Meredith Purdue


Ideas that take what could be considered waste and transform it into functional, beautiful new objects is one of our favorite subjects. It injects some of the cradle-to-cradle mentality we like so much into our furniture and green lives. After all, even if something isn't designed in the first place to stay within the consumer stream, there are creative ways to keep it there, and therefore keep objects out of the waste stream we very much want to see eliminated altogether.

There are near infinite possibilities for found object furniture. Here are a handful of them.

Turn A Door Into a Desk In 10 Minutes Sometimes the most surprising objects can transform into a piece of furniture. We stumbled across a beautiful use for an old door—a glass-covered desk! It's a super easy, shabby chic solution. The Inspired Room shows you how to take two sawhorses, a door, an a piece of glass for desk surfaces and stack them up for a stylish effect. Using all found objects, this couldn't be a greener way to a writing table!

Make a Vintage Serving Tray From a Cupboard Door Your shabby chic look can take over the kitchen with this inspired idea. Craftynest gives instructions on how to create this piece of functional art, but you can also bounce off the idea to think about what other cool finds you can upcycle.

Transform a Street Sign into a Tensegrity Table A patio table doesn't have to cost hundreds. It could be completely free...and completely unique. Try out your hand at building a tensegrity table out of a street sign, some rope, and a little math.

Comfy Chair Made From a Barrel A barrel can easily be cut in all the right places to be turned into a hardy outdoor chair that can last a lifetime. Throw in some fabric and padding, and it's suddenly beautiful indoor seating!

Restoring Thrift Store Finds and Landfill Rescues You don't have to get super creative to have new green furniture out of random pieces of plastic or metal. But if your preference is restoration rather than creation, heading to the thrift shop or even the dump can yield some surprising finds!

Got a tip or a post idea for us to write about on Planet Green? Email pgtips (at) treehugger (dot) com.