Some of the simplest endeavors can be used to start a small business. With little more than a few simple tools, a can of paint and some old furniture, you can start making money from selling upcycled furniture. In fact, with a few dollars, a quick trip to a local flea market or garage sale and a little bit of elbow grease, you can turn a fun hobby into a successful small business.
What is Upcycled Furniture?
What is upcycled furniture? Also known as repurposed furniture, upcycled furniture is created when a person conducts a makeover on used furniture, either giving it a new look or an entirely new purpose in life. Some people upcycle furniture pieces as a personal hobby, and they use and gift the repurposed items themselves. Others transform their love for furniture upcycling into thriving small businesses, selling the treasure for a profit.
How do You Upcycle Furniture?
How do you upcycle furniture? Any old furniture can be repurposed with a creative eye and a little bit of effort. If you don’t have old furniture already sitting around the house, you can find inexpensive items for sale at flea markets and thrift stores, at garage sales, on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, as well as other online platforms, and even sitting on the curb on trash day!
Once you have your used furniture, you can repair it, give it a fresh coat of paint or even reconstruct it into an entirely new and unique piece furniture. You even can combine parts of multiple pieces into repurposed furniture ideas. Popular upcycled furniture ideas include updating and repurposing dressers, cribs, coffee tables, bookcases and even individual drawers.
23 Upcycled Furniture Ideas
Are you ready to turn your DIY projects into a successful small business? Do you need some inspiration to get started on your repurposed furniture ideas? Check out the following upcycled furniture ideas and add a touch of your own DIY deco style.
1. Upcycled Dresser Ideas
image: The Owner Builder NetworkIt’s not hard to find an old dresser that might be a little shabby but still perfectly functionable. With some fresh varnish or a new coat of paint, you can breathe new life into an old dresser and give it the perfect decor style to fit into a modern home. Dressers can also be repurposed into shelves, tables, wash stands and even benches.
2. Upcycled Drawer Ideas
image: Diary of a Crafty LadyYou don’t need a full piece of furniture to reuse parts of it into something new. Often you can find spare drawers from old dressers at a thrift store for no more than a couple of bucks, or you might be deconstructing your own furniture that featured drawers. Either way, dresser drawers can make the ultimate DIY project as they can be transformed into almost anything, including wall decor, tables, chairs, ottomans and shelving. All you need are some tools and a creative idea.
3. Upcycled Coffee Table Ideas
image: Love My Little CottageCoffee tables are always in demand, and they frequently get replaced when people move or redecorate… which also means there are plenty of old tables to go around. You can refurbish an old, damaged coffee table or truly upcycle a used table with fresh paint or a unique design, such as the sunflower table pictured above made with acrylic paints. You are only limited by your imagination and inspiration.
4. Upcycled Bookcase Ideas
image: Good HousekeepingPlenty of options are available to upcycle cheap bookcases. You can paint an old bookshelf and give it new life or you can repurpose bookcases and create entirely new furniture designs. You can turn trash off the street into simple storage solutions that are also stylish. Just attach some wooden planks and transform some old shelves into a beautiful custom curio cabinet.
5. Upcycled Chair Ideas and DIY Projects
image: New Life Furniture and RecyclingOld chairs are easy to upcycle just by adding new upholstery. To create innovative furniture designs that are easy to sell, choose fabrics with unique designs, perfect for accent pieces in any home, and be sure to paint the furniture with a splash of color to match. A chair upcycling small business might create custom chairs, designed with clients’ favorite colors. Of course, chair also can be repurposed into other decor and furniture items.
6. Upcycled Filing Cabinet Ideas
image: One Crazy HouseA file cabinet might be upcycled by giving it a custom paint job to match any decor style, but it can also be repurposed into a completely different type of furniture. For example, it only takes two small filing cabinets and a wooden plank to create a roomy and stylish desk. With multiple filing cabinets, the reconstruction options are only limited by your imagination.
7. Upcycled Mirror Ideas
image: DIYs.comArtistic entrepreneurs can upcycle a mirror by either painting it or adding accessories and other decoration like beads, flowers, tiles or sequins. Consumers enjoy mirrors that match their home decor, so the options for decorating an old mirror are as endless as customers’ personal tastes. Mirrors also can be repurposed into other items, like chalkboards, picture frames and magnetic boards.
8. Upcycled Mirror Frame Ideas
image: Sincerely Sara D.You don’t need a compete mirror to upcycle its frame into home decor items. Take the frame of a broken mirror and upcycle it by painting it or adding other decorations. Then, add a chalkboard, white board, magnetic board or bulletin board where the mirror used to be. Voila! A repurposed mirror frame. You also can convert a mirror frame into a deocrative picture frame.
9. Upcycled Old Door Ideas
image: My Repurposed LifeHave an old door and think you’re limited to selling it as a door? You’d be wrong. Doors can be repurposed into home decor with a few basic tools and a little creativity. To turn old doors into wall art, cut them into sections, paint them your favorite color, drill holes and add some hooks to hang cups, hats or keys. You also can transform these door sections into fancy photo frames, paint decorative designs on them or add decorative but meaningful sayings.
10. Upcycled Crib Ideas
image: A Little Learning for TwoHave your children outgrown a crib, or did you come across a quaint old crib at a local flea market? Cribs can be repurposed into a variety of other furniture items, including desks, chairs, tables or even a dog bed. In the above example, a baby bed was converted into a small child’s desk, perfect for a homeschool room.
How to Sell Your Repurposed Furniture
Ready to sell your upcycled and repurposed furniture? Regardless what you choose as your first project, you must be prepared with the right supplies and understand the market to be successful. And the following best practices will help you sell your repurposed furniture:
- Save money by upcycling furniture from thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. Scour Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for opportunities to save money on someone else’s unwanted items.
- Be sure you have basic supplies you might need, including items like paint, a foam roller, chalk paint, tools, sand paper, hardware, a tape measure and scraps of wood. You also should ensure you have a space to craft and store your upcycled furniture.
- To market your upcyced furniture, be sure and have a quality camera to photograph the items. The images will be what attracts potential customers to your online sales posts, and the photos should be clear and well-lit.
- Whether your target customer is an eclectic antique dealer or an average soccer mom, you need a way to connect them with your products. Find out where to sell handmade items locally at places like flea markets and consignment shops, or you can reach a broader audience by selling furniture online in a post at places like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. You should also look into learning how to sell on Amazon Handmade as well as Etsy. Some DIY upcyclers even create their own blog to promote their crafts.
- Start small and expand your small business. Upcycling furniture is an awesome small business idea that easily can generate a profit. Start with a small investment and purchase just a few items and a small set of supplies, perhaps selling them to family and friends. Once you’ve sold your initial upcycled inventory, use the profits to scale your business, purchasing more used furniture and expanding your collection of supplies. This includes selling online and learning how to start a small business on Etsy.
What’s the Best Furniture to Upcycle?
What furniture creates the most awesome upcycling projects? The best furniture to upcycle is whatever furniture you have available and are comfortable working with. Upcycyclers are truly only limited by their imaginations.
You can start with an old table from a yard sale or save extra money by giving a makeover to old furniture already in your home. You can update furniture in its original state with a brilliant color of paint, or you can repurpose it, transforming a coffee table into a dog bed or a crib into a dining room table.
This article, “10 Upcycled Furniture Projects to Make and Sell” was first published on Small Business Trends