Before & After: 11 Trash to Treasure Transformations for Your Home and Life

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We all have old items tucked into the back of closets or taking up space in the garage that we’ve been meaning to donate or throw away. But what you may see as trash right now could actually be an amazing treasure for your home and life. Here are 11 before-and-after projects that will make you think twice about tossing out old or outdated items around the house.

Related: Project Details: Turn Door Into Table

An antique door is repurposed into an elegant entry table.
An antique door is repurposed into an elegant entry table. (Image: Tim & Mary Vidra for eHow)

Turn a Drab TV Cabinet Into a Kid’s Kitchen

Now that bulky tube-style televisions are a thing of the past, old media centers have little value in our homes. Unless you turn them into a super cute kid’s kitchen, that is. Where kids used to zone out in front of the TV, they can now practice their pretend culinary skills and get their imagination cooking!

Related: Get the Details: Make Your Own Kid’s Kitchen

Kids can whip up culinary masterpieces in their very own kitchen.
Kids can whip up culinary masterpieces in their very own kitchen. (Image: Debbie Williams for eHow)

Give a Retro Side Table a Stylish Makeover

What’s old is new in the world of design these days. And nothing is hotter than mid-century furniture. With a few simple updates, an outdated side table gets a new lease on life as an ultra-stylish side table fit for any room.

Related: Dress up Your Retro Side Table

Magazines and other end table items will be proud to perch on this design.
Magazines and other end table items will be proud to perch on this design. (Image: Carrie Waller)

Help Rusty Cast-Iron Skillets Become Seasoned Pros

When it comes to cooking with cast-iron skillets, the rule of thumb is generally, the older the pan, the better the flavor. But what happens when said skillets are completely rusted? We’ve got you covered with these easy steps to restore your old cast-iron skillets to shiny-new, well-seasoned heights.

Related: Restore Your Rusty Cast-Iron Skillets

A seasoned cast iron skillet is a must-have for every kitchen.
A seasoned cast iron skillet is a must-have for every kitchen. (Image: Tim Vidra)

Transform an Old Metal Cart Into a Colorful Bar Cart

At first glance, an old metal cart might seem like it belongs in the garage or tool shed. But really, it has the potential of being the showpiece at your next party – as a fabulous bar cart. And we know that bar carts are all the rage these days.

Related: Upcycle Old Metal Cart Into Cute Bar Cart

Dazzle party guests with a fully stocked bar cart.
Dazzle party guests with a fully stocked bar cart. (Image: Jessica Begum for eHow)

Give a Plain Folding Table a Vibrant Facelift

An extra folding table and chairs are nice to have for large dinner parties, especially for use as a kids’ table. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for bland. A little spray paint and some chic fabric can transform your folding table and chairs into dining room superstars. Everyone will want to sit at the kids’ table.

Related: Check out the Makeover: Fabulous Folding Table

Folding tables and chairs can be chic, too.
Folding tables and chairs can be chic, too. (Image: Debbie Williams for eHow)

Repurpose an Ugly Suitcase into a Vintage Picnic Basket

Picnic baskets are great, but many of them can be downright expensive. An old suitcase will work just as well to carry your picnic goodies in style. Some paint and fabric go a long way to adding charm and cuteness – you’ll be the hit of the park with a fully custom vintage creation.

Related: Repurpose Old Suitcase into Cute Picnic Basket

Punch up the charm on your picnics with a vintage suitcase.
Punch up the charm on your picnics with a vintage suitcase. (Image: Jonathan Fong for eHow)

Treat a Weathered Wicker Chair to a Bold New Update

Patio furniture has a tendency to get weathered over time. No need to shell out your hard-earned dollars on new furniture. Instead, treat your old wicker chairs to a colorful makeover. Hint: spray paint is your best friend on this one.

Related: Give Your Weathered Wicker Chairs a Facelift

Add a pop of color to your outdoor space with a bright wicker chair.
Add a pop of color to your outdoor space with a bright wicker chair. (Image: Jessica Begum for eHow)

Tranform Dad’s Shirt into a Daughter’s Dress

Daughters generally like to play dress-up in mom’s clothes, but dad’s clothes are most definitely not off limits. Most guys have shirts they’ve either outgrown or the collars have become dingy. These are perfect contenders to transform into an adorable child’s peasant dress.

Related: Download the Sewing Pattern: Child’s Peasant Dress

Time to raid dad's closet for peasant dress fabric.
Time to raid dad's closet for peasant dress fabric. (Image: Debbie Williams for eHow)

Create a Vintage Masterpiece from an Outdated Dresser

Think of an old-fashioned dresser as a blank canvas. With a new paint color and some updated hardware, you can transform a bland piece of garage sale furniture into a shabby chic masterpiece. Go ahead, you know you want to channel your inner artist.

Related: Check Out the Technique: Shabby Chic Dresser

A shabby chic dresser adds vintage charm to any space.
A shabby chic dresser adds vintage charm to any space. (Image: Tim & Mary Vidra for eHow)

Update a Tacky Honey Oak Cabinet with a Sleek New Look

Knock, knock. It’s the 1980s, and they want their honey oak cabinets back. It doesn’t take much to update cabinets with a fresh, modern look. Elevate your bathroom cabinets with these simple changes and say buh-bye to tacky.

Related: See How It’s Done: Honey Oak Cabinet Makeover

Dated honey oak cabinets get a modern makeover.
Dated honey oak cabinets get a modern makeover. (Image: Debbie Williams for eHow)

Build an Elegant Entry Table from an Old Weathered Door

There’s nothing like salvaging a cool vintage piece and finding a new purpose for it. This old door-turned-table tutorial lends a great flea market vibe to any entryway. It’s an unexpected piece to have in your home and sure to spark many great conversations. You'll be surprised to see what this door originally looked like!

Related: Repurpose Antique Door into Entry Table

Charm visitors at the door with a unique entry table.
Charm visitors at the door with a unique entry table. (Image: Tim & Mary Vidra for eHow)

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