DIY Projects

15 Ingenious Ways To Turn Old Junk Into Something Useful

As we all look to do more with less and save money, being able to re-purpose something that you were going to throw in the garbage ranks right up there.  You are also able to find many items at yard sales, flea markets, or even the scrap yard for next to nothing that you are able to turn into something practical.

I remember building a queen size headboard for my bed out of scrap 2×4’s that were left over after adding a room onto my house.  Simple design of just nailing them together, but it looked alright after some stain.  Boy was it heavy though.  Could easily have been a life raft in the event of a flood, so it even had a second purpose.  Ha-ha.

Popular Mechanics highlights a number of items that can easily and inexpensively be re-purposed.

1. Used Tire Rims – Place the rim on its side and you’ve got an instant fire pit.  Surround it with bricks to protect hands and feet from hot steel.

2. Orphaned Keys – Add a bend to your old keys into a U-shape and you’ve got the perfect wall hook.

3. Random Pipe Fittings – With a bit of rust remover to make them shine, you can transform your old fittings into a steampunk chess set.

4. Glass Bowls – Bring your beautiful bowls into the open by using them to plant succulents, which look great in any kitchen windowsill.

5. Entertainment Center – With a little paint and a few pieces of hardware, you can transform that sad entertainment center into a fun play kitchen for kids.

6. Filing Cabinet – Add some fresh paint, casters, a butcher block top, and some hardware, and you’ve got the perfect kitchen cart or island.

7. Old Door – Convert your door into a sliding screen that reveals a hidden pantry.

8. Ammo Box -If you want to hack one into something amazing, just add a couple of speakers and some electronic hardware and you’ve got a portable boombox.

9. Plastic Coffee Containers – Attach your plastic coffee canisters to a wood backing and you’ve got easy-to-reach storage for nuts, bolts, and anything else small enough to fit.

10. Used Tires – Cut an old tire in half, attach a 12 foot board, and use it as a see saw.

11. Cheese Grater – Re-purpose old cheese graters into pendant lights.  The rustier the better.

12. Jerry Can – With a few modifications you can transform a jerry can into a secret bar with shelves for drinks and glasses.

13. Old Wrenches – Hang your wrenches as decorative wind chimes to add a touch of industrial chic to any space.

14. Rake – Secure an old steep rake on the wall and use the tongs to hang kitchen utensils.

15. Yardsticks – Yardsticks can be used to create simple crates for storing craft supplies and tools.”


Once you complete a couple of these projects, there is a good chance that your significant other will stop bugging you about cleaning out the garage or shed.  You could just tell them that you are saving all that junk for future re-purposing projects!

Head over to the original article for more completed project pictures:

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