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3 Ways to Reuse Furniture to Save Money (and the Planet!)

A man works on a piece of reused furniture upholstery with a tack hammer

Buying a new piece of furniture is one of the bigger purchasing decisions we make in our lives. It empties a giant hole in our wallets and fills up space in our homes—where we see it daily. A well-used piece of furniture will shape our daily routines, be there in our fondest at-home memories, and may, sadly, one day need replacing.

Today in the Yard Sale Radar Blog, we’re looking at furniture reuse. These tips for repurposing old furniture will help you save money, reduce your ecological footprint, and create a more meaningful connection with your favorite pieces of furniture.

Repurposing Old Furniture Tip #1: Transformation Gives Old Furniture a Second Life

The simplest form of furniture reuse is to transform an old piece of furniture into something new. It’s just one step up from renovating a piece of furniture, with the difference being that the finished product has a different purpose, rather than the same purpose with an updated look.

Whether you’re upcycling for a profit or just wanting to add something new to your home, the key to repurposing old furniture is to re-envision it as something completely new. Never underestimate the power of a vibrant new coat of paint in a vivid color to completely transform the look of an old piece of furniture. Beyond that, here are some specific ideas:

Dining Table to Bench

Replacing an old dining table and looking to declutter your home? Tables are perfect for furniture reuse! You can turn an old round dining table into a bench for your entryway by removing the legs and cutting it into thirds. Join the two round end pieces together to make a seat and backrest. Then cut up the middle third into four pieces and fasten to the seat to create four stout legs. It makes the perfect bench for setting aside shoes as you enter the home or storing purses and reusable shopping bags for quick access as you head out the door.

An upright piano can find a new life through furniture reuse

Piano to Bar

When you’re tired of storing your liquor and wine in the pantry or a cabinet, it’s time for a fashionable bar upgrade. Many people have upright pianos or old family organs that they don’t play anymore. Instead of throwing away these lovely old instruments, give them a non-musical second life with a creative dash of furniture reuse and turn them into a bar. Place your favorite bottles and decorate glassware on the top of the piano. You can protect the wood surface of your instrument (and add a decorative splash!) by adding a linen runner or gilded tray underneath.

Reupholster Old Favorites

Sometimes completely disassembling an old favorite doesn’t make as much sense as simply giving it a good old fashion facelift. Reupholstering is a fantastic way to spruce up a beloved piece or customize a yard sale find to your style. While the reupholstery process can be time-consuming, it can also save your hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars. Plus it gives you a one-of-a-kind piece that is unique to your home and taste.

Many local seamstresses offer reupholstery services for nominal pricing and when they can’t get the job done, you can always turn to reupholstery specialists available in many cities who focus solely on furniture repair and revamping. While this can be the more expensive of options, it will also save you time on completing the repairs yourself.

Love a good DIY project? There are tons of tutorials online on how to reupholster your furniture with a selection of common house tools. Pick the one that matches your skill level, and your upholstered furniture will be looking refreshing and renewed in no time!

A small reused furniture side table

Repurposing Old Furniture Tip #2: Don’t Buy New Furniture — Build It Instead!

There are many articles of furniture for sale that make life easier but aren’t strictly necessary. Some great examples include coat racks, bookcases, coffee tables, sofas, mirrors, sideboards, and bed frames. You can go a long way towards reducing waste by simply not buying this kind of furniture brand new. Many of these pieces make for the best yard sale items, meaning you can buy them secondhand for a great price. Not finding a lot of yard sale treasures near you? Create a piece yourself by repurposing old furniture! This is the perfect opportunity to practice furniture reuse!

We know some of these are not easy to build. With enough dedication, yes, you can build an entire sofa DIY-style. But if you don’t want that much difficulty, try a creative substitution. You can build a futon out of an old bed frame, or a chair out of an old desk. And you can build a bookshelf out of almost anything (hello wooden crates!)

A model train stops at a model train station

Repurposing Old Furniture Tip #3: Take a Second Look at New Crafts and Hobbies

There’s more to the art of furniture reuse than just adding functionality to your home. Like we mentioned, the furniture in our homes has a way of shaping our lifestyles and fondest memories. If there’s an activity at home that you’d like to do more of, or get into, you’d be surprised just what a difference it makes simply to create a dedicated space for that activity. Repurposing old furniture can be a way of reshaping the way you live and the things you spend your time on.

Large Flat Surfaces: A Canvass of Possibilities

When it comes to furniture reuse, don’t throw out those old kitchen tables! Whether they’re fancy solid wood or simple plastic laminate, they’re large and flat—which means they make excellent work surfaces. The same is true for any piece of old furniture with a large, flat surface on it.

With a large, flat surface you can create a new crafts table for yourself, or your partner or kids. It’s an excuse to get into a new hobby, like board games, or return to an old one, like knitting or building models. If you or someone in your home has a workshop or separated garage, move the table outdoors to serve as a new workbench. You can even move old bookshelves, tables, and desk outdoors to serve as rustic planter beds or raised succulent gardens. Rather than buying new furniture to get dinged up with increased activity, repurpose your already battered old furniture to serve a new, functional purpose.

Can’t Find a Use for Something? Hold a Yard Sale!

Sometimes there will be pieces of furniture that we just don’t have any use for. But don’t give up and throw it out. This is a great opportunity to clear out all the clutter in your home, by holding a yard sale! Let someone else take a crack at the art of furniture reuse.

Yard Sale Radar is your online hub for finding yard sales in your area and posting your own sale for others to come find your hidden furniture gems. Post your sale today or browse our other articles to discover other creative ideas for your old things!