5 Ways to Upcycle an Old Fridge

wine bottles in an upcycled refrigerator wine cellar

As refrigerators get old and obsolete, they become a burden. They're usually heavy and cumbersome to dispose of. You're likely to come across an old rusty fridge in the backyard of a friend's house from time to time. Disposing of old refrigerators is increasingly becoming a big problem for the entire world.

But do you really need to dispose of your fridge? If you are a person who enjoys DIY projects, you might find upcycling your refrigerator a fulfilling venture. There are many ways you can repurpose your obsolete fridge and turn it into a magnificent home addition. You can use your fridge to add to your home decor and change the overall look of your spaces. These ideas should open your eyes to some of the best ways to repurpose your refrigerator, and perhaps inspire you to think of some of your own.

Use the Fridge as a Bookcase

Using your old fridge as a bookcase is a direct and easy way of upcycling. Anybody can easily turn an old fridge into a book shelf. You don't have to redesign or add anything to your fridge, you only have to disconnect it from power, find a strategic location in your study or living room and arrange the books within the compartments accordingly.

In some cases, you might be required to remove some compartment frames to create enough space for books. You may also choose to redecorate the exterior to fit with your room decor, or you may keep the original look. Since some fridges may be heavy, place your new creation somewhere it won't need to be moved often. You may also choose to entirely remove the door to offer a picturesque view of your shelved books, or you may choose to conceal your bookcase by closing the door.

dog house refrigerator with small dog

Turn The Old Fridge Into a Doghouse

If your fridge is big enough, it may be the ideal home for your pup. You can remodel the fridge to create an outdoor dog house. To turn your old fridge into a dog house, simply lay it down horizontally and create a base for it. You may also choose to attach wheels at the four corners for easy movement.

Set it in a strategic location and set the door to open upwards. You may also choose to remove the door entirely—if you don't, make sure you at least carve some holes for ventilation. You can use the separate compartments of the fridge for different purposes, such as feeding and resting.

A Fridge Wine Cellar

Any fridge is already a wine cellar in its natural form. If you feel yours is old and needs to be upcycled, there's no better way than turning it into a permanent wine cellar. Since you want your wines to be arranged in a stable manner, you may wish to redesign the interiors to create shelves. Using wood pallet, design the interior of your fridge to provide sufficient holding space for as many wine bottles as possible.

With this design, you can use your fridge to store large amounts of wine for a long time. To give it the look and feel of a natural cellar, it's a good idea to repaint. Most wine cellars come in dark colors such as brown or maroon. You can repaint the interiors to match the colors of your wood pallets or choose a color that closely coordinates with your wine selections.

rows of wine bottles in a refurbished refrigerator wine cellar

Turn It Into an Indoor Garden

Another way to get some great use of an old fridge is by turning it into an internal flower garden. Most people try to find ways of growing such green vegetation inside the house, though you can also use fridges as raised garden beds outside. Inside, fridges provide a unique option to add some green decor to your interior. All the compartments of your fridge can be used to grow some interior flowers such as cactus, jasmine, herbs or vegetables.

Hydroponics growing is a style of farming that's increasingly taking off in the modern world. By adopting hydroponics and using the different compartments of your old fridge, you can potentially grow a beautiful internal flower garden.

Turn Your Fridge Into A Rustic Cooler

A refrigerator is naturally designed to retain the internal temperature. Thanks to its thick walls, it doesn't allow heat in when the door is closed. If you are thinking about having an outdoor adventure, where you might not be able to bring your refrigerator, you could turn the old one into a rustic cooler.

You can either use wood or soft board to cover up the exterior of the metal casing to reduce rusting chances. After covering your fridge, fill it with ice and preserve whatever foods you need to keep cold on your escapades.


A refrigerator can be upcycled to provide plenty of functions that are necessary at home. Instead of keeping your rusty fridge in the backyard, use it for some new, cool purposes. If you're excited about your creation when you're done, let us know what you come up with!