diy, how-to

DIY Projects to Upcycle Your Old Furniture

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.



  1. Do you think people drive around neighborhoods to collect thrown out furniture to resell it for a profit? I hear some folks are doing that and earning good $ gUaP $. Your thoughts on this?

  2. Addie says

    On the white dresser makeover, by “fixtures” you mean hardware. The interior design trade and architects, builders, contractors, so forth, all use the same terms. Fixtures are plumbing and lighting items performing the function. Within hardware there are drawer pulls (your leather ones featured), knobs, drapery/curtain rods, finials (lamps and drapery hardware), etc. “Design accents or decorative items” include pillows, throws, vases, bowls, baskets, bookends, figurines, sculptural pieces. Theta more but these are some basics 🙂

    • TaskRabbit says

      Thanks for sharing Addie! This is great feedback.

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