repurposed chair legs into end table

Broken items around the house can’t be prevented. What can be avoided, though, is sending those common broken household items to the trash. A little ingenuity and crafting can repurpose household items from around the home into brilliant ideas to save you time, energy and money.

Here are some solutions for those things that we all have in our life that will one day break and fall apart. Bookmark this list for when that day comes, and you’ll be ready to turn trash into treasure in a flash.

washing drum ottomon
Image courtesy of espritcabane.

Broken Washing Machines

At some point, the washing machine will give out. And you’ve got to find a way to get that beast to the curb or trash drop off. So why not salvage as much as you can from the heavy collection of metal? Turn the inner drum into a fire pit, or repurpose it into a unique table by covering the drum with a piece of glass? Put a thick cushion over the drum and it becomes an industrial chic stool.

Broken Plates

A ceramic or glass plate dropped just the wrong way in the kitchen sink can lead to a cracked piece of dinnerware destined for the landfill. How about taking a hammer to that plate, releasing some stress, and making a colorful ground cover or decorating a garden pot with the small bits of ceramics?

Broken Chairs

Sat down and the chair fell apart underneath you? Don’t get mad, get crafting. Broken chairs can be repurposed into clever money-saving ideas, such as a tree swing made from a chair seat. Or make a bench for the garden or seating at the foot of your bed with two broken chairs and some lumber.

Drawer Repurposed into a Map Shelf
Image courtesy of Olive Bites Blog.

Broken Furniture

Whether damaged or just outdated, broken furniture pieces can be repurposed for modern-day uses. Old drawers can be transformed into shadow box displays on the wall. An old entertainment center becomes a play kitchen with some paint and a little ingenuity. A damaged desk can be turned into nightstands. Old headboards and footboards can be repurposed into a child’s bench with this tutorial.

Broken Doors

That flat, large surface of wood makes an excellent base for many home decor options. Lay the door on saw horses or other stabilizing legs, crates or bookshelves to create a crafting or play table that you won’t mind getting messed up. A few broken doors can be attached together with hinges to create a moveable room divider and privacy screen. Add mirrors and the door becomes a designer coat rack ideal for getting ready as you leave home for the day. Turn the door into shelves with a little work with a saw. Even broken screen doors have value, such as becoming a unique pot rack in the kitchen.

Feature image courtesy of Orin Zebest

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.