Refurbishing furniture, better known as “upcycling,” continues to be a strong trend, both for its cost-effectiveness and its ability to be personalized to your own design style. Also, working hard to see your DIY project through from start to finish gives a sense of pride and accomplishment. Below are some project ideas to get you started!
Before you take before and after pics, decide what project you would like to tackle. You may be using a piece you already own, but if you’re looking for something at yard sales, thrift shops, estate sales or craigslist, purchase the highest piece of quality furniture you can. One upcycling expert shares several tips for poor furniture candidates for refurbishment: wobbly legs, sticking drawers and peeling veneer. Another element to keep in mind is smell. If the piece has an older, musty smell or has been in the home of a smoker, you may be ahead if you choose to pass on it.
1. Coffee Table to Ottoman
A tired coffee table becomes a tufted ottoman with a little DIY love. All you need is a coffee table (of course!) along with some elbow grease. This isn’t the simplest project around, so be prepared to modify the table a bit before painting the legs and adding foam, covering buttons with fabric and doing the actual tufting. Still, it’s a rewarding project and may earn you some serious design points.
2. Cabinet to Bookcase Bench
Turn a tall cabinet into a bookcase bench by flipping it horizontally, adding a weathered wood top and placing it on casters. This is a great two-in-one project because the lower part holds books while also being strong enough to support a person’s weight as a bench. You can paint it or not, but, either way, it’s a simple, useful piece.
3. Dresser into a Craft Station
A great idea for your home craft area, this project keeps all the crafting items tucked neatly in drawers while allowing you to add a desktop in a size that works for your projects.
4. Filing Cabinets to Desk
A project that can be accomplished in mere minutes, taking a pair of filing cabinets and adding a desk top material of your choice in the middle (custom cabinetry, old door, wood slats, granite and more!) makes an ideal home office desk. Customize to your heart’s content with paint, distressing techniques, staining or even stencils, an up and coming look for furniture.
5. Cabinet to Kids’ Play Kitchen
What could be cuter than a kids’ play kitchen? Well, one that you craft yourself out of an old dresser, TV armoire, cabinet, bookshelf, nightstand or side table. Customize for boys, girls or keep it gender-neutral for hours of play.
6. Side Table into Lego Center
So many kids enjoy Legos, but the little toys eventually end up everywhere. You can contain the Legos and still offer space for playing with this simple living room side table turned Lego table.
7. China Cabinet to Clothing Armoire
While your home may not lend itself to using grandma’s ornate, glass-front china cabinet in a dining area, other spaces in your home may benefit from an upcycle of this family heirloom. Especially for a little girls’ room, a frilly clothing armoire can be a sweet addition to a nursery. If you don’t have children in your life, think about converting the cabinet to beautifully house and display your collection of jewelry, shoes, bags or vintage linens.
8. Media cabinet to Changing Table
What to do with that outdated media cabinet? Use it to house (and creatively hide) the changing area in your baby’s nursery. A little paint and inner reworking make this a fairly simple project with lots of wow factor. Style options abound for either boys or girls, sure to draw lots of “oohs” and “aahhs” from family and friends when they see the cozy nest you’ve created for your little one.
Whether you choose one or more of these projects, you will be able to use and enjoy your new furniture pieces for years to come.