Designer Salvaging – Rethinking a Few Common Junk Items

Salvage some of your junk items, and transform them into impressive home decor.

One man’s trash is another man’s coffee table. Repurposed and reclaimed objects are becoming a popular resource for DIYers all over the world who would rather have a rustic or otherwise interesting conversation piece than fall in line with the standard. Repurposed objects can range from whimsical to the epitome of taste – it all depends on your style, your needs and the range of your imagination.


Milk Bottle Lighting Chandelier, made from recycled milk bottles


Here are a Few Unusual Things That You Can Repurpose for Your Home or Apartment:


Save Your Empties!

Okay, so maybe we’re not talking about empty cans – but empty wine and beer bottles can be used for some pretty interesting purposes.


First off, you can turn your empty wine bottle into a lamp, or collect them until you have enough for a chandelier. If you can remove the bottom of the wine bottle and feed the wiring of a bulb socket backwards through the neck, the socket and bulb will sit inside of the bottle to create a tasteful and interesting lighting fixture that will definitely get people talking.


Chandelier made of wine bottles hanging on ceiling


You can also turn your favorite craft beer bottles into a set of party glasses for that summer barbecue. All you need is string or twine, some kerosene, a lighter, a bucket of ice water, and an open space that’s far away from anything flammable. (The driveway should work.) 


Tie the string around an attractive beer bottle just above the label, then remove it and (keeping your fingers dry) dip the loop of string in kerosene. Put it back on the bottle, and hold the bottle horizontally near the bottom. Use the lighter to light the string on fire with your other hand, and rotate the bottle to let the flame spread. After about 10 seconds, you should hear a crack – after that, dip the bottle in the ice water, and the top will fall right off! Use sand paper to smooth down the edges, and voila – a party glass!


Make Your Own Coffee Table

It’s not hard to find a wooden pallet that’s going to be thrown away. If you can get your hands on one, it could be repurposed as the perfect coffee table. You could consider staining it and adding a coating or two of finish, or you could paint it to match your living room décor. You might even prefer the character that it’s acquired with use and leave it the way it is. All you have to do is pick up some sturdy 360-degree castors to install at each corner, and get glass either custom-cut or in a size that already fits your pallet. Just like that, you have a DIY coffee table that looks like a rustic designer piece.


Living room


The Door to Creativity

It’s also pretty easy to pick up a sturdy, solid door from a salvage yard. Any house built before 1950 probably had solid wood doors made of something like maple, chestnut, mahogany, or oak, and these useful panels often get tossed. One of the interesting ways that you can repurpose a door like this is to turn it into a headboard for your master bedroom. Re-staining and finishing a door like these is a fairly easy project, and if you really want to get creative, you could install reading lamp light fixtures on either side. You could easily do this project by yourself and end up looking like you hired a top-quality interior designer.


Adult worker sanding vintage wooden door with sanding block


These are just a few of the interesting ideas we’ve found. Have you ever repurposed or salvaged an item to create designer-quality furnishings for your home? Comment below and tell us all about it!


Images used with permission, courtesy of,, and

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