Breathe new life into old timber with these 8 DIY project ideas using reclaimed wood!
Not all wood is the same. When wood is new (read: taken directly from the trees and yet-to-be-used), it’s called “virgin wood”. Cultivating virgin wood is a costly process requiring felling, transporting, and processing. Where there’s processing, there’s pollution – meaning virgin wood products are environmental offenders and should be purchased in moderation.
Reclaimed wood, on the other hand, has already been processed. It’s also typically already been used for a specific application. Maybe it was once a door, a desk (perhaps a bookshelf desk?), or a bedframe. Regardless of what it was in its previous life, reclaimed wood is more than just pre-used wood; it’s an opportunity to make an ecologically responsible choice!
Opting for reclaimed wood materials means cutting down on the demand for new products that require all that nasty processing business, and consequent pollution.
Reclaimed wood is also generally stronger and harder than virgin wood! Wood “hardness” is quantified by its Janka rating. (Yeah…we don’t really understand it either, but it’s great to have those numbers as a guideline!) Reclaimed wood tends to be harder because of its age. It’s generally taken from older growth trees, which have gotten stronger over time, and have already finished expanding and contracting from temperature changes.
So, yes. Yay reclaimed wood. NOW — let’s dig into some DIY projects!
Shelving is a great DIY project because there are so many ways to get creative with it. Whether you’re building a stately set of standing shelves with lots of unique hardware or opting for the more minimalist floating variety, you can incorporate reclaimed wood.
Need some inspo? Spencley Design Co. savvily repurposed an old bookshelf to build some killer floating shelves – and gives you all the resources to learn to do the same!
Cabinets are clutch. Floating or freestanding – multi-functional, pretty to look at, always keeping our most fragile (or unsightly) items tucked away. They’re also a great use of reclaimed wood!
This guide uses several different pieces of furniture to craft the final DIY’d cabinet. Not only is it easy to follow (and customize based on your taste and available resources!), but it also reminds us that, with just a little imagination, any little thing has the potential for functional greatness.
As we plunge headfirst into spring (here in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), we’re watching our environment burst with life. Why not bring a little bit of that vivacity to your own home? Planter boxes are a relatively simple DIY project for which reclaimed wood is perfectly suited. We love this simple approach from The Created Home.
Want something a little more comprehensive? Check out our full guide to building and filling a garden box!
Farmhouse Dinner or Coffee Table
Tables don’t just give you a place to put your things – they’re kind of a centerpiece of any home. Family and friends gather around them for heart-warming (and…stomach-warming?) meals and cozy coffee chats. Work-from-homers’ dining tables show dutiful versatility. Fanatic DIYers (it us) need the space to work on their latest 60 projects.
Maybe eating at a table isn’t exactly your thing. You’re more of a breakfast in bed — or…in bath — type. We get it. Love that for you.
Woodworking for Mere Mortals has an awesome guide, complete with plans, for making a rustic serving tray from reclaimed wood! There’s even a video if you’d like to see how the experts do it.
Reclaimed wood bed frames can be painfully pricey. $1,900 for a twin? No thanks.
We love a good functional accessory. Paper sorters are super handy tools for staying on top of all that paperwork you need to knock out — ya know, later…
The community-based DIY site Home Talk features plenty of rad ideas submitted by folks just like us. We found this great plan for a desk mail/paper sorter. Snaps to Dinah for her contribution and thorough plans!
Is there anything better than a beautiful, responsibly-produced perch for all your favorite sips? Don’t think so. Keep it simple and sophisticated with a single-plank design or put your woodworking savvy to work by creating a 2-in-1 bottle and glass rack.
Reclaimed and repurposed wood projects are an eco-friendly solution for furnishing your home.
Speaking of responsible choices — peer-to-peer platforms like Sparetoolz connect you to your community, while keeping your money in the local economy. What’s more, when you rent your tools through Sparetoolz, you’ll cut down on excess packaging waste, transportation pollution, and unnecessary purchases! Win-win-win.