Want to give an old chair an entirely new yet practical purpose?

Perhaps the basic design of your chair is appealing, but it’s pretty shabby around the edges and probably not ideal to support the weight of an adult. How about transforming it into a décor accent courtesy of artfully arranged moss? Attach coat hooks to the back of a wooden chair for a clutter-reducing jacket storage solution. Turn two old chairs into an elevated feeding station for dogs! Three old chairs can become a convenient hallway bench or a cozy seating option for your porch. Mount a chair to your wall (whether upside down or right side up) and voila! The way in which you display household décor items has suddenly been kicked up several notches.

Have an old chair that requires a little nip and tuck?

If the chair in question is a swivel, here is a quick and easy way to recover it with new fabric. When the fabric options at your local craft store leave you uninspired, consider reupholstering worn seating with vividly patterned oilcloth, vintage bedspread material or old burlap coffee sacks. Old duds culled from the forgotten corners of a closet are also fair game. They can become unique upholstery options, whether they are used “as is,” cut into strips or applied in a chair-destined fabric mosaic. Whip out your knitting or crochet needles for a yarn-bombing experiment that will render your old chair positively charming. A chair with excellent structural integrity sometimes requires nothing more than a fresh coat of taxicab yellow or pop art-inspired paint. Jazz things up with a Roy Lichtenstein-esque scene or bright packaging graphics a la Andy Warhol. Decoupage a wooden chair with eye-catching images (don’t forget old comic books) for a remarkably whimsical makeover. Create a lasting broken china mosaic on the back and seat of an old chair. But be careful — it may yield such a lovely piece of art that you will ultimately end up wanting to admire it from afar rather than actually sit on it. The seat of an otherwise sound chair can be replaced with reclaimed wooden slats or hand-woven silk ties. Perhaps your family feline has shredded your home office chair beyond recognition. No worries! Bicycle enthusiasts and those who want to work on their core muscles might appreciate this motley recycled marriage of office chair base and bicycle seat, but for a greater level of comfort, just place a reclaimed car seat directly on top.

chair upcycling

Want to make a new-to-you chair out of recycled materials?

Amy Hunting’s wooden patchwork chair design demonstrates just how gorgeous someone else’s junk can be once it lands in the right creative hands. Recycled sail material is apparently plentiful and really durable. Turn a vintage ladder into a sturdy chair. There are probably thousands of ways to transform reclaimed wooden shipping palates into rustic seating options, but this hanging hand-laced version is certainly a refreshing change of pace. Broadcast your green thumb inclinations by turning a rusty old wheelbarrow into a body-hugging garden chair or upright stool. Chunks o’ vintage automobiles can be transformed into cool new armchairs, like this 1968 4LRenault, for example! A reclaimed white oak bourbon barrel makes a rather rustic but appealing stool. Beloved household pets aren’t the only ones that can benefit from the recycled vintage suitcase trend. If you decide to create your own human-friendly suitcase-turned-stool, be sure to attach sturdy legs. Newspapers compressed in a fanned-out, honeycomb-style bench are apparently just as strong as wood and certainly a lot more affordable, not to mention planet friendly. Got an industrial vibe going on? This recycled radiator chair will no doubt feel at home. For someone who counts relaxation among their top goals, this cheeky beer can-crafted recliner will facilitate amusing conversations and (no doubt) the DIY battle call of an entirely new cross section of your friends. Do your part to combat the growing e-waste problem by crafting your very own recycled computer keyboard chair. Tattered skateboards can easily take on new life as long-lasting chairs with minimal effort. Yet another excellent application for dinosaur audio tech: the ever-appealing recycled cassette tape chair! No one really enjoys ironing in their spare time, but we all giving sitting the thumbs up, so transform that dust-collecting board into a domestic yet thoroughly ironic salute to the chore that we all love to hate. Unless you’re a highly trained casino dealer, it is unlikely that you have access to all of the retired playing cards that are discarded each year. Imagine if you did, though. This chair would be a breeze to make. Bibliophiles may find it challenging to part with dusty old tomes, but crafting a recliner with hundreds of paperbacks (on wheels, even!) or the spines of various hardbacks is brainy, indeed.