Have an old bed frame taking up space in your basement or garage? Don’t send it to a landfill! Give that retired bed frame new life with a fun DIY makeover project. With a little imagination and elbow grease, you can transform a cast-off bed from the bedroom into handy home furnishings to fit your personal style.

From a shabby chic bench for the garden to an industrial worktable for the garage, these 15 brilliant upcycling ideas offer creative ways to repurpose old metal or wooden bed frames. Read on for inspiring step-by-step tutorials that show how to redecorate tired bedroom furniture finds from thrift stores and yard sales using paint, stain, or distressing techniques.

Why You Should Upcycle An Old Bed Frame

Upcycling obsolete beds into new furnishings comes with many benefits:

  • Saves usable materials from landfills
  • Prevents need to purchase brand new furniture
  • Lets you customize pieces to suit your tastes
  • Allows creativity in home decor projects
  • Provides sturdy base for DIY transformations
  • Has minimal cost if sourced secondhand

Sustainable upcycling also gives retired bed frames renewed purpose to become focal points in your home rather than taking up storage space.

How To Prep An Old Bed Frame For An Upcycle Makeover

Before launching into your makeover mission, start by dismantling the old bed frame down to the basic frame. Remove any existing hardware, footboards, headboards, slats or box springs. This will allow you to focus on the structural base suitable for your intended upcycle project.

Give the stripped frame a thorough cleaning using a degreaser to remove any dirt or grime. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough patches or flaky paint spots in preparation for priming and painting. Fill any imperfections with wood filler and let dry completely.

You now have a blank canvas ready for your upcycled furnishings makeover using these brilliant DIY ideas to inspire you.

1. Repurposed Bed Frame Garden Bench

Give tired metal bed frames new life outdoors with this shabby chic garden bench makeover. The coral and turquoise ombre paint job adds a colorful punch while the distressed details lend vintage farmhouse charm. Use water resistant paint for outdoor longevity then stencil on cheery floral motifs. Add flat seat cushions for comfort.

What You Need:

  • Metal bed frame
  • Paint in complementary colors
  • Paint brushes
  • Sandpaper
  • Flat seat cushions
  • Floral stencil

2. DIY Pull Behind Cargo Trailer

Transform that old bunk bed or metal frame into a handy pull-behind cargo trailer for yardwork or camping. Follow the step-by-step video to see how the bed base provides the perfect readymade flooring. Then attach plywood siding and secure the hitch for hauling equipment, dirt bikes or other large items with ease.

What You Need:

  • Old bunk bed frame
  • Wheels
  • Plywood sheets
  • Power tools
  • Hitch accessories

3. Gorgeous Repurposed Bed Frame Console Table

This chic console table doubles the style impact while keeping your repurposed bed frame out of the waste stream. Lean into the industrial vibe by adding black metal accents and hammered drawer pulls to the weathered wood surface. Use heavy duty brackets to mount the tabletop then accessorize with your favorite decor items.

What You Need:

  • Old bed frame
  • Tabletop wood cut to size
  • Black metal brackets
  • Drawer pulls
  • Decorative accents

4. Upcycled Bed Frame Into Pet Bed

Pamper your pooch or kitty with a custom DIY pet bed made from an old twin bed frame. Cut plywood sized to the frame base then cushion with a thick memory foam mattress pad trimmed to fit. Add bumpers then cover with cozy fleece or flannel sheets secured with cute upholstery tacks. Customize with your pet’s name for a special handmade gift.

What You Need:

  • Twin bed frame
  • Plywood cut to fit frame
  • Memory foam mattress pad
  • Fleece or flannel sheets
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Corner bumpers

5. Unique DIY Photo Hanger

Show off your favorite photos while repurposing a cast off bed frame into a memorable wall display. Arrange framed prints gallery style across the reinvented headboard and footboard then secure with heavy duty brackets. Complement with LED strip lighting to highlight your heartwarming moments.

What You Need:

  • Old metal headboard + footboard
  • Photo prints and frames
  • Heavy duty brackets
  • LED strip lighting

6. Repurposed Bed Frame Garden Bridge

Span a small creek or pond while upcycling that discarded bed frame into a sturdy garden bridge. Flip the frame over and use the legs to elevate the base. Coat with weather resistant stain or paint for outdoor durability then accessorize with planters to highlight the vista.

What You Need:

  • Old metal bed frame
  • Weather resistant wood stain
  • Planter boxes
  • Gravel or stepping stones

7. DIY Raised Garden Bed

Give your vegetables and flowers a healthy head start by transforming a retired bunk bed into a raised garden bed frame. Line the bed with landscape fabric then fill with nutrient rich soil for plant success. Include built-in trellises at the head and footboards to support climbing vines.

What You Need:

  • Metal bunk bed frame
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Top soil + compost
  • Seeds or plant starts
  • Trellis panels

8. Upcycled Bed Frame Coffee Table

Romanticize a cast-off bed frame base to create this winsome wood slab coffee table topped with tempered glass. Sand smooth the salvaged wood surface then finish with protective sealant. Prop on hairpin legs for airy midcentury modern or industrial chic style.

What You Need:

  • Old wooden bed base
  • Tempered glass cut to fit
  • Hairpin legs
  • Wood sealant

9. Repurposed Bunk Bed Planter/Bench

Double down on this upcycling project by converting an old bunk into a two tiered planter with built-in bench seating. Follow the video tutorial to see how the bed shape perfectly allows for flowers on top and veggies underneath. Extend legs to seat height then add waterproof liner and soil to plant.

What You Need:

  • Metal bunk bed frame
  • Wood boards for seat
  • Planter liners
  • Soil & plants

10. Repurposed Bed Frame Fencing

Boundary unwanted guests from entering your property by using a deconstructed bed frame as decorative garden fencing. Secure tall metal posts between sections of headboard and footboard for an impervious barricade. Customize with chicken wire or lattice accents.

What You Need:

  • Metal bed frame
  • Heavy posts
  • Concrete for securing posts

11. DIY Flower Bed

Upcycle a basic metal bed frame into a unique in-ground flower bed to inject color wherever desired. Surround with decorative bricks or stones then include drainage materials and quality potting mix to plant vibrant blossoms. Include a trellis at the headboard for climbing varieties.

What You Need:

  • Metal bed frame
  • Landscaping bricks/stones
  • Trellis
  • Drainage gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Plants & seeds

12. Repurposed Bunk Bed Workbench

Industrious makers will appreciate this sturdy workbench for handy garage storage made from a retired bunk bed. Remove one bed base to double work surface space. Add lockable casters for mobility then incorporate hooks, bins and compartments for organizing tools.

What You Need:

  • Bunk bed frame
  • Locking casters or wheels
  • Plywood work surface
  • Storage hooks/bins

13. Upcycled Bed Frame Porch Swing

Escape with an afternoon nap by transforming salvaged bed frames into this relaxing front porch swing. Connect two metal frames together then add a cushy foam mattress trimmed to size. Protect from elements using weather resistant fabric secured with bright upholstery tacks.

What You Need:

  • Two metal bed frames
  • Mattress foam
  • Outdoor fabric
  • Upholstery tacks
  • Hardware for hanging

14. Rustic Bed Frame Shelf

Bring the outdoors inside and amplify the cozy cabin vibe by mounting half of an old bed frame on the wall to display greenery and favorite accessories. Make sure to anchor securely into wall studs then artfully arrange plants and decorative objects along the reclaimed wood shelf.

What You Need:

  • Half of wooden bed frame
  • Heavy duty brackets
  • Plants + decor items

15. Upcycled Bed Frame Wall D├ęcor

Make a stunning style statement and prevent waste by converting leftover bed frame parts into accent walls or room dividers. Use plywood to expand smaller pieces into wall sized sections then layer with paint techniques like stripes, patterns or ombre for completely customizable looks.

What You Need:

  • Leftover bed frame wood
  • Plywood
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Hardware to mount

Conclusion

With minimal cost and effort, you can reinvent retired bed frames headed for local landfills by getting creative with these unique upcycling ideas. By seeing the potential hidden in cast-offs, that obsolete furniture find can now transform into conversation-starting focal points to show off your DIY talents and decorate your home.

So next time you spot a discarded metal or wooden bed frame, envision the possibilities and bring it home for your next fulfilling furnishing makeover adventure that reduces waste. Have fun repurposing and upcycling beds into handy home projects like these:

  • Shabby chic bench
  • Cargo trailer
  • Console table
  • Pet bed
  • Photo display
  • Garden bridge
  • Raised planting bed
  • Coffee table
  • Two tier planter
  • Decorative fencing
  • In-ground flower bed
  • Storage workbench
  • Hanging porch swing
  • Rustic greenery shelf
  • One-of-a-kind wall decor

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