Finding the ideal nightstand off the shelf can sometimes be a bit of a task, maybe you find one you like the look of but it’s too big or too small or ever so slightly the wrong shape. In that case, ZEN has a suggestion for you: upcycle. Creating your own nightstand not only allows you create something tailor-made to your needs but also saves you money and reduces the pollution involved in the creation of a new product. Good all round. So, after the first step of deciding you want to build your own nightstand, or nightstands even, where do you start? What do you make it out of and how do you make it look the way you want it to? Well we have a few ideas for you and a few helpful tips that should get you started.
Trashy Sometimes the best place to look for your materials is where other people have thrown what they don’t want, or rather what they’ve thrown it into.
A waste-paper basket upturned and given a new life with a fresh coat of paint can make a attractive piece of bed-side furniture, in spite of its mundane origins.
Traveller’s rest Vintage suitcases are often attractive items in of themselves, but has it ever occurred to you that they might make good furniture? There are a couple of ways to go about this one. Firstly, if you have a variety of old luggage then it can always simply be stacked to form a tower and then brightened up with a new coat of paint. If you don’t happen to have a variety of old luggage lying around, like most of us, then the alternative is to take one piece and simply attach some legs to the underside of it. These can either be salvaged from another old item of furniture or bought individually. This still likely to be cheaper than buying a whole new unit.
Sitting pretty Instead of putting your backside on a chair, why not put books and a lamp on it? Repurposing an old chair or stool as a nightstand, again with an attractive coat of paint to give it a new lease of life can be one of the easiest means of upcycling old furniture. Seeing as there’s already a flat surface ready to go, all that needed is a little love and at most some minor adaptations, such as shortening the legs or changing their angle.
Another rung on the ladder Sticking with the theme of taking advantage of any old flat surface you can find, an old step-ladder can provide the perfect base item for an upcycled nightstand. This one may require a little adaptation, such as adding in a few extra pieces of wood to expand the flat surfaces or widening the legs, for the same purpose.
One becomes two Say you’ve found a beautiful vintage table that you’re determined to do something with at some point, how about a nightstand? Or two for that matter? By simply halving the table, treating it to a fresh coat of paint, and attaching it to the wall to make up for the lack of legs on one side, you can create a couple of attractive, funky and matching nightstands.
A crate idea Sorry, the clever names had to run thin at some point. Perhaps the simplest idea of all is to take an old wooden (or metal for that matter) storage box and reinvigorate it with a new coat of paint.
This is more an exercise in painting that DIY so may suit those with a less practical skillset. That being said, there’s no reason you couldn’t attach legs if you felt the need.
ZEN tips There are a few general tips that we can give here that apply to all of these ideas. Firstly, pick your paint carefully. The delicate features one piece might be better suited to a more subtle tone, where as the bold, simple shapes of another might be better enhanced with the use of a bold statement colour.
Think about the space. This applies to both the item you chose to upcycle as well as the colours, make sure that both the item and the colour compliment the space your looking to make use of. Make sure, in order to preserve the longevity of the pretty colours you use, to coat whatever you paint with a coat of wax.
If you’re looking to embark on your next upcycling project, check out our range of beautiful chalk paints, perfect for upcycling. Not only that but they come in a range of artistically designed tins, ideal for reuse as storage pots or even plant pots to put on your new nightstand. https://zenpaints.co.uk/play/ If you decide to have a go at any of these ideas, make sure to upload a photo and tag us using #MyZen, we love to see your work!