With Spring & Summer well on their way, you may be itching to get your garden prepared for some alfresco fun! As we know, in the current climate, garden furniture is hard to come by so why not get creative this season?

Finding the perfect garden furniture has become tricky due to high demand and supply issues, with lots of furniture retailers facing stock shortages coupled with the fact people are spending more time at home and spending money online on their houses to spruce up their living spaces (while physical stores are closed due to covid regulations). But don’t panic, this gives you all the more reason to create your own!

Many of us will have old pieces of furniture or materials like wooden pallets lying around that we’d like to get rid of. Perhaps it’s in too good of a condition to throw away or maybe you can’t quite find the time to take it to the tip or sell it. If you’re guilty of hoarding old furniture and want to see your antique go to good use then why not consider upcycling it.

Locate the rogue piece of furniture that’s lying about your garage or tucked away in your spare bedroom somewhere and transform it into a brand new piece fit for the garden!

If you’re refurbishing, this is also a great opportunity to make use of old bathroom furniture and woodwork that would otherwise be thrown away. And, now that new garden furniture is in short supply, upcycling seems even more preferable. Save money, add character to your garden and help the environment by upcycling.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling has become more and more popular in recent years. The process involves taking an old piece of furniture and re-building it, decorating it and adding affordable accessories or upholstery to transform it into a brand new item. Practically any piece of furniture can be upcycled, all you need is a few DIY tools, decorative accessories and some creative juices!

To help, we’ve listed 5 ideas on how to upcycle old furniture:

Transform your Bath Tub

Retro Bath Seating Area
Instagram: @kilig.upcycle

If you’ve been debating replacing your bathtub for a new one but simply haven’t had the time or energy, now is the time! Not only can your bathtub be a soapy haven of relaxation, but can also make the perfect upcycled retro garden sofa, chair or plant bed – ideal for the upcoming season. Of course, repurposing your bathtub will require a little bit of creativity and some DIY skills to match, but it really isn’t that difficult.

Get creative, pick up some paint, accessories or upholstery to transform your bathtub from a lousy piece of porcelain or carbon fibre into an aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture fit for your garden.

Upcycle with Pallets

Wooden Pallet Corner Sofa
Image: homebase.co.uk

What springs to mind when you think about wooden pallets? Delivery services transporting heavy duty items maybe? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that these wooden beauties are actually very versatile with lots of potential. For years now, wooden pallets have been used for creating homemade garden furniture. Why not try your hand at creating something beautiful out of pallets for your garden?

Pallets are fairly inexpensive to come by and you may even have some laying around your garden or shed. If so, get creative and make something that will last years to come and that is completely customisable to your own taste. Plus, kick back and relax knowing you’ve done all the handiwork yourself.

Here’s some of our top ideas:

  • Outdoor Corner Sofa
  • Planters
  • Garden Day Bed
  • Plant Shelving
  • Garden Bar
  • Swing
  • Compost Bin

Create furniture from Old Chairs

Garden Bench from up-cycled Chairs
Image: Wendell T. Webber

If you have recently upgraded your dining table and chairs or happen to have some old wooden chairs laying around, why not upcycle them? Chairs are great for morphing into other fantastic pieces of furniture, like a garden bench!

All you will need is some old chairs, preferably two, some extra wood and some DIY skills. Alternatively, give your chairs a lick of paint and they’re perfect for using just about anywhere, outside or inside.

Use your old Bookshelf

Bookshelf Garden Bar
Image: diyncrafts.com

Got on an old bookshelf that no longer serves a purpose in your home? Transform it into a wonderful garden accessory like shelving, plant containers or even an outdoor bar! The natural shape of a bookshelf is ideal for lots of garden projects. Separate your herbs by transforming the shelving into a plant container or create your very own garden bar or a bar table. They are also great for storing garden items that don’t seem to have a place. Plus, they can give your garden a real rustic and retro feel!

Make the most of what you have!

Bed Frame Garden Lounger
Image: wohnkonfetti.de

Whether you have some old wood laying around from old projects or storage containers, cement and even old bits of fabric – the upcycling possibilities are endless! Create stools using old baskets or plastic boxes, or tables, chairs, inches shelving or daybeds with old bits of wood! There is potential in pretty much anything when you put your mind to it.

Pallet Hammock
Image: diyncrafts.com

There is an abundance of free resources online to help get your started. Whether you’re stuck with what to do, need some DIY advice or simply want some inspiration, Pinterest is bursting with upcycled furniture inspiration while YouTube is great for learning essential DIY skills.