Repurpose Old Items into New Furniture


Clean out the Closets and get Creative!

By Hilary Diack




Most of us have cupboards and boxes full of bits and pieces that don’t really fulfill any useful purpose, but that we cannot quite bring ourselves to throw away. Solution? Put your imagination and creative skills to work. Cairo East Magazine just loved the quirkiness of some of these highly original items that could add a statement to any home.


  1. Wood becomes art: Saw off similar sized lengths of wood and create a stunning visual work of art. Even better, it will be handy when the nights get chilly and call for a cozy open fire.
  2. Old sewing machines take up space. Turn one into something practical, and definitely stylish, by adding a simple wooden top and a shelf.
  3. Old ends of fabric stuffed away in bags? Recover a tired and boring armchair into a stunning conversation piece with your own patchwork design.
  4. Old coins can be glued together to create really original art. You may need a king’s ransom to create something this eye-catching, but try the idea for smaller items, a wall plaque for instance!
  5. Most Cairenes know where to hunt down scruffy but perfectly salvageable pieces of furniture. If you don’t have anything at home or with the relatives, head on down to Souk El Gomaa, and let your artistic streak come out. Loads of color, an enjoyable hour or two, and presto!
  6. Old tires? New flower holders. Brighten up a blank terrace or garden wall with a burst of vibrant color. So easy to hang, and they are perfect planters.
  7. Old tires? Handy side tables. All it takes is a coat of paint, a piece of plywood, cut to size as a top surface, and casters to make it mobile. Hint: you can play around with color options and visual effects for the top, or even go clear with acrylic.


  1. Sick of that old pine cupboard or dresser? Let your imagination run riot, trace or stencil the zaniest designs you can think of, then fill in with color. This is one of the best ways ever to bring a room to life.


  1. It’s amazing what you can do with old magazines. Those glossy pages can be transformed into really useful items. Roll the page as tightly as possible and glue lightly together. Bind at the top and bottom, add a circular base, and you have a totally personalized waste paper basket.


  1. Tied up! What do the males in the household do when their ties become a bit out of date? Solve the problem for them by creating some very original upholstery. Cross weave them, blending colors and textures, and use for seat covers, cushions and ottomans.


  1. Any table that has seen better days can have a new lease of life by applying pieces of tiles as mosaic work. You can create a practical, hard-wearing surface that can handle a lot of use, and make a design statement at the same time.



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