8 Clever Upcycles from the Habitat ReStore

Habitat for Humanity ReStores offer a variety of home improvement and upcycling opportunities with the ever-changing variety of items available for sale.  Here are eight unique projects—all created by entrants for the 2019 Mid-Ohio Valley Habitat ReStore ReDesign Contest—using items purchased from the ReStore and “flipped” into something new.


Though sixteen-year-old Owen Tidd has only been woodworking for about a year, he jumped at the chance to stretch his abilities for a good cause. Starting with an old wooden window as the cornerstone of his project, he built a pine wooden base and salvaged legs from an old desk to form a sturdy curio table. He used pocket hole screws from underneath for a seamless fit joining the boards on the bottom part of the box structure. “It’s one of my favorite things right now – the pocket hole screws,” he said.

He painted the frame and legs all white and added a pop of turquoise inside, making a lovely spot for displaying beach-themed décor, driftwood, seashells, books or other memorabilia. The hinged top makes it easy to change out the display as often as the owner desires. The lightly distressed finish and black hardware all make for a winning combination by this young man. Well done!


Woodworker Larry Siers and his wife Marianne (see her entry below!) enjoy working on projects together. “It’s all about helping Habitat and having fun,” Larry said. Their two upcycles both feature General Finishes Queenstown Gray Milk Paint complemented with attractive wood detail, so they could work nicely in the same space if desired. These crafters really considered every detail of their new designs.

Larry’s project began as a small desk he purchased for $15 at the ReStore, complete with self-stick floor tile that had been added on the top as a protective surface (ugh!). Larry was unable to salvage the top, so he made a new, expanded one out of black walnut (cut, sawed and dried on their farm) to create a spot for two bar chairs, which were also refurbished finds. He removed the desk’s feet and installed a base/support to raise the overall table height before adding wheels to create a movable station. This also allows for another storage spot under the former desk.

All of the drawers were remade for the addition of full-extension ball-bearing slides and new black walnut fronts. The top two drawers were made into one drawer with divisions for utensils. The top and drawer fronts were finished with semi-gloss polyurethane. Larry recycled old tin from their son’s farm into a rustic back piece for the island, shown below. New industrial style black drawer pulls completed the beautiful transformation.

Before - A $15 desk from the ReStore. Note the self-stick floor tile on top. The tabletop was rebuilt and expanded.
Larry rebuilt the drawers to include full-extension ball-bearing slides and new black walnut fronts.

This image shows the back of the rolling island: newly built, extended tabletop to create a bar, rustic tin recycled from their sons farm, and two refurbished bar stools in matching Queenstown Gray Milk Paint. 


Marianne Siers literally turned her project on its end. Using a $5 mid-1960s record cabinet tipped sideways and gutted, this creative lady designed the ultimate doggy feeding station, complete with a tip-out bin.

She reused two of the original record dividers by cutting them down and making them into shelves. She reclaimed the discarded tabletop from husband Larry’s island project (above) to create the divider between the new pull-out drawer and the rest of the cabinet. Making use of nearly every piece of scrap wood, Marianne used pine left over from the drawer and tip-out construction, as well as black walnut from Larry’s project, to make a beautiful herringbone pattern top. It was stained with early American wood stain and sealed with two coats of General Finishes Satin polyurethane.

Marianne designed the tip-out compartment for a large bin of dogfood, but the space could also easily store a trash can. The newly-constructed bottom drawer houses the pet’s food and water bowls in an easily washable silicone holder designed to catch drips and splashes. The shelves on the side can be used to store toys, treats and miscellaneous dog supplies. What a terrific and stylish was to stay organized with your pet paraphernalia!

Lots of spots for storing treats, toys, food bowls and more!
Non-pet owners can use the tip-out bin for a trash can hideaway. 


In keeping with the pet theme, check out this sweet adaptation of a pet bed from Sarah Barton. The original side table Sarah purchased from the ReStore was pretty solid, so no repairs were necessary. After a quick cleanup, she lightly sanded it to prepare the wood for painting. She gave all surfaces three coats of latex paint in a soft neutral color. To give it a nicely antiqued finish, Sarah added a coat of Minwax stain and wiped off the excess for a subtle gradation of color.

Using a Silhouette Cameo desktop cutting machine, she designed some really cute decals that elevated the professional look of this project. She also hand painted and framed a sign to go along with the theme, which she made from old scrap wood.

Accent pillows were created from an outdoor seat cushion and some fabric from her “stash.” She designed and cut the vinyl decorations on those as well. What a sweet spot for a special pooch!

Puppy Palace creator Sarah Barton
A peek inside this cozy and stylish pet palace

Personal touches make this piece a favorite!


This unlikely combination of items was revamped into the cutest little two-tiered cupcake stand perfect for birthday parties and other celebrations. Mary (Shelly) Hess used two old picture frames and a pair of wooden wall sconces from the ReStore to create her upcycle.

She first disassembled the frames, sanded and painted them with Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Paint & Primer – one bright yellow and one bright turquoise. The wall sconces were cut to make the center post, finial and the stand’s legs, all sanded and painted bright green. The trays were cut to size from beadboard and painted coordinating colors. Isn’t this a fun piece? 

Before - picture frames and wooden wall sconces were taken apart, sanded and painted.
Definitely an unexpected upcycle! So cute, colorful and ready to party!
Pallet wood and old spoons became a simple but interesting candleholder in Kyle Worstell’s upcycle. 
Theresa Kaelin went rustic with her project, using the top of an old console table and adding antlers for functionality in this mudroom or entryway hat rack. 

Eric Richards refinished an old coffee table and spiffed it up with four recessed tea light candleholders.

Woodcraft is proud to support the Mid-Ohio Valley Habitat for Humanity. Do you have a Habitat ReStore location near you? If so, you owe it to yourself to stop in and look around. Not only do the stores support Habitat for Humanity missions in your area, but you can purchase new and gently used furniture, appliances, home goods, building materials and more for a fraction of the retail price.

We hope you’ll be inspired!

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