Reuse Around the Home: 15 Ideas for Repurposing Furniture

recycled furniture

Repurposing furniture is a great way to reuse around your home. We’ve got 15 ways to give old furniture new life.

Every greenie knows the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,“ but do we really follow it as much as we could? The reduce and recycle call to action are probably the easiest for folks to heed, but the reuse part is a little more difficult to follow through on.

I remember my grandfather’s garage. It was filled with what many people might call trash, but to him it all held the potential to fulfill a need without having to purchase something new. You see, he was born before the Great Depression in 1918 and he never lost that thrifty mentality people who went through the Depression developed. His garage was crammed with old wooden shutters and doors, abandoned tires, broken down brooms and garden implements, and a whole wall full of baby food jars filled with every kind of screw, nail, nut and bolt you could imagine. He was a man who understood the meaning of the word reuse.

We all can take a lesson from my grandfather (if I may be so bold to suggest that), and not be too quick to get rid of useful things, but instead store them for some potential future use. If you are lucky enough to have a basement, garage or outdoor shed, consider using that space to store things that might otherwise end up in the landfill.

One potential area for reuse that’s often underutilized is repurposing furniture. Sometimes we are too quick to run out to IKEA for whatever storage needs we may have. That bureau might not be up to the task of holding your t-shirts and yoga pants anymore, but what else could it be used for? The drawers might make useful under the bed organizers or maybe even be used as herb garden planters. Think and store, before deciding to toss.

Need some inspiration? Here are some great furniture upcycling project ideas. While you may not end up reproducing these exactly, hopefully they get you thinking in the direction of how you can reuse more in your home.

  1. Use an old dresser as a kitchen island. Add some hooks and a towel bar to the sides and top it with butcher block.
  2. Wooden window shutters can be used as room dividers.
  3. Outside, use pallets to create a compost bin or a vertical garden.
  4. Inside the home, pallets can be used as a bed frame, add wheels to make a movable coffee table or add a pillow to make an ottoman.
  5. Make a long rustic table from an old door, by adding legs–old saw horses make great legs!
  6. Take the legs off of old kitchen chairs and hang them from a tree as a swing for a some fun outdoor living.
  7. Add shelves and take off the doors of an wardrobe to repurpose it into a bookshelf.
  8. Add an upholstered pillow top to an old rectangular shaped coffee table to make an entryway bench.
  9. An old ladder or chair railings can be used to make towel racks.
  10. Getting rid of bunk beds? Use the frames outside as raised garden beds.
  11. Add some legs or wheels to a dresser drawer to make a recessed coffee table.
  12. Or add legs and sand to those dresser drawers for a raised sandbox for the kids.
  13. Dresser and desk drawers can also be used for hanging shadow boxes.
  14. Turn an old wooden stool upside down and add a round piece of glass or mirror to the legs as a high side table.
  15. Finally, repurpose an unwanted desk into a cool bar for entertaining.

Image: mazaletel

Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.