Book Review + Interview – Upcycling by Max McMurdo

Some items have been gifted

I can’t believe that it’s been a whole week since this book launched and I’m only now telling you about it. I’ve had my eyes on it for weeks and have been eagerly awaiting it’s release. Teaser tweets and Instagram posts by Max have got my excitement for this book bubbling up to a dangerous level. Combine that with my already OTT love of thriftiness and DIYing, and you’ve got one giddy girl on your hands. So you can imagine how quickly I tore open the packaging of my book delivery last weekend.

Thankfully, it book itself didn’t disappoint. I knew it would full of Max’s trademark industrial projects and thrifty flips, but I didn’t realise just how comprehensive it would be. This isn’t just a ‘look at this pretty room’ design book. Oh no. It’s full of practical advice and step-by-step, photo-by-photo tutorials. It’s so detailed that even I feel confident about removing a drum from an old washing machine and turning it into an illuminated side table.max-mcmurdo-upcycling-diy-book-review-2With techniques for measuring and cutting, drilling and sanding, wiring and finishing, Max teaches you all the DIY skills you need to know in order to complete the projects in the book. If you want to know what a nylock nut is, Max’ll tell you. I thought I was alright at a bit of DIY. Good, even. But it turns out that there’s so much more I can learn. Thank goodness I’ve got this book to teach me the tricks of the trade. They don’t call me thrifty for nothin’ and if I’m going to upcycle, I’m darn well going to learn how to do it properly (and safely!).

Just before the book launched last week I had the opportunity to ask the author some probing questions so that I could share his answers with you today:max-mcmurdo-upcycling-diy-book-review

What’s your top money-saving tip for DIY projects?

Whilst chalk paint is expensive per litre, it’s a great product as it saves time in sanding and additional prep work. In the long run it’s a great money saving technique and looks beautiful in the range of colours now available.max-mcmurdo-upcycling-diy-book-review-3Where do you find low-cost (or free!) upcycling projects/materials?

I love a good rummage in a skip (always ask permission) and industrial estates are a great place for palettes and random offcuts

Have any of your upcycling projects gone spectacularly wrong?

One of the joys of upcycling is you never know what to expect, a prime example of this was when we chopped up a 20ft shipping container and tried to rebuild it in my back garden, due to the corrugations however, it had expanded by about a foot.upcycling-book-front-cover-max-mcmurdoOkay, maybe they’re not probing questions but handy tips for us thrifters nonetheless! I first met Max at Grand Designs Live earlier this year and had a good giggle about how we were both ‘getting away with it’ by doing what we love at ‘work’ everyday. Well, I think that Max is more than just getting away with it, he’s absolutely smashing it. And has created a really practical upcycling book (that isn’t boring like your dad’s DIY manual) to boot.

UPCYCLING by Max McMurdo is published by Jacqui Small, priced at £20.


Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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