Repurposing Wood with Three Easy DIY ProjectsPrint
Repurposing wood keeps it out of landfills and eliminates the need to cut down more trees. It's a win-win situation you and the environment, and it can provide hours of family fun with construction projects. Here are three simple DIY projects for upcycling reclaimed wood, whether the materials come from deconstructed or demolished buildings, a nearby alleyway, or packaging from bulk shipments.
Wooden Pallet Coffee Table
Pallets make transporting heavy items a simple process for anyone with a forklift or pallet jack. That's why they're ubiquitous in warehouses and distribution centers. In fact, you may even end up with a spare pallet or two after ordering a large item or bulk order of supplies. You might even find a few discarded pallets in the dumpsters and alleys behind big-box retailers.
If you do order bulk goods yourself, a pallet is often included in shipping costs, and figuring out how to get rid of it is your responsibility. You could break it into pieces and send it to the landfill, but there are plenty of other options that allow you to repurpose the wood for something useful. We suggest creating a rustic coffee table.
There are many websites with designs for pallet coffee tables, but for a project like this, we prefer YouTube tutorials. This one from Eye on Design shows you how to build your table in an afternoon. And the best part of this particular design is that you don't need to deconstruct your pallets — you'll simply glue them together.
Here's another simple idea for upcycling a pallet or other reclaimed wood: Build a raised garden bed! There could be issues with contaminants in the wood, so we don't recommend growing herbs or vegetables in a box made from treated lumber. Instead, plant flowers and other plants that will flourish in raised beds and brighten your landscaping.
Raised beds are one of the simplest carpentry projects you can undertake. For the most basic projects, you can simply screw together wood in a box shape. However, we recommend a slightly more elegant raised bed. This great video from Home Farm Ideas shows you how to create 3-foot by 18-inch box that's sturdy and stylish.
Scrap Wood Wall Art
Check out videos from Crafted Workshop and mittsdad to see two possibilities for making wall art with reclaimed wood. Depending on what type of wood you have and what you'd like to turn it into, you can choose to make the wood the star of the show or create a blank wooden canvas to paint on.
Both of these options allow for a great amount of creativity and require minimal tools. You'll want a saw (to cut boards to desired sizes) and wood glue (to connect the pieces without any hardware showing). Beyond that, there are no limits. Using stains or paints, you can make abstract designs. And if you're going for a blank canvas, simply glue the wooden boards together until you've created a large enough canvas to paint on. Your stylish canvas will be durable and add depth and texture to the painting.
Reclaiming materials teaches valuable lessons about sustainability and frugality.
Creating a new and useful item from something that's no longer needed is a great way to save money and exercise your creativity. By undertaking projects with upcycled wood, your children will learn how to think outside the box and make the most of what they already have.