Upcycling antique furniture is an outlet for creativity and a great way to breathe new life into a tired item. Maybe you’ve got old furniture that you don’t want to part with, or you’ve been browsing some unique finds on our CTBIDS website. Here are some upcycled furniture ideas we found on DIY blogs that may inspire you to start your next project.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #1: Drawers into Planter
If you enjoy gardening, this is perfect for you! Use drawers from an old dresser to create a green sanctuary in your home or garden.
Here are some ways you can use an upcycled drawer planter:
- Fixed to the wall or railing of your porch
- Mounted outside your front windows
- Hanging flower boxes
- Mounted in your garden or walkway
Inspiration: See how Becky at “Beyond the Picket Fence” used some wooden beams to build a double-decker planter. We also like this indoor planter by Jess from “Happy Together by Jess” that would easily brighten up any room.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #2: Chairs or Headboard into Bench
An upcycled bench is a beautiful addition for your entryway, garden, or porch. And it’s a great way to salvage old chairs or repurpose an intact headboard from an old bed.
The chairs can face each other or be placed side by side depending on how you’d like your bench to look. You can add padding or pillows, or just opt for a wooden seat.
If you’re working with an old headboard, you can add upholstery and include space at the bottom for shoe cubbies or additional storage.
Inspiration: Kevin & Layla at “The Lettered Cottage” created an entryway bench from a headboard in two days; this tutorial shows how they did it. “An Oregon Cottage” features a step-by-step on how to make a French style bench from two old chairs.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #3: Dresser into Vanity or Desk
A dresser that’s on the shorter side makes an excellent candidate for a vanity. If the dresser already has a mirror attached, even better! But if not, it’s also a great way to upcycle an old mirror you aren’t sure what to do with. Or you might be able to find a mirror on our CTBIDS auction site. You could even remove a drawer or two for cubby storage.
Inspiration: The first idea listed on this post by “Salvaged Inspirations” is a soft blue dresser-turned-vanity. Of course, you don’t have to add plumbing and a sink—you could simply add some paint and knobs that match your bathroom decor.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #4: Desk into Nightstand(s)
Save space and give your old desk a better functionality by upcycling it into nightstands or end tables for your sofa. This works well if you have a larger desk with drawers or cubbies on one or both sides.
Depending on the storage you’d like, you can keep the drawers, convert the drawers into cupboards by swapping the runners for hinges, or remove the drawers for open cubby space.
Inspiration: Beth and Nick at “Reality Daydream” share how they converted their desk into nightstands.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #5: Frames into Trays
If you have empty frames from old photos or artwork, it’s easy to add some wood and paint to make lovely outdoor serving trays or a tiered cake stand. What a nice way to serve guests at your next spring gathering.
Inspiration: The third idea on this list from “Cute DIY Projects” is a tiered fruit tray made from thrift store frames.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #6: Coffee Table into Ottoman
A tired coffee table can be transformed into a plush ottoman—you’ll just need to add some upholstery and do a bit of sanding and possibly add some paint to match your home decor.
This works particularly well with round coffee tables, but you can also create a larger ottoman or entryway bench with a long, rectangle shaped coffee table.
Inspiration: Lauren from “Blesser House” found a $15 coffee table and transformed it into this large, comfy ottoman.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #7: Sink into Birdbath
If you’re a bird lover, this one is for you. Upcycle an old sink into a rustic and unique birdbath for your feathered friends to enjoy! It will look beautiful near your walkway or porch and will give your favorite birds a refreshing reason to stop by.
As a bonus, an upcycled birdbath is a great way to make use of a shell collection or extra pebbles around your yard, as you can fill the tub with them.
Inspiration: This post from HGTV explains the process step by step, from assembling your tools to mounting the birdbath on a tree outside.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #8: Vintage Suitcase into Side Table
This one is sure to turn heads. If you love vintage decor, and you’ve got an old suitcase that isn’t practical for travel anymore, upcycle it into this one-of-a-kind table. It’s practical and stylish and is better than leaving the luggage tucked away in a closet or under your bed!
Inspiration: Architecture Art Designs showcases a beautiful vintage-suitcase-turned-table. It’s the second idea on their list.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #9: Drawer into Chalkboard
There are just so many uses for old drawers! Upcycle them into chalkboards for to-do lists, meal planning, decor, and more.
You could also use a headboard to create a larger chalkboard, or antique frames and wood if you want something smaller. It’s quite easy to create this rustic, practical, space-saving addition to your home.
Inspiration: Gail from “My Repurposed Life” added a cork board and hooks to her creative drawer-turned-chalkboard.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #10: Drawers or Small Headboard into Wall Hangers or Mounted Coat Rack
If you’ve got a crowded entryway with nowhere to hang your scarves, purses, hats, and coats, you can easily solve the problem with the fronts of old drawers. Add paint and a variety of knobs for a practical work of art that reflects your style.
If you have smaller headboards, such as headboards from twin beds, you can upcycle those into mounted coat racks. You may want to attach hooks rather than using knobs, depending on the shape of the knobs.
Inspiration: Take a look at these colorful upcycled wall hooks, number ten on this list from Architecture Art Designs.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #11: Drawers or Tub into Dog Bed
With a little bit of elbow grease you can turn an old tub or large drawer into a dog bed. (Of course, this depends on how big your dog is!) This is such a cute option for upcycling if you have a dog, and your pet will know how much love and care you put into their new bed.
Inspiration: Roeshel at DIYShowoff.com shares how she created a dog bed from a large drawer.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #12: Plates into Cake Stands
While not technically furniture, plates are something that many of us have in abundance. If you have beautiful plates you don’t want to part with (or you picked some pretty ones up from a yard sale), you can turn them into cake stands very easily. Or you could hang them on the wall, transforming them from plate to kitchen decor.
Inspiration: Getz Blogging walks you through this simple process.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #13: Baking Dishes and Knobs into Trays
Another one on our list that isn’t technically furniture, old baking dishes tend to accumulate around the kitchen, especially for those who love to cook.
Save four knobs from an old dresser and affix them to an old baking tray to create a farmhouse-style serving tray. Or skip the knobs and just repurpose the tray, tying a ribbon around it for a little flair.
Inspiration: This upcycled tray is perfect for gatherings, outdoor summer dinners, or keeping things like salt, pepper, and napkins together on your table. Kim from “Salvaged Living” shows how you can make one in about five minutes.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #14: Old Desk into Sewing Desk
If you enjoy sewing, don’t upcycle your desk into nightstands just yet. Instead, you could add cork to the top and use it as a sewing desk. That way, you have a better surface for all your pins and needles while you work.
This is a great way to upcycle an old cork board, as well.
Inspiration: Look at the fifth idea on this list from “Wonderful Tidy” to see how this might look on your desk.
Upcycled Furniture Idea #15: Dresser into Entertainment Center
Liven up an old dresser by upcycling it into a stylish entertainment center for your living room or man cave. Remove a few drawers for storage cubbies and use the other drawers for DVDs, video games, or anything else you need to store.
Inspiration: See how Bobbi from “HowDoesShe” turned a boring, colorless dresser into a bright, functional entertainment stand.