Pianos are heavy and cumbersome, making them difficult and potentially costly to move. It’s not uncommon for new property owners to discover an old piano that was left behind by the previous owners. Many people choose to simply abandon a piano that is no longer playable rather than pay to have it moved somewhere. If you have an old piano sitting around your house, just taking up space, you might be wondering how to get rid of it without tossing it into the garbage dump.
In this new, green-friendly world we now live in, there is much talk about reusing or repurposing items instead of discarding them. And when it comes to very large items, like pianos, choosing to reuse them instead of paying to have them removed or scrapped might make perfect sense. When it comes to creating furniture made from old pianos, there’s actually a lot of unique and fun options at your disposal. So in this article, I’m going to cover some of my favorite inventive ideas you can use to essentially create repurposed furniture from an old piano!
Ideas for Furniture Made From Old Pianos
Let’s begin first with the idea turning your piano into a bar.
Transfer a Piano into a Bar
One of the most popular ideas for repurposing an old piano is to convert it into a bar. You might be wondering how exactly this can be done, so let’s walk through it together.
You can install a shelf or two along the bottom of the piano to create a place for storing liquor bottles. You could add a rack for hanging glassware. Cover the keys with a refinished wood board or glass top for that fancy touch. You could even install a mirror right above the keyboard area to give it that reflective element. And if it’s a grand piano you’re repurposing, simply opening the top provides a perfect place to store bar supplies and liquor bottles.
Turn a Piano into a Table
The shape and size of a grand piano would make an excellent table. Leave the piano as is and simply close the top or install a top of your choosing to make the design unique! Don’t forget that you can paint or refinish a piano any way you want to match the colors or wall décor in a room. An upright piano could also still be converted into a smaller table or sideboard. Removing the key bed and front parts of the frame leaves you with a ready-made table.
Turn a Piano Into a Dresser
An upright piano would convert easily into a dresser. All that’s needed is to add a few drawers underneath the keyboard area. Remove or cover the keys with a piece of finished wood and you have a lovely spot to set a lamp or some colorful items or knick knacks you love.
Repurpose a Piano into a Work Desk
An upright or grand piano could convert quite easily into a desk with the addition of a top piece laid over the keys. Because you sit and play the piano, it kind of makes it the perfect height for use as a desk. Add a few cubby holes into the frame, and even add a desk lamp to give it the right lighting. You might be surprisingly happy with the results. And you’ll save money on a new desk!
Turn Your Piano into a Bookshelf
An upright piano can convert into a handsome bookshelf with the addition of a few shelves above or below the key bed. If you have a grand piano, you could even gut the insides and hang the entire body on the wall. Add a few shelves inside the frame of the body and you’ve got a pretty unique wall bookshelf.
Alter Your Piano into an Entertainment Center
With some craftsmanship, converting an old upright piano into an entertainment center for a television or stereo should be a breeze. You could build some shelving area around the key bed to hold electronic items, or remove all the front pieces of the cabinet and leave only the sides and back pieces—and you’ve got a cabinet already made!
Have Your Piano Hold Fine China
Placing an old piano in a dining room and creating an interesting place to store fancy dinnerware is a great idea. The possibilities are endless, and you could even create some doors with glass fronts. Add some hinges in the right places and you have an interesting and unique China cabinet.
Turn Your Acoustic Piano into a Digital Piano Stand
I think this is an awesome idea for those that still want to continue playing the piano, but kind of want to “downgrade” to a more manageable or portable digital piano.
So, in order to pull this off, how about removing the keys from the key bed of an old acoustic piano and using it as a stand for your digital piano? That way, you could still enjoy your new piano while still utilizing (in some small way) the remnants of your acoustic piano.
Transform Your Piano into a Workbench
Add a pegboard to the back of the piano, remove the front parts like the key bed and rails, and you’ve got a perfect workbench for the garage. Add some hooks or pegs to hang tools.
Turn Your Piano into a Planter
One of the most popular ideas for converting old pianos is to fill them with plants! Both uprights and grand pianos work well for this kind of project. And you can leave or remove as much of the piano as you want.
Craft Your Piano into a Fountain
There are some simple ways to turn your old piano into a fountain! If you have an existing water feature in your yard, like a pond, you could turn the piano into a waterfall of sorts. Both uprights and grands look magnificent when used in this manner. Add some plants or flowers, and even some statues to the mix to make this transformation stand out.
Use the Piano Frame for a Fish Task
Using an old piano to house a fish tank is a great idea! Use the existing frame as a place to house an aquarium or set the aquarium on top of the piano.
This will turn your old piano into an interesting conversation piece.
Reusing Piano Parts
It’s not just the cabinet of a piano that can be repurposed. Every part of a piano can be turned into something else with a bit of creativity!
Repurpose the wood pieces for other projects.
Use the keys of your piano to create all kinds of arts and crafts, like lampshades, clocks, or chandeliers. I think this is a particularly good option if you happen to be dealing with a bunch of broken piano keys or sticky piano keys or you simply want to remove all of your ivory piano keys entirely.
If you decide to remove and replace these keys, instead of throwing the whole key bed away, you can opt to repurpose the keys for fun craft ideas like this one.
Another idea is to use the keys to create a unique living room table, by using a double glass design with the keys displayed inside the table. I think that would actually make for a really fun conversation piece.
Create artwork using piano keys. Check out Pinterest for some amazing ideas on how to create artwork with piano keys.
Repurpose the pins and strings to hang jewelry or keys.
Use the harp as modern art, or cut it into pieces and utilize the shapes to make art. The harp on most pianos is very interesting to look at, and the metal pieces inside could be used for all kinds of projects.
Repurpose the piano bench by adding some new upholstery. Perhaps you could use your piano bench for a stool around your home, or maybe even an ottoman in the living room.
How to Repurpose a Piano
There are many ways to repurpose an old piano, and it’s up to you to decide how much you want your new furnishings to still resemble the piano once you’ve completed your project. If you want, you could leave the instrument pretty much intact, or depending on what you’re trying to build or create, you can completely disassemble and reuse many of the parts.
How to Dismantle a Piano
Most pianos are designed to come apart easily to provide access for tuning and repairs. Most of the outer cabinet parts on a piano are held together by simple screws, or easily slide or pop apart. Once you start removing the screws, these pieces of wood come apart quite easily. You could even reuse the pieces in other ways on the piano, including adding a shelf.
Remove Piano Strings and Tuning Pins
Once all of the outer pieces, including the key bed, piano keys, and action have been removed, the hard work begins. It may be safer to lay the piano on its back at this point, since removing the key bed may cause the piano to tip over.
Removing the tuning pins, which each hold a string under extreme pressure, needs to be done very carefully. The amount of pressure these strings and pins are under makes it somewhat dangerous to remove them, so take care to do it safely—or hire a professional to do it for you. Each pin must be removed individually. You may need a drill or utilize locking pliers to accomplish this task. This step is only necessary if you intend to remove the harp.
Remove the Piano Harp
Once you have removed the tuning pins and the strings, you will have access to the harp. The harp is held in place by several screws, and once these are removed, you can remove the harp from the piano.
But please exercise caution, because the weight of the piano and the harp itself can be several hundreds of pounds. In an effort to be as safe as possible, it’s best to make this a two-person job. You could also consider cutting the harp into smaller pieces if you don’t intend to keep it in its original shape.
Again, this step is only necessary if you intend to reuse every piece of the piano. With that said, a piano with the harp still intact, but with the front pieces removed so that the harp is visible, is a striking décor piece.
Now once the harp is removed, all that’s left is the soundboard and the back half of the casing. These pieces will be more difficult to disassemble, as they may be glued or fitted together. Remember that you don’t need to take every piece of the piano apart to repurpose it.
One last thing—once you start taking your acoustic piano apart, it will become easier to move on from your beloved piano. And, once you’re able to cross that mental hurdle, all of the fun and creative ideas begin to fire off in your mind, and you’ll notice that a lot more fun and creative decorating ideas come pouring out of you.
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