Turn Old Furniture Into New: Create Unique Pieces Out of Discarded Furniture

Creating one of a kind furniture for your child’s room is so easy that anyone one can tackle this interior decorating project. You can use this technique on a huge variety of furniture pieces but for these instructions we’ll pretend you’re taking an old toy chest and updating it.

If you’ve recently redecorated or are planning on redecorating your child’s bedroom don’t be too quick to discard old furniture. An easy day of crafting can turn outdated pieces into useful, decorative furniture that may be used over and over again and perhaps perpetually refurbished.

For our example, an old toy box, we’ll prep the box by making sure it’s structurally sound. If there are loose screws or nails that aren’t holding tight fix them so your box is once again sturdy and strong.

Then clean both the inside and the outside of the box. We’re going to be gluing material to the box so you want to clean off all the years of dust and greasy fingerprints so the glue adheres properly. If your toy box has some extra problems like gobs of dried glue, nail polish, stickers or anything else you may want to spend a little more time cleaning and sanding before you proceed to the next step.

When you think the toy box is clean and fairly smooth you can begin the next step, measuring the box. Carefully measure the areas of the box you wish to cover with fabric. Both inside and out. You may wish to add just a little and trim it later or you may want to make it sized to fit. This is your choice and since everyone has a different way of doing things you can calculate your measurements in a way that suits your style.

Once you know your measurements its time to purchase your material. Buy fusible paper at a fabric store for every surface you’ll cover. Then select your material. This is where you can truly let your creativity shine. Use the same fabric you made your curtains out of. Or use little squares to create a quilted look. Select solid primary colors and give each side of the toy box a different color. Do whatever you want and remember you can change it if you don’t like it. It’s your very own creation. You can even select some trim and other notions to decorate the raw edges and give it a really special finished touch.

Back at home begin cutting your fabric to fit and fusing it to the paper. Some types of paper will cause a little shrinking when fused to fabric so you might want to try a little sample piece before you cut everything out.

Follow the instructions for fusing the paper to the fabric, making sure you’re using the proper sides of both pieces, it can get a little bit confusing.

Once all our pieces are set you can begin applying them to the toy box, inside first. When all the pieces are attached you can add those finishing touches and suddenly you’ve turned an old toy box into a fabulous storage cabinet that can adapt to your child’s changing tastes and needs.

Writer’s tip: Take this technique to the trash. Don’t rush to throw your furniture away and take advantage of other people’s discards by scouring garage sales and resale shops. You can convert almost any thing, from picture frames and shelves to armoires and dressers into brand new pieces that perfectly match your taste and interior decorating style.