Most of the furniture we use and display in our homes is simple in its design and purpose, but many of the core items range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars in price at furniture stores. If you’re sick of paying an arm and a leg for new furniture, upcycling may be the answer to your problems. Many homeowners may already have several items in their homes that, with a little refurbishing and elbow grease, can be used to replace old, worn-out furniture and save them a ton of money.
Objects that would ordinarily be discarded can be upcycled in ways that increases their value, either monetarily or functionally. In addition to potentially saving you money, upcycling can also give you a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Not only is it great for the environment by reducing trash from your home, it also gives a second life to objects that may need only a few minor alterations.
To start working your upcycling magic and learn the joys of creating your own furniture, check out Blindster’s tips below:
Use old lockers as storage.
Via Caught In Grace
As it turns out, old lockers have many more uses than holding heavy high school textbooks. With their metallic and rustic appearance, old lockers fit perfectly with contemporary furniture and home décor. They’re also excellent for storing clothing, shoes, and anything else that you need quick access to throughout your home. You can even turn a single vertical locker on its side and use it as a coffee table or an ottoman.
Convert an old-fashioned wood grain television into a retro shelf.
Wood grain tube-style televisions are relics of the past, but it’s wasteful to relegate them to a landfill—especially when you see the intricate wood carvings and finishes of these former living room centerpieces. If you’re handy with electronics, it’s a simply process to remove the “tube” and other inner workings of an old television set and create a beautiful and highly vintage shelving unit in the empty space. Just make sure you leave the original knobs and switches intact—they’re essential for maximizing the nostalgia factor.
Turn an old sewing table into a serving table.
If you have an old sewing table that doesn’t get much use, don’t throw it out—instead, convert it into a serving table. Remove all of the electronic and mechanical components and place a waterproof lining inside the empty space. You can use that space to store drinks and the flip-top to showcase mixers, cups, and snacks for your guests.
Create spool tables.
Via Maison De Pax
Large construction-sized spools are used to store wiring, cables, and other industrial components. Their shape also makes them a natural fit for being upcycled into furniture. A spool that’s turned vertically instantly becomes a rustic table. If you prefer a more traditional look, a few hours of sandpapering and staining can turn even the most neglected spool into a statement piece in your home. An extra-large spool combined with smaller ones can easily create an entire seating area, or a spool with dividers installed around its circumference works great as bookshelf.
Stack old pieces of luggage for décor and storage.
Via DIY Ready
Modern luggage is typically stored at the back of people’s closets until it’s ready to be used, for good reason, as it’s designed primarily for function over form. Luggage from the past was much more elegantly designed. Despite being outdated in 2016, old luggage still has a place in modern homes as beautiful vintage décor. Cleaned-up and restored suitcases and travel bags can be stacked as accent pieces or to create small tables or shelves, and best of all, they can also be used to store lots of household items.
Use pallets to create coffee tables, outdoor sectional couches, and shelves.
Via 101 Pallet Ideas
Used in almost every warehouse to quickly transport goods, pallets are inexpensive and can be an extremely useful material for upcycling. Convert pallets into make great coffee tables that also feature convenient built-in storage nooks. For outdoor seating, stack and combine them with cushions to create small chairs or even entire sectional seating arrangements. Finally, shelving and displays are the natural result of hanging a pallet vertically on your wall. The gaps between the large pieces of wood make excellent places to store or display books, photos, trophies, and other items.
Use barrels to create tables, seats, storage spaces, and ottomans.
Via Mom 4 Real
Old barrels are just as versatile as pallets when it comes to upcycling furniture. Full-size barrels are the perfect height to use as tables. In fact, a barrel with no alterations whatsoever creates a perfectly functional end table. If you need more space, it’s easy to adhere a glass or metal top to expand it and turn it into a wine table, breakfast table, or card table. Barrels can also be used to create comfortable seats with just a cushion, or cut shorter to be an ottoman. And even if you don’t use a barrel as furniture, a polished and stained barrel can serve as a beautiful accent piece that’s also handy for storage purposes.