There’s plenty you can do with an old chair, even one that looks totally outdated compared to the rest of your home. In fact, those are the best kinds of chairs to recycle and repurpose because the transformation is always unexpected and interesting. To give you an idea of what we have in mind, we’ve put together a selection of projects that we think are going to inspire you. Check out below 12 cool ways to recycle old wooden chairs.
One of the first things you can do with a chair that looks out of place inside your home is take it outside. Bring it out on your porch or your patio and give it a new purpose. One idea is to turn it into a drink stand. In order to do that you need to cut a hole into the seat and to fit a sort of container inside such as a galvanized bucket or anything else that would work. You can give it handles so you can easily take it out and put it back in whenever needed. More details about this transformation can be found on ohmy-creative.
Another idea is to turn an old chair into a plant stand. The transformation is quite similar to the drink stand one mentioned above and involves very similar steps. A hole needs to be cut into the center of the seat, big enough for the planter or pot to fit inside without falling all the way through. You can make this as big or as small as you need to based on the type of planter you plan to use. A pot with a rim around the outside would be the best and most practical option. Check out morenascorner for additional details in case you need them.
Moving on to something a bit more specific, this is an old chair turned into an elevated feeding station for a big dog. It just so happens that the chair has the right height in this case but in case your dog is shorter you could potentially trim the legs of the chairs and adjust the height. In any case, the idea here is to have the food and water bowls fitted inside the seats of the chairs to make it more comfortable for your dog to use them, thus avoiding having them bend down every time they eat or drink. The project is described in detail on thediyvillage.
Some transformations are not as drastic but they’re just as clever and interesting. A perfect example is a project that we found on deeconstructed. It shows how you can take an old dining chair and separate it into two pieces which can be repurposed individually. The result is an upholstered stool and a wall-mounted rack for clothes, jewelry, accessories and other things. The seat and the backrest become two different things and they can be displayed together on a hallway or used separately around the house.
Folding chairs can be repurposed too. The options in this case can differ a bit from what you would normally expect but that only makes them more interesting. A great idea is to turn a wooden folding chair into a chalkboard sign which can be displayed outside. This can be a cute way to advertise a yard sale or a home business or even a nice way to decorate your front yard and make everyone feel welcomed into your home. Check out knickoftime if you want to find out the details of this project.
If you can’t find a suitable use for the entire chair consider using only parts of it. You can take out the backrest and do something cool with it, such as turn it into a towel rack with a shelf on top. You can add this to your outdoor kitchen, barbecue area or even inside the house (the kitchen or the bathroom). Evidently, not all types of backrests work for this project and there are lots of possible ways in which you can customize the design of the towel rack. All the necessary instructions can be found on myrepurposedlife.
It can also be fun and useful to have two or more different uses for a chair. For example, you could use as a plant stand during spring and summer months and grow seasonal flowers and then you can bring it back inside the house and use it as an accessory chair. Instead of a planter you could put a storage basket inside and keep the chair in your entryway. It could hold indoor shoes for your and your guests or something else. This idea comes from sisterssuitcaseblog.
This little project uses only the top section of a chair. The backrest in this case was turned into a wall-mounted shelf which is great for outdoor porches, patios, gardens and other such spaces. The transformation is really simple and involved adding a board at the bottom which can be any leftover piece from previous projects or even a piece of the chair itself. Check out pinterest for more cool ideas like this one.
Some types of chairs are more suited to certain types of transformations than others. For example, a cane back chair with a backrest that looks something like this could be turned into an organizer for earrings and other types of jewelry. You only need the backrest for this project which leaves you with a seat that you can potentially repurpose in some other way. In any case, there are lots of cool ways to customize your project so have fun exploring some of your own design ideas and check out ninered for additional instructions.
If a chair is in bad shape and you can’t find any good way in which to repurpose it as a whole, perhaps you could at least salvage a few little bits and make something pretty out of them. If the chair has an intricate design with ornate details you could cut out those little pieces and turn them into vintage ornaments which you can display in your Christmas tree or incorporate into various DIY projects and installations over time. This is a lovely idea which comes from debisdesigndiary.
Some vintage chairs have legs and backrests with spindles that you could potentially take out and repurpose into something else. You can use a bunch of spindles to make a cool-looking wind chime which you can hang from a tree in your backyard or your garden. It will make a subtle woody sound and it will look really nice too. You can also add additional ornaments if you want to. This cute design featured on confessionsofaserialdiyer is a great source of inspiration.
An old chair can also be repurposed into an adorable little bed for a puppy or a small dog. The first thing you need to do is cut off the legs to make it easy for your dog to get in and out of their new bed. Then go ahead and customize the rest of the chair with a fresh coat of paint and maybe a few other bits as well. Add a comfy pillow and that’s about it. You can follow the whole transformation from start to finish on hollygrace if you’re interested in all the little details.