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8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Furniture

 (modified Jan 20, 2023)

Upcycling old furniture is a great way to add tasteful new flair to your home.

If you’ve recently done, a bit of a cleanout, there is bound to be space for something fresh and innovative. Now is the perfect time to let your aspiring inner handyman take centre stage.

Some people think that upcycling requires a lot of DIY experience and equipment. But the truth is anyone can transform an old piece of junk into something truly beautiful and functional.

Whether you have some old pieces of furniture in the garage that need a makeover or have bought a retired object to spruce up, these eight creative ways to upcycle old furniture are bound to update your home on a budget while getting your creative juices flowing.

Wooden Crate Coffee Table

Repurpose Wood

There are dozens of different ways to use old wooden crates in DIY projects. One of the best ones is to make a chic wooden crate coffee table for your living room.

Simply scrub down some wooden crates (your choice of size) with hot soapy water before giving them a mild sanding and allowing them to dry in the sun. You can simply leave them as is for a rustic look and feel, or you can varnish them for a glossier, deeper brown color. Alternatively, you can paint your new table a color of your choice.

When you’re happy with the crates' appearance, you can pop them in your living room, creating a DIY table that’s good looking and functional.

Family-Sized Old Door Photo Frame

This is the moment your old family photographs have been waiting for. A massive old door photo multi-frame is the perfect place to display all your favorite memories with friends and family.

This DIY project only works with a door that has multiple plinth blocks or small panels on its exterior. Wash, dry, and sand your door before removing the inside of each plinth block and sanding down once again. Paint your door any color you like and be sure to add in some nails or hooks at the back so it is easy to hang (it will be heavy).

From the back, add some glass to each block before placing a compatible sized photograph behind it. Back the photo with cardboard or wooden board to keep it in place. Voila!

Spray Painted Dining Chairs

This is a simple, easy, and creative way to redefine what dining chairs should look like. The perfect project for a DIY newbie, the only tools you’ll need are old wooden dining room chairs (no cushions), sandpaper, and several cans of spray paint in whatever color you prefer.

Strip down the varnish of your chairs with the sandpaper before giving a wipe down and allowing it to dry in the sun. Then shake up your spray paint cans and give each chair an even layer of paint. This project may be easy, but the results are stunning.

Front Door Table

items on a table that can be repurposed

Old wooden doors can be used for so many exciting upcycling projects, and this is another one of them. For this unique yet refined dining room table, you’ll need one old door and some upcycled table legs.

The project is simple. Your door needs cleaning and sanding before being re-varnished or painted for a fresher, brighter appeal than before.

The table legs must receive the same treatment before drilling and securing them onto the four corners of your door.

Tiered Cupcake Display from Old Frames

Tired of your generic white ceramic cupcake display from 1985? Some ornate vintage frames from the closest second-hand store have got you covered!

You’ll need three frames in small, medium, and large sizes that are all in good condition. If they don’t have solid backs, you can replace them with sturdy wooden boards for a solid, flat base for your cupcakes to sit on.

Drill a hole through all three frames and spaciously stack them on a wooden dowel (arranged from the bottom up, largest to smallest) before painting them the color of your choice.

Kids Chalkboard Table

This is an especially useful upcycling project as kid’s tables so often wind up covered in paints, markers, glitter, and glue. Next time you look at your child’s old play table, consider this upcycling idea!

Simply scrub down the top surface and allow it to dry before painting several thick players of high-quality black chalkboard paint.

Use masking tape to prevent yourself from painting over the edge, and you’ll end up with a neat table your kids can endlessly draw on with no worry about how it’s going to look the next day.

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Comfy Old Bed Frame Swing

This quirky bed-swing hybrid turns an old bed frame into a romantically swaying spot for you to lounge on with a book or alongside a loved one.

You’ll need one single old bed frame (with or without supportive middle planks),a single mattress, and some strong metal chains for suspension.

If your bed does not already have functional middle planks, those will need to get drilled in for the support of your mattress. Once those are solidified, you’ll need to attach a strong metal hook to each corner of the bed frame and attach a short piece of chain to each one.

Then, bring the two chains of each end of the bed frame together in a small metal hoop and attach one long piece of chain to each one.

These will be the two main supporting chains for the bedframe swing. Once they are attached to the roof of your veranda or porch, you’re good to go!

Log Slice Table

A log slice coffee table is the perfect upcycling answer to your woodland-fantasy dreams, and it's ideal for using repurposed wood too. You can source a sizable log slice from your local forest or from a wood shop, but will need some unused old table legs for the supporting structure of your table.

Once you have your organically shaped log slice, simply give it a good rough sanding and varnishing before attaching legs onto the underside. This table goes beautifully with a bouquet of wildflowers or some earthy homemade pottery.

Final Thoughts

Each one of these upcycling ideas is simple yet incredibly effective, and they’re budget-friendly too. With a little creativity, you’ll have a brand-new piece of furniture that adds something special to your home. And you get the credit for making it too!

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