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Repurposing Old Furniture for Gardens: 5 Creative Upcycling Ideas

Metal chairs and pallet upcycled into planters and garden couch

Buying new garden furniture can be expensive. However, with a few creative upcycling ideas, consumers can create their ideal garden without burning through their budget.

Upcycling is a sustainable way to breathe new life into used furniture. Besides preventing waste, it’s also a cheaper way to turn your garden porch into a vibrant and fun space to hang out.

This article will look at five creative upcycling ideas that utilize old furniture, covering products online retail stores can sell to consumers who may want to have a hand in crafting their next outdoor centerpiece.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling involves transforming old, discarded, or unwanted items into new products of higher quality or value than the original. It aims to give existing items a new purpose or improved functionality, thus reducing waste and minimizing environmental impact.

Examples include turning old wooden pallets into furniture or transforming vintage chairs into planters. The upcycling movement encourages the rethinking of the value of items before they are discarded and finding creative ways to contribute to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

5 great ways to upcycle old furniture garden

old furniture upcycled into planters, vertical gardens, and swings

While some people prefer simply disposing of old furniture and replacing it with new pieces, this isn’t the most sustainable, nor cheap, way to refurnish a home. For example, here are several better ways to save money as well as the environment:

1. Improve the furniture

an improved garden couch

One way to use outdated and worn garden furniture is to transform these pieces into something fresh, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. These can then be sold at an affordable rate, thus increasing sales and profit margins.

Improving old garden furniture to attract more customers can be achieved in a number of ways:

Clean and repair

Use appropriate cleaners depending on the material. For instance, wooden cleaners should be applied before you fix loose joints and structural issues. Cleaning may also involve sanding to ensure a smoother surface for better painting.

Re-painting or re-staining

Applying new bold colors or a natural finish can improve the appearance of old wooden furniture. Metal furniture may require a coat of outdoor spray paint after removing rust.

Cushion and upholstery makeover

Replace or reupholster cushions with weather-resistant fabric. Add extra padding with vibrant patterns or colors to enhance a garden’s beauty and aesthetics.

Add functionality

This may include integrating a storage compartment under a bench or a table, especially for small gardens. Improved functionality may consist of convertible features where a garden bench turns into a table or a planter to add to the versatility of the outdoor space.

2. Planter garden furniture

An old chair, bed, and couch upcycled into flower beds

Besides selling revamped old furniture pieces, you can also sell repurposed ones. Many people enjoy transforming their backyards with tables, chairs, benches, and drawers turned into planters, shoe racks, and garden storage units, for example.

Here are some examples you can stock and wow potential buyers.

Planter chairs

The famous saying “there is beauty in the broken” is particularly fitting when it comes to upcyling. One example is how customers cherish using old wooden or metallic chair planters because of their rustic appeal in a garden.

Chair succulent planter

These planters show creativity and can bring a new dimension to a garden. Besides succulent plants, buyers can also plant gorgeous hostas as a focal point.

Metal bed planter

This is another planter homeowners and businesses enjoy in their gardens or backyards. They are ideal for low flowerbeds, and won’t take the spotlight away from the bed design.

Mirror dresser planter

Customers with smaller gardens may want a mirror dresser planter for succulent plants to provide depth and make their garden look larger. Mirror dresser planters suit patios or flowerbeds. Bright colors are best so as to act as the garden’s focal point.

Chest of drawers planter

These upcycled planters are worth stocking since they can accommodate a wide range of flowers. People also love them because they take up less room and provide more space for trailing plants, succulents, and flowers.

3. Garden swings

white pallet and chair converted to garden swings

While many homeowners may prefer to buy a new garden swing, many are also open to buying affordable swings made from old furniture – just so long as they’re sturdy. These charming additions to outdoor spaces are hung from a frame or tree and provide a comfortable relaxation area. 

Here are some beloved swings you may want to sell:

Old wooden chair swing

People love vintage garden swings for their ability to bring a classic and rustic charm. As a retailer, you will want to stock couch swings and find a suitable sturdy frame to pair them with.

Pallet swings

Besides selling old pallets that customers can upcycle into swings, you can also stock ready-made pallet swings. These versatile products can be used to carry goods for easy transportation, make garden flower beds, or create simple and rustic swings. But like any other swing, ensure you also stock strong ropes or chains them from.

Tire swings

For tire swings, ensure your store has tires in a variety of colors to attract those who want to give their gardens a new look.

4. Vertical gardens or trellises

pallets and old drawers used as vertical gardens

Vertical gardens are ideal for urban farming since they take up less space. Consider selling a complete garden set with plants and used wooden ladders, cribs, or pallets that customers can upcycle into vegetable, flower, or herb gardens. 

Buyers can place these ladders or frames against a wall and attach pots or planters to the rungs or slats, allowing plants to climb and cascade. Besides saving space, the design adds a unique and artistic touch to the garden.

5. Sell old furniture for parents to teach kids

Training young ones woodwork with old furniture

Since COVID-19, homeschooling has gained popularity, with parents looking to impart practical skills to their young ones. One doesn’t need to stock upcycled furniture; you can still sell old pieces to parents who want to teach their children the value of woodwork.

For example, kids can enjoy experimenting with carpentry and artistic skills on old tables and chairs. These practical skills will help build their imagination and cognitive powers. From sanding to painting, children are likely to learn life skills in the garden that they may be able to use in later years.


People love to incorporate vintage items into their gardens. However, transforming old furniture into an outstanding focal point through DIY can be challenging. This is why homeowners and businesses usually opt to buy pre-upcycled furniture.

Stocking different and unique revamped furniture can prove profitable for gardening businesses, with environmentally conscious buyers enjoying purchasing upcycled planters or swings to boost the aesthetic and calming appeal of their gardens. These repurposed pieces can breathe vibrancy and life into outdoor spaces, contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

No matter whether you’re looking for upcycled products or products that you can upcycle yourself, browse thousands of suitable items on Alibaba.com.

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