One of the most alluring aspects of embracing an environmentally friendly lifestyle is the ability to create.

In many ways we have become incredibly removed from our own lives — we no longer grow our own food or make our own clothes (though the recent resurgence of quilting and knitting suggests that we may be eager to swing the pendulum back again).

Perhaps we have realized that not only is it detrimental to the environment to simply keep consuming indefinitely but that it is also, frankly, a little boring.

It brings to mind the iconic Fight Club scene where each item in the narrator’s apartment is labeled with corresponding IKEA catalog page numbers. You can easily avoid that same mass-produced look by tackling this easy project that allows you to gently flex your DIY muscles, create something useful, and make an eco-friendly choice, too.

Re-purposing an old door into a desk or a dining table couldn’t be a simpler proposition — involving minimal cost and few power tools — but it also offers a surprising number of opportunities for its execution. DIY projects, here we come …

recycled door table project

If you’re not fortunate enough to live on an estate or a rustic farmhouse where perfectly distressed doors in trendy colors are leaning in droves at the end of every corridor, searching out your local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store is a great place to start. Selling all manner of home renovation castoff’s from bed frames to shower enclosures, the Re-store is likely to more than a few doors just begging for a new life.

At its most basic, one could create a dining table from nothing more than a door mounted on four-level two-by-fours, like this cheerful example here. Call it DIY 101.

recycled door table

In the intermediate category, a desk made from an old door painted white and supported by a filing cabinet on one end, and a trestle leg on the other. Simple, functional, and space-saving to boot. (P.S. I recently did this exact DIY project.)

recycled door desk

For a more polished look, having a piece of glass cut to size brings a touch of class, and offers a nice contrast to the rustic, aged door. Newel posts would make fantastic legs if you’re able to find a matching set.

repurposed door dining table
Image: Candy Likes to Cook

And last but not least, we have the master class, where when paired with hairpin legs and a modern interior, the humble door becomes elevated into a work of modern art.

You won’t find that in any catalog.

Feature image courtesy of A Simple Kind of Life

By Madeleine Somerville

Madeleine Somerville is the author of All You Need Is Less: An Eco-Friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity. She is a writer, wannabe hippie and lover of soft cheeses. She lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her daughter. You can also find Madeleine at her blog, Sweet Madeleine.