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8 Genius Ways To Upcycle Your Old Furniture

Good furniture doesn’t come cheap, so it’s always painful to realise that your favourite piece of furniture may need to be thrown out to make way for a new replacement.

It may be time to consider walking the more earth-friendly path of upcycling.

Upcycling can mean several things — the most basic being repairing your old furniture by giving it a new coat of paint or slipcover, or even replacing certain parts that have been broken to get it working again.

A more extreme measure may involve taking your old furniture apart and creating a brand-new piece with these parts. 

Curious yet? If you are, here are some creative (and fun) ways to start upcycling your old or used items into brand new ones:

1. Turn old glass jars into light fixtures

Whether you’ve consumed one too many jars of peanut butter or somehow managed to amass a large collection of Mason jars, here’s how you can upcycle them: Turn them into lights! 

To recreate this Pinterest-worthy look of magical fairy lights inside Mason jars, string together several jars to create an industrial-looking light fixture that will have your guests admiring in awe.

2. From side table to planter box

Bring your old side table from the bedroom out into the garden in this genius upcycling move.

It’s up to you if you decide to give it a new coat of paint or just let nature run its course outside.

All you need to do is fill the drawers with soil, plant some flowers, and you have yourself a cool new planter with plenty of character. 

3. Unused wooden ladder turned shelving unit

You could purchase this upcycled ladder shelf on Scaramanga, or you could put on some elbow grease and transform one of your old wooden ladders yourself.

Head to the hardware store to get some plywood for the shelving part of the ladder, and you’ll soon have yourself a unique shelf for your home. 

4. Got a scrap bathtub? Turn it into a sofa

While this will require a bit more effort to upcycle, the results will be worth it.

The how: Take an old bathtub, cut out one side of it, sand it down, install some legs, slot in a cushioned seat, and voila! You’ve got a unique loveseat and a guaranteed conversation starter for when guests come over.

5. From unwanted crate to bedside table

This one isn’t so much about upcycling old furniture, but turning wooden crates you have no use for into something absolutely useful.

Instead of throwing them out, give them a fresh coat of paint, turn them onto their sides, and you have a new rustic bedside table.

6. Transform your ottoman into a coffee table

If you’ve never had an ottoman at home, you definitely don’t know what you’re missing out on.

This nifty little piece of furniture makes lounging in front of the TV SO incredibly comfortable you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.

Well, it just happens that if you have an old coffee table sitting around, you can make an ottoman out it. Shape-wise, it doesn’t matter if your coffee table is square or round, but shorter ones are the perfect height for an ottoman.

Just give it a fresh coat of paint, nail on a beautifully-upholstered cushion and you’ve got yourself an ottoman. 

7. Give it a fresh coat of paint

The upcycling process doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. In fact, it could be as simple as going back to the basics by adding a fresh coat of paint.

It could be that your older furniture is slightly chipped, worn-out or dulled on the surface, or maybe you just want a new colour to lighten up your space.

Either way, painting is the easiest way to give new life to your well-loved pieces of furniture.

8. Get it re-upholstered

Similar to painting, re-upholstering your furniture / restuffing your cushion is another great way to upcycle your old pieces and make a big difference to how they look and feel.

If sewing isn’t your strong suit, a removable, machine-washable slipcover that’s made from upholstery-grade fabric will be an easier alternative.

Even better, you’ll be able to customise your slipcover for the different types of seats in your home, including sofas, armchairs, dining chairs and ottomans for just about any type of brand out there.

Looking for more home design inspiration? Get a copy of our FREE Timeless Living: How To Design A Classy IKEA-Inspired Home ebook here: