Revamp, reuse, recycle: How to upcycle old bedroom furniture
We’re all familiar with the quote ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. This sentiment, as well as others such as ‘waste not, want not’, are at the very core of upcycling - taking something old and making it new again. Not only is it a fantastic creative outlet, but upcycling can save you a pretty penny too - perfect for those on a budget.
So, you’re wondering how to upcycle furniture? Upcycling bedroom furniture is the perfect place to start; from chest of drawers to wardrobes to bedside tables, there’s plenty of ways to reuse your once undesirable or outdated furniture pieces into something you can keep forever. Showcasing everything from small to large projects, we’ve lined up some of the best ideas on how to breathe new life into those old boudoir essentials. Tool boxes at the ready - it’s about to get creative!
Upcycling chest of drawers? Easy peasy!
Chests of drawers are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture when it comes to upcycling. We’ve chosen projects that showcase some of the best of the best, ranging from the super easy to the slightly more challenging. Check out these upcycled chest of drawers ideas below!
Painting chest of drawers ideas
A new coat of paint is arguably the easiest way to upcycle a chest of drawers. If you are upcycling wooden chest of drawers, you’ll most likely need to sand it down first, but if it’s vinyl-covered chipboard, you should be able to simply prime it before starting with the paint. Grab your brushes and paint roller and get painting - whether you’re going bright or understated, this is the perfect, easy project to spruce up your bedroom over a weekend..
Is painting your chest of drawers not quite enough to give it that personalised touch you really want? Why not decorate the top with some two-part resin? Epoxy resin is a type of plastic which hardens when you mix the two parts together and can be used to create a strong, durable surface.
- First, collect enough of your chosen decorative pieces and cover the entire surface.
- Lay everything out in a collage and play around with it to make sure you like the design - you can’t change it later! Once you’ve settled on a design, clean and prepare the top of your chest of drawers - you’ll want to make sure that it’s completely free of dust and debris.
- Next, mix together a small amount of the resin and paint a thin layer on the top of the drawers to use as a glue to secure your decorative pieces in place. If your resin is fast curing, you’ll need to work very quickly or mix up multiple mini-batches to cover the whole thing.
- When that step is done, paint another thin layer over the top, making sure to get rid of any bubbles with a lighter gently swiped over the surface. When that layer is cured, you can build up more layers until you’re satisfied with the thickness.
- The best part? If you’re finding the resin is a bit uneven, you can sand it back down and pour another layer on top to even it out. Allow to cure fully for a couple of days and you’re ready to reinstall your bureau in your bedroom!
Take up a challenge by creating an upcycled mini bar
For more of a challenge, why not turn that old chest of drawers into a mini bar? Lindsay from Hometalk did just that with a chest of drawers she found by the side of the road and it looks incredible!
- Take out all of the drawers of your bureau and put them aside (there’s a project for them coming up later in this blog post).
- Sand down the rest of the unit, this gives your paint a great base to stick to and will help to get rid of any uneven surfaces.
- Once your unit is prepped, it’s time to make the shelves and glass rack. Measure the inside space of the chest of drawers and cut a sheet of wood to size to create the shelves. Your bureau should already have some runners where the drawers used to go, so you don’t need to worry about installing any shelving brackets.
- Beneath the shelves, you can install a store-bought under shelf wine glass holder or you can create your own. For the latter, follow the handy tutorial below, attaching the glass holders to the underside of the shelves you just created.
Now all that’s done, you can get on with painting and decorating! To keep your new creation safe from the inevitable spills and splashes of wines and spirits, cover the whole unit in a healthy coating of varnish. You might need a couple of coats, but when it’s dry, you’re ready to fill with glasses and bottles of your choice.
Top tip: add castor wheels to the base to make it portable so you can use it throughout the year.
Upcycling wardrobes? We’ve got you covered!
Of course, chests of drawers aren’t the only pieces of furniture in your bedroom and, thankfully, there are tonnes of ways to upcycle them all – including wardrobes!
Upcycling a wardrobe can be as big or small of a task as you need it to be. Turn it into a crafting nook by attaching a fold-down table to the inside, a self-contained laundry station or even a pantry.
Turning your wardrobe into a pantry
The pantry is the easiest upcycling project to take on. All you need is to sand and repaint your wardrobe (if you wish) and install plenty of shelves to store your food on. The best part is that you can customise the height of the shelves, allowing you to organise even the oddest shaped boxes and tubs.
Use vinyl stickers to easily revamp your wardrobe
A super easy upcycling project to do with an old wardrobe is to revamp it using furniture paint and self-adhesive vinyl. Also known as sticky-back plastic, these vinyl stickers come in long rolls which you can cut to size. They can be applied to all kinds of surfaces as either a temporary or permanent solution and alternative to paint. This video tutorial by Create Your World uses both self-adhesive vinyl and some brightly-coloured paint to upcycle an old wardrobe and it looks great!
A workbench for the kids? They’ll be ‘Bedside’ themselves with joy!
Bedside tables are often a last thought when it comes to redecorating a bedroom. They’re a small item of furniture that gets shoved to the back of the garage when you’re done with them or dropped off at the charity shop at the first sign of wear. But why do that when they can be turned into all kinds of fun things for your kids? We’ve already shared how to turn a nightstand into a play kitchen in a previous blog post about upcycling, but we’ve got another fun way to help your kids play: a workbench!
To prepare this project, you’ll need to sand down and paint the nightstand in the colour you want - black is a good option or red makes it brighter and more appealing for kids. Then, follow the below steps:
- Attach the pegboard to the back of the table, making sure it protrudes from the top to look like a real work bench.
- Next, all you need to do is hang the toy tools from the peg board or fill the drawer with them (if there is one).
- Finally, allow your little one to play to their heart’s content! Nightstands are the perfect height for kids to use and play with, and it’ll keep any curious fingers out of your real tool box - it’s a win-win!
Top tip: if the pegboard is wider than the stand, no problem! Simply attach a piece of wood to the top of the table to make it wider and more workbench-like, and the peg board will blend in seamlessly.
Making a planter from old bedroom drawers
You didn’t think we’d forgotten about those old drawers did you? Now is the time to break them back out because we’re going to use them to create a fun set of planters.
If you love your plants as much as we do, turn those drawers you saved into a set of stylish planters by following the simple steps below.
- Salvage some furniture legs (or buy some new ones) and attach them to the underside of your drawers using nails or screws.
- When you’re done, paint it with some waterproof outdoor paint. Doing so will make sure the paint doesn’t run or peel after a few showers in unpredictable weather.
- Line the inside of the drawer with some waterproof weed barrier lining to protect the wood from the water and damp.
- Finally, fill your new planters with soil and you’re ready to introduce your plants and flowers. Place them in your lounge, porch or garden for a lovely upcycled feature to your space.
Making good bedroom furniture better
We hope you’ve found all kinds of inspiration for how to make your old bedroom furniture better. If you’re looking for even more creative inspiration, why not check out a few more of our blogs all about upcycling? We’ve already introduced you to our unmissable beginner upcycling projects, but we’ve also put together a list of unique ways to use a chest of drawers and even thought of some nifty space-saving hacks for small homes.
Now you know how to turn your old bedroom furniture into new pieces, you can redecorate your whole home on a budget. Remember, waste not, want not!