What do you do with an old dresser with sentimental value, but all the drawers were destroyed? Well, you make it into a bench.

A woman called a few months ago who had a dresser she loved, and the drawers were ruined when left in the car on a hot Colorado day.

She wanted to make a bench out of it, so I got to work. Between sawing, screwing, nailing, sanding, painting, staining and finishing, I created something beautiful. The client was thrilled.

Maybe you have a piece of furniture like this. You don’t have use for it in its current form and want to create something unique. I made some cocktail tables from old fence pieces and the client loves that he won’t see the same thing in his friends’ houses.

Here are some thoughts on repurposing furniture:

Is it worth repurposing?

The first thing I look at with a piece is whether it has good bones. If not, I’ll pass on it. Or it could be so cheaply made it has no value (Think: particle board). Also, it might be so broken that repairing it would take too much time to make it usable.

Do you have a spot for it? 

If you love the thought of a repurposed piece but have no room, maybe it’s time to remove stuff you don’t love. We don’t want to keep stuffing things into a crowded space.

My wife and I spent last weekend with some friends in their one-bedroom condo just off Main Street in Winter Park, Colo. Things were a bit tight already and can’t imagine them adding a new piece without removing something else.

In my living room, I have a pair of end tables I made from an old desk. I moved the previous end tables to the TV room in the basement because they were functional but nondescript.

Is this something you can do? 

Do you have the skills, space, and equipment to repurpose a piece of furniture? You don’t need a full workshop to do repurposing — just a few tools like a drill, miter saw, sander, and some clamps can go a long way. Give it a shot.

Where do you find stuff? 

It could be out in your own garage or basement, or at a yard sale. I made a wall hanging from the top of a coffee table I found on the street in my neighborhood. The free or furniture section of Craigslist or Nextdoor is also a good place to find inexpensive stuff.

I made a wine bar out of a piano some friends gave me after it was ruined by rain at a backyard wedding.

Feeling motivated yet? If so, get off the couch and get out into the garage to start repurposing furniture.

I can repurpose furniture for you or coach you through the process. Just let us know.

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