Upcycle This!

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DIY~ Outdoor Couch/Bench

Outdoor Furniture - Free Build Plans


Cut List & Wood Selection

Select treated lumber so your sofa bench can stay in the outdoors year round. Pre-cut all your boards, or have them cut for you at the hardware store to save time. It is important to consider whether you have a saw that can handle 2″x 6″ and 2″ x 8″ boards…if not you will want to have them cut at the hardware store. The armrest and backrest is built solely from 2″x4″ wood, while the seat is framed out with 2″x6″ wood but I will reference the actual rather than nominal sizes moving forward.Save


Build Seat Frame

After making all your initial cuts, start by framing out your seat base. Using a Kreg Jig place pocket holes in either side of two 1 1/2″ x 6″ x 22.5″ seat frame pieces, and attach to inside of the 1 1/2″ x 6″ x 72″ seat frame pieces. Use a little wood glue when attaching all pieces moving forward, and a carpenter square to ensure all joining pieces are square.Save


Complete The Frame

Add pocket holes on either side of three of your 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 22.5″ boards. Attach them within the frame, spaced evenly apart. Attach each one flush with the top of the frame. This is your seat base where the slats will lay across later.Save


Assemble Armrest Frame

Place pocket holes at both ends of four 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 22.5″ boards. Screw one 22.5″ armrest boards between the two 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 32″ armrest boards, flush to the top. Mark 12″ from the bottom of either arm/leg piece, then attach the second 22.5″ board flipped on it’s side, with the top at that 12″ mark. Follow these steps again to create the second armrest.Save


Prepare To Assemble

Put pocket holes in either end of the 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 72″ backrest board. Then position the seat frame, armrest frames, and backrest to prepare for assembly. Place pieces so the sofa is oriented on it’s side for easier assembly.Save


Attach Armrest To Seat Frame

Attach the armrests to the seat frame while on it’s side. Screw directly through the armrest frame into the seat frame, and do the same from the seat frame side into the armrest. Stagger where you place your screws. Set your seat upright.Save


Attach Backrest

Once upright, attach the 72″ backrest piece (pocket holes facing back) flush between the two armrests.Save


Add Seat Slats

Evenly space the four 3/4″ x 6″ x 72″ wooden seat slats atop your seat frame, and nail down to the seating frame.Save


Optionally Add Decorative Slats

Optionally nail evenly spaced 3/4″ x 8″ x 25.5″ decorative slats to the outside armrest, and the single 3/4″ x 8″ x 79″ slat across the inside back. These are not necessary for support, but give a modern appeal to the bench. Sand the entire bench well, and stain!

Optionally Add Decorative Slats

Upcycle This~Windows


It should come as no surprise that with our passion for old items and repurposed treasures, we are also mad about collectables. Vintage trays, antique keys, He-man and the Masters of the Universe collection, if it’s from an era bygone we are into it. But with this kind of hobby comes a need for display cabinets, and the best kinds of display cabinets are multi-functional. Enter the window coffee table. This clever unit combines our love for collecting with our passion for upcycling, turning an old window into a display coffee table. Brilliant.

window coffee table

When you take a good look at this window coffee table you will see that the construction is actually quite simple. It is comprised of a salvaged window placed on top of a wooden frame with some unfinished wood as the backing. Add some table legs and you’ve got a complete window coffee table. It’s so simple and so gorgeous that we’ll bet you’re gonna start looking at old windows a bit differently. Here’s how to make your own.

How to make a window coffee table

To make your own window coffee table first measure your window. Now decide if you’d like your table to have a lip with the top of the table hanging slightly over the bottom.  If so subtract an inch from the length and width from the measurement and build your window base to this specification. Otherwise cut your 2x4s to the exact measurements. These 2x4s will become the box that the window rests on. Cut a sheet of plywood to the same size as the 2×4 base. Screw the 2x4s together, attach the sheet of plywood to the bottom and flip this box over. With the plywood sheet on top, pre-drill holes in each corner and screw in the wooden coffee legs. For this project you can use salvaged coffee table legs or even buy ready made ones.

window coffee table

Now flip the table back onto it’s legs and attach the hinges to the window frame and top of the 2×4 frame.

Next prepare the window coffee table for paint by sanding down the window frame and wooden box. Prime the wood and let it dry. Next prep your window for paint by lining the window panes with tape to avoid getting paint on the glass. Choose your paint treatment and decide how much of a vintage look you’d like your coffee table to have. From crackle paint to high gloss it’s up to you.

Paint and then allow time for your window coffee table to dry. Complete the project by adding a handle to the window pane top. Place your collectibles inside and admire your handiwork. Ready for more upcycling ideas?

Image source: Oh Glory Vintage

Upcycle~ Magazine Side Table

Upcycling Table Tisch Magazine Record Schallplatte


  • Old catalogues or magazines (they should be of the same size)
  • A record (or alternative table-top)
  • Paperclips
  • Coloured sticky/duct tape
  • All-purpose glue (or hot glue)

Firstly, take a magazine and open it to the 10th (or so) page. Roll it up to the left until the left edges of the pages touch the spine of the magazine.


Roll up the next 10 pages (you don’t have to count, just estimate it 🙂 ) until their edges touch each other. Then fix it with a paper clip as close as possible to the back of the magazine.

How to make a table out of magazines

Repeat the second step until you’re at the second to last page. The last page shouldn’t be rolled up, yet.


Now you need the next magazine of the same size. Put the last page of the first magazine on top of the cover of the second one and roll them up as before, together with the first few pages of the magazines.


Repeat this until you think it is enough 🙂 (It depends on the thickness of the pages and how many pages your magazines have.) Don’t roll the last few pages, yet.


Now stand the whole thing up (hereby the paper clips are important, otherwise the pages might open again). Now you can roll in the last pages and fix them to the first pages of the first magazine using a paper clip.


Next you stick the sticky tape around the whole thing on top and again on the bottom.

How to make a table out of magazines upcycling

Now you can remove the paper clips and make the second level as you did the first. It is important that the magazines of one level are of the same size, but all the levels don’t necessarily have to be even. However you prefer 🙂

Make as many levels as you want, depending on how high you want the table to be.

Now cut a piece of paper so that it matches the top of the table leg (in a circle) and stick one piece on top of each level. Glue the levels on top of each other and glue the record on top.


Done 🙂 I hope this was understandably phrased!

At our place the environmental-friendly table embellishes one corner of our living room together with my globe lamp 🙂


At my brother’s there is also one of my tables 🙂


DIY Wind Chimes

diy key wind chime

You’ll need:

  • at least 5 old keys
  • a piece of drift wood or stick
  • string or fishing line
  • optional: acrylic paint

How to:

how to make a key wind chime
  1. Optional: Paint your keys and stick.  Choose a few coordinating colors and have your child paint the keys and stick.  Our keys took two coats, let the first side dry before flipping and painting the other side.
  2. Tie a piece of string to either end of the stick so that you have a way to hang it.
  3. Tie a piece of string to each key.
  4. Tie the keys to the stick making sure that they are close enough to each other that they will chime when the wind blows them.
  5. Gift, hang, enjoy!

I hope this project inspires a little crafty recycling in your home.  I’m sure you and your little ones will love turning trash into treasure.  And whoever receives your thoughtful handy work is sure to be pleased as punch.  I know they make me smile every time I enter my garden.

Here’s to crafting and giving green! 

Recycle For Your Planting

Save Your Plastic Containers

If you don’t have any soda bottles handy to create your own mini greenhouse, you can also use plastic to-go containers from restaurants. Plastic clamshell containers are the perfect place to get your seeds started.

Clamshell Food Container for Gardening
Family Handyman

Wash your container thoroughly after you finish your food and fill the bottom with soil. Then place your seeds inside with enough space between them for each seed to grow. Close the container and set it near the window where it can soak in the sun. The plastic container keeps moisture locked inside while still allowing sun and warmth to reach your plant. Your seeds will sprout in no time!