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Create your own unique furniture

Create your own unique furniture

Interesting ways to recycle old furniture


As I was out driving today I noticed some old bookshelves and cabinets on the kerb in front of a suburban home. Our area has an annual pick up service for all unwanted household items so there are piles of assorted junk in front of every house for a few days. These days it is illegal to scavenge these piles due to health and safety laws but many people still take the view that one man’s’ junk is another man’s’ treasure and view it as a good way to recycle.


The bookshelves caught my eye because they were brightly painted timber and looked very solid. Although I didn’t actually need them I started to wonder what I could do with them if I had them. With a bit of sanding, some free time and inspired thinking the possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas I came up with.




Create a cosy bench under a window where you can curl up and read.

s  Turn a tall bookshelf on its’ side to form a bench with storage spaces underneath

s  Strip it back and paint it to match your room

s  Cut a large, thick piece of cushion foam to the size of the new bench top

s  Cover this with an interesting fabric and use a staple gun to secure it to the bench.

s  Use the spaces underneath to store your favourite books


If you collect things such as handmade pottery, memorabilia or shells use an old solid timber bookshelf to showcase them.

s  Strip away any old paint

s  Disguise any scratches or dents with a clear filler and then use a clear or stained varnish to reveal the texture of the original timber

s  Display your favourite collection pieces in groups or themes on the shelves




Convert drawers into a set of tables for your garden or patio.

s  Get some new timber pieces and cut them to form legs for your tables

s  Nail the legs to the drawer. You can turn the drawer upside down or leave it right side up so your table has sides and a hollow

s  Large tables may need extra timber underneath as a support or cross-brace

s  Paint the timber to suit your room or garden


Create a vertical garden in a courtyard

s  Find small, solid drawers and line each one with heavy plastic

s  Drill a few holes in each for drainage

s  Attach them to the wall of your courtyard

s  Paint them with bright colours and apply a weatherproof sealant

s  Fill the drawers with soil and plant a variety of hanging plants or fill them with pot plants




Other ideas


s  Take the seat off a timber dining chair and insert a large pot plant

s  Convert an old TV stand into a child’s shelf with a simple coat of paint

s  Consider stretches of fabric, patterned contact paper or stencils as an alternative to paint or try combinations of any of these


So next time you pass an unloved piece of furniture, don’t view it as junk, see it as a way to express your personality through your unique designs.

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At Home and Social, we want to provide useful information to readers in order to improve their overall home experience. Featuring topics including furnishing ideas, home security, DIY helpful tips, home upkeep, and interior design among others. Our mission is to be the best website...

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