DIY Repurposing

16 New Things You Can Do with Old Furniture

Before you drag those mismatched shelves, broken chairs, worn-out sofas, or just plain ugly eyesores to the curb, check out these creative examples of repurposed furniture that prove you can give outdated furnishings a second life as useful, even stylish items for your home.

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Born-Again Bench

Repurpose mismatched chairs to create this one-of-a-kind seating solution—just make sure before you get started that the seats are all the same height. After you’ve sanded and painted the chairs to match, this whimsical bench comes together pretty cheaply and simply. You’ll just need enough plywood to stretch across all three chairs, a length of foam, and some fabric.

Related: 14 Ultrafunctional Ideas to Steal for Your Entryway

Perked-Up Planter

An old side table with a drawer can make a playful home for colorful blooms. All it takes to spruce up an outdated piece (or a fortuitous find) is a little sanding, painting, sealing, and planting. Display the repurposed furniture proudly outdoors to add whimsey to your yard or garden. 

Related: 7 Ideas to Steal from Real People’s Tiny Backyards

Tub Transformation

Instructables via noahw

If you’re a Breakfast at Tiffany’s fan, you may remember seeing a couch tub in the film. That classic-cool idea inspired this kitschy project. Be forewarned: This repurposed furniture project probably can’t be done in a weekend—removing hardware, sandblasting, cutting, grinding, painting, and making the cushion will require a lot of time and elbow grease. But the aesthetics of the finished product are well worth the effort.

Related: The Best Plants for Every Room of the House

Island Adventure

If your kitchen didn’t come with a built-in island, don’t fret. This DIY hack transforms an old dresser into an island, increasing your kitchen storage and counter space. With a customized countertop and some new paint—whether a simple, solid coat or a carefully detailed application—this modified dresser solves a bushel of pesky kitchen storage dilemmas.

Related: Trading Places—9 Reasons to Steal Furniture from Other Rooms

Rocking Chair Swing

Instructables via illy1

Imagine the comfort of a rocking chair combined with the lighthearted fun of a swing. The concept behind this amusing addition to any backyard is simple—just use a chair as your swing’s seat instead of a plank of wood. All you need are ropes, hooks, screws, sandpaper, paint, a few essential tools, and a chair with arms. And, of course, a sturdy tree branch to support your swing.

Related: 10 Backyard Wood Projects for Total Beginners

Boosted Bookcase

Bedside storage is a necessity for books, electronic devices, boxes of tissues, and other essentials. Given such a long list of must-haves, the ample storage afforded by an old bookcase makes it ripe for repurposing into a nightstand. Deck out an old bookcase (or a recent find) with a fresh coat of paint and some patterned contact paper, then attach a quartet of modern legs to add height and complete the transformation. 

Related: 18 Big Storage Ideas to Steal from Tiny Homes

Rejuvenated Leather Lounge

Sinking, unsupportive couch cushions are an inevitable indication that a leather sofa has been well used. But even after the cushions have given out, the leather is often still in great condition. Instead of throwing out perfectly good material, repurpose it using this DIY as inspiration. First, remove the leather from the old couch in sections that are as large as possible. Build a frame and attach the leather pieces to it for a comfortable, hammock-like result.

Related: 10 Ways to Give Furniture a Fast Facelift

Re-Created Crib

Your child may have graduated to a big-kid bed, but that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the crib. To construct this clever piece from repurposed furniture, remove one of the side rails, insert it inside the crib to form a shelf, and top the structure with a piece of glass or butcher block. Stock the desk with your favorite accessories, and get to work! 

Related: 9 Easy Designs for a DIY Desk

Cabinet Door Coat Rack

Old doors are easy to come by, and they offer endless repurposing possibilities for a DIY enthusiast. This project, which transforms a sturdy door into a coat rack, necessitates just a few precisely measured cuts, some sanding and painting, and a collection of strong wire hooks. You can make several coat racks from one door, so you’ll be able to hang them throughout the house to promote a cottage vibe. 

Related: Start Fresh—10 Essentials for an Organized Entryway

Cupboard Cart

There’s an art to transforming something old into something new without sacrificing the vintage vibe, and this cabinet turned painting cart is an example of this art at its finest. The mottled, oxidized effect is created by dabbing sticky tape on the wet paint. Then it’s simply a matter of attaching wheels for easy mobility and hooks for paintbrushes, then topping the cart with a large plank to serve as a sturdy work surface. 

Related: 21 Totally Free Ways to Upgrade Your Home

Bed-Inspired Bench

Metal headboards may not be a popular bedroom choice these days, but they can be repurposed into cool, vintage-inspired benches. A perfect combination of old and new, this bench comprises a sturdy wooden frame backed by a metal headboard. A few coats of paint provide a charming finish that can complement any space, indoors or out.

Related: 10 Doable Designs for DIY Outdoor Furniture

Puppy Spa

Everyone needs a cozy place to nap, including your pooch. This custom dog bed is made from an old dresser drawer that’s been painted in vibrant, contrasting colors and updated with short furniture legs secured at each corner. Comfy cushions within and an umbrella fastened to the side provide your splendidly spoiled companion with even more amenities. 

Related: 9 DIY Ideas for a Summery Backyard

Potting Bench Fix

Serious gardeners need a potting bench to tend to their bulbs and blooms. Repurposed furniture like an old kitchen or end table with a large, flat surface can be just as handy as a storebought version for a fraction of the cost. When you’re out scouting garage sales and flea markets, keep your eyes peeled for an appropriate piece that has a shelf beneath the tabletop—perfect for stashing extra tools. 

Related: The Invincible Yard—12 Ideas for Lazy Landscaping

Cabinet Door Headboard

If you’re looking to add an unusual handmade touch to your
bedroom, consider fashioning a headboard from cabinet doors. If the doors are in good condition, they may not even require so much as a coat of paint! After making any desired cosmetic changes to the doors, cut a piece of wood to the same measurement as the width of your bed. Attach the cabinets to the wood, then mount the assemblage above your bed to complete your rustic statement.

Related: 11 Budget DIYs for an Instantly Better Bedroom

Bedspring Bottle Holders

Etsy via AlonzoArtistry

Don’t assume that your old mattress is good for nothing but the trash. Not only are mattress bedsprings incredibly strong, their coils are the perfect shape for holding—and displaying—wine bottles. For this rustic piece of functional art, you can customize the size of the wood panel and the number of bedsprings to suit your wine storage needs.

Related: 7 New Projects for Your Old Bedsprings

Vanity Variation

What’s the difference between a dresser and a vanity? The sink, of course! And adding one is not so difficult if you’re hoping to include the charm of repurposed furniture in your bathroom redo. Purchase a self-rimming sink, cut a hole in the dresser top to accommodate it, and cut holes as necessary in the back for the plumbing. Then, hook up the faucets, give the vanity a coat of paint, attach the unit to the wall, and lather up.

Related: 9 Ways to Make Your Old Bathroom New Again