12 Ways to Reuse Broken Household Items
Looking for ways to reuse those broken household items? I have talked about some ways you can repurpose old household items, but this article will cover how you can use those broken-down items in your house that you just don’t know what to do with! It’s nice to be able to put those egg cartons, tissue boxes, and toilet paper rolls to work, but what about the big items?
When something becomes broken, it’s our natural tendency to want to throw it out and replace those items with a new replacement, or something else entirely. But as it turns out, that’s actually a bad habit to have. Instead of helping fill up our landfills with more junk, you and I could be giving those items an entirely new and unique purpose.
The old adage that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure could apply here. Take the time to consider if what you’ve viewed as junk could actually turn into your treasure with a little creative work.
Do I have your attention? Keep reading to find out fun and clever projects that you can do to repurpose several of your broken household items.
12 Ways to Reuse Broken Household Items
1. Use Broken Pots as Garden Markers
While you may not be able to use your broken terra cotta pots for their original purpose, you can still use the fragments as stylish markers for your garden. Simply take a magic marker and label the names of each of your flowers, herbs, and vegetables. You could also use paint for writing or adding colorful artwork to your garden markers if you wish. 9 Superfoods You Can Grow in Your Garden
2. Convert an Old Dresser into a Usable Bench
If you’ve been thinking about throwing out that old dresser for a while now, pay close attention to this next project! Instead of taking it to the dump, how about repurposing it into a bench that can be used as outdoor furniture? Not only does this DIY project turn out great, but the instructions are also fairly simple to follow. Here’s how you can get started! This would also go really well in the entryway of your home. The old drawers could be used to plant a garden.
Another thing to consider is to use a small dresser as a nightstand. Even if one or two drawers don’t seem to work like they used to, nightstands generally are used to hold a table lamp and alarm clock next to your bed.
3. Broken Planter Pots into Festive Holiday Decorations
Let’s get back to the topic of all your broken terra cotta planter pieces. Besides using them as attractive garden markers, you can also use the broken pieces to create a decorative pumpkin ornament that will look absolutely fabulous come this fall! You could also use the fragments from those broken plates or saucers which will also have the same stunning effect. Simply apply the broken pieces to a foam ball while using a mosaic pattern and you’re finished. How To Prep Your Home For The Holidays
4. Make Two Desks from One Table
Even if your kitchen table has seen much better days and you’re ready to replace it, don’t throw it away! Although your table may be broken in the middle, as long as the end sections are in good shape, this project will be a piece of cake. Simply cut off the end portions past the legs, stain, or paint as you see fit, and then attach them to the wall. You can set a vanity mirror on one and use it as a place you can put on makeup in the morning and then provide the other for your children to do their homework on.
5. Turn Broken Chairs into Neat Hangers
Maybe you’re no longer able to sit in that chair like you once did, but that doesn’t mean that it’s entirely the end of the road for it. The top portion of the back of your chair can be removed and turned into a usable clothes hanger. All you need to do is attach the hanger hardware to the top of your chair and you have a stylish hanger. Every home needs more hooks and a holder here and there.
6. Turn Your Broken Jewelry into Something New
While it can be very disappointing when your favorite jewelry breaks, that doesn’t mean you’ll never get to wear them again! All you need is a few jewelry-making tools to transform your old jewelry like the pearls or beads from a necklace into a dazzling wrist or ankle bracelet or something else entirely of your own clever making. For one more idea, some people repurpose their broken jewelry into small door knobs for their cabinets. My Homemade Jewelry Cleaner Recipe
7. Make a Fire Pit from an Old Washing Machine
For this next project, you won’t have to keep the entire broken washing machine. All you need is the inside drum of the washing machine and maybe $10 out of pocket. It just so happens to be the perfect shape for a fire pit and will only require about an hour’s work out of you. Ready to get started? Here are the building instructions that you’ll need. 11 Ways You Can Prepare for a Wildfire
8. Make Bookshelves from Broken Ladders
Don’t keep using broken ladders to climb up on things. That can be very dangerous! I suggest you try taking your old wooden ladders and repurposing them into bookshelves. Not only does this project turn out great, but it also gives your home a more rustic appearance. Just take it apart into two sections and then attach them to your wall so that they’re secure. Best Survival Books Of All Time
9. Turn an Old Ceramic Tub into a Couch
Do you happen to own an old and outdated ceramic tub and are thinking about replacing it with one that’s new? Instead of getting rid of it, how about turning it into a beautiful couch that you could set on your patio or strategically place it in your backyard? You could even keep it in your living room or in one of your spare bedrooms. With just a little paint and some cushioning, as well as cutting out the front, this DIY project is sure to impress your friends and be a topic of conversation.
10. Transform an Old Piano into a Work Bench
I absolutely love this next clever idea, especially if you can’t afford to purchase a brand-new workbench! If your piano no longer works as it once did, you can take out all the hardware from it and make it into a workbench that will hold all your tools. It’s a great option to place in your garage or in a workshop. This is one of my favorite ways to reuse broken household items.
11. Make Shelving from a Broken Guitar
Maybe you took guitar smashing a little bit too seriously? Or perhaps you have a guitar that no longer has any purpose in your home. Whatever your story may be, I have the perfect solution. You can remove the front of your guitar and then add one or two shelves to the inside of it. Then hang it from your wall and add any neat little musical paraphernalia or other nick-nacks you can come up with.
12. Hang Your Kitchen Utensils on a Broken Garden Rake
For those of my readers who are going for more of a rustic farm-style kitchen, you’ll appreciate this last one I have for you. Don’t throw out a garden rake just because the handle fell off. You can still take the top part of the rake and hang it up so you have a home for several kitchen utensils. Just make sure to clean your rake beforehand. You could also paint it to give it more character if you want.
Other Broken or Old Household Items to Reuse:
- Broken Picture frame: consider taking the unwanted picture out of it and making a flowered wall decoration.
- Any kind of frame that breaks: use the wood pieces to sure up a broken piece of furniture or a support for shelving in your pantry or basement.
- Old dishes and cups: don’t chuck those old dishes, use them to make a nice wall decoration. You can also take two old dishes and make a cake stand by putting an old matching cup in between the two. You can also glue a small mirror in the middle of a plate and make a mirror wall decoration.
- Old or partially used candles: melt the candle and use the wax to make new twisted candles. Use the old candle as a fire starter. Use the scented candle as a fragranced drawer pouch. Use the wax a make some small tealights.
- Old t-shirts turned into rags: cotton t-shirts make good rags to clean windows, kitchen counters, bathtubs, and more. Since they’re rags, use them the next time you need to clean up some grease and then throw them away. Much stronger and more efficient than paper towels.
- An old ladder turned into plant storage: unless the steps on the ladder are broken or tapered, those steps should hold a number of small plants.
- Entertainment center turned to play kitchen: paint the entertainment center a bright color, add some decals, hang some cup hooks, and make your kids or grandkids a fun play kitchen.
- A washing machine drum or broken refrigerator turned into a planter: amazing what you can do with some items when laid on their side. Take the door off that old fridge or freezer, remove the shelves and drawers and place it in your garden area. You may want to bury it. Also, consider painting it a fun color and using it on your patio to hold some pretty flowers. Need a storage unit for your swimming pool accessories, consider using the fridge or freezer for that.
Other Fun Ideas:
- Glass mason jars: if not being used for canning food, use them to store nuts, bolts, screws, washers, electrical wire ties, and more small items. They can also be used to hold office supplies like pens, pencils, rulers, markers, and crayons. Also, consider using them to hold small tools.
- Broken dishes can be turned into art: if colorful enough, you can take the pieces and make some pretty wall art (see the first item above).
- You can make almost any household item into a flower pot: add some pizzazz to your back porch or patio by converting old pots, pans, mixing bowls, Tupperware, and other items.
- Take that old dingy shower curtain and put it to use as a tarp, clean it and make a tote bag or a produce bag when you go shopping. If the color is right, use it as a seat cushion cover or a cover for your pet beds when they wear out, your pets will love it.
- Save up those used plastic grocery bags and stuff them into larger bags to make a sleeping mat, garden kneeling mat or a small bed for your dog or cat.
- Take those old and frayed electrical cords and make them as an extension of your dog’s leash. Take the colorful ones and make wrist or ankle bracelets. Use them to hang your planters from the patio ceiling, or to tie off those holiday gift bags.
- Use those old bottle caps to make a directional sign by gluing them to a board you can hang up. Use them as fun accessories on things like bracelets, necklaces, and keychains. Tie a bunch together and make a small windchime.
The one thing that I hope that you all take away from this, is that just because something is broken, doesn’t mean that it can’t still serve a purpose. These are just a handful of ways that you can reuse some of the broken household items that may be in your home. Can you think of any other ways to repurpose broken household items? I’d love to hear from you! Even if you don’t love DIY projects, it’s so fun to actually put broken household items to use and show your creative side! May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Broken Terra Cotta Pottery AdobeStock_349461310 by DAVID
25 thoughts on “12 Ways to Reuse Broken Household Items”
My Dad had a basement workshop. The area under the stairs was open, so he screwed jar lids in rows on a couple or steps, and used the jars like you said, to sort his screws, nails, tacks etc. out of the way.
My Dad did that, too.
Hi Janet, it brings back great memories!! Linda
Hi Diana, oh my gosh, my dad did the very same thing! Great memories we could always find a nail, washer, a screw flat or pointed! Live this! Linda
I have been trying to get really creative with anything that breaks in my house! We just don’t have the thousands of dollars to replace anything and everything. Love this post!
Hi Jess, thank you for your kind words! We’re all worried about the economy right now. I do not know how families can feed their families. We must repurpose stuff. Linda
My husband and son took a tall TV cabinet, removed the doors and top, shortened it by 3 feet, and reattached the top. Now it works perfectly for our large flat screen TV. Two antique wooden ladders were refurbished as quilt racks. Two old windows with wavy glass are connected with hinges and painted with sunflowers using glass paints by our daughter to make a fireplace screen. An old baby cradle makes a cozy home for my kids and grandkids stuffed animals and lovies ….until the next generation. An old cannon ball headboard is now a bench in the front hall. Two old childrens wooden library chairs were mounted together to make a bookcase. My daughter took a childrens shawl, crochet a trim to make our Christmas tree skirt.
What happened to your print button?
Hi Lorna, oh my gosh, let me go look!!!! Whew!!! I found it! Look at the top of the post and you will see this little GREEN PRINT BUTTON. My readers depend on that button. Thanks for letting me know. Can you see it? Linda
Linda, old usb type phone charger cords can have new life after the soft ends are broken( they are designed that way so that the cord breaks, not your phone!) Cut off both connector ends and you have a strong cord. Many of them have a braided cover that can be removed fairly easily( I found thet the rectangular ones do not come off well…) and you have two cords, the inner one is pretty close to what we used to get for laundry lines, maybe not as strong… and the outer braided part is like a thin cord, pretty strong and some have nice patterns. They work like the mini no strands inside paracord. God bless!
Hi Jan, oh my gosh, this is a great tip! I love it! Thanks for sharing, Linda
You’re as bad as I am! I haven’t used those cords, but I save beat-up electrical cords, worn electric fence cords/rope, etc., as useful and *very* heavy-duty cordage. I’ve also been known to save the string that stitches shut the tops of feed bags…
I even keep a piece of the outer wrap “string” in my pocket most of the time, it is thin, but strong and pretty also.
I cannot see a green print button. It used to be beside the first line on the right side.
Hi Lorna, Let me send you a picture. Linda
Those old ceramic bathtubs are great for growing vegetables. My daughter has three. We have grown potatoes with good success and some herbs. We had some lovely foot and a half peanut plants growing this summer, but we planted too late and they went to seed. We will try again this spring. People want to get rid of them and my son-in-law has no problem repurposing them. There has to be so many ideas. My brother used to keep one just so his dogs could have a place to cool off during the summer. They loved jumping into cool water to cool off.
Hi Carolyn, oh my gosh, this is the best idea ever! It gives us more garden space!! Love this comment, Linda
Old bathtubs used to be the typical pasture water tubs for livestock. The only caution was to add a wooden frame to cover the sharp edge–not usually necessary for cattle or goats, but horses can (and will) bang a knee on it.
Love this post! I love recycling & up cycling. Our youngest daughter’s wedding was all recycled and up cycled items including 500 flowers I made from old books AND used coffee filters! We made a child’s kitchen from a microwave cart we found on junk pickup day!
Hi Marilynne, oh my gosh, this is awesome!! What an awesome wedding! You made the flower from coffee filters and old books! LOVE THIS!! Plus the child’s kitchen!!! Oh, Happy Day! Linda
Those old refrigerators and freezers have been repurposed by some as root cellars–some even sunk into the ground. I have a bunch of “dead” freezers, picked up over the years, for storing livestock feed–rodent proof, and keeps feed from going moldy as it will in trash cans in summer. No reason an old freezer couldn’t be used similarly to store human food supplies, to keep them safe and stable.
I have a small, “dorm-size” refrigerator that is mounted on a post as my Little Free Library!
HI Rhonda, I love the Free Library Idea!!!! Linda
Linda, my reply to this article never posted. Perhaps I did something wrong and being monitored?
I am always reusing broken stuff! Although, I have to admit, I have also thrown away some pretty decent stuff just because I couldn’t sell it or had no use for it. We are buying much less in 2023 and reusing what we can!
Hi Jess, I hear you, we’re doing the same thing. The prices of items I bought 1-2 years ago are now 3-4 times more expensive. It’s crazy Linda