DIY Projects to Upcycle Your Old Furniture

April 22, 2019

Next time you start dragging a well-worn piece of furniture to the curb, think again. You might just need a new perspective to find another use for it. We’re not saying you should hang on to that stained old futon from college until your last breath, but a few alterations can give new life to a tired piece of furniture. Avoid the dump with these upcycling and recycling ideas.



You’d be surprised at what you can do with one dresser. Some of our favorite ways to reuse furniture include:

  • Use a ladder as a shelf or to hang towels/blankets
  • Use packing crates and wooden pallets for side tables and mattress holders
  • Use an old door as a headboard or a table.
  • Turn a dresser into a sideboard or kitchen island



We’ve all held on to comfortable couches for a little too long after they’re completely covered in crumbs, stains, and dog hair. Reupholstering seating lets you maintain structure while completely transforming the style. Just look at how interior designer Orlando Soria’s transformed the centerpiece of his French chateau-style LA apartment. A switch to blue suede turned a “hideous 80’s mess” thrift store find into a sleek statement piece.  

Change the Fixtures


Small embellishments can make all the difference in refreshing a classic piece. Interior designer Julieta Alvarez instantly added some character to her daughter’s nursery dresser when she swapped the knobs with handmade leather pulls.

Recycle or Donate


Sometimes a piece just doesn’t work anymore no matter how much TLC you put into upcycling it. Rather than taking it to the dump, consider donating used furniture to non-profits like Goodwill. For anything that can’t be donated such as mattresses and bed frames, some towns may have dedicated recycling programs. Not only are you helping someone in need, you’re also limiting unnecessary waste.