Ready for a change in décor? Disposing of your old furniture can be a bigger problem than you think, especially if your city has strict curbside collection regulations. It’s also very wasteful, with the EPA estimating that approximately 3 million tons of furniture are discarded every year. As a result, upcycling furniture has become a popular alternative to disposal in recent years.

Upcycling is a way to reuse objects that would otherwise be discarded to create something new. So, before you toss your old table and chairs, consider repurposing your furniture to achieve the new look you’re looking for.

Learn how to repurpose furniture with inspiration from the upcycling pros.


7 DIY Repurposed Furniture Ideas to Inspire You


Upcycle Dresser Drawers Into DIY Shelves

Difficulty Rating: Novice

Leftover drawers? Leftover paint? Put the two together to create bonus bathroom storage. A quick coat of paint transforms an old dresser drawer into a chic hanging shelf for toiletries and decorative items. Use a few pieces of scrap wood to build dividers and a spray adhesive to add decorative paper for a personal touch.

See the full list and instructions at Confessions of a Serial DIYer.

Image of DIY Shelves From Upcycled Drawers

Photo: Confessions of a Serial DIYer


Or Build a Vertical Garden From Repurposed Drawers

Difficulty Rating: Experienced

Take furniture upcycling projects to the garden with this fun planter project. You can personalize your planter with any number of drawers, colors and plants – the possibilities are endless. Just drill a few drainage holes into the bottom of the drawers and watch your plants grow. This project calls for:

  • Wood scraps
  • Screws and a screwdriver
  • Power drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Exterior-grade paint and primer

See the full list and instructions at Birds and Blooms.

Image of DIY Repurposed Dresser Drawers

Photo: Birds and Blooms


Build a Bench from Repurposed Headboards

Difficulty Rating: Experienced

Maybe you’re downsizing or maybe you just bought a brand new bed. Either way, before you toss your old mattress and headboard, take a look at this furniture upcycling idea. With leftover paint and a few pieces of scrap wood, you can build an elegant upcycled bench to welcome your guests.

See the full list and instructions at Ruggy DIY.

Image of a DIY Bench From Repurposed Headboards

Photo: Ruggy DIY


Transform a Curbside Dresser Into an Outdoor Bar

Difficulty Rating: Experienced

Get the party started by pulling the shelves from an old dresser. Sand down any imperfections and repaint with a new color for a fresh look. You can even add a few scrap pieces of wood to hang glasses. And voila – you’ll have the craftiest backyard party spot in the neighborhood. Before you begin, you’ll need:

  • Power drill
  • Sander
  • Exterior-grade paint and primer
  • Wood scraps

See the full list and instructions at My Creative Days.

Repurposed Dresser Ideas

Photo: My Creative Days


Take an Old Ladder to New Heights

Difficulty Rating: Novice

Instead of sending that old wooden ladder to the landfill, dress it up. Add a few planks of wood to hold books and accessories to bring shabby-chic style into any room of your home. You can even hang it horizontally on the wall for a rustic book shelf.

See the full list and instructions at Funky Junk Interiors.

DIY Repurposed Ladder Ideas

Photo: Funky Junk Interiors


Repurpose an Old Mirror to Make an Elegant Serving Tray

Difficulty Rating: Novice

Thinking of tossing an old accent mirror? That’s seven years of bad luck! Fortunately, the reflective surface is perfect for creating a repurposed cocktail party tray. With just a can of spray paint and a few salvaged cabinet handles, your hors d’oeuvres will shimmer. And for everyday use, you can place your upcycled tray on the coffee table with a candle or two to illuminate your space. All you need is:

  • Sandpaper
  • Paint and primer
  • Drawer handles
  • Screws and screw driver
  • Newspaper to protect mirror

See the full list and instructions at DIY Inspired.

Image of a DIY Repurposed Mirror Tray

Photo: DIY Inspired


Upcycle a Grand Piano Into a Bookcase

Difficulty Rating: Expert

Disposing of heavy items like pianos can be the most difficult. If your piano is beyond repair, you can salvage the wood for new use. A very creative furniture upcycling project, this piano was disassembled and transformed into a bookshelf. Keep in mind that this project is for the more adventurous DIYers out there, but the end result is well-worth the effort. To salvage your piano, you’ll need:

  • Wood glue
  • Prybar
  • Small sledge hammer
  • Compound miter saw
  • Jig saw
  • Screw gun

See the full list and instructions at Instructables.

DIY Repurposed Furniture Ideas

Photo: Instructables


For More Upcycling Inspiration

Looking for more ideas to upcycle and reuse furniture and other items? Check out our related posts below: