What do you do with an old dresser with sentimental value, but all the drawers were destroyed? Well, you make it into a bench.

A woman called a few months ago who had a dresser she loved, and the drawers were ruined when left in the car on a hot Colorado day.

She wanted to make a bench out of it, so I got to work. Between sawing, screwing, nailing, sanding, painting, staining and finishing, I created something beautiful. The client was thrilled.

Maybe you have a piece of furniture like this. You don’t have use for it in its current form and want to create something unique. I made some cocktail tables from old fence pieces and the client loves that he won’t see the same thing in his friends’ houses.

Here are some thoughts on repurposing furniture:

Is it worth repurposing?

The first thing I look at with a piece is whether it has good bones. If not, I’ll pass on it. Or it could be so cheaply made it has no value (Think: particle board). Also, it might be so broken that repairing it would take too much time to make it usable.

Do you have a spot for it? 

If you love the thought of a repurposed piece but have no room, maybe it’s time to remove stuff you don’t love. We don’t want to keep stuffing things into a crowded space.

My wife and I spent last weekend with some friends in their one-bedroom condo just off Main Street in Winter Park, Colo. Things were a bit tight already and can’t imagine them adding a new piece without removing something else.

In my living room, I have a pair of end tables I made from an old desk. I moved the previous end tables to the TV room in the basement because they were functional but non-descript.

Is this something you can do? 

Do you have the skills, space, and equipment to repurpose a piece of furniture? You don’t need a full workshop to do repurposing — just a few tools like a drill, miter saw, sander and some clamps can go a long way. Give it a shot.

Where do you find stuff? 

It could be out in your own garage or basement, or at a yard sale. I made a wall hanging from the top of a coffee table I found on the street in my neighborhood. The free or furniture section of Craigslist or Nextdoor is also a good place to find inexpensive stuff.

I made a wine bar out of a piano some friends gave me after it was ruined by rain at a backyard wedding.

Feeling motivated yet? If so, get off the couch and get out into the garage to start repurposing furniture.

You can see some of my work at www.greenchair.biz. I can repurpose furniture for you or coach you through the process. Just let us know.

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