Trash to Treasure: 14 Creative Ways to Make Good Use of Old Stuff

These innovative projects will inspire you to dig through your discards and repurpose them into useful furnishings and interesting accents for your home.

Expanded View >
  1. Books Table Lamp

    Slide7

    This project is easier than it looks: Drill a hole through each volume in the stack, string some lamp wire through, then glue a socket to the top book. Flip the switch and, almost literally, illuminate your world with the written word.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Used Books

    HGTV

  2. Mason Jar Chandelier

    Slide3

    Create this eye-catching and inexpensive chandelier with just 12 wide-mouth jars, lighting kits, and various bits of hardware from IKEA; use CFL bulbs to keep the jars from getting too hot. This same general project could be adjusted to make individual pendant lights.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Mason Jars

    WE Design Studios

  3. Wood Shutters Headboard

    Slide1

    Four whitewashed shutters—topped with a length of decorative, carved molding—make up this beautiful headboard. Depending on the stability and height of the shutters, you can either bolt them to the wall or attach them directly to the bed frame.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Wood Shutters

    apartmenttherapy.com

  4. Ladder Nightstand

    Slide4

    The small stature of a step ladder makes it an ideal nightstand, no alterations required. The steps provide multiple levels, so a reading lamp, books, beverage, and even flowers can share the real estate.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Vintage Ladders

    marthastewart.com

  5. Wine Barrel Mirror

    Slide12

    If you have more advanced DIY abilities, including woodworking and drilling into metal, a single wine barrel can go a long way. Take this entryway mirror, for example. Buy a half barrel at your local home improvement center, cut it down to size, and then slot in a plain round mirror for a rustic addition to your home.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Old Barrels

    astoriedstyle.com

  6. Gutter Bookshelves

    Slide9

    Rain gutter shelving is ideal for the oversize picture books often found in children's rooms, and it can easily be mounted low so young ones can reach. But for a more grown-up take on this project, adapt copper gutters to hold magazines or favorite records in more adult surroundings.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Gutters

    Angela Whelan-Obermueller

  7. Lattice Tool Holder

    Slide11

    Thanks to this clever idea, you may finally be able to organize the contained chaos within your garden or tool shed. Cut a piece of heavy-duty lattice to size and mount it to a door or interior wall; use S-hooks and clamps to hold tools in place.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Lattice

    marthastewart.com

  8. Car Tire Grassy Seat

    Slide6

    The tire-as-planter idea is hardly novel, but it can be given plenty of twists. Mount old tires on the wall and let plants cascade down, or stack and stagger tires in your backyard for a more elaborate design. Or, as shown here, improvise a unique riff on the theme by building grass-cushioned seating.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Old Tires

    plataformaarquitectura.cl

  9. Picture Frame Molding

    Slide14

    If you're looking for an easy way to get the look of decorative molding, why not repurpose frames as a wall treatment? Consider it a literal take on traditional picture frame molding.


    Related: 5 Things to Do With…Picture Frames

    framesunlimited.com

  10. Silverware Cabinet Pulls

    Slide13

    Swap out traditional cabinet pulls in favor of repurposed silverware. Simply heat, bend, and drill for an inexpensive update to your kitchen.


    Related: 5 Things to Do With…Old Silverware

    apartmenttherapy.com

  11. Tin Cans Wine Rack

    Slide8

    Tin cans and glue come together with spray paint to create an inexpensive and fully customizable wine rack. Incorporate as many tin cans as you need—or want, if you'd like to leave room for a few extra bottles. (If you build it, they will come!)


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Tin Cans

    recyclart.org

  12. Beadboard Bathtub Surround

    Slide5

    Beadboard is handy for covering dishwashers, ceilings, and other surfaces that lack style. This standard-issue bathtub got an elegant upgrade with a custom beadboard tub surround.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Beadboard

    HGtv.com

  13. Pallet Plate Rack

    Slide2

    Bring a serious boost of country charm to your kitchen by using a classic shipping pallet to display your plates. This project requires hardly any modifications to the pallet! Just add a couple of long nails to keep each plate from falling forward and two eye screws to hang the pallet on the wall.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Shipping Pallets

    remodelista.com

  14. Corrugated Metal Outdoor Shower

    Slide10

    This open-air shower requires only basic building skills and few materials: aluminum sheeting, lumber, and an outdoor shower kit from your local home improvement store. In a single day, you can create an outdoor shower that looks great and feels even better.


    Related:  5 Things to Do With…Corrugated Metal

    sunset.com

  15. For More...

  • Favorites Flipboard Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email AddThis
SEE MORE IN
How To's & Quick Tips

WHAT DO YOU NEED HELP WITH?

Don't Miss

x