10 DIY Projects to Turn Trash into Treasure


Everyone ends up with piles of unused items, broken things, or other waste material lying around at some point. DIY projects are some of the best ways to use those up, and with a little creative energy and some elbow grease, it is easy to turn unwanted old trash into treasures that you will treasure for years. Below, you will find 10 ideas you can use to start you off on your upcycling journey.

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  • Pallet Table

Many DIY projects are built from pallets because they are sturdy, easy to get hold of, and often just lying around, taking up space. Leftover pallets are a great material to use for a table, bringing a rustic charm to indoor or outdoor spaces. They are also easy to paint to match any color scheme you need! Tutorials for DIY pallet tables are easy to find across the internet, as this type of furniture is very popular.

  • Ladder Bookshelf

Many people have an old ladder or two leaning against a wall somewhere, getting no use at all. Ladders can be large and bulky, but they can make a great bookshelf design with a little bit of work. A standard ladder can be hung sideways as a segmented bookshelf, or a stepladder can be stood in a corner as a vertical bookcase. The options are endless!

  • Bathtub Couch

This one can take a bit of work, but the end results look amazing. By cutting out one side of an old bathtub and refinishing the exterior, you can transform a bathtub into a unique couch for your home. This only works with plastic or fiberglass tubs, but these are usually fairly easy to get hold of at almost no cost.

  • Bicycle Garden Planter

Even the sturdiest old bicycle will eventually wear out and become unusable from overuse, rust, or just general wear and tear. An unrideable bike can make an amazing accent for your garden, particularly if you freshen it up with a new lick of paint. If your old bike has a basket, this can make a great planter for flowers or long, trailing plants. Either place a planter in the basket or line it with some sort of mesh or cloth before filling it with compost and plants!

  • Skateboard Chair

An old, battered skateboard has more uses than you might expect. With a bit of work, a tatty old board that nobody rides anymore can be used as part of the back or even the seat of a rustic chair. Old, battered skateboard paintwork may look tatty on a skateboard, but it brings a quirky charm to wooden chairs.

  • Dresser Drawer Shelf

Dressers are very versatile pieces of furniture, so there is no need to throw out an unwanted old dresser. There are several different ways you can upcycle an old dresser, but one of the easiest is simply to remove the drawers and use them as hanging shelving units. This is an affordable option for building rustic, stylish storage elements for your home or garden.

  • Suitcase Side Table

Old suitcases are often used for outdoor garden elements, but why not use them for indoor furniture as well? Suitcases are durable, sturdy objects with a very appealing vintage charm, and they can easily be fitted into a wide range of different settings. While there are many different upcycling options you could try, one of the best and easiest is to attach legs to one side and turn a suitcase into a side table with inbuilt storage space.

  • Door Picture Frame

An old door with multiple panels can be a great foundation for an artistic centerpiece. Remove the individual panels, and each of those empty spaces can be used as a picture frame. The worn paint of an old door makes for a unique picture frame style, and an entire door filled with family pictures and hung sideways on the wall can make for an amazing talking point.

  • Bed Frame Planter

The wood from an old bed frame can be incredibly useful to an experienced DIY hobbyist. This is one of the harder and more ambitious projects on our list, but if you have got the time to be able to commit to a long project, this can be very worth the time and effort. The slats of a bed frame are ideal for building a large garden planter from, with drainage slots and sturdy construction. This is not a project for novices and will take a long time, but the results can be amazing if you put in the necessary time and effort to do it properly.

  • Cable Spool Table

The wooden spools around which large cables are wrapped are invaluable materials for a keen upcycler. The internet is filled with fun reimaginings of these objects, but you do not even have to put much work in to get great results. Sand down and varnish a spool, and you have got a great table all ready to go. This is a very simple way to bring a characterful style to your garden furniture, and it is much more affordable than buying a purpose-built table.


Almost all trash is useful to the enthusiastic upcycler. The ideas above are just a few possibilities to start you off, and the more projects you try, the more ideas you will probably start to have. If you have got the time to try more DIY projects, you can furnish your entire house using only waste materials from other projects!

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