Do-it-yourself projects that incorporate reclaimed wood not only save you money, they also help save the planet by reducing deforestation. Below, we’ve collected six fun DIY projects that feature reclaimed wood from barns, old doors, and fencing materials.
1. Reclaimed Wood Headboards
Anything from a discarded stretch of fence to a solid cross section of tree can become a reclaimed wood headboard, as long as you understand how to finish the wood. Generally, finishing includes cleaning, sanding and painting or staining. Because this form of reclaimed wood furniture will be near your sleeping area, you’ll want to be sure to stay away from pressure treated wood, which can cause nasty splinters. To add organization for your bedtime reading materials, consider incorporating shelves as described below.
2. Reclaimed Wood Shelving
Driftwood shelves are especially charming, but any flat stretch of wood can be used to create reclaimed wood shelving. Handy men and women can build entire bookcases from reclaimed wood, but even those with very little carpentry experience can hang floating shelves made of reclaimed wood. The key is to locate the studs in the area where you want to hang the shelves. Drill holes into the studs, and slide 3/8-inch steel rods into each hole. Next, drill 3/8-inch holes into the part of the reclaimed wood that will face the wall. Lastly, hammer the shelf onto the rods, filling the holes you created earlier. Alternatively, you can use commercially available blind shelf supports.
3. Reclaimed Wood Tables
For those with considerable woodworking skills, home improvement websites contain dozens of designs for reclaimed wood furniture, including reclaimed wood tables. From coffee tables to formal dining surfaces, reclaimed wood can be transformed into charming and useful furniture. Just be sure to pull out nails from the stretch of reclaimed wood before you turn it into a table. Alternatively, you can buy a reclaimed wood table top and add your own base, legs and finishing touches.
4. Reclaimed Wood Wall Art
There are two general approaches to creating signs with reclaimed wood. First, you can see the wood as the canvas, and paint your message on top of it. Alternatively, you can use a jigsaw to cut words out of reclaimed wood.
5. Wood Pallet Turned Instant Shoe Holder
Wood pallets are easy to source – they’re available from any major warehouse, and warehouse managers are generally happy to give away used pallets, since otherwise they would be required to pay a disposal fee. This reclaimed wood project is about as easy as it gets. Once you get your wood pallet home, clean it. Then turn the pallet on its skinny side, prop it against a wall and voila! You have an instant shoe rack. Just shove the toes of each shoe between pallet rails for handy storage.
6. Reclaimed Wood Wine Rack
When creating reclaimed wood furniture, don’t forget about creating storage for your alcoholic treats. You can create a wine rack from reclaimed wood by following these steps:
- Find a large enough expanse of wood to hold several rows of wine bottles. We recommend a piece of wood that’s at least 32 inches in length.
- Cut ¾-inch dowels into lengths of nine inches.
- Leave six inches of space at the top of the piece of wood. From there, mark horizontal lines across the wood every four inches until you reach the bottom of the rack.
- Mark the center of each horizontal line. Then mark three inches to the right and left of the top center line. Repeat on alternate rows to the bottom of your reclaimed wood specimen. On the other rows, mark 1.5 inches to the right and left of the center line.
- Use a ¾-inch drill bit to create holes for each dowel. You’ll place one hole wherever your vertical and horizontal lines created a cross.
- Sand the base of your wine rack, as well as the tips of all dowels.
- If desired, finish the reclaimed wood using paint, polyurethane, or stain. Allow finish to dry completely.
- Glue a dowel into each hole you created earlier. Wipe away excess glue.
Create a kick-stand for the wine rack using a hinge and a lumber scrap.
[ photo by: Barb McMahon ]