On one hand, you want to decorate your home, but on the other hand, your garage and storage areas are so jam-packed that you can hardly imagine filling your house with more.
Thankfully, there is a simple solution: upcycling. Using scrap materials, broken-down objects, or outdated furnishings, you can create outstanding decorations you’ll want to display. Plus, sifting through your garage for fodder is a great way to start cleaning and organizing for spring and summer. Here are some of our favorite projects that make functional furniture from the stuff in your garage:
Odds and Ends
With enough creativity (and enough sandpaper and paint) everything in your garage could have a new life as gorgeous home decor. From that rickety wooden ladder ― which could make an excellent towel rack ― to your family’s run-down boat ― which could contribute pieces to large items of furniture, like beds and bookshelves, while you donate what is left to a good cause ― your unused garage items have more potential than you probably give them credit. Here are some small ways to reuse scrap in functional home furniture:
- Unused bike parts
- Wooden picture frames
- Fill it with chicken wire and use clothes pins to make a bulletin board or photo collage board
- Screw in small C-hooks to create a key-hanger
- Build a simple wooden box behind it to make a shadow box or bookshelf
- Ceramic dishware
- Break it up and mold it into garden stepping stones
- Plant small flowers and herbs for a decorative indoor garden
- Fill with scented, colored wax and wick for homemade candles
The Magic of Pallets
Nearly everything ― literally, everything ― shipped around the United States is accompanied by a strong, sturdy wooden pallet, which means if you have retiled your floor, bought bulk produce, or procured any other material in a large quantity; you likely have a pallet or two cluttering your garage. Fortunately, the look of weathered wood is exceedingly trendy, and it doesn’t take much effort to make a chic piece of furniture from a bulky pallet.
Our site is already packed to bursting with DIYs to help you transform your pallet into nearly any type of furniture, from bar tops to entertainment centers. You can also visit 1001Pallets which is the best resources on the web for recycled pallet projects! Because pallets are made to last, constructing outdoor furniture, like deck chairs, picnic tables, and garden shelves, is a smart use of your materials.
Refreshing Old Furniture
Perhaps you don’t need help converting the items in your garage into furniture ― because it is furniture already. There are plenty of reasons you might choose to hold onto unused couches and tables, such as sentimentality, but allowing them to take up valuable storage space is unnecessary and wasteful. Instead, you should strive to rejuvenate the old pieces and give them places in your home.
Usually, refreshing old furniture is as easy as a new coat of paint and some updated fittings. However, if your old items are antique or you would prefer to restore them to a former finish (sans water rings and scratches accumulated over the years) you may need to put in some extra elbow grease:
- First, identify the wood finish. This can be extremely difficult, and it is of particular importance to get right, so if you have little experience with shellac, lacquer, or varnish, you would do better taking your furniture to a professional at a home improvement store.
- Next, clean the furniture. Wood surfaces should receive generous applications of orange or lemon oil to remove dirt and wax. For water stains, wash gently with a warm, damp cloth and dish detergent, or apply a thin layer of mayonnaise.
- Revitalize the wood. Dry, cracked furniture can be brought back to life by draping it with cheesecloth soaked in oil and vinegar. Then, you can erase superficial gashes by rubbing them with walnut meat.
- Finally, refinish the furniture. Once the wood looks healthy, apply the appropriate finish to areas where the prior coat is thin or worn out. Then, your old furniture will look good as new.