Creative Ways To Repurpose Old Furniture on the Cheap

by Lynn Bulmahn
DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Want to update your home décor without spending a lot? Consider these cheap, creative ways to give new life to your old furniture.

By using old items in new ways, you can decorate your home for less. If an item isn’t useful for its original purpose, adapt it to other uses.

How? With just a little creativity and some cheap supplies.

Here are some examples to spur your creativity.

An Old TV Can Become an Aquarium

The most unique fish aquarium I’ve ever seen was a converted TV set. Prior to the 1980s, most televisions stood on the floor as furniture. Occasionally, you’ll find an older TV set at an estate sale, a thrift store, or even by the garbage bin.

One clever hobbyist gutted the electronics from just such a vintage 1960s TV set. Carefully cutting off the wooden top, he added a piano hinge and holder so it could be raised and lowered much like a car trunk. This allows access to the fish tank from above.

He retained the outer glass on the front of the set and retrofitted a fish aquarium inside. The glass fish tank was the exact dimensions of the TV’s interior. Now, instead of a show, he watches his tropical fish swim about in their amazing new home.

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Cabinets and Drawers Can Store New Things

My musician friend bought a 1930s radio cabinet sans the electronics. She’s refinishing the insides for her piano room. It will be a perfect storage spot for sheets of music and hymnals.

My antique dresser had drawers that were too shallow for clothing storage. We first used it to hold towels and toiletries in a bathroom. Now, it graces our new home’s foyer. Because rolls of wrapping paper fit perfectly in the wide drawers, the dresser does double duty as an entryway table/mirror and storage for gift-wrap supplies.

A Kitchen Sink Can Update a Bathroom

Designing a custom home, a couple had a salvaged one-piece porcelain sink and “drainboard” installed in a bathroom. The vintage kitchen sink is more spacious than a regular lavatory, and they can bathe the baby in it!

An Old Entertainment Center Can Be Used for Storage in Just About Any Room

Flat-screen TVs don’t fit in old-style entertainment centers. So, getting rid of them via Craigslist or garage sales is common. You can buy them pretty cheap; if you’re lucky, you might rescue one at the curb on garbage day.

Old entertainment centers are great for regular storage.

Always Be Thinking of New Uses for Old Things

Don’t automatically trash something when you remodel. Think of a new use for it. After sacrificing a small closet to enlarge a bathroom, I put the solid-wood closet shelf to new use in the laundry room. Sturdier than wire or particle board shelving, it didn’t cost a cent.

A wood and particle board bathroom space-saver cabinet was almost thrown out when a renter bought a house. But, the new home’s half-bathroom lacked storage. Instead of completely reassembling the space saver, the homeowner just mounted its upper cabinet section to the wall and discarded the legs.

Used furniture and building materials can be obtained for little to no money. You’re only limited by your imagination as to how to repurpose old furniture around your home!

Reviewed November 2023

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