“Re-using”, “Recycling”, “Upcycling”, “Make do and Mend”, these have all become familiar words in recent times, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine what an old and tired piece of furniture could become. I recently spotted some great ideas on the BHG website and thought I would share them. So here are 10 ideas for recycling furniture to inspire you!
1. Reinvent a bookcase as a slimline desk with a cupboard below and a drop down desk top above.
2. Re make your bed to create a charming small settee. Begin by separating the head and foot boards. Cut the foot board in half vertically to form arms for the settee. Cut a piece of MDF for the seat and a piece for a front rail. Assemble all pieces with wood screws and glue. Sand, prime, and paint the settee. When dry, add nail head trim. For a cushion, wrap a foam pad cut to size with webbing and a throw. Or sew the throw into a cover for a more structured look.
3. Transform an upholstered chair into something special by sanding down and painting the wood, then recover the upholstery with something more contemporary or to match your scheme. Remove as much of the old fabric as possible and use as a template for the new material, use a staple gun for areas that cannot be removed. Any raw edges can be covered with nail head trim.
4. Rescue a beaten up chest of drawers by giving it a dose of character and contemporary styling with paint. Coat the top in a fun colour that contrasts with the rest of the piece and add some painted furniture feet. Embellish the drawer fronts with pretty stencils. Remove the small damaged drawers in favor of small lined and labeled baskets. Create shadow boxes from the small drawers, line them with patterned paper, and hang on the wall.
5. Revamp an old 1970’s style footstool with a fun cover. Cut a circle of fabric for the top and a strip of fabric for the drop (remember to add seam allowances). Stitch covered piping along the top seam of the drop and a gathered ruffle along the bottom. Add five pockets made from contrasting fabric, inserting elastic into the top hem. Slip the cover over the ottoman. Screw painted legs to the bottom of the ottoman.
6. Renew an old tea trolley. Sand, prime, and paint the trolley to make it new again. When dry, use a pencil to sketch a simple design on the cart. Cut scrap booking paper into small pieces, then use decoupage glue to secure the pieces over the design. Cover the finished motif with two more coats of decoupage glue. Add a smart basket underneath to store table linen etc.
7. Reinvent an old chest as a seat in the hallway to store shoes and to sit on to take them off! Primer, two coats of white paint, a simple cushion, and new casters complete the exterior overhaul. For a funky look above, paint an old frame to match the chest, insert a wallpaper sample, and secure branches with screws and glue to create a hat rack.
8. Refurbish a tired looking chair with fresh paint and fabric to give it new life. Remove the old fabric, cut away the decorative top, sand, prime and paint the chair. When dry, add webbing to increase the loft and recover with updated fabric. Stencil a monogram on the chair back with fabric paint.
9. Transform an old tin into a pretty lamp. The tin goes from drab to dynamite when fashioned into a lamp base. Dip a paper towel into crafts paint and dab it all over the tin. Use a dry paper towel to rub off some of the paint, allowing a bit of the original finish to show through. When dry, drill a hole in the center of the lid and another in the back of the tin near the bottom. Install a lamp kit from a DIY store, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Top it with a pretty lampshade.
10. Turn tea trays into a work of modern artwork with trendy silhouettes. After priming and painting the trays to match your colour scheme, print a decorative pattern onto magnetic paper using an ink-jet printer. Trace interesting shapes onto the magnetic paper, cut them out with scissors, and place the designs on the metal trays.