To give your home a boost and refresh it why not try some new furniture? But what are you going do with your old furniture? There are countless ways to transform old furniture into new pieces and accents for your home. If you're looking to buy some new furniture yet don´t want to get rid of the old, use our re-purposing old furniture tips and cut back on waste.
1. Move it Outdoors
A major advantage of re-using old furniture is that it doesn´t matter if it gets worn out or ruined quickly. This makes it ideal for transforming into outdoor furniture. It's also easy to make any piece look like it belongs outdoors. Any wooden furniture can be distressed to give it the outdoors look. Simply sandpaper the wood and apply a finish, or paint on two coats of any color you like and then sand, to give it a colored distressed look. To create a funky distressed look paint on one coat of a brighter color, then cover with a darker color, and the brighter one will show through. Metal and other more durable materials can live outside without much work on them at all, though it's always a good idea to apply some sort of sealant to protect from the rain.
An old wooden bed frame can be transformed into an outdoor bench in a few simple steps. The key to this project is to find a closed wood bed frame that has a top and bottom section. Cut the middle section out, leaving about two feet of the inside left. Push the front and back together and nail. Use the remaining wood to create a cover and sides. You can add cushions or simply leave the wood exposed. Your new bench can also be used for storing outdoor supplies.
An old cabinet can be transformed into an outdoor bar or dining storage. Simply take out any front covering to open it up, and adjust the shelving to fit your needs. For example, if you have a cupboard with one shelf, a few simple cuts will give you a unique wine rack. Even easier – install wooden slats in a "V" formation into shelving for slots to hold wine or liquor bottles. You can use the top of the cabinet for glasses or food when entertaining outdoors. If you don't change the shelving, you can still store your dining supplies on the shelves for easy access when entertaining outdoors.
You can also use old furniture outdoors for gardening and landscaping. Try spray-painting an old dresser, and pulling out the drawers at varying intervals like a display case. Then, simply fill it with potted plants and you have a rustic outdoor planter. Items like chairs, toilets, and benches can all be used as planters and homey outdoors accents. But don´t overdo the number of accents you locate in your garden or yard or it could look cluttered.
2. Transform Furniture for your Pets
Why not transform your old furniture into pet furniture? Old entertainment sets and cabinets are perfect for making into pet homes. Simply remove any shelving and put some comfy bedding in the bottom for a fun indoor or outdoor home for your pet. You could even put up a small pair of curtains to give them some privacy! If you have a relatively intact piece to work with, consider hollowing it out and using it as a side table and pet bed all in one.
You can also use old shutters as a place to put food and water bowls. These will stop your floor getting wet and give a solid surface. Hollow out a space to fit the bowls in for extra stability. If your pet is a tall make a couple of spaces in two old wooden chairs your pet’s water and food bowls.
Lower, square furniture pieces like small cabinets or old boxes can be renovated as steps for smaller pets to get up on sofas. Another cool idea is to dismantle larger furniture pieces and nail them together to achieve the same result.
Cats love to climb, so you can use more complex old furniture pieces, like armoires and shelving units, to create play structures for them. Hang toys from higher shelves, and cut away pieces so they have something fun to play on. Because you’ve recycled your furniture, you won't mind them scratching it.
3. Use Chairs for Anything and Everything
Because they're used throughout the home (and most people have a lot of spares!), we often end up with lots of extra old chairs. Luckily, chairs are one of the easiest furniture pieces to repurpose.
You can do almost anything with an old wooden chair outdoors. Use it as a rustic decoration by placing plants on or around it, or even cut out the center of the seat and pop in a pot. Larger chairs can be cut to with multiple holes to place pots in. Drill out holes in the seat of an old chair and use it as a swing on your deck or under a tree (you can also do this with an old bench, or even just a strong plank of wood, such as part of a door). Add a cushion for a plush feel and remember to take it in if it rains.
The back of a chair can be used for a variety of accent projects indoors and outdoors. Mount chair backs on a wall for a fun place to hang pictures and small knick knacks. Attach a flat slat of wood to the bottom of a chair back (or simply cut the seat in half to leave yourself with a slat of wood) to create a quirky wall shelf. Take the top slat of a chair back, attach hose clamps to it, and insert pots to create a smaller mounted planter. Or, do the same and attach mason jars to create a small storage space. Replace the hose clamps with small hooks and you have a place to hang your keys, or use larger hooks for a small coat rack.
Mount a mirror on a chair back and hang it above an armoire for a fun twist on a regular hanging mirror. If you have a chair back with multiple horizontal or vertical bars, flip and mount it to create an outdoor towel rack for your pool or outdoor wash bin. You could do the same indoors and use your new rack as a place to hang newspapers and other reading material.
4. Use Doors for almost Anything
Like seating, old doors are perfect for recycling. They are usually sturdier than most furniture, and because they are one relatively flat piece of material, you can get creative in how you cut and build them into new pieces and projects.
An old door of any material can be used for a bed frame for any size of bed. A wooden door can be distressed or painted and flipped on its side for a country-style bedroom. Metal doors and heavy-duty screens can also be used for a more modern bedroom.
Cut a door in half and attach the ends together in a V-shape to create a corner shelf unit. You can also cut off part of the bottom to use as the shelving slats, or use another type of wood for a more quirky look.
5. Use Shelves for New Storage
Old shelves can also be used as chairs and bedframes. If you have a long, thin shelving unit or bookcase, you can easily transform it into a bench and storage unit for a playroom. Fix any type of cushion on the top and use the shelves to store toys and games. This storage bench could also be used for a mudroom, especially if you cushion the top with a more easy-to-clean fabric.
It’s easy to make a vanity unit bigger. First remove any doors on the unit. You can remove higher shelves and mount a mirror against the back of the unit. Leave a slat below the mirror, and remove the rest below to give yourself space to sit. Use the remaining shelves to display knick knacks or supplies. This technique of hollowing out shelving units can be used to make play sets for children, especially if you have smaller shelving units.
If you have multiple shelving units, bookshelves, and dressers you are looking to get rid of, try combining them (or parts of them) to make one larger shelving unit.
For a dresser with removable drawers, take the drawers out, flip them over so the bottom is facing the wall, and mount them for a rustic wall shelf.
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