How to Make Furniture Out of Common Household Items

Not everyone can afford afford all of the furnishings they might like for their homes. So until they can afford to buy the pieces of furniture that they want, they can make do with other items commonly found around their home. With a bit of creativity and little work, these items are both workable and fun.

Place a piece of scrap wood on top of two heavy cardboard boxes. Cover everything with a pretty tablecloth, sheet or curtain to make a temporary dresser for the bedroom. Top off with a lightweight lamp and some vanity items.

Stack two or three storage cubes together to create a unique and useful side table that can be used next to a couch, chair or bed. Paint them, if necessary, to blend in with the rest of the furnishings. Use the open side of the cubes to store books or magazines, to hold knickknacks or to add some greenery or flowers to the space.

Stack plastic storage containers together and top with fabric for a quick and easy bedside table. Add a piece of scrap wood or glass to level it out. Place a lamp, clock or other bedside item on top.

Use a new or antique storage trunk as a coffee table. Cover mars, scratches or blemishes with a fresh coat of paint, contact paper or wallpaper, or decoupage the surface with travel scenes, family photos or postcards of places the family has visited.

Use two or three storage hassocks as a coffee or end table. Place a piece of clear glass on top to provide an even top surface and decorate with items like lamps, greenery, flowers or knickknacks.

Create extra guest or accent seating for a bedroom, family room or formal living area by using spare dining room chairs. Place a foam or premade cushion on the seat and cover everything with a chair cover purchased at a discount department or home decorating store. Or make your own with personally chosen fabric and a pattern that can be purchased at any fabric store.

Stack a couple of heavy-duty wooden storage cubes together to provide extra seating for a kitchen or dining area.

Use a TV stand as a small table. Leave as is, or cover with a pretty tablecloth that blends into the room’s decor. Place a small television, lamp, clock or other decorator item on top.

Line up two to four storage hassocks at the end of a bed to hold bed covers during the night.

Use small bookshelves as side tables for the bedside or on either side of a couch. Use the top for lamps, greenery, flowers and knickknacks while storing books and magazines or other items on the shelves.

Things You Will Need

  • Scrap wood
  • Clear glass pieces
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Storage cubes
  • Plastic storage boxes
  • Tablecloths
  • Sheets
  • Curtains
  • Scrap fabric
  • Paint
  • Contact paper
  • Wallpaper
  • Storage trunk
  • Storage hassocks
  • Extra dining chairs
  • TV tray
  • Bookshelves
  • Home items (lamps, clocks, books, magazines, knickknacks)
  • Bed covers
  • Chair covers


  • A bit of paint can help common household items work as temporary furniture.
  • Use contact paper, wallpaper or paint to jazz up scrap pieces of wood.
  • Use an old mirror as a tabletop for an end table.


  • Make sure the items chosen are sturdy enough for use.

About the Author

A business and education specialist for 30 years, Chantel Alise also owned a management and marketing training company. She has written newsletters and training manuals as well as business articles for Enid News and Eagle's Business Journal. She is principle writer for Beauty Biz. Alsie attended Thomas Nelson Community College (Virginia) and Phillips University (Oklahoma).