Above is one of my most recent upcycle projects. I bought a wooden bin at a yard sale for $2. It's about 12 inches long, and 4 inches deep. It's divided into two compartments, so I thought it would be perfect for key storage just inside the front door.
The original finish was dark brown, and it was chipped and worn. I know you can't tell much about what it looked like initially versus now in the picture. My bad. The after picture is actually painted gray with chalky finish paint, with a white and gray map of Page County, Virginia decoupaged on the front. I had to go with black and white pics here because the after picture on my phone actually looks bright pink. That is NOT the look I was going for. But it's not like I've mounted this thing on the wall yet, so I'll hold off and do the real after picture soon. Trust me, it looks better.
My point is that this upcycle project took all of maybe 30 minutes to do (stretched over a few hours to allow for drying time). It was easy because I had supplies on hand. I'm always a fan of being prepared (aka, craft supply hoarding), so I thought it might be useful to come up with a list of basic craft supplies that are useful to keep in stock. You want to be ready when your creative transformation itch needs to be scratched.