Upcycling furniture is such a great idea, because it stops you throwing a piece of furniture onto a landfill somewhere, while also providing you with an affordable way to freshen up your home by making your furniture look like new. It’s a win-win that becomes even more attractive when you consider how expensive new furniture is. Not only is new furniture expensive, but modern furniture practices do not give much room for conservation principles. Nobody makes furniture to last for generations. So when you have an old piece of furniture, you should really think about upcycling it, because new furniture may not have the same longevity.
Many people get intimidated by the idea of upcycling an entire piece of furniture. If you’re one of those people, then why not start with a simple upholstering job. Look around the house for a worn-out headboard, or threadbare chair that you would like to revive. That would be the perfect place to begin. You will need to get some fabric, a staple gun, batting and a few other tools to upholster the furniture piece, but the process will not be particularly complicated.
When you are reupholstering a piece, the first thing to do is remove its old fabric with a flathead screwdriver or staple puller and pliers. If you are reupholstering a chair seat, you need to remove the seat first by unscrewing it underneath. If you’re reupholstering a headboard, then you need to detach it from the bed. When you have done this, stretch a layer of batting over the surface, wrapping it round the back and stapling it on. Once you’ve secured it, you should take the new upholstering and fold its back or bottom edge under. Afterwards, you will need to staple the upholstering along its underside and backside of the piece, starting from the middle, working out to the edges, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles. Repeat this process on the opposite edge and sides. Create “hospital corners” out of your corners and attach them too. Trim any excess fabric on the corners if you think it looks bulky.
One of the easiest ways to upcycle a piece is by adding new handles or drawer pulls. When you’re shopping for these items, you have to make sure it fits neatly onto the holes in your furniture, so that there are no holes left over that you will have to patch.
Many chairs, dressers, sideboards and sofas use screwable legs. These can be replaced with new legs. If you don’t know what size to get, just unscrew the legs and take one to your local store and ask for a similar piece. Or you can measure it and shop online for a similar piece or for places that make custom replacements.
If you have an old desk or table with missing or damaged legs, you may have to replace all the legs to save the desk or table. Often, you will not be able to find the exact replica, so replacement is the best bet. All you have to do is unscrew the legs from below. If the legs have brackets or something like that, you may be able to get brackets from the new legs that you get, if the old ones don’t fit the new legs.
You can get many more great ideas to upcycle your furniture from Creative Cabinets and Fine Finishes.