6 Amazing Upcycled Furniture Ideas You Should Try

Have you tried your hand at upcycling furniture yet? This trend focuses on the art of taking an “old” or unwanted product and giving it new life. It can be as easy as sanding down that old bookshelf or coffee table and slapping on a new coat of stain. Or it can be as complicated as refurbishing all the old doorknobs in your home. The movement has taken the world by storm, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon, for good reason.

Not only does it save you money, but it’s also a planet-saving hobby that supports a more sustainable lifestyle. And what’s not to love about that?

Upcycling old or discarded furniture can also be a nice departure from purchasing yet another brand-new item of furniture that looks like something you’ve seen a million times before. These customized pieces are sure to bring a good punch of pizazz to your home.

Bonus points: you don’t have to spend hours assembling it! And not to sound like your favourite octogenarian, but they just don’t make things like they used to, so hopping on the upcycling trend will likely get you a lot more years out of your furniture.

If you’re wondering where to even begin, we have six ideas to help you get started.

But first, let’s talk about where you can find furniture for your upcycling projects:

  • Hand-me-downs from family members
  • Thrift stores
  • Flea markets
  • Garage sales
  • Your own basement (!)
  • Antique stores
  • Websites like Kijiji
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Driving around on garbage day (no, really, you can find some absolute gems!)

And now onto the inspiration!

1. Blah bookcase to chic shelf

You might have an old bookshelf sitting in storage. If not, you can snag one at a thrift shop or on the side of the road if you keep an eye out! This is a super easy upcycling project – you’ll just need to give it a light sand and a fresh coat of paint.

Another fun idea is to wallpaper the back of the bookshelf – this is an excellent opportunity to incorporate a bold, eye-catching pop of colour with a print. Remember to style your upcycled shelf with fun accessories to turn up the chic factor: a vase of flowers, pottery, candles, or cherished family heirlooms, would all make beautiful additions to this piece.

2. Appalling armchair to statement piece

Do you have a hand-me-down armchair that’s a bit of an eyesore? If not, this is another furniture item that you can buy used for a steal.

Sand and paint any wooden parts and either take on the upholstering yourself (if you’re feeling brave) or otherwise take this step to the pros. You can either go with a fabric that blends in well with your existing decor, or you could opt for a statement look (think bold prints or jaunty polka dots).

3. Worn-out wooden chairs to elevated seating

Ah, old, wooden chairs – you see them everywhere but rarely do they make a positive impression. Well, it’s time to change that. Collect an assortment of wooden chairs (mismatched is totally fine!) and give them a scrub and a light sand.

Then, have fun with the paint colour. You could choose to go stylish and subdued, like all black, or do something a little more unique, like varying shades of green. Your updated set of chairs are now the perfect complement to your dining room table, or they would also work nicely as outdoor seating. Easy-peasy, with a big impact!

4. Lacklustre ladder to handy blanket rack

If you spot an old wooden ladder lying around, maybe at a family member’s house or when you’re walking around a flea market, make sure you scoop it up!

All it needs is a quick coat of paint (or even a spritz of spray paint), and voila! You now have a fantastic blanket rack! Easy, eye-catching, and super handy too!

5. Dated door to heavenly headboard

Searching for a unique headboard? Look no further – we have a great upcycling project for you. All you need is an old wooden door and a bit of elbow grease.

First, you’ll need to measure the door and cut it to size if required – a general rule of thumb for headboard sizes is to leave up to an additional 4” on each side of the mattress. Then, sand and paint it any colour you’d like. Finally, you’ll need to mount it to the wall. We suggest installing a sturdy bracket on the wall so the door can easily be lifted off for cleaning and repainting if necessary.

6. Dreary dresser to beautiful bathroom vanity

This project is for the slightly more adventurous up cycler, but it’s a very popular idea that makes an impressive impact! You’ll need a vintage dresser and a drop-in sink that will fit inside. You’ll then need to cut a hole in the top of the dresser to fit the sink, create enough space inside the dresser for the plumbing, and install the sink.

If you’re interested in taking on this project, there are many handy tutorials online that offer a detailed step-by-step approach to successfully pulling it off. You are bound to wind up with a showstopping vanity in the end!

We hope you feel inspired to hop on board the awesome trend of upcycling! The payoff will be well worth it, as these pieces are likely to become some of your very favourites in your home. And remember to keep your eyes peeled – your next upcycling project could be hiding just around the corner!


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On December 1, 2021, Purplebricks rebranded to FairSquare Group Realty. Blog articles published before this date were created under the Purplebricks brand but remain the property of FairSquare Group Realty.

In January 2019, ComFree Commonsense Network Brokerage rebranded to Purplebricks.