When you’re furnishing your home, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying items from the local furniture barn or the ol’ standby (and subject of our ongoing love-hate relationship), Ikea.
But who really wants their home to look so basic when you can stock your house with pieces possessing pizzazz? One-of-a-kind furniture can set your home apart and show off your distinct design vision—with the added bonus of making it look more expensive
Instead of dumping an old stool, table, or chest of drawers into a landfill, you can repurpose those pieces and give them new life. Upcycled items help green the Earth as well as save some green in your wallet. And don’t worry—DIY isn’t as hard as it sounds.
With a few tools, some paint, and lots of gumption, you’ll have a new piece of furniture in no time. Here are six quick and easy projects you can tackle right now.
1. Design a headboard from an old door
You’ll save a bundle of cash by skipping that custom upholstered headboard and installing this DIY version instead. Two reclaimed barn doors bracketed to the wall—or just a few planks (bought for several dollars each)—lined up and nailed in can add rustic charm in about 15 minutes.
So what do you do if the old wood smells a bit funky?
“You can usually remove the offending odor by placing baking soda sachets or rolled-up newspaper on the piece you plan to use for about a week,” suggests Jamie Novak, DIY expert and the author of “Keep This Toss That.” And if the smell still won’t fade, a few hours of sunshine should do the trick.
2. Turn a crock into a bedside table
Carol Marcotte, an interior designer with Form & Function in Raleigh, NC, helped a client with the nifty DIY project above.
“The homeowner already owned this great crock that she wanted to salvage—and she had a few pieces of beautiful hardwood left over from her floor renovation,” she explains.
To make it at your house in about 30 minutes, cut wood in a circle or square shape. Nail small pieces of scrap wood to one side of your circle in the same (but smaller) shape to fit inside the rim of the crock (you’re creating a kind of stopper for the crock to hold the top in place). Paint or refinish the tabletop, if you like. Antique crocks can be found on eBay or at yard sales for around $50 to $75 if you don’t already have one in your basement.