Ideas For Creating Upcycled Tables, Desks and Workstations

Find inspiring ideas and instructions on how to turn vintage accessories and salvaged materials into functional furniture.
By: Sloane Snyder and Keri Sanders

Photo By: Susan Teare

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Photo By: Sarah Christine Wilson, Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Shane Bevel

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images ©2011, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Christine Wilson, Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: unknown

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Christine Wilson, Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/Getty Images

©Brittni Melhoff

Photo By: Sandy SooHoo

Photo By: Sandy SooHoo

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux

Photo By: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Suitcase End Table

A vintage suitcase and four salvaged spindles are put together to make a stylish end table.

Cottage Creation

In this cottage-style home, a shutter was added to a basic sofa table to add texture and style. Find the full instructions here.

Trucked-Out Teen's Room

This former truck tailgate has been refurbished into a desk for a youngster's adventurous room. A rustic office chair ties the space together.

Two is Better Than One

Cut an old side table in half to make an adorable pair of nightstands. To make them really stand out, paint them in a bright hue. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Craft Room

An old pinball machine and some antique wooden legs have come back to life as a sewing table. The red ladder-back chair and graphic-patterned rug give the space a modern twist on an old-fashioned style.

Workable Space

For this practical workstation, wood planks were added to a small closet and painted to match the wall. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

A Fresh Coat of Paint

There are many ways to use old furniture to your advantage. By adding a fresh coat of blue paint to this old chair, the room now has a vibrant addition to its rainbow theme. After coating an old piece of wood with a polyurethane varnish, stack it on top of some wood dividers or bookcases for a modern office space.

Trash to Treasure

This old wooden spool didn't look like much, but with some help from the Junk Gypsies it's now an awesome craft station with a flat surface for coloring and more.

Crafty Crafting

This new scrapbooking space incorporates an original antique desk that has been paired with a purposefully spackled chair. The wire baskets were previously used to store jelly jars; now they store scrapbooking materials.

Airstream Trailer

This Dierks Bentley Airstream includes a former church pew that has been repurposed into a dining chair. The tabletop is decoupaged with music posters and it sits upon an antique grand piano foot pedal.

Smart Side Table

An old bench becomes a vintage, wall-mounted end table with plenty of storage underneath. Learn to build your own here.

Old Legs, New Top

Old wrought-iron table legs were paired with a newly varnished piece of wood to make a practical desk. The antique stool and accessories give it a ton of elegant charm.

Log Slices

This pair of accent tables was made using rough-cut lumber and old metal chair legs. Design by Joanne Palmisano

Factory Settings

This old factory cart, with its run-down appearance and painted wheels, is transformed into a unique entertainment center.

Musical Grandeur

This table was created by taking the keys of an old piano and placing them within a custom-made box, which was then attached to four repurposed table legs. By adding a glass top, the see-through surface has become a unique centerpiece as well as a functioning piece of furniture.

Molded Into Something New

This old cheese mold, found at an antiques sale, has been repurposed into a coffee table. The handle opens an interior that makes for a great storage space.

Updated With Fabric

An old yard sale desk was brought back to life with a few coats of paint and fabric accents. Polka-dot fabric was used along the four sides while big fabric circles were adhered to the desk's surface. The end result is a brand new desk workspace with unexpected patterns and textures.

Artistic Renovation

Driftwood has become extremely popular. This stack was painted white and a sheet of glass was fastened on top to create a table as well as a piece of art.

Pie in the Sky

A gigantic pizza platter has been turned into a creative surface for a living room coffee table.

Industrial Style

Allison from The Golden Sycamore saved money and showed off her DIY style with this incredible side table made from wood and galvanized metal. Find the tutorial here.

Book Legs

In this dining room, several books have been stacked to form the leg of the table. Repurpose some of your old books with colorful spines, or paint them yourself to follow a desired theme.

Outdoor Ideas

A couple of flowerpots are flipped upside down to create a sturdy table base. The top is simply a piece of wood painted the same color as the pots.

Reimagined Barstool

Who would have thought a basic barstool could make such a great nightstand? Visit Like a Saturday to find out how to make your own.

Crochet’s the Way

A new tabletop is weaved onto an old table base. Pulled tight, it makes a level surface for accessories and books. The table is also a perfect match to the daybed made from recycled shipping palettes.

Timber Table

Salvaged timbers are stacked and bundled together to create an uber-sturdy coffee table.

Colorful Kid's Desk

Using old stair posts and a piece of stain-grade plywood, designer Brian Patrick Flynn created a vibrant kid's desk – the ideal spot for crafts or homework. Find full instructions here.


The base of an old coffee table and a salvaged door found at a resale shop were cleaned up then attached. A new piece of glass was laid upon the top to create a beautiful new table.

Cheap and Chic

A small wire laundry basket and a circle of plywood come together to make this gorgeous side table. Bonus? It only cost $12 to make. Check out the full tutorial here.

Pretty in Vinyl

According to Katie from matsutake, this stellar side table only requires cardboard building tube, wood circles, and several strips of vinyl. And the result is unbelievable! Learn to make your own here.

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