Sarah saves a chair, some hawthorn wood, an old art deco style toy and a broken table from the nation's tips. They are all transformed with the help of three talented artisans.
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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... 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...
A 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!
The first stop on Sarah's cross-country tip treasure hunt
is the Witley Recycling Centre in Surrey.
She's searching for four items that can be transformed
to make cash from old trash.
Wonky sideboards, stopclocks, occasional tables, legless chairs,
they can all be made marvellous and all make money.
All I've got to do is find them.
Sarah's been given special permission to be here at Witley,
so please don't go raking your local rubbish tip.
Leave that to the experts.
I can tell the quality of your rubbish.
You've got superb quality rubbish.
Oh, yes, there's all manner of things at the tip today.
Luckily, Sarah's spotted something a bit sexy in Sam's Land Rover.
Look at the legs on that.
Is that your old broken table, then?
It is an old broken table, yeah.
This is Grandpa's, he's decided to get rid of it.
It's been in storage for a while. Time to go, I think.
-And was it quite a stylish house?
-It was very '70s.
I think that's when they stopped buying furniture, so...
-It's time-warp furniture, then?
-It is, massively, yeah.
It's a fantastic piece of English furniture.
It's made by Ercol. It's got that look to it.
You haven't got the end bit, have you? Oh, you have got the end bit!
-I believe we do.
-If that marries up on there...
It does, yeah.
Then you've just made my day.
-Rather than putting it into wood and timber,
-can I take it away?
-Yeah, absolutely, no problem at all.
-Yeah, see what you can do with it.
-Brilliant, thank you.
That's definitely made my day.
I don't think I've ever seen Sarah so excited.
But what does Sam make of it?
I'm not sure what Sarah can do with that, it's been sitting around the house for quite a while.
It's in a bit of disrepair, it's quite old,
but I'm sure someone out there will find something in it.
If somebody had asked me what I really wanted to find today,
it would have been a piece of Ercol furniture.
Admittedly, this one's in two pieces,
but, still, it's a fantastic find.
And Sarah's lined up a fantastic craftsman to restore it
to its former glory.
Jay Blades is a man with many talents,
with furniture restoration being at the forefront of his skills.
A couple of people have asked me, how do I describe my style?
Personally, I don't know.
I call myself a modern restorer,
which basically means I restore furniture for a modern market.
Jay has an appreciation for classic, mid-century design,
and a love of traditional craftsmanship
to which he adds his own modern twists.
Someone did say to me once, "Your furniture makes me happy,"
so I used to call my furniture "happy furniture."
It makes you smile and adds a little bit of humour to your house.
My style is definitely not boring.
My style is definitely not run of the mill.
Well, Jay, that confidence is certainly going to be put
to the test when you see what Sarah's got for you.
Admittedly, the table is not in the best condition,
but I'm hoping Jay will see past that and take it on and make it into
-I need help.
-You need help?
-Come with me.
-OK, let's go.
So this is a...
manufacturer that I enjoy the most working on.
-This is Ercol.
-Other furniture manufacturers are available,
but this particular brand has been turning out quality British pieces since 1920.
Their sleek, mid-century designs are particularly en vogue.
But this one's more "en bits", really, isn't it?
He has...seen a bit of water, I would say,
and that's what opens up these joints
and allows that piece to come off of there, but...a brilliant find.
These tables are, as far as I'm concerned, timeless.
Even though you've got all of these marks and stuff like that on there,
when this is sanded,
the beauty of what this will come back like is just phenomenal.
I know exactly what I'm going to do with this.
And I know exactly how to fix this and make this worth every penny.
Have you got a rough figure in mind about what I'm going to leave you with?
The figure that I believe
I would need to do this is 150 to start off with,
and with probably 175, maybe 200 maximum.
It depends on the gluing and how long that's going to take.
OK, if I can leave you 175 quid, if you can, it would be great to bring it in on that.
See how you get on with the cracks.
Obviously, if it's a lot of work and pushes up to 200, that's fine.
I'm going to pull all of my creativity from everywhere to work on this,
so when you come back, hopefully you will be totally impressed with it.
-I hope it doesn't cause too many problems.
-Thank you. All right?
-Lovely to see you.
-Take care, Jay.
Well, that is just the reaction I was hoping for from Jay.
Yeah, I can't wait to start working on this one. She's had a good find.
And I'm really pleased about that price - £175 roughly.
I should be able to make money out of that,
and I'm talking about big money.
Not too much pressure, then, Jay.
With a maximum spend of £200 on materials and labour,
fingers crossed Sarah won't be disappointed.
That's the first item dropped off, just another three to find,
and Sarah's travelled to Altringham, Greater Manchester,
to search for her next hidden gem.
"No TV's" what? No TV's...
..remotes? There should be something here.
Enough of the grammar police.
Why don't you have a look at Trevor's old wood?
-Is that out of your garden?
-It is, yes.
-What is it?
Hawthorn. It was a tree that I cut down
because I wanted...the fencing was bad at the back.
God, it weighs a tonne, doesn't it?
But it's gone through three chainsaw blades.
Just blunted them straight away.
It looks to me like there's enough left in it that I might be
able to do something with it.
I'm not sure that Trevor's too convinced, to be honest.
I shall take that away and if I manage to make a chopping board
and little spoon, can I come back and show you what I've done with it?
Of course you can, yeah. Take it with my blessings.
-Thank you so much.
Hawthorn is one of the hottest burning woods,
so if Sarah can't come up with a plan...
at least they'll make a nice fire.
But what does Trevor think she'll make?
There's some good wood there.
I'm sure she'll get more than spoons out of it
but it's going to take a lot of hard work.
I hope she's got sharp tools because it's very, very dense.
This may look like dirty old chunks of wood at the moment
but I know exactly who to take it to so I can clean up
and have a real chance of making some profit.
Sarah knows just the people who can tackle all that wood.
Say hello to Josh and Oli, designer-makers,
business partners and best friends.
These boys use natural and recycled materials to create
handcrafted furnishings and high-end interior pieces.
I'm Josh and this is Oli and we're Forge Creative.
I think the main thing we love is designing new products
and new furniture, where you've got that idea and you come into
the workshop and just see it come to life.
The sort of thing we'd like Sarah to bring us would probably be
something with a bit of character, a bit of age to it.
I think we like something with a bit of a story.
Like a rusty bit of metal or like a weathered bit of wood,
something like that, that's got a bit of history and character to it.
Well, they're in luck, cos Sarah's hawthorn stumps
are definitely old and definitely weathered.
I'm really hoping my humble collection of hawthorn logs
is going to come good, because I need to make something
out of these and at the moment, it's not looking that hopeful.
There's a real danger that Sarah's exuberance at the tip
might have a rotten outcome.
-Come and see what I've got for you.
-I need a hand.
Oh, lovely, some logs. Nice!
-So, I think they're hawthorn.
-Fairly chunky, aren't they?
-Yeah, they're nice.
There's a lot of nice colour in there, you can see it already.
Yeah, it feels really heavy and really hard,
so hopefully it should have quite a crisp look to it.
-Will that translate?
-It's good to be a dense timber.
What kind of pieces could you get out of these size chunks?
Well, I was just thinking ornamental pieces,
because the wood hopefully will be quite interesting in the middle.
So whether we make some kind of vases or...
-yeah, some kind of ornaments out of them...
If you really think you can get something out of it...
Yeah, we'll certainly give it a go and try our best,
see what we get out of it.
On closer inspection, it turns out one of the chunks is not quite
so solid in the centre after all.
I think it's got creatures inside it.
Has it? Sorry.
With this one, we'll just have to wait and see and see how much
of it is just rotten soil.
If we get time,
it could be like a sculptural piece.
I think that might be code for "erm, dunno".
So, budget. This set aside, how about those three bits?
We've got maybe either one big vase or maybe two vases out of that.
There's maybe another small vase there,
and then, if we get time...
it could be like a sculptural piece,
but we'll see how it goes with that one.
So, I reckon 250 for these three bits,
and then if we can make something that you sell for thousands
out of that then we'll call it two grand.
I love an optimist!
OK, well, 250 quid on the table for that.
Good luck with getting on with that.
-Always a pleasure.
I have really left those lads with a challenge this time because
they're going to have to dig really deep and use all of
their creativity to turn those old stumps into hard cash.
But Josh and Oli aren't easily daunted.
I think they will be really nice
because there's clearly some nice wood in there.
Just need to get in there and get cracking with it.
Josh and Oli are looking for £250 to produce
a set of vases and possibly some ornamental pieces.
I just hope that wood holds together.
At his studio in Wolverhampton, Jay's about to make a start
on the table Sarah left in his very capable hands.
It's only until you've taken it all apart that you can actually see
what you're working with.
Originally constructed in panels, a lot of them have started to split,
and one of the drop leafs has completely broken off.
It's just a simple, classic design. It's timeless and it works well.
So, it's kind of like the Meccano of furniture.
It's really, really simple.
We all know that this part is never straightforward.
It's interesting, cos someone's had a go at this already.
And it's always quite worrying when someone's had a go.
See? What did I tell you?
They've done a trick, what I normally do,
which is put some timber, or something, into the hole.
This ensures a nice fit. Not a complete novice, then.
And here they've just put the whole of the matchstick.
Rather than snapping it off, there's a whole matchstick in there.
Also, what I've noticed is almost every screw is of different size,
different thickness within that frame.
As it's different... Ercol does not do that,
all of them will be uniformed and stuff like that.
But surely a screw's a screw, isn't it?
Look at the size of that one...
..compared to the size of that.
And they're completely different screws, completely different.
And it's done some serious GBH to the table top.
So what has happened, by using a really long screw here...
So you've got one...
and two, they've come straight through.
So, basically, when I want to have this top as a showpiece,
I have to make sure that those holes are filled up.
If you're fixing furniture from a popular manufacturer,
the best thing to do would be to contact them for advice
on the right screws to use.
Now, onto the main part of the restoration.
With gluing, I've always been taught that more is more.
I normally say less is more, but more is more.
It's better to have more glue than less glue.
Cos it's only going to squeeze out in the sides anyway,
which we will then clear up.
The same theory as I use on my jam sandwiches.
Jay's using wood glue,
which is designed to set thin so there are no gaps in the joins.
If the glue works on this, it forms it and it holds it really nice,
brilliant. I can do all the rest.
The gluing is the hard bit,
because that's what's going to last the test of time, well and truly.
To make this strong again,
as strong as it was when it came out of the factory, is really important.
It'll be a tense 24 hours for Jay.
If the glue doesn't work, well,
he doesn't have a table and it will mean a complete rethink.
In Sussex, Josh and Oli are getting familiar
with their hunks of hawthorn.
OK, shall I...? I'll start working on this piece and make some vases.
I'm going to have to figure out what we can do with this one
-cos it's looking pretty...
Looks like Josh has drawn the short straw here.
Stage one is to investigate,
which seems to involve pretty much every method of chopping up wood.
As hawthorn is so dense, Oli's breaking out the big guns.
After all that chopping, is there anything usable left?
Yeah, so I've got some all right bits out of the log in the end.
There's a lot of rotten bits.
You can see there's loads of, like, bits that aren't so great,
but I think there's some good wood in there.
Josh is going to make a set of ornamental trees
that are a speciality of theirs,
while Oli will make a start on one of the vases.
I'm just trying to adjust this and try and get it to sit well.
Obviously it's going to be shaking around a bit,
but I'll just do my best to get it balanced.
It's just a case of slowly getting it rounder
and then we can speed up the lathe and get cracking with it.
Time for the boys to get spinning.
Even though these lathes can spin the wood to up to 1,500rpm,
it'll take some time for Oli to get that wood down to a round piece.
Josh's smaller ornaments are quicker to create.
They've turned well and they've come out all right.
It's really like characterful wood. It's pretty cool.
Meanwhile, Oli's making progress with his vase.
Yeah, it's getting there now.
It took a while to get it rounded off,
but it's looking more like a vase now.
Next is to, yes, just carry on getting the shape I want
and drill the hole in the middle,
sand it and take it off to finish it.
But Josh has hit a problem while making his third tree.
A lot of it's all right, but then there's just little patches
of like, that bit is just really squidgy.
At the end of the day, you've got a bit of rotten wood, haven't you?
There's not a lot I can do, I can't get rid of all of it.
But I can just try and work around it.
Working with rotten wood is certainly a rotten job,
especially with Oli turning what turns out to be fine timber.
Back in Wolverhampton,
Sarah's about to see Jay's restoration of the broken table.
Well, if I'm ever lucky enough to find Ercol, I always think of Jay,
and if he's managed to work his magic on this piece of furniture,
there could be some real money on the table.
Ooh, I like what Sarah did there,
but will she like what Jay has done to the table?
The table is done and dusted. I'm really, really happy with it.
Compared to how it was when it first came in here,
it was a bit in bits, it wasn't really a table,
it was just bits of timber.
But it had the look to become a beautiful Ercol and turn it into
a beautiful black swan, which it is now.
So, hopefully, she'll like it.
Sarah left Jay with a battered and broken ugly duckling of a table.
But, left in the hands of a master craftsman,
a beautiful black swan has indeed emerged.
The table top is now a complete piece.
The legs Jay so admired are dressed in black lacquer paint, with little
colour splashes giving it a contemporary, modern twist.
But will it be to Sarah's taste?
Oh, my word! Look at that!
He's done and dusted.
It's a whole table again!
-It is a whole table.
-And, hold on...
I can see a little Blades magic going on here. What's...?
Just a little bit, just a wee bit.
I would always have to add just a little bit of colour,
so the flicks is what I'm kind of into at the moment,
it's my playful kind of time.
It's all due to my daughter, basically.
She likes flicking paint and just having a great time.
So that's why I did that.
Fantastic, and which end was the broken end?
-This end was broken, this was broken as well, coming apart.
This, I've glued it as much as I can,
and this one had a little bit...
So all of them were coming apart, basically.
But this was the fully broken one.
-It feels lovely.
-Yeah, it should do,
it's had a really beautiful rubdown and oiling.
And, yeah, now it's just allowed to sing.
-It's really, really gorgeous, I think.
-It looks really cool.
-Did it give you any problems?
-There was a load of different screws,
different sizes - they had used screws from beds,
from different tables, from a whole load of stuff,
so I contacted Ercol and they gave me the right measurements for the
screws that I needed to then put them in there.
Which was absolutely easy.
It's nice to have a bit of authenticity, isn't it?
-It looks great.
Budget, £200, bang on.
That's great news for me, isn't it, because with a £200 investment,
I really stand to make some money out of this one, don't I?
They both seem very sure of themselves, don't they?
I believe this should just fly off the shelf.
This is something that is quite sought-after.
A lot of people are wanting these because of the dimensions.
Once you've dropped the leaves, they're easy to just put in a small space, a small kitchen,
so they're ideal, and they're a classic.
Jay has definitely stamped his own little twist on that table.
That might be a bit much for the Ercol purist,
but I hope somebody likes it,
and I hope somebody buys it.
Little did Sam know when he was set to chuck it in the tip.
You might not like this but there are people clamouring to get their hands on this stuff.
It's in a bit of disrepair, it's quite old,
but I'm sure someone out there will find something in it.
You're not wrong, Sam.
Jay has made sure that this iconic piece has at least
another 25 years of use.
And Nick Smith, a regular client of Sarah's,
snapped up the table to sell through his vintage and retro company,
Smithers of Stamford.
Sarah has now returned to Witley to show Sam
what became of his grandfather's table.
And possibly hand over some cash.
-Hello, Sam. Hi there.
-How are you?
-Really well, nice to see you.
You've got the Hound of the Baskervilles.
We do, unfortunately. We've got a Jack Russell, I'm very sorry.
-No, they're lovely, aren't they?
-Well, it depends.
When I last saw you, you were being a very good grandson, weren't you?
I was, yes, helping with the dump run.
Your grandfather was clearing out some...
I thought the quality of his rubbish was excellent, actually.
-OK, good, good.
-I loved the look of his table.
-Did you know anything about that?
No, I was utterly clueless.
I just thought it was a very old table he was chucking out.
It was broken, but did you think we might be able to mend it?
I wasn't sure, actually. I thought, considering the damage to it,
I thought it was pretty much a write-off.
Yeah, it wasn't working as it should as a table, but if they do break,
they're reasonably easy to mend.
So your table went to a guy called Jay Blades,
he works up in Wolverhampton, and he was delighted to see it.
Even in the state that it was in, he was very enthusiastic about it.
-I've got some pictures to show you...
-..of what he did.
So, your table...
now looks like that.
Oh, wow, looks like a proper table, all fixed up.
Yeah, no, that's looking lovely now, actually, yeah.
It looks absolutely lovely, the quality of the finish was beautiful,
-and I've sold it.
-Oh, wow, brilliant. Fantastic.
With a little bit of profit, I think coming your way
after all your help in the tip with your grandfather.
I have got £50 here.
-Thank you very much.
-So, it's £50.
-What are you going to do with that?
-I'm going off to France, actually,
tomorrow morning, so it'll probably get spent over there.
Well, I think that is lovely, and please thank your grandpa so much
for letting us take away his rubbish, and for all your time.
And, yeah, I think you'll have a lovely time with that in France.
-I'm very jealous.
-No problem at all, thank you.
-Thank you so much, Sam, lovely to see you again.
-Thank you very much, you too.
Sarah spent £200 having the table put back together by Jay,
and she was able to sell it for 250,
which left a £50 profit to hand back to Sam.
Well, that was a little reward for all of Sam's hard work helping his
grandpa at the tip, and he's got 50 quid to go and spend in France.
That is a good result.
With the first item selling for a profit
it's time to press on and pick up another one.
It's bonkers round here. Look at them. Flooding in.
When it's this busy, you have to keep your eyes peeled.
Luckily, Sarah has spotted John
with his Georgian-style chair among all the clutter.
I like your chair.
-The elbows have gone.
-We were going to get it refurbished,
but then we decided just to dump it.
It is tricky, isn't it?
Because it's quite a lot of money to get them reupholstered.
-And if you don't love it, then...
-Yeah. So tell me, how long have you had it?
-And where did it come from?
-I think we've had it for about...
..six years. We got it from a friend of my wife, who is an artist.
It's got a really lovely shape about it.
-Is it comfortable?
-It's very comfortable.
-Can I have a go?
Yeah, it's good to sit in.
I think it's lovely, but can I take it away?
-You certainly can.
-Thank you so much for letting me have it.
-Would you be all right just help me over there?
Georgian furniture is a style which dates between 1714 and 1837
and was made popular by designers such as
Thomas Chippendale and Robert Adam.
The style of John's old chair fits this Georgian period,
with high sides and delicate features.
But what does he think Sarah can do with it?
I would imagine where there's a will and a way
that you could refurbish it,
and then I think it would look really good.
And I'll be interested to see how good it does look.
I think this chair's got a fantastic look.
It is actually reproduction, I think.
But it's cool, because look at all these curves,
there's a lovely shape to it.
Reupholstered, it is going to look fantastic
and I know exactly who to take it to.
Introducing Anthony Devine.
Anthony's unique and quirky upholstery has earned him
the reputation as one of the most imaginative craftspeople around.
Anthony can upholster almost anything,
but he does love a good chair.
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're almost, kind of, destined for the tip.
But if you see one ounce of potential, then save it.
I suppose it is a bit of a love affair I have with chairs.
They're very beautiful things.
Anthony loves classic lines, beautiful shapes and stylish looks.
Hopefully, he'll also like this old thing.
I think Anthony is the only man who's going to make this into
something amazing for me, and he's going to have to use
all of his skills if I'm going to make money.
-How are we?
Wait till you see what I've got for you.
Shall we just take it inside? Just don't say anything.
Do you want to just tip it straight in my skip?
It's not that bad!
It's not a little gem, is it?
It's a big something, not a gem.
Anthony really isn't sold on it
but I'm sure that Sarah can talk him round.
It has potential.
I've got a really good idea for it.
OK. Just bear with me on this and see if you think it will work.
..cut it in half, stretch it out
and make a fantastic Georgian sofa out of it?
Brilliant. Let's do it.
Really? Is that possible?
It's not just quite as simple as cutting it in the middle.
What would the process be?
Well, do away with everything between this gap.
So, by chopping the chair in half,
retaining the Georgian-style sides and building a new middle section,
the small seat will become a large couch.
I like the stretch part of it, I have to say.
That sounds fun.
Like... Not just little but big, stretch big.
OK, big would be great.
Maybe a couple of new legs in the middle, you know, five-person.
Something that goes in the hallway of a Georgian stately home.
That kind of...
With a modern-ish look.
OK. I can see you're buying in already.
A little bit of enthusiasm for it.
-You can do it.
I am almost overwhelmed with the enthusiasm,
but how do they intend to cover this monster of a sofa?
Colour-wise, I don't know,
it's either beautiful light linen or it's very dark.
I would go dark.
Yeah, dark velvet.
But then, you know, maybe we should just have a nice chic fabric on it.
-Country cottage sofa.
A five-seater sofa in dark velvet sounds expensive.
Is it, Anthony?
It's going to hit just under a grand, realistically,
but then it's going to be a whopper.
I mean, it might even take a few people to carry this bad boy out.
It really is going to be a substantial-sized chair.
I'm happy to leave it like that.
I can't wait to see it.
Sarah seems happy her radical idea is underway.
Well, I think that is an excellent plan for that old chair
and between us, I think we're going to create something
that looks absolutely amazing.
But at a shade under £1,000, that budget is quite punchy.
It better look fabulous.
It's never just simple. It's never like,
"Oh, Anthony, I've got this perfect chair for you.
"It's nice and light, just a bit of fabric on it, please,
"and we won't argue about the budget.
"Everything is good, do me proud, I'll come back for it not tomorrow -
"I'll give you at least a week or two to do it."
Glad you got that off your chest.
Anthony is working with a budget in the region of £1,000 to turn
this seat into a stretched-out sofa.
Will this job test the limits of even his skills?
Sarah's back in West Sussex to collect Josh and Oli's work.
I left Josh and Oli with 250 quid and four logs.
What on earth are they going to have made out of that?
Well, they're pretty confident in their creations.
I think she'll really like these. We've got some original designs.
-So I think she'll be pleased.
Sarah left Josh and Oli with a pile of rotten old hawthorn stumps.
Now they've created a set of beautiful,
hand-turned vases and ornamental wooden trees.
They've carefully squeezed every usable inch out of those logs
and made a virtue of the wood's imperfections.
The vases are bursting with character, with a delightful finish.
And those little wooden trees are an exquisite set of curios
that put the texture of the hawthorn front and centre.
-I'm really well, how are you?
-Look at those.
Let me come and have a look.
I can't believe it. Aren't they beautiful?
-Were you pleased?
-Yeah. We're really chuffed.
They came out really nice, and the wood's amazing.
-It is unbelievable, it feels like marble.
-Yeah, it's really dense.
These vases are a triumph.
They're stylish and beautiful
and you can tell they're handmade
and they have this just fantastic feeling.
How was it to work with? How have you made this out of those logs?
Yeah, we had to do a lot of chopping and splitting
cos there was a lot of rotten stuff in there.
It looks like you've made a virtue out of the faults
because I can imagine that might have been quite tricky to work with.
It looks beautiful, doesn't it? They're like...they're beautiful.
-And a little forest, as well.
Now, these look like fun.
They've got this beautiful mid-century look to them.
They're just so tactile, aren't they?
Really lovely. And so surprising, given what you were left with.
I left you with a slightly flexible budget at about 250 quid.
-How have we come out?
-I think we're all right. I think that's it.
We did have another piece we were going to try
-and do something with, but it was just too rotten.
So, yeah, 250 it is.
Well, I think you've made something special
out of something that was really not very special.
And I reckon we can make money on it as well because they're beautiful.
-Beautiful pieces. Well done.
-Thank you very much.
-Let's get them packed up.
Well, I don't think there are many people who could have made
all those beautiful things out of a load of old logs.
Massive credit to the lads.
The wood, it had lots of splits in it, a lot of it was all rotten.
I think we managed to get something pretty good out of it in the end.
We were really happy with the shapes
and Sarah seemed to be really chuffed with it, so, yeah.
At the recycling centre in Altrincham,
Sarah unearthed Trevor's hunks of hawthorn
and he was after a full cutlery set from them.
There's some good wood there,
I'm sure she'll get more than spoons out of it.
But it'll take a lot of hard work.
Josh and Oli did their best to help Sarah prove
that sometimes money really does grow on trees.
Sarah advertised Josh and Oli's wooden creations online.
And, just like real trees, sales began to grow...slowly.
Sarah has come to just outside Altrincham to visit Trevor
and to show him what became of his hawthorn stumps.
-Hi, Sarah, nice to meet you.
-How are you doing?
-I'm good, how are you?
-Yeah, very well.
Now, I can see from your immaculate garden why you might have been
throwing away those hawthorn stumps.
But had they been lying around for a while?
No, I actually dug them out just a few weeks before.
Well, I took them to some lovely guys who are based near Goodwood
who actually got quite enthusiastic about them.
But did you wonder what we might do with them when we took them away?
I thought, if anything, you'd make a lamp out of it of some sort,
that's all I thought.
Really? Well, that was actually part of the discussion.
The guys I took them to are called Josh and Oli
and they both got quite enthusiastic
cos hawthorn is a wood, because it's got such a slow growth,
it's a lovely dense wood with lots of colour in it.
So I've got some pictures. Do you want to see what we did?
-Yes, please, yes.
-Here are your tree stumps.
Wow, that's really good, isn't it?
What they did is, the big chunks of them here,
they turned into beautiful vases.
So they've got all the character of the hawthorn
and all the lovely colours and shapes that come out of it
-when you cut through it.
-They look fantastic.
And also, they've turned nine beautiful little trees out of them.
-That's fantastic, that's really good.
-Really? You approve?
Yeah, I approve of that.
Well, they were really pleased with them
and they are lovely, decorative things.
Those little trees sell for about £12 each
and the vases significantly more than that.
They have been for sale and I've been selling them really well,
but I haven't tipped over into the profit point yet.
Well, I'll buy one if there's any spare.
-Yeah, I'll have one.
Fantastic. I'll definitely be in touch then.
Hopefully with a small tree and a bundle of cash.
-That's very good, that, yeah.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you for that.
-We'll send something your way very soon.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you, bye-bye.
Josh and Oli charged £250 to transform Trevor's hawthorn
into beautiful wooden vases and ornaments.
Sarah has so far managed to sell one vase and one tree for £67,
which means, as things stand,
there could well be a potential loss of £183.
It's always great when you make something
and the original owner wants it back, so Trevor is getting a tree
and I'm going to be in touch with profit soon.
It's all me, me, me with Sarah, but for good reason.
It's now time for Sarah to find an item to work on herself.
And to do this, she's travelled to the Merchant's Way Recycling Centre
I would say if it's made out of chipboard,
I can't do much with it.
And it doesn't take long for Barry to present Sarah
with a toy from the good old days.
What's in your bag, then? Throwing anything good out?
-..an old railway station.
-That does look cool.
-Can I have a look at it?
-Yes, you can.
So, this was yours, was it?
Well, funny enough, I was working in a toy shop...
-..in the late '50s...
..and all through these years, I've kept them.
-My children have played with them.
The grandchildren have played with them.
It was a well-loved toy, but for the past few years,
it's been gathering dust in Barry's attic.
So, age-wise, it looks kind of Art Deco or...
It is old.
So, it's...it's the Trix Manyways station set.
"Made in England. Number 22."
Beautiful cast aluminium. It's lovely.
So, I definitely don't think that this can go into the metal...
-No. I would really like to do some research on it
and find out if it's collectable,
if it's the kind of thing that people are still buying.
Yeah, it's lovely. Look at that bit.
That must be the middle of the roof somewhere or something, mustn't it?
-It's got such lovely styling, somebody will want to buy this.
Somebody will have all the other bits. I love it.
For Barry, the idea of Sarah breathing new life
into a toy so close to his heart
is one which he's clearly happy about.
The whole family's played with them.
They've enjoyed them, we've fixed them up together.
How cool is this?
I really don't know what I've found here.
It looks like the kind of thing that might have been made
in mass production early in the sort of '30s,
but I love the styling on it.
I'm loving the aluminium
and the fact that it has such great colour on it.
I'll have to have a really good think about this
cos this could go in all sorts of different directions.
Quite cool, though, isn't it?
Very cool, Sarah.
In Manchester, Anthony is about to start work
on the Georgian-style chair,
and today he is assisted by fellow master upholsterer Dennis.
Dennis, to cut a long story short,
has been an upholsterer for many, many, many years.
Dennis has been in the business an incredible 70 years, to be exact,
so Anthony is really bringing out the big guns on this project.
It's going to be a bit of a two-man job.
-Right, do you want to crack on, then?
Crikey, Dennis, you're keen.
The plan - we're going to cut this open and then we should start to see
the wooden frame, and then we're going to simply take a saw
and chop half of this off and hopefully glue it,
screw it, dowel it, drill it into a sofa.
Let me know if you find any money.
-We'll share it.
-We'll share it.
We'll buy some biscuits for teatime.
I declare this chair...
How big are we planning to make this, then?
Well, Sarah is expecting a large five-seater.
Something similar, like that.
What I was thinking was more like...
You're going a bit too far now. It's too long.
With the size of families nowadays, and the size of TVs,
you know, you'll probably want a big sofa.
Anthony has gone a bit off-piste in the past and it looks like he's
thinking of deviating from the agreed plan with Sarah.
Not sure how she'll feel about that.
That's not going to be far off 40 inches at that.
Oh, and they still need to build the thing.
We'll have a cup of tea first, yeah?
Sarah's back home in Sussex.
-Once Bramble's been for walkies,
Sarah can get started on her item.
She picked out the Art Deco-style train station set.
It's definitely cool.
That Deco styling is so strong in these pieces.
All together now, finally. It's got bags of style.
Sarah had hoped she could sell the well-loved station set
as is to a collector,
but it's too scuffed and scratched, so she's had a bright idea.
Sarah's going to make five desk lights.
She's already had Perspex -
which will make up the light housing - made to order
and she'll combine them with pieces from the train set
and her LEDs to make lovely little lamps.
So, these are the bits back from the fabricators
and these are the windows, the roof and the side sections
and I'm hoping they all fit together with our train set
to make a lovely little desk light.
But it's not looking very impressive at the moment.
Each Perspex light box is made up of eight separate pieces,
which Sarah will have the oh, so fiddly job
of gluing together.
There's one set's worth there.
I've got some two-part glue...
..with quite a long working time,
so I don't have to hurry too much with it.
So, you just mix these equal quantities together,
give it a stir and then it makes this really strong bond
when it's all mixed up.
Let's hope the measurements Sarah supplied
to the Perspex cutter were right.
That's a great fit.
I never doubted her for a second.
That's beginning to look quite cool, isn't it?
Here comes the hard bit, though.
Hm, not quite sure how to do this.
She's now got to glue the roof and side sections together.
Those fix together, then that goes on there.
I get the feeling this is all a little bit more complicated
than Sarah imagined.
This requires precision, dexterity, patience.
I don't have any of those. It's a nightmare.
This is so fiddly.
Next time I go to make something,
can you remind me to go the simplest route?
It doesn't have to be surprising.
Just make a few pounds, that's all I'm after.
Come on now, Sarah. Stay positive.
This is easy. This is a walk in the park.
-This is a great thing to do.
-That's more like it.
Sarah has spent £70 on the Perspex and LEDs.
Let's hope it's money well spent
and she actually manages to finish all five lights.
Back in Manchester, there's been a small change of plan
at Anthony's place.
So, originally we talked about doing it in an indigo,
deep blue colour,
but now we chose this tulipy colour.
But I'm not sure it's going to be one of Sarah's favourite colours,
I've been told.
Brave man, Anthony. Also, that sofa looks a lot smaller
than the five-seater you promised Sarah.
How big is it?
We cut it in half, and we've now rebuilt it all,
so we've gone for, I think it's just under 54 inches wide in total.
There was no scientific way of doing this.
We basically clamped a bit of wood down and stepped back and went...
And then we had a position, can two people get on there?
That's it. That's how we did it.
It's basically a chair but just wider.
Yeah, but that's very different from a large sofa.
It's all about the sound,
and getting the right tension, so we're going to put another
probably half a dozen this side, another half a dozen that side,
and then we're going to weave them across.
I can't stop twanging.
Weave them across and then opposites, and then individually,
they're quite weak, but collectively,
when they're all woven, they become nice and strong.
The one pressure we are under is just make sure we get it finished
in time for her ladyship arriving.
But it's so addictive!
It's the wrong size, the wrong colour and potentially unfinished,
but at least you'll be able to play Sarah a tune, Anthony.
Back in the Sussex countryside,
Sarah's putting the finishing touches to her desk lamps.
Well, that's five lights completed.
They're quite crisp and clean for me.
This toy train station set provided Sarah with a bright idea...
..which she has brought stunningly to life.
The addition of the toy figures, pinched from her daughter's toy box,
lend the platform scale and perspective and add to the fun.
The LED lights are battery-powered and remote-controlled,
so there's no electrical wiring.
I can see these being snapped up by a train enthusiast
who is still a kid at heart.
Well, they're a little bit play-worn and definitely quirky,
but I think somebody will give these a good home.
Three generations of Barry's family had played with the toy train set,
so he was happy Sarah saved it.
The whole family's played with them. They've enjoyed them.
We've fixed them up together.
Then it was Sarah's turn to have a play.
Makeover complete, all five desk lights were snapped up
by Mark from Keswick Collectables -
an antiques shop in the Lake District.
And now Sarah's on her way to Barry's home
to show him what became of the toy he was about to sling in the skip.
-How you doing?
-Nice to meet you.
-All right, thank you.
-Very nice to see you.
Is this the house where the train set was in the attic?
-Lovely. Well, it was a lovely piece,
-but it had been played with by quite a few children.
Was that your children or grandchildren or...?
Yes, grandchildren. All of them.
They've all played with it at some time.
Well, it was my job to take it on and it was a lovely thing
and I've made it into...
-Are you ready?
It has been turned into desk lights.
-I've put it together on a little block
and turned it into five individual desk lights.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
-Cos it is such a worry.
You take somebody's stuff and you do something to it and...
-So, you approve, then?
Now it's not scrapped or buried, it's of use at last.
They were lovely to work on and actually somebody has bought them -
a collectables shop - so I've got a little bit of money
to give back to you for your old train set.
So, I've got £50 for you.
So, what might you do with £50?
Well, could I please give it to Children In Need?
-If you'd like to do that..
-..that would be lovely.
Very nice. So, that's a lot of people it's done good.
Plus, the station itself - the old station - has put to good use.
-Well, that's really generous of you.
There are five little lights that will go off into five new houses.
-Your station is going on another journey.
It was really good to see you again.
-Thank you ever so much.
-Thank you. Bye-bye.
Well, that was really lovely to see Barry's reaction
to his old train set because he and his family
had obviously had so much fun using it
and I really enjoyed making it into something else.
And I think he was really enthusiastic
about the fact it's going on another journey.
Sarah paid £70 for materials.
They sold for 120, making a profit of £50,
which is now on its way to charity.
In Manchester, Anthony has been in a race against time to complete
the Georgian-style chair he was tasked with converting into a modern
So, Sarah is on her way and we're done,
with moments to spare.
Obviously, at the start we were talking big ideas and big sofas.
We still have a big idea and now we've just got a smaller sofa.
Well, I left Anthony with a lovely sturdy old chair.
I know he's going to turn it into something big, but to make money
it's going to have to be beautiful.
The chair started out as a tired single seat with good bones
and burst upholstery.
Anthony has reimagined it as a stunning two-seater
that could certainly stop traffic.
The new seat has been built from scratch
and covered in a tulip pink velvet with hand finishings.
The couch also boasts a deep button detail across the back.
It's nice, but Sarah is expecting something quite a bit bigger.
This could be interesting.
Oh, my word!
Is that our chair?
-I think it's a thing of beauty.
-I think that it's a striking transformation.
It looks better than that chair that was dropped off, by so much,
Phew! That went quite well, really.
Still, there's a bit of explaining to do, Anthony.
I thought it was going to be like a stretch limousine.
-What happened? It's a bit more compact.
We had to make it sellable and this is a good sellable size.
If we got all daft and started making it, you know,
16-foot long then... it wouldn't fit in my house.
That's probably a fair comment.
I don't want to say you're right too much but...
-Keep going, keep going.
-I think you might have been right on this one.
Sarah is won over despite its reduced proportions.
I am slightly worried that I left nearly £1,000 on this.
Is that what that cost? Is there any leeway on that?
By the time we bought all the fabric and we paid for all the pizza
that we had to eat during the making of it...
Yeah, I mean, it's not cheap, pizza, you know?
-Or the velvet, to be honest.
So you're telling me that the budget's gone.
The budget's gone.
I think you've done well. If you can get it wrapped up for me,
I'm going to get that taken away, whisked off to some boutique
somewhere probably near here, and say thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
She brought a tatty old chair, we chopped it up, we made into a sofa.
She can sell it, she can make money and give it back to the peeps.
It's not quite as big as I expected but I think it is quite beautiful.
But I'm worried I might have my work cut out
if I'm going to make a really big profit on it.
But as a transformation, that's a fantastic piece.
When Sarah met John at the tip in Witley,
he was just about to chuck out his chintz.
We were going to get it refurbished but then we decided just to dump it.
The chair badly needed an overhaul.
It is tricky, isn't it?
-Because it's quite a lot of money to get them reupholstered.
But that suited Sarah down to a tee.
Are you a golfing man? Is that yours?
-After a lot of hard work,
that humble armchair has become a glamorous hot pink two-seater sofa.
It didn't take long before this distinctive piece
was catching the eye of Augustus Brandt Antiques in Petworth,
who promptly snapped it up.
Sarah has now returned to Witley to show John what became
of his old chair, but will there be a profit to hand over too?
-Nice to see you again.
-Nice to see you again.
-How are you?
-I'm good, I'm good.
I took your chair from the tip. Is this where it came from?
Yeah, it was in the main room.
We used it quite a lot and then the arms went.
So there's good news and bad news.
Because it was so sturdy, it actually got cut in half.
You cut it in half?
Do you want to see what we did with it?
Yeah. Brace. OK.
Here is your chair in its new incarnation.
I never imagined for a second that...
You know, I thought they would recover it and it would look
something like we had before, but you would never have known
by looking at that it was the same chair.
Well, there was a reason why we did that to it,
because as a chair has a process to recovering it,
it is an investment to have a piece recovered,
and what we wanted to do was try and stretch it a bit
and hopefully get some more money for it, and so we sold it at a profit.
I have got £215 here...
..for your old chair.
-Thanks very much.
I am now not taking things to the dump.
I'm now thinking, where can I take them to get them fixed?
So, it's £215.
What are you going to do with that?
Well, I'd like to think I'm going to get more golf lessons but my wife
will probably say she's going to have it for the house.
Oh, really? Well, something towards a new chair, maybe.
Something towards a new chair.
-Thank you ever so much.
The original budget Anthony quoted for the work was in the region of
£1,000 and he managed to do it for £985.
The fuchsia pink sofa sold for 1,200, which left Sarah
with a profit of £215 to return to John.
Well, I don't think John was expecting that,
but frankly I don't think any of us were,
because it was a stretch of the imagination.
£215 of profit handed over
and although John might not be getting golf lessons,
I think he's definitely going to be in his wife's good books.
Sarah salvaged four unwanted items and made them wanted once more.
Sam's grandfather's table was restored by Jay,
Trevor's hawthorn stumps became sideboard essentials,
Sarah lit up the old train station,
and the tired Georgian-style chair is now a magenta marvel.
It takes a lot of talent, plenty of imagination
and lots of good old-fashioned hard work
to transform every item that we save,
but it's definitely worth it, especially when we get to hand over some Money For Nothing.
Sarah saves a chair, some bits of hawthorn wood, an old art deco style toy and a broken table from the nation's tips. They are all then transformed with the help of three talented artisans into brand new items ready to be put up for sale.