Before throwing out that scrap wood, worn out piece of furniture or leftover DIY project materials, consider reusing them. We found some clever projects that do just that.

Give Old Furniture an Inexpensive Facelift

Bring an old table or chair back to life by refinishing it. Home improvement guru Danny Lipford gives directions on how to refinish.*

  • Apply liquid stripper according to the directions, allowing it to stay on the surface for the recommended amount of time.
  • Use a putty knife with rounded edges to remove the bulk of the old finish.
  • Take off the remaining finish and stripper using steel wool or a plastic scouring pad dipped in the recommended solvent.
  • Fill cracks, holes or damage with a wood filler like Famowood.
  • Sand the surface thoroughly; start with coarse sandpaper (80-100 grit) and work up to fine (180-220 grit). Sand with the grain when possible.
  • Stain the piece, applying with a rag, and allow to dry.
  • Finish with several coats of a clear finish such as Glaze Coat.

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Piece it Together with a Mosaic

In the same vein as refinishing, you can also save furniture by creating a mosaic table top. Using recycled glass, beads or tiles, you can create a work of art. E-How has great directions for making mosaics.

Deep Fried Kudzu has directions for creating this cool swirly marble mosaic table top (left). Simple, yet stunning. A great way to make a generic or tired table your own.

We’ve found EcoGlue works well for mosaic projects.

Get Crazy Creative with Vintage

You can do lots of amazing things with old suitcases from creating anything from filing cabinets to end tables. You might have some old hard-side suitcases in your garage; if not, it’s likely your local thrift store does.

I thought these suitcase cat beds were pretty clever. Maybe if I had one, my cat wouldn’t sleep on my laundry.

The legs can even be glued on (no fancy power tools necessary) with something like EcoGlue Extreme or Amazing GOOP.

Scrap Convention with Cool Wood Projects

If you’re a woodworker of any manner, you have piles of scrap wood. You can create a country chic wall decoration that doubles as a place to hang bags, coats and keys. You can glue the “tree branches” together with EcoGlue Premium Wood and then nail it to the wall in just a few places (rather than peppering your wall with nails for each piece).

Be Inspired by the Pros

You can also see how professional designers are doing amazing things with furniture and style with reused and repurposed items at Design Blog.

What have you done to turn trash to treasure? Leave your tips in the comments.

*Note that product recommendations are our own, and not from the original directions. But we’re still sure they’ll work.

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