DIY Furniture Projects - 5 Ways

We live in a complex world where if something is broken or spoil, we will throw it away and buy a new one.  However, there are a few group of people who sees potential in these broken or spoil items and will either restore, recycle or up-cycle them. As the saying goes, 'One man's trash is another man's treasure.'

Based on my own experience, I would like to share with you five DIY furniture project ideas to get you a head start.

1.  Crate Shelf

If you browse on Pinterest, you can find many projects on wooden crate boxes.  These wooden crates can either be new or old. Wooden crates are used to store wine, apple and small equipment. You can make them into stools, side tables, bookcases, shelves and so much more.

We decided to make a shelf for our laundry area. We found this wooden crate from a warehouse that threw it out. We removed the foam that was glued to inside of the box and changed the backing to a new plywood.

Since there were some wordings on the box that tells of its origin, we did not paint the wooden crate. We treated the box with turpentine to keep bugs and white ants away. We mounted it on a wall with "L" brackets and finished it off with a vintage board with hooks that we bought.

2.  Bed Frame

Our next project is a bed frame made out of  recycled Chenggal wood from a playground and Balau wood from recycled window frames.

We had to clean and sand down the wood as it was painted in multiple colors. The wood is then varnished and put together using tenon joints.  The bed frame had to be assembled in the bedroom as the wood is very heavy. This bed frame easily weighs about 200 kg.

3.  Rattan Chair

Rattan chairs are being thrown away now a days, regardless if they are in good or bad conditions. We can only guess that either people want to upgrade to modern furniture or maybe they do not know how to repair these broken chairs.

Over the years, we have found a few rattan chairs that are in rather good condition. All it needed was just some cleaning up and some minor repairs. For the repairs, all you need is a strip of rattan and some small nails. Furthermore, you can search the internet or YouTube on how to repair broken rattan furniture.

For our projects, we cleaned the chairs by washing and leaving them to dry in the sun. We then used a fine sandpaper to sanded down some parts of the chair as we wanted to paint them. We used spray can to paint the chairs to the colors that we wanted. These chairs now sit nicely at our work and study desk and as extra seating area in the hall.

4.  Dining Bench

For the dining bench project, the bench is made out of a 7ft long Kempas wood and the two legs are made out of 2ft louvers.

Louvers are like window shutters with horizontal slats that will allow light and air into a home. You can find louvers in colonial or village houses (kampung houses) which are made out of Chenggal wood, while modern louvers are made out of metal.

We bought our single 2ft louvers from a lumber yard that tears down old houses to make way for new houses or developments. Like any other wood projects, we had to clean, scrape off the old paint and sand down the wood. Like the crate shelf, we treated the louvers with turpentine. We would normally varnish our wood but for this project, we decided to leave it to its natural wood color.

5.  Bathroom Counter Top

For the bathroom counter top project, we used the Ikea Freden series for the cabinets and recycled wood from a window frame for the counter top. The wood was cleaned, sanded down and varnished to follow the Ikea Freden shelving color.  

For this DIY project, we encountered several challenges such as having to cut the tall Ikea Freden shelf into half and using only the bottom cabinet as we could not fit the whole shelving due to the counter top. We also had to deal with plumbing issues and re-adjusted the sink on the counter top.

Now, with this new counter top, the bathroom is organised and everything is in place.

DIY furniture projects can be very rewarding and satisfying when you have the passion and when you put your heart and soul into it. At the end of all this, you can literally sit back on the DIY furniture and say you made it!

*Editor's note: The upcycled furniture photos belong to Corinne Jansz. And yes, they upcycled and crafted it on their own, and are open to taking in orders. For more information, please visit http://ourrenovationadventures.blogspot.my/ or follow them on Instagram @ourrenovationadventures



  1. Great projects! Do you have a workshop at home? What tools do you recommend for new DIYers like me?

    1. Thanks! We do not have a workshop. Projects are either carried out in our porch or backyard. For new DIYers, we recommend you to get a handsaw and a drill set among the necessity such as a measuring tape, ruler and pencil.


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