Sarah puts in some hard graft at the nation's tips to uncover four items that can be transformed. Norman Wilkinson, Anthony Devine and Jay Blades are on hand to help.
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Oh, now, 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.
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!
..valuable... THEY LAUGH
..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's in Altrincham, south of Manchester,
where thousands of locals come with their rubbish, rain or shine.
People throw away all sorts of goodies. All I've got to do is
make sure I get my hands on them before they go in the skips.
Sarah has special permission to rummage about for four items
she can transform and things are hotting up.
That is not the only busy bee round here.
This place is buzzing.
Sarah's spoilt for choice, but she's honing in on Lydia and her chair.
You after a sit-down, Sarah?
-I love this.
-Oh, thank you.
-Have you had it for long?
I've had it for a long time, yes. It belonged to my family.
It was passed down to me. It was actually my great aunt's.
So you've had enough of it. It's not fitting in at home any more.
It's been in my garage. I'm quite sentimental about these things, but I've just been trying to clear out.
Today was the day I thought, I'm going to have to do something about it, so I brought it here.
-Who's got the white cat?
She's like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes.
I would love to be able to take it away and see if I could do something with it.
-Would that be all right?
-That would be wonderful. It really would.
-Thank you so much for letting me have that.
-Really nice to have met you.
Sarah certainly seems pleased with her jolly green armchair,
but what do Lydia and Kate think will become of it?
I suppose, in some ways, it's kind of quite a blank canvas, isn't it?
-Maybe some really nice fabric?
-Just completely modernise it.
-I haven't an...
I haven't a clue really.
Such a sweet little chair.
It's got loads of period detail, lovely little cabriole legs, fat,
chunky arms and a really good look.
I've got just the person in mind who will give it
the real kick that it needs to turn this into a money-maker.
Anthony Devine is one of the UK's most talented teachers
and practitioners of upholstery skills.
First thing I see in a room is a chair.
When I go round to people's houses, I look for quality,
I look to see what I would do differently.
Some chairs look like they are almost kind of destined for the tip,
but if you see one ounce of kind of potential, then save it.
I suppose it is a bit of a love affair I have with chairs.
They're very beautiful things.
That's maybe the case for some chairs, Anthony, but you've not
seen what Sarah's saved for you.
Well, who else was I going to bring this little beauty to?
It's come to Manchester for a makeover.
We've saved it from a skip, and now we want it to look lovely again.
Let's go and see what he thinks.
-I just hope he likes it.
-Hey! How are you doing?
-There she is!
-It's good, isn't it?
-Shall we get it in?
-He really does love chairs, doesn't he?
-It's not too bad.
-No, it's good! Good sign of quality. Good weight.
-It is, isn't it?
-Yeah, it's good.
I have had some ideas about it.
I was wondering about making it look like something else.
-Not too radical, but a bit of a play.
Because of the style of the chair and it's going to sit in a
corner of a room and the rest of the house might be all nice
and safe, there's an opportunity,
an opportunity to give it a little bit of something.
Just leave it with us. We'll do a sympathetic restoration underneath
and something big and bold on the top of it.
Sounds like this chair is in for a special treat.
But just how much is big and bold going to cost?
-500 quid as a budget...
..would be, like, kind of get it all done.
If it takes more, it's not going to be much more.
If it's less, you can have it back.
-500 quid, you know, I trust you implicitly.
-I know you can do something bonkers with it.
-You never know.
Well, I do know because I've been here before.
You slash things, you stab them, you spray-paint them, you know,
-I just can't wait to see what you're going to do with it.
-You're deeply worrying.
-Absolutely. I've got this one in the bag.
As a trusted member of the team,
Anthony's earned his creative freedom with this one.
But will Sarah live to regret it?
Today, modern interiors,
they're all just getting a bit bland and boring and it's all very tonal.
We want something to be in the corner kind of screaming and
shouting, "Look at me!" and probably you would never sit on it,
but we want you to appreciate it and that's what we're trying to do
with this chair.
I'm really intrigued about what he's going to do with that chair, and
I can't wait to come back to find out if he's had a good idea or not.
A budget of £500 for a chair which, when finished,
will look like...um...no idea.
I just hope that whatever Anthony does, Sarah can sell it.
To scoop up our next item,
Sarah has toddled along to the Whitley recycling centre in Surrey.
Where she's hoping her next item will be a knockout.
I love it down here, everyone's so nice.
Don't let that sweet smile fool you.
If being nice doesn't get her what she wants...
..she's willing to get nasty.
Hand over your rubbish.
Better put that back before somebody sees me.
Can Sarah turn the clutter in Xena and husband Tim's boot into cash?
-What are you doing, clearing out or moving?
-We've moved and we've still got a lot of stuff to get rid of.
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 nobody has ever liked them.
We've tried to eBay them. And still nobody wants them.
I think they've got that retro look that people quite like.
Maybe we should keep them, then.
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.
Xena 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 so much letting me have those.
-Look forward to seeing them.
Lovely, I'll keep in touch. Bye-bye. Thank you ever so much.
Is Xena 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.
Maybe if they can be refreshed, they'll have a new life.
No? Not your cup of tea?
I think they've got some potential, they just need
a little bit of love, a bit of TLC and I'm sure they're going to turn a profit.
Sarah knows just the fella to help her turn potential into profit.
Jay Blades has a passion for classic British craftsmanship,
and adding a little va-va-voom to vintage furniture.
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
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 because 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.
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 have 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?
I do, but I know 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 a reasonable amount of value to it.
Yeah. I have 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.
But I've never done this before. 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.
-You take care.
Well, I think I was right in thinking that those chairs
are not right up Jay's street, but he's 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, 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.
Well, Sarah's done it to me today, I must admit.
Even I would like to see how these turn out!
Jay has £140 budget
to transform these '80s throwbacks from dated to desirable.
Back in Manchester, Anthony has an extra pair of helping hands
in the form of his assistant, Tom,
who specialises in making furniture frames.
So what I'm thinking with this chair is quotes,
so the wise words of Winston Churchill...
-..British and all, icon.
Never, never, never, not Rick Astley...
..give up, Sir Winston Churchill.
Yeah. I like it. Maybe a cigar holder to go in the arm.
Anthony plans to use the paper stencils to work out
the placement of three well-known quotations...
Give us a V!
-..all spoken by one of Britain's most influential leaders.
I mean, this is possibly the worst job in the world for me.
I cannot spell to save my life, but these are all good words.
I'm all right with this.
Winston Churchill became Prime Minister on 10th May 1940,
and the quotations Anthony has chosen were all spoken
during a time of conflict.
They helped to inspire the nation onto victory in World War II.
I've managed to spell hell wrong.
Hell is spelt with two Ls, Es.
Heel. See if you get through heel!
If you're going through eel.
-Right, go on.
-It's a place in Yorkshire.
Once the boys know the quotations will fit on the chair,
the next stage is to lay them out on brown paper that will later
be photographed and printed onto fabric,
giving the appearance of the chair being wrapped.
The quotations are being sprayed onto the paper to give
a stencilled graffiti-look.
This is the al fresco part of the operation.
-Has it worked?
Yes! That's what we want, isn't it?
-Yeah, that's all right.
-OK, good job.
-Good job, me.
-Well done, Tom. Now, crack on.
The next day, Anthony has received the finished fabric with
stencilled quotes which was printed overnight. It's the moment of truth.
Has it worked?
So this is printed onto like a moleskin velvet,
so this is an upholstery grade fire-retardant fabric.
In terms of happiness, I love it.
I mean I actually, genuinely, love it.
We've blitzed the budget.
It's always daunting because we have absolutely no room for error.
And I, like, sometimes we can play around with things but this
time the printers are already closed, Sarah is due in the morning.
It's going to be another late one.
Anthony is known for his last-minute makeovers,
but this is perhaps his most ambitious.
He's already stripped the chair, but has to build it back up
and cover it, making sure the quotes are positioned inch-perfect.
-No room for error on this one.
-Have a look.
-That is a solid seven out of ten.
I don't know why you gave me the job in the first place, to be honest.
-Yes, thanks for that, boss.
-Yeah. You're welcome.
So, this is elasticated.
And this gives us the suspension.
With the fabric secured to the arms,
Anthony now has to rebuild the seat and the back of the chair.
He starts with the elasticated webbing.
because the tension that I'm pulling this under, to get the
kind of suspension in the back, this rail is starting to twist, so...
It's going to have to be changed.
So where's the right quote? Here we are. "Never, never, never give up."
And if you're going through hell...
So here the danger is that obviously we'd have done this
before we'd have got any of the fabric on.
But you never quite know these things until you get them.
It is late. The printers are closed. Sarah's coming.
Normally, in normal circumstances,
we would leave this for a few hours to dry.
We don't have seconds, let alone hours so...
We'll clamp it and just work round it.
I think another famous wartime quote is apt at this point.
"Keep calm, Anthony, and carry on."
In Wolverhampton, 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.
So, these chairs,
Sarah brought them in to us with just a plain kind of bamboo look,
and what I've done is I have sent these to a spray guy
to get them sprayed.
The contrast that I want to create is the chair looks beautiful
and black, but then I want a distressed bit, where here,
it looks as if it's dripping with paint.
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.
What I'm going to go for is do a 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.
That is quite cool.
And that's exactly what I want.
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.
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
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.
Sarah's now returned to Manchester to see the bold makeover
Anthony's been promising, if he's managed to finish it, of course.
This chair, as complicated as it was, that was kind of our own doing.
We could have went simple but we chose to basically utilise
all the skills of all the staff here. Everybody's loving it.
Everybody loves it for the impact.
Yeah, so hopefully, when she arrives, she's going to love it too.
Well, Anthony was being really quite secretive about my little chair
when I dropped it off, so I'm dying to see what he's done with it.
I've left him 500 quid's worth of budget and I know one thing,
it won't be dull.
When Sarah collected the old chair at the tip,
it had certainly passed its best.
As Churchill himself said,
"There's nothing wrong with change if it's in the right direction."
And Anthony has certainly changed the direction of this old chair.
Covered in iconic quotes, hand-designed and digitally printed
on velvet fabric, this chair is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Anthony promised bold and he's delivered. But will Sarah like it?
-Hello. And welcome to the war bunker.
-How are you doing?
-I'm very good.
-Where is it, then?
-What have you done to it? Dare I look?
What an original piece of design!
Basically, we wanted to do something, just something,
-you gave us a bit of artistic licence...
And we gave you this back.
Um, so we went from taking the chair, we positioned all the
letters up, stencilled it all out,
worked out roughly where it was going to go,
then we went and stencilled and sprayed them all up
and then had it all photographed,
sent it off to our printers and then out she popped, or he popped.
This is a lovely transformation, but 500 quid?
Have you blown that out of the water?
Well, let's just say the 500 quid,
-we owe another 20 quid just to the fabric printers.
-This isn't sounding...
-This isn't sounding very commercial.
-I'm just going to say 750. There, I've said it.
Yeah, a little bit over-budget but I can tell why, and I appreciate
the fact that you really went to town on it,
-because it is very cool.
-Really good! Love it!
Sarah seemed to take that very well, considering it's £250 above
-the original budget.
-Wow, that chair is anything but dull, isn't it?
And beautiful. Not cheap, because that's because of all that hard work
that's gone into it.
I love the fact that Anthony's had free rein to create something
that's unique that could have ended up in a skip.
When Sarah spotted Lydia dropping off the old green chair,
it certainly had some history.
It belonged to my family.
It was passed down to me. It was actually my great aunt's.
Sarah chose to save it from the skip and allowed Anthony free rein to
do whatever he liked.
The inspirational armchair was quickly snapped up by Nick Smith,
a regular client of Sarah's,
who's an online vintage and retro retailer.
It's nice and comfy.
Sarah has returned to the Altrincham area to show Lydia what
became of the old green chair.
-Hi, Lydia. How are you doing?
-Hi. Nice to see you again.
-And you, and you. Beautiful day, isn't it?
Um, now, last time I saw you, I loved what you were dropping off
-at the tip when I saw you.
-I'm very pleased.
So your old...was it your, did you say it was your great aunt's?
Well, I thought it was my great aunt's but actually it was my
great grandparents' which was then passed on to my great aunt.
Yeah, it's got quite a lot of history, so I'm really intrigued to
-find out what's happened.
-It was a lovely shape, your little chair.
And it was something that didn't travel very far, actually.
We took it to Anthony Devine who teaches upholstery and is a
-fantastic upholsterer in Manchester.
-Fantastic. Oh, brill.
Yeah, so he loved it. I've actually got some pictures here to show you.
-Would you like to have a look?
-I can't wait to have a look.
Well, you said it had a lot of history to it.
Well, he's added even more because your chair is now looking like that.
Oh, wow! That's fantastic.
-So he took Winston Churchill as his inspiration.
-He created all the fabric...
-He stencilled it all himself.
That is amazing. That is so good. That's brilliant.
I love the kind of history link as well. It's fantastic.
Excellent, well, I'm really pleased that you like it cos as
a family piece, there is always that worry that we might do
-something to it that you might not approve of.
-So, good news is other people did too, and it sold.
Oh, that's brilliant!
I have £75 here which is profit from your armchair.
Oh, that's super, thank you very much. Oh, that's brilliant.
I'm going to give it to an animal charity.
You know, that's what I'm going to do, definitely.
I've got one in mind. I am, yes.
That's lovely, that's really, really sweet.
It's a little chunk of money that hopefully will be useful.
-Thank you so much for letting us have it.
Thank you very much.
Oh, it's an absolute pleasure and a lovely cause for that. Thank you.
-Lovely to meet you.
Anthony charged £750 for the transformation
of the old green armchair.
Sarah managed to sell it for 825, which left
a profit of £75 to return to Lydia.
Well, Lydia loved Anthony's Winston Churchill historical
connection with her chair,
and that animal charity has a very generous £75 donation coming.
Welcome to Walsall Recycling Centre -
a nonstop hive of activity.
But Sarah's struggling to find her next item,
and the day is drawing to a close.
Luckily, David and son Matt appear for an evening trip to the tip,
and they've got a tonne of timber.
What is that and what's it doing here?
This is a Victorian solid mahogany wardrobe.
-That weighs a tonne, no doubt.
-It does, yes.
And have you got all the bits that make it into the wardrobe?
-Every single bit.
-Why has it ended up here? Is it yours?
-We're moving house.
Right. And have you had it a long-time?
Was it in the family or...?
Bought it in Stafford 20 years ago, 30 years ago.
It looks useful. The right size.
-You can have it. Do you want it?
-I want it.
I'm going to really regret this cos I know it's really heavy.
I'm going to be moving this around forever.
If I get hold of it, it may not end up as a wardrobe.
-Great. You can do whatever you want.
-OK. And it's all solid wood, isn't it?
OK, let's see the rest of it then.
I believe our Sarah is most excited about this one.
That's all right. That's nice. I like that.
I've just realised what it's in.
I was so busy looking at that wardrobe,
I didn't realise it was in a car.
Sorry. I was mesmerised.
And more of the wardrobe just keeps appearing
out of David's Tardis-like vehicle.
Let's get it out of your car and into my van
and I will do my best to make something beautiful out of it.
Or at least know a man who will.
It's a really nice bit of... You know, really nice bit of woodwork.
And is David happy for Sarah to be radical with his old wardrobe?
I'd be delighted if she could do something with it.
There's so much potential here and some of the detail looks
absolutely beautiful. I know who to take it to. I just don't know
what they're going to do with it.
Norman Wilkinson, a master of his craft.
With 25 years' experience in the furniture-making business,
what he doesn't know about wood isn't worth knowing.
I love the timber, I love the finishing of it,
I love the product. It's everything. It makes me tick.
Yeah, there is a passion for it cos there's no point getting up
in the morning and not doing something you like.
Coming in and then picking up the wood and then turning it
into something lovely, you know, makes me happy.
Another man's rubbish, in this instance,
is a couple of old doors and bits of random wood.
Bet you can't wait to get your hands on this little lot, Norman.
And also, using second-hand materials, it's a great joy.
The old saying, another man's rubbish is another man's...
I can think of the saying now.
Lost for words, Norman?
Just wait till you see the pile of jumble junk Sarah's got for you.
I have no idea how to put this thing back together.
It's just like the biggest jigsaw.
Plenty of it to work with, though, isn't there?
-How are you?
-Really well. How are you doing?
Yeah. Nice to see you again.
Right, let's get this one out.
Now that's all inside, what's the plan?
Often I have this, like, massive vision
about how something will end up.
This, there's just so much of it, so much potential, it's just a case
of finding what would you really want to do with it?
-I'm thinking maybe a locker.
-OK, so you're saying locker,
so we're talking about leaving it upright like this.
Upright as it is.
So if we keep the drawers in cos people love drawers
and they're always so functional. So we leave the drawers in.
Shall we stick them in? Just so I can kind of...
-Yeah, let's stick them in and see where we go.
-OK, let's have a bit.
Norman will concentrate on renovating the main body of
the wardrobe. He thinks it could become a much more
contemporary storage unit.
Because it's quite deep, we could...
slice it back a fraction so it gives it the proportion then we
could put in three doors, maybe, and then keep them
individual little compartments and then put a plinth back on it,
make a nice little cornice for it.
So it sounds like it's quite a complicated process.
Do you think it will chuck up any problems?
I think the only problem we'll have is once we
decide where we're going to cut it, we have one go and one go only,
and if we get it wrong,
we'll be sticking things back on all over the place.
That doesn't sound completely ideal.
Measure twice, cut once. Golden rule.
OK, I can see you've got a very clear vision about how this is
going to look and I'm happy to say, hand it over to you.
But what sort of budget will Norman need for this bold venture?
To get that into how I think it's going to look fantastic,
I think it's going to cost you 375.
I think I'm going to make some money on that.
I think you will as well. It's going to look great. Absolutely superb.
So our Norman will get cracking,
making sure to measure twice before he cuts any corners.
That massive wardrobe is going to get a massive transformation.
I love the idea that Norman's come up with
and he knows this business.
It's going to be an exciting project and I think,
you know, let's get on with it and see how we get on.
Norman has a budget of £375
but converting that broken-down wardrobe
into a modern and useful storage unit
might challenge even his carpentry skills.
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 for 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 the 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.
-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 is another dimension?
Oh, yeah. There's another dimension. We've got to turn them over.
Different good. Excellent.
Great, thanks, lovely. I'll take those. They're cool.
-You like them, yeah?
-Yeah, there are good.
They're really good. They're strong and they were weak,
and that is amazing to achieve that.
And you got a real chunk of comfort.
Chunk of a cushion there. Chunk of a cushion.
The problem I had before is when you sit on them, the bamboo,
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. 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
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. It looks really, really expensive.
I really do like them. I never really liked them when you brought
-them in. I thought they were horrible.
-They were horrible?!
-He's dissing my skip finds again.
-I don't shop for my stuff, OK?
-I know you don't.
I 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, mate. 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.
Xena was moving home and clearing out when Sarah spied this pair.
I 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 will have a new life.
And that's exactly what happened.
With a striking new look, who better to offer them to but Nick,
who also bought Anthony's chair?
And, you know what? He snapped them up.
Now Sarah's going to tell Xena the good news.
-Oh, hello. Hi, good to see you.
-And you. So this...
This is where you are moving to when I saw you at the tip.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-How did it go?
You said you had loads of bits that you were clearing out.
We did. We've spent all summer whittling it down
and finally we're all sorted now.
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.
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. They're lovely.
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. Really lovely fabric.
They're really comfortable as well. They put big, squashy covers on.
They were really... They 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...
£5 there and 20 quid there.
That's not bad for some old junk. Thank you very much.
What might you do with that little...?
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.
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 Xena.
With two items selling for a profit, we're on a roll.
Sarah has just one more item to find before she heads for home
and it'll be one she works on herself.
What people throw away drives me nuts.
See? Wing nut. Get it?
Will you get on with it?
Sure enough, she soon spots Les, whose boot full of bags
is like a lucky dip to our Sarah.
Talk me through what's in here.
Anything I might be interested in? What's in there?
Haven't got a clue. Just take it out and have a look.
-I might like some of this stuff.
-It's up to you, love.
-You take what you want.
-These are quite sweet.
-All the coat hangers.
Only Sarah could get so excited about a load of old hangers.
Hopefully she can find something just a bit more interesting.
There seems to be a coat hanger theme going on here.
-Well, it looks that way, doesn't it?
-Oh, my word. More?
Les is sorting through his recently departed uncle's belongings.
-How old was he?
-He was 90-odd.
And he just loved hoarding things, did he?
-Well, that's what people do, isn't it?
Les isn't one for standing around chatting so it's up to Sarah
to see if she can dig out anything other than hangers.
Oh, there goes Les.
It's like being underneath a Christmas tree in here.
There you go, kids. Bags of hangers. Merry Christmas.
Lovely. Well, thank you very much
for letting me have a little rummage.
If I find anything interesting, can I keep in touch?
-You can do what you want.
Les clearly has a lot to get through
so Sarah's grabbed a few choice bags for a longer rummage on her own.
Look in here.
Let me guess, more hangers.
Metres and metres of old fabric.
It's quite narrow. That means it's old.
Anything that's 30 inches wide, old fabric,
is sort of 1940s from when they made things on a narrow loom.
I think there's huge potential here to turn a profit
and I'd love to have a go at making some projects out of this.
And, with that, the tip hunt is over.
At her home in Sussex, our material girl Sarah's
itching to get started
on that bundle of old cloth she unravelled earlier.
Having a whole bundle like this is really exciting.
It's really lovely stuff so I'm planning to turn this lot
into fantastic scarves,
those big, wraparound ones that are really commercial at the moment.
First, she carefully measures the...
I'm just going to make up the size. There's so much fabric here.
Oh, no, my mistake. First, she grabs some scissors,
makes an educated guess and starts cutting.
Oof, lucky guess.
And, after another hour or so, she's very accurately chopped up the lot.
Right, so, there's 15 scarves here.
So I'm going to go and get these
through the washing machine
and then get them dyed.
I can't wait to see what these look like in different colours.
Sarah's using off-the-shelf cold water dyes.
With just some water and salt,
you can create vibrant, colourfast tones.
You can dye pretty much any natural fabric with these powders.
Come to help?
She's aiming for a range of vibrant spring colours...
..some of which are working really well.
That's looking hot.
That's so not blue.
It's supposed to be ocean blue.
As it happens, I quite like the purple.
It's going to be all right.
Time for green.
I'm not sure I'm quite ready for tropical green. That's really green.
Sarah adds a little yellow dye
for a less Incredible Hulk and more halcyon springtime feel.
Now that's a proper spring green. Kind of looks like moss.
Bramble's adding her own distressed look.
Oh, make yourself at home on the silk, Bramble(!)
That's how it's done commercially, you know.
After a quick dry and iron, it's time for the fiddly bit.
So this is where the fun really begins.
Lots of little details on it.
Go to town with tassels and ribbons
and make them all have their own personality, really.
Sarah's going to roll the edges of the scarves and add some
Snip little sections
so they're about that long.
Wrap it really tightly round and then tie it.
And then I can just sew a little line of those
along some of the ends of the scarves.
I think this is going to take ages
but all these fantastic colours together,
I think they're going to sell.
That's one tassel done. Just another 300 or so to go.
If only Bramble could lend a paw.
Sarah's spent just £10 so far on these three packs of dye but,
with so much sewing to get through,
she'll have to enlist some help, which will all add to her costs.
Back in Hellingly in the East Sussex countryside,
Norman is about to tackle the enormous mahogany wardrobe
and he is keenly aware that Sarah's left him a challenging job.
In the Victorian times,
they could spend a year making a piece of furniture.
It really wouldn't matter.
But, you know, like with us, you know, we've got a certain limit
and we have to work to it so, yeah, a little bit under pressure.
You know, that's modern-day for you.
Pressure, pressure, pressure.
To keep his labour costs within Sarah's budget,
Norman needs to work fast but carefully.
I think as long as we think about what we're doing, we should be OK.
You know. One of those ones.
Like we always say, measure twice, cut once.
I've heard that somewhere before, Norman.
He plans to cut the bulky wardrobe down to more manageable proportions.
First of all, he's removing the back panel.
The screws do not want to come out.
Or at least he's trying.
I think I might have to get a hacksaw on there.
Bingo. That's that one.
The mahogany wardrobe is made from a tropical hardwood,
a popular material used for quality furniture
back when this was made...
which was quite a while ago.
This is the problem sometimes of using reclaimed,
you can't get the screws out, so we have to make a decision on if
we can't save it then we might just put a new back on it.
Yeah, that one's snapped as well. So...
Just this one now.
But with a little bit of elbow grease...
That's all right. We haven't snapped the joint so...we're in business.
..the back comes off relatively cleanly.
Excellent. Very good news.
The dilemma now is that it's too wide.
I've got to decide how much we're actually going to cut off it.
And that is a tricky question.
There's only a half inch in it. Inch.
That can be quite critical.
Know what I mean?
I've no idea what you're referring to, Norman.
We're going to take four and a half inches off.
That decision made,
it's nearly time to fire up Norman's circular table saw.
That should make short work of cutting the wardrobe down to size.
But he's only got one chance to get it right.
I've just got to make sure when I'm cutting, I don't wobble off
the line and things like that.
Let's not talk about it.
Good luck, Norman.
I can hardly watch.
The blade could have done with being slightly higher. I'm going to do it again.
What was the golden rule, Norman?
Measure once, cut twice, was it?
This mahogany monster looks like it has a long way to go before
Sarah has anything worth selling.
At Sarah's home, those scarves are being finished off.
Having already tussled with her tassels for hours on end,
she's enlisted the help of her sometime assistant Ian,
among others, to get them all done.
As she's aiming for a high-end product and high-end price tag
to match, she's confident that spending
a bit on labour won't take too much out of the profits.
-See, look, a tassel on each corner.
-Beautiful. So what do you reckon
one can charge for a hand-tasselled, hand-dyed scarf?
Sarah's chosen the best 12 pieces of material to finish and soon
her tassel odyssey is complete.
Sarah found a jumble of discarded old material in
a plastic bag destined for the skip.
Now they're sumptuous and vibrant scarves that wouldn't look
out of place on a catwalk.
With a bit of dye, some leftover thread,
and a lot of hard work, they've been transformed into
a gorgeous spectrum of springtime loveliness.
Well, I am really pleased with these.
They're bright, they're beautiful and I think they're rather lovely,
and I've got a good idea about where to sell them.
I need to position them up here in terms of cost because I want
them to be seen as a lovely, luxury item, which I think they are now.
At the recycling centre in Altrincham, Sarah met Les while
he was trying to throw out a load of his uncle's old coat hangers.
There seems to be a coat-hanger theme going on here.
Well, it looks that way, doesn't it?
-Oh, my word. More?
Among all of Les's uncle's rubbish was a bag of old fabric.
Sarah chopped it up, dumped it in some dye and tied on
a load of tassels to create some sublime scarves.
They proved a perfect fit for Cowdray, Sarah's local farm shop,
who bought all 12.
The colours are absolutely beautiful
and the fact that they've been handmade from something
that was otherwise going to be thrown away
really fits in with the ethos behind our business.
And they're already in demand.
-I love that deep purple.
-So do I.
But not quite for what Sarah planned.
I'd use it for a tablecloth.
Each to their own.
Now Sarah's back in Altrincham with some loot for Les.
-Hiya, love. You all right?
-I'm very well.
-How are you doing?
-Fine, duck. Thanks very much.
You were hard at work last time I saw you.
You had got loads of stuff coming to the tip and
some of it was yours but some of it belonged to your uncle.
-Is that right?
-That's right, yeah.
In one of the bags, there was actually some fabric
that I was interested in.
I've got a picture of it to see if it's something you remember.
Well, I don't remember but it would be brilliant to see it.
That was in there.
It was lots of really long strips of fabric and some of it was silk.
-Do you want to see what we did with it?
If you don't mind. I'd like to see what you've done with it.
We turned them into scarves.
It just shows you, doesn't it?
That's incredible, that. Oh, it's absolutely brilliant, that.
That's fantastic. You wouldn't think of doing something like that.
They looked really good and we took them to
-a local farm shop and they bought all of them.
-Did they really?
Yeah, and they bought them at a profit so I've got
-a little bit of money to share with you.
Well, you can't refuse that, can you?
-I've actually got £160 here for you.
-Is that unexpected?
-That IS unexpected!
I mean, just imagine how much more stuff goes in them skips every day.
-Don't say that. It keeps me awake at night.
-I bet it does.
Oh, that is brilliant, that, love. Thanks very much.
What might you do with that?
Well, I was going to put a new exhaust on my car.
-Two and a half grand.
-That is a nightmare.
-Well, I'm sorry...
-No, that's brilliant.
-That'll go well towards it.
-Well, that's great news.
-Well, let me say thank you.
-It's much appreciated.
I hope to see you again down there. See what else I can give you!
-I hope the car's all right. Thanks ever so much.
-Thanks very much.
Well, I really enjoy turning something plain and boring into
something luxurious and lovely and it sounds like the profit
came just in time for Les with his massive car bill.
Sarah spent £10 on materials and another 30 for additional labour.
12 scarves were bought by the farm shop for £200,
giving Sarah a profit of £160 for Les.
In the quiet East Sussex village of Hellingly, Norman is waiting
patiently for the arrival of Sarah, with a piece he is rather proud of.
It's a really versatile piece.
The beauty of it is the size, that it can go anywhere.
And the amount of storage you get into it is ideal.
You could use it for anything, basically.
You know, the beauty of it is it's got doors on it,
put your junk in it, hide it away, like we all do.
Speak for yourself, Norman.
But, yes, you are correct.
Let's hope Sarah is as happy with the result as you are.
Well, I left Norman with a whopping great wardrobe and the hope
that he'll be able to transform it into something that is much
more saleable and commercial, that will fit into anybody's house.
When Sarah dropped it off, this was a broken down lump of lumber
destined for the furniture graveyard.
But now Norman's worked his magic, the wardrobe is reborn.
Its cool, distressed finish and slimmed-down proportions make
it a practical and stylish storage cupboard, fit for the modern home.
The cornicing details add interest and the contemporary paint job
brings this Victorian beast bang up-to-date.
-Oh, I thought I shut the door. I thought I locked it.
But what will Sarah make of the finished storage unit?
Oh, it's tall. It's really quite cool.
I know that, you know,
-cool is not something I normally associate with you.
-I think you've done really well there.
-Yeah, I think it works well.
Proportionally, it works.
Really nice to have kept the drawer handles, OK,
cos you have converted a big piece of furniture into
something much more commercial, haven't you?
I mean, we've used... Obviously when we made the doors, we made
the doors out of all the old timber that was left, the plinths.
We changed the cornice because we didn't want to keep the same
cornice on because it just didn't work, so we put a new one on.
Apart from that, we used everything that we can. Everything.
Norman has clearly put a huge amount of effort into transforming
this piece and he's given Sarah a fighting chance of making a sale.
You're such a safe pair of hands to bring things to cos you always...
-Yeah, well, you get it done on time, you nail it,
-you make it look commercial.
-Storage is great.
I'm really pleased with it.
It's a really good-looking piece and I think you've got
-a lot of storage per square inch, given the floor...
..floor space you're taking up.
So I reckon I'll position this as something that is
a universally great kitchen cupboard.
You know, something... This is good kitchen storage, isn't it?
It's got a lovely, strong look.
I think you're hopefully going to have another winner on your hands.
I think I've definitely got a winner there.
Safe Hands Norman, that's what I'm going to call you from now on,
-cos you just get it right. Lovely.
-Let go. Please let go.
No, no, Safe Hands Norman, thank YOU.
Well, I'm pleasantly surprised about what Norman
has managed to create out of that huge piece of furniture.
I've now got something saleable and good-looking on my hands
and I should be able to make a profit out of that.
When Sarah spotted David and his son Matt,
they were hauling a terrific amount of timber.
This is a Victorian solid mahogany wardrobe.
They wasted no time in coming to an agreement...
-Do you want it?
-I want it.
..and David wished Sarah well in her endeavours.
I'd be delighted if she could do something with it.
Now that great hunk of hardwood has a whole new home.
The Old Cinema, a vintage and retro furniture dealer in west London,
snapped up the revitalised storage unit as stock to sell in their shop.
So now Sarah's aiming to update David on what became of his
wodge of old wardrobe.
She's heading for his office in central Birmingham.
-David. Hi there. How are you doing?
-How are you?
Nice to see you. I know when we met briefly at the tip, I said
-I'd like to keep in touch...
..to see, you know, if we managed to do anything with your wardrobe.
I was really pleased to be there on the day you were dropping
that off because it was obviously a lovely, old wardrobe.
So we took it to a guy called Norman
who uses wood like that all the time.
So we decided the best thing for it
would be to go back to being some sort storage.
I've actually got some pictures to show you what he did with it.
-So that's how it ended up.
-That's... Yes, that's the drawers.
Oh, very good. Yes. That looks great.
That looks really useful, really good.
It did sell to a London shop and I have the profit here to give to you.
-Jolly good. Profit.
-I got £100 here for you.
-Thanks very much.
And that's probably about
what it cost us 30 years ago when we bought it.
David's had three decades of use out of the wardrobe
and now he's got his cash back too.
But what will he do with this dividend?
Would it be a good idea if I give it to someone like
the Forestry Stewardship Council or something like that,
who look after sustainable wood?
Maybe they'll plant lots of new mahogany and teak trees
-with the money.
-I think that's a lovely idea.
I was very conscious that I was putting it in the tip and
that there was a better place for it, so you've done well.
I really appreciate your time today and for letting
-me have your wardrobe.
-Thanks very much.
-My absolute pleasure.
-Lovely to see you. Thank you ever so much.
Well, that's all worked out beautifully.
Norman delivered on the storage
and David's going to give that money so new trees can be planted.
Norman's materials and labour came in on budget at £375.
Sarah sold the new storage unit for a neat £475,
leaving a nice profit of £100 exactly to hand over to David.
Sarah successfully saved four items from oblivion.
Lydia's old green chair was re-wrapped and covered in
the bamboo seats got the Jay Blades treatment...
..the vintage material found its mojo as a set of scarves...
..and the mahogany wardrobe was revitalised as
a practical unit for storing your stuff.
Well, you've seen what can be done with a load of old rubbish.
Why don't you have a go? Get some tools and get stuck in.
Sarah puts in some hard graft at the nation's tips to uncover four items that can be transformed. Master carpenter Norman Wilkinson, upholsterer Anthony Devine and design guru Jay Blades are on hand to help reinvent the pieces of furniture into desirable pieces.