Roundup: 20 DIY Projects Using Reclaimed Materials

by on Sep 16, 2016

20 DIY projects using reclaimed materials feature image

Is there anything more rewarding in the DIY world than using reclaimed materials to make something? Seriously. A dejected object on a layover to a landfill is spotted by a keen eye. The object is swooped up and turned into something marvelous, getting a second chance on life and love. (We should all be so lucky.) The reclaimed materials featured in these 20 projects were the main characters of such fairytales. They now act as inspiration to us all…and hope for those yet unclaimed materials awaiting a keen eye to spot them.

screen door as trellis
Photo: Dishfunctional Designs

Starting outdoors, we have an old screen door used as a trellis. Looks like the screen was replace with chicken wire.

four-door garden shed
Photo: The Owner Builder Network

Four doors make up the majority of this sweet little DIY garden shed.

backyard getaway made of old windows
Photo: BHG

I adore this backyard getaway from BHG, who offer a downloadable PDF of the layout for the framework. 

DIY outdoor solar-powered chandelier
Photo: Hometalk

I don’t know about your recycle store, but mine is full of cast-off chandeliers. Turning one into an outdoor, solar light fixture is on my to-do list. Click here to see how to make one yourself.


phone booth made of old French doors
Photo: Ruff by Margo

Did that little four-door garden shed remind you of a phone booth? With the right kind of old doors (French), we can make one of those too. This one just needs a couple of coats of red paint to make it legit.

door & sewing machine table hall tree
Photo: Refresh Restyle

Going outside, check out this hall tree, which was made out of a reclaimed door and old sewing machine table. A rescue twofer? Even better. Visit Refresh Restyle to see how it was done. 

upper kitchen cabinets as long bench
Photo: Diaper Swappers

Need a long bench? Perhaps a window seat with storage? Keep your eye out for upper kitchen cabinets–the kind that go above a refrigerator. They’re the perfect height as a base for such an installation.

play kitchen made out of upper kitchen cabinet
Photo: Young House Love

Our last project found its home in a playroom, as would our next project. In this case a play kitchen made out of an old upper kitchen cabinet. Perfection.

old doors turned kitchen island
Photo: Indulgy

A bunch of old doors make uup the bulk of this kitchen island. 

Chris's filing cabinet kitchen island
Photo: Curbly

If that island was a bit too rustic for you, then Chris’s filing cabinet kitchen island could be a perfect option. Click here to see how he made it.

old windows converted into side table
Photo: Pinterest

From old doors to old windows, this side table has a definite sea-side vibe. 

metal filing cabinet side table
Photo: The Paper Mama via BHG

For a much more mid-mod look, a small metal filing cabinet is just the ticket to make this sweet side table. Visit BHG to see how it was made. 

lower kitchen cabinets turned standing desk
Photo: Pinterest

If you need a taller table, in this case standing desk arrangement, it makes perfect sense to used only lower kitchen cabinets. 

sawhorse and door desk
Photo: via YouTube

Standard-sized desk? We have that covered too. In this case, the desk’s sawhorse legs were made out of an old pallet and the top a vintage door topped with a sheet of glass. Click here to see how it was made.

bar made out of an old door
Photo: StillGoode via Pinterest


When work is over, how about meeting up at the bar..made out of an old door


filing cabinet turned campaign dresser
Photo: The DIY Mommy

This campaign dresser used to be seriously goofy. That’s because it used to be an goofy filing cabinet. Visit The DIY Mommy to see it before…if you dare.

old window turned wall cabinet
Photo: Remodelaholic

For a cabinet of a hanging variety–perfect for added bathroom storage–an old window is the way to go. 

old window as faux transom
Photo: BHG

If you’re like me and love transom windows but have none in your house, we can get the transom vibe by hanging an old long window in a strategic way. Clever!


doors used as room dividers
Photo: In My Own Style


Room dividers are an underutilized decor item, but not if you’re Diane, who has made several. Click here to see how she makes them. 

wall of windows as room divider
Photo: Awesome Inventions


Speaking of room dividers, this wall-of-windows delineates a wide open space without sacrificing any natural light coming from the windows. (Adore.) 

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