lot of jungle styling going on. I think those would...
Maybe we should keep them, then.
Actually, I think you should give them to me and you should see
if I can make something exciting out of them for you.
You're welcome to have them.
Xana may have failed to flog the chairs,
but that adds to the challenge for Sarah.
How she intends to make them over, though, I've no idea.
-Thank you for letting me have those.
I shall take them away and cherish them.
-Look forward to seeing them.
-Yeah, lovely, I'll keep in touch.
-All right. Bye!
-Bye-bye. Thank you ever so much.
Is Xana happy her chairs skipped the skip?
I think that's brilliant, it's much better to recycle and...
I did feel a bit guilty bringing them.
And maybe if they can be refreshed, they'll have a new life.
Da-dah! No? Not your cup of tea?
Well, I think they've got some potential, they just need a little
bit of love, a bit of TLC, but I'm sure they're going to turn a profit.
Sarah knows just the fella to help her turn potential into profit.
Jay Blades is a builder turned philosophy graduate
turned furniture designer.
If you want to have a go at what I do, your best bet is to find
a piece of furniture that isn't really worth that much money.
You might have bought it down the charity shop or a car-boot sale
for about £5, and just play around with it.
Jay has his finger on the pulse of contemporary interior design,
reworking the very best of British craftsmanship
and bringing it bang up-to-date.
Some people like working with spray cans,
some people like working with artists' brushes.
Whatever your creativity is,
just draw it out and allow it to just ooze onto the furniture,
cos the reality is,
that furniture was more than likely going to go into a landfill site.
So, you upcycling it gives that piece of furniture
an extended lifetime.
Well, I for one can't wait to see Jay ooze his creativity
all over these '80s gems.
Sarah's saved one item for her artisan,
and now she's on the hunt for something to work on herself.
And she will not stop until she has it, she's like a dog with a bone.
-Can I recycle you? Would you like to come home with me?
-I could turn you into a lapdog.
-She's Daddy's baby.
Come on, Sarah, no time for pats, the clock is ticking.
Or in Richard's case, it's not ticking.
What are you chucking out today, then?
Well, it's a cuckoo clock, a very nice cuckoo clock,
-but it needs repair.
..I've got another one and it's a shame to throw it away, but...
Not many people have two cuckoo clocks, do they?
No, well, I mean,
I've got the other one because the last one needs repaired, but...
So, how long have you had this one...?
So, "Made in Germany," did you get it from Germany?
Yes, um, in the 1950s I was in the Army in Germany
and I bought it then.
-It's really sweet.
-In the mid-1950s.
I hate throwing it out, but...it's going to cost a lot to repair
and I don't need it, I wouldn't know where else to put it...
Well, I think if you've got one cuckoo clock,
that's probably enough, but if it would be possible
-to take that from you and see if I can mend it and...
-Oh, please do.
-Oh, I'm so excited!
-Please do, I'd be much happier doing that than it going down in the...
In the landfill.
Yeah, well, I'm definitely... I'm so pleased that...you let us have that.
That's lovely and I shall try my best to get it going and then I'll...
-It's up to you, now.
-I know. Ooh, the pressure!
Sarah must be CUCKOO to choose this broken clock,
but she does love a challenge.
So I really don't know what I've got here. I'm not a clock expert.
There's potential that this little cuckoo clock could turn
a pretty penny, but at the moment it's not working,
I'm not sure if all the bits are here...
..and I'm not sure what kind of market there is for cuckoo clocks
at the moment, but I'm going to stay positive and hope
that I've just picked up a winner.
Perhaps Sarah can make this cuckoo sing again.
Sarah has both her items.
Jay will work his magic on the bamboo chairs...
..and Sarah will need to make the cuckoo clock
into something saleable.
So, today's eclectic collection of items will provide just
the kind of challenge that I love, but there's going to have to be
some radical changes if I'm going to make some real kerching!
Welcome to Wolverhampton.
The hometown of heart-throb Liam Payne from boyband One Direction.
Their megahit, What Makes You Beautiful,
is a tale of seeing beauty where others may not...
..kind of like upcycling expert Jay Blades and furniture.
Even though I don't agree with people taking chairs like this
to the recycling centre, um, one thing I must say is that I do
enjoy that they do, because if they get rid of it or they don't see the
beauty in it, I guarantee you I will definitely see the beauty in it.
So, I'm really, really excited
to see what Sarah's going to bring along.
These two are a classic 1980s
conservatory pair of chairs
and they are going to need all of Jay's imagination
and ingenuity to turn them into something saleable and desirable.
I've never seen Jay work with anything like this before,
so I hope he takes them on.
I can't think of a safer pair of hands for this pair of chairs.
-You like to set a challenge for me, don't you?
But I know that you will rise to the challenge,
that's why I can bring things like this to you
and I just know you're going to make them look special.
I'm hoping with a bit of colour and maybe some fantastic upholstery,
we might be able to create something that has, you know,
like, a reasonable amount of value to it.
Yeah. I've never worked with bamboo before and, yes,
you're quite right, with a bit of colour and a lovely fabric on there,
it should be able to bring these right up-to-date and...
I've-I've never done this before, this... It's going to be cool!
These chairs are a brave new world for Jay.
He's agreed a budget of £140 for the pair.
I can't think of a better man to maximise the bang for those bucks.
In terms of what I've got to spend on them,
I'm slightly maybe capping your creativity by the budget.
If you could hit it as hard as you can on that budget, pack a punch,
-see what you can do for that money, that would be fantastic.
-All right, you take care.
Well, I think I was right in thinking that those chairs
are not right up Jay's street, but he is going to take them on
and if anybody can make a couple of duds into something desirable,
it's Mr Blades.
My brain is thinking, like, "What am I going to do?
"What am I going to do? What am I going to do?"
I'm thinking of a load of different colours
and also just how to work with bamboo.
As I said, I've never done this before.
Pfff! Wow, Sarah's done it to me today, I must admit, um...
-would like to see how these turn out.
Jay has a £140 budget to transform these '80s throwbacks
from dated to desirable.
From the suburban streets of Wolverhampton to the quiet
countryside of Sarah's home in Sussex.
She's dropped off the bamboo chairs and now,
having enjoyed a morning walk with Bramble,
she's going to get started on the cuckoo clock.
So, the cuckoo clock really doesn't work.
I hoped I might be able to get it going or something simple
would be wrong with it, but I've had a really good look at it
and I've also spoken to a horologist.
A what? Excuse me a sec.
NARRATOR TYPES ON KEYBOARD
One quick interweb search later,
I can tell you a horologist is a clockmaker.
You learn something new every day!
It's 150 quid at least to get it repaired and a very long
waiting list, so I'm afraid I don't think this is going to tick again.
Aw, this cuckoo will cuckoo no more.
But don't fret, Sarah has a plan.
She intends to transform this clock into a smartphone-charging station.
OFF-KEY "CUCKOO" SOUNDS
You know when a cuckoo clock is broken -
it starts to sound like a pigeon.
OFF-KEY "CUCKOO" SOUNDS
It's a heavyweight item and Sarah needs to lighten the load
by clearing out its internal workings.
I'm sorry, this feels awful.
If this all goes wrong, it could make a lovely bird box!
You might think Sarah's cuckoo phone-charging station is bird-brained,
but when you're finding a new purpose for an old item,
no idea is too off-the-wall or wacky - get inspired and go for it.
So that is pretty much stripped now, so if that's all one colour,
I think that's going to look really cool,
but I need to find out a way of introducing the phone to it
and this bit, the old moulding from the front,
definitely needs to be kept and I'm hoping that a phone
might fit in there...
Oh, look, that is perfect...
and really lucky, cos that's going to mean it will look like
it's made to do this, which is always helpful.
So that's going to be on there in some beautiful colour
and then the phone will go in here, I've just got to work out a way of
getting the charger cord in here for whichever phone people have.
Can't be that hard, can it?
I think just get a little bit of something
to go over the top there and...
it'll be fine.
I said give it a go, I didn't say it would be easy.
I wonder if it's too late to call that horologist back.
Yep, I'd say so.
Well, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,
but what will this bird-brained idea be worth when completed?
So far, Sarah has only spent £12 on a charger for this project...
in Jay's workshop there's been big changes to the bamboo chairs.
They look cool.
Jay has had them spray-painted by an expert technician to ensure
a pristine, smooth finish.
These chairs, when Sarah brought them in to us,
were just like a...plain kind of bamboo look and...
what I've done is, I've sent these to a spray guy to get them sprayed.
The contrast that I want to try and create is the chair looks
beautiful in black, but then I want a kind of distressed bit,
where, here, it looks as if it's just dripping with paint.
Then we'll have a lovely cushion that's on here.
I haven't received my fabric yet, so still got a bit of time,
but Sarah's not going to be back right now,
so I can wait for my fabric to come because I've got a really striking
fabric that I'm going to put onto this seat and turn
into a cushion to sit on there to make it a bit more comfortable.
But the dripping effect is what I'm hoping to create now.
Jay is going to add a coloured motif using gold spray paint.
If he doesn't like it, he can't undo it, as removing the gold paint
would damage the perfect black finish.
I don't normally use spray paint and stuff like that,
so one's feeling a bit nervous.
So what I'm going to go for is doing a little bit of a test run
first of all.
When using spray paint, it's important to work in
a well-ventilated area, wearing the appropriate safety gear.
But that is quite cool.
And that's exactly what I want...
where it drips down.
Test run a success. It's time for the real deal.
I only get one chance at this and it has to look good, um,
because once I put the paint onto there, that's it,
I've got no more chances to rub it out or go over it again.
I'm nervous just watching!
It's a one-shot deal, so here's hoping Jay achieves
the element of distressed grandeur he's after.
I said you only get one chance at it, and the one chance I've got,
-I don't like it!
Oh, he's made a right old mess of that.
In Sussex, there's been some big changes to Sarah's charging station.
It's just arrived back from a special technician
and if you didn't think she was cuckoo before,
wait till you see a load of this.
Well, I've had a really fun idea for the cuckoo clock.
So I just thought I'm going to throw caution to the wind
and turn it into something really kitsch and cool.
So the cuckoo clock has been flocked.
Flocking is the process of adding thousands of tiny particles
of fluff to an object covered in a fine coat of glue.
It gives the item a velvety feel.
It was very popular in the 1970s on wallpapers, but truth be told,
you can flock almost anything.
It's flocking marvellous.
Look at these two. Aren't they amazing?
Look at that really vibrant, lovely pink.
I've mixed it up a bit and I've got a few different tones of pink here,
so when I put it all together, it should kind of layer up
so it looks really pretty.
But this stuff, stunning, isn't it?
So all I've got to do now is put it together, and hopefully
we'll end up with something that is truly unique.
When Sarah saved this cuckoo clock from the scrapheap,
it was beyond repair, but now...
It's time has come to be born again
as a retro-chic and completely unique smartphone charging station.
It's functional and eye-catching,
a classic cuckoo-clock design given a bold and brash spin.
The vibrant shades of playful pink give it a pop-art feel.
It's one of a kind, uber-cool and utterly brilliant.
Well, it's definitely kitsch, isn't it?
And I think it's beautiful, it's definitely useful,
and I'm just hoping it's saleable.
It was almost lost for ever, but Sarah saved Richard's broken clock.
What are you chucking out today, then?
Well, it's a cuckoo clock, a very nice cuckoo clock...
I hate throwing it out, but...it's going to cost a lot to repair.
She couldn't fix it, but she did find a way to repurpose it.
Sarah paid £72 to have the clock flocked,
plus 12 for a charger, making her total spend £84.
She sold the charging station to Velvet Moon,
a craft shop in Glasgow, and is now on her way to Richard's home
near Witley to hand over the profit.
-Hi there, hello.
-Richard, hi, it's Sarah.
-Hi there, nice to see you again.
-Nice to see you, this is...
-Oh, hello there. Hi, I'm Sarah.
-Hello, I'm Anne.
-Anne, hi there, how do you do?
Now, I actually took your cuckoo clock to...
-I think it's a horologist, isn't it...?
..to see, and it was at least £150 just to get somebody to look at it,
so I know why you were taking it to the tip.
-That's why I went to the dump!
So I had hoped that I'd get it cuckooing again,
but it wasn't the case.
Having not been able to get it going, I had to think of something else to do,
so I've got some pictures to show you how it ended up.
-Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised. Here is...
-I knew I was going to get that reaction!
-Gosh, it's gone pink. Fantastic.
-Isn't that fantastic?
So it is now a phone charger.
-Wonderful. Oh, how clever!
-A phone charger, yeah.
-And it was flocked.
-So it has had a new lease of life.
-That is amazing.
It is definitely in the pink and it has been bought by a shop
-who specialises in that kind of thing...
-..and I do have a little bit of money to hand over to you.
-It didn't make a fortune...
-I'm sure it didn't!
-..but I have got £26 here...
..for your old cuckoo clock and I hope you don't mind it's now...
That is fantastic. I mean, as it was going in the tip, um...
You know, I don't want that, so it'll go up to the church,
-where she... You know, up at Witley.
So, you know, we're about to spend a lot of money on outside
decoration and so on, and a sound system, so it'll go into that pot.
I'm so pleased that's going to somewhere so close to your heart.
-Thank you very much.
-Great, well, thank you so much for the clock.
-Well, lovely, that was a wonderful surprise.
-That's very sweet of you.
-Thanks very much.
-Bye-bye, thank you ever so much.
Sarah spent a total of £84 transforming the cuckoo clock.
She sold it for 110,
turning a profit of £26 for Richard and his wife Anne.
In Wolverhampton, at Jay's workshop...
..he's getting prepped for Sarah's arrival to give the thumbs up
or down to his handiwork.
It is perhaps no surprise that those two bamboo chairs
were destined to the tip.
They're short on style and even though there is
a little bit of bamboo and wicker creeping back into fashion,
they just didn't have the look.
But I'm hoping with all Jay's skills,
he's managed to make them look desirable and saleable.
Has Jay succeeded in transforming these '80s chairs?
He's added a dash of contemporary panache.
The addition of the floral fabric adds a timeless classic quality.
And with a deep cushion, well, that just looks oh so comfy.
And as for that drippy, distressed motif,
it's now a golden glint down one side - a stylish touch.
For Sarah's viewing, Jay's hiding the floral design.
He's such a tease!
-How are things?
-Very good, very good.
-Are you good?
-They're different. They're different.
They are different.
Uh-oh, is that different good, or different bad?
That's just... This is the bottom fabric, if that makes sense?
OK, are you saying there's... there's another dimension?
Oh, yeah, there's another dimension.
So we've got to turn them over...
Different good! Excellent.
Great, thanks, lovely. Er, I'll take those.
-You like 'em, yeah?
Yeah, they're good. They're really good.
They're strong and they were weak, and that is amazing to achieve that.
And you've got a real chunk of comfort in that...
Chunk of a cushion there, chunk of a cushion.
Cos the problem that I had before is when you sit on them,
the bamboo's really...
it comes through the thin cushion, and personally,
I really like the fabric, I must say, it's really, really nice.
I haven't gone for this print right in the centre because there's
so much going on here that I thought
do it a little bit off-centre, similar with that one as well.
Rather than use the fabric in exactly the same way that
everybody would, it's just doing it a little bit off-centre,
which makes it look really, really cool, I think.
They look classy, they look designer and they look expensive!
They do look expensive, I must admit.
70 quid each we left on them, did they come in on budget?
Bang on budget, £70 each, yeah. They look really, really expensive.
I really do like them,
I never really liked them when you brought them in.
-I thought they were horrible.
He's dissing my skip finds again! I don't have...
-I don't shop for my stuff, OK?
-I know you don't.
I need to drag it
kicking and screaming off a recycling centre, so...
I love what you've done to them.
I think you've given them every chance of going back into
somebody's house and being loved again.
-Nailed it again, Blades.
Right, thanks for that.
That's a job well done, Jay.
These chairs are as exciting as I could possibly have hoped for.
They have got heaps of character now.
They are crispy, clean, exciting things
that I can sell and hopefully make some money on.
Xana was moving home and clearing out when Sarah spied this pair.
I've had them years and years and years and nobody's ever liked them.
I think you should give them to me and you should see
if I can make something exciting out of them for you.
It's much better to recycle and...
I did feel a bit guilty bringing them.
But maybe if they can be refreshed, they'll have a new life.
And that's exactly what happened.
With a striking new look, Sarah sold the chairs to Nick Smith,
a regular client of hers whose online shop specialises
in retro and recycled items.
And now, Sarah's going to tell Xana the good news.
-Hi, good to see you.
-And you. So, is this...?
This is where you were moving to when I saw you at the tip?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is it.
-How did it go?
You said you had loads of bits that you were clearing out, have you...?
We did, we've spent all summer whittling it down
and finally we're all sorted now.
Um, your chairs went all the way to Wolverhampton
to a fantastic guy called Jay Blades who specialises in taking
furniture like yours and giving it a whole new lease of life, and
I've got some pictures to show you.
-I'd love to see it.
-How about that?
Wow! That looks amazing! Oh, gosh. They're so different.
And for some reason I thought they were going to be
a sort of khaki colour.
I don't know why - I didn't expect them to be black.
The cushion pads are absolutely beautiful and really lovely fabric.
They're really comfortable as well, they've got that big,
-squashy seat pad on them.
-Yeah, because they were really...
I had quite thin pads and after a while they were a bit sort of...
-That ten-minute chair where you want to stand up again?
They're not like that now and they're lovely and they have been
bought by a retro shop and I've got a little bit of profit to hand over.
-You're joking?! That's so good!
-So, there is £25...
-Wow! Thank you!
..and 20 quid there for you.
Well, that's not bad for some... some old junk! Thank you very much.
What might you do with that little...lot?
Well, I don't think we'll need to buy any more chairs,
but it'll probably go towards something else that we need here,
so that's very helpful.
-Lovely, OK, well, really great to catch up.
-Thank you very much for letting me have your chairs.
Jay charged Sarah £140.
She sold them for 165, giving £25 profit to Xana.
Sarah saved two unwanted items from the skip that have been transformed
and are going to enjoy a new lease of life.
Well, a lot of thought
and hard work went into those inspiring transformations,
but why don't you have a go?
Pick up those tools, because you'll never know how satisfying it is unless you give it a go.