How to Use Leftover Renovation or Building Materials

Four Pinterest-worthy DIY projects for your leftover renovation materials

Rather than fill a dumpster with the extra tiles, flooring, off-cuts of wood, wallpaper and other items from your leftover home improvement materials or demolition pile, why not make something fabulous for your home? Not only can you repurpose many of the things you’ve pulled apart–such as old kitchen cabinets or hardware–but you can also put extra bricks or drywall to great use. Here are some creative ways to give those odds and ends new life.

Reimagine extra ceramic wall tiles

Craft a half-dozen fun drink coasters by gluing felt or cork onto any four-by-four-inch square or hexagon-shaped tiles–even if they don’t match. You can use whole or broken tiles in a mosaic tabletop project, or glue a magnet to a glossy white subway tile for an instant mini dry-erase board for your fridge. You can also frame a boring mirror with small glass tiles, or stack a few horizontal tiles to make a unique street number mounted beside your front door. And just one oversized slate tile makes the perfect party-ready cheese board.

Transform old kitchen cabinetry

If you’re gutting your kitchen, be sure to put that sledgehammer down and remove a couple of those cabinet doors carefully, because they can be upcycled in many different ways. You can make a handy serving tray and screw in a handle on each side. Old cabinet knobs can be installed on a long piece of barn wood to create more hanging space in a mudroom or entry hall. You can also easily transform old kitchen drawers into wall-mounted open shelves.

Put extra vinyl plank flooring boards to use

Reinvent a boring coffee table by topping it with vinyl floorboards, or use the boards to frame a large builder-grade mirror. You can also create a gorgeous backsplash with floorboards of different lengths–install them as is, or cut them up into subway-style ‘tiles’.

Upcycle doors into something special

Look at your old door in a new way–sideways, for example! You can create a rustic headboard from a vintage door flipped on its side. Repaint or stain it, or give it a weathered look. You can also turn an old French door into a sweet photo gallery.

More ideas for odds and ends

If your contractor left a pile of extra bricks behind, repurpose them to build raised garden planters–bricks work well as planters because they drain well. You can also make a fire pit or lay down a brick pathway in your garden. If your plumber had too much copper piping, keep it to make a modern side table.

Have some lumber lying around? Handy DIYers can build a treehouse for the kids. Or, use the wood to create a pair of cozy backyard chairs that slide together with no glue or nails. Mismatched wood will work to build this farmhouse-style ‘love shelf’. Narrow pieces of wood can become garden trellis for climbing plants or vegetables. And you’ll also want to keep some of those scrap wood blocks so you can make different sized candle holders.

Tip: Any untreated wood building materials can be used as firewood, too.

And don’t toss that half-bag of grout leftover from your bathroom remodel. Instead, use that unsanded grout to make your own chalk paint, which you can use in all kinds of DIY projects. Speaking of paint, if you have a bunch of cans with leftover paint, use it to freshen up flower pots or window boxes.

There are so many creative ways to reuse, recycle and reinvent renovation materials that you’ll be happy you didn’t make a clean sweep when your remodel was done.

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