Couple saved £100s on new garden furniture with this smart upcycling hack

If you're not sure what to do with a set of broken rattan garden furniture this couple found a savvy solution

garden furniture with grey cushions
Image credit: Latest Deals
(Image credit: Latest Deals)

Our garden furniture may start off looking great, but the elements can start to take their toll over the years. And if that isn’t enough, those with children will know that all the clambering on them can certainly give them a few knocks and scrapes. 

However, if your first thought is to throw it out, you may want to take a leaf out of Helen and John Bryant’s book. The couple, who live in Portchester in Hampshire, with their three children, were adamant they could repurpose their tired garden set and give there garden ideas a modern spin. 

Rattan garden furniture upcycling hack


broken rattan furniture

(Image credit: Latest Deals)

Having bought their rattan furniture back in 2016 from money they were gifted at their wedding, Helen and John were keen to keep it, however the set was beginning to fall apart after years of being well used. ‘The rattan had started to snap and break, causing big holes in the seating area,’ Helen told money-saving Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK.

‘I reached out on a Facebook page to ask for help and see if we could fix the rattan ourselves, but nothing came back except people telling me to get rid of the set,’ she continues. ‘So we spent a year thinking about what to do with it. We desperately wanted to keep it, as not only was it a gift, but I thought somehow we could save it from being put in the tip.’


Wood garden chairs with black frame

(Image credit: Latest Deals)

When Helen’s neighbour suggested taking the rattan off to see what the frame was like, it was the start of the garden upcycling idea. Underneath the small table, the couple discovered the frame was decent and strong, and so they decided to repurpose it with the help of decking boards from B&Q and some Frenchic paint.

‘I’ve used Frenchic paint for a few years now and knew that painting the frame would look really nice,’ says Helen. ‘We had different ideas on what to use for the seating area, such as pallet boards, scaffolding boards and composite decking, but settled on decking boards from B&Q. We had them cut to size and then we fixed the boards to the frame by using black metal screws that matched the Frenchic paint.’

grey cushions on wood garden furniture

(Image credit: Latest Deals)

It may have taken time to remove the thousands of small metal staples which held the rattan on to the frame, but the DIY project saved the couple spending hundreds of pounds on a new garden set and they’ve been inundated with positive comments after sharing their idea online.

‘It cost us around £150 in total, for paint, screws and the decking boards,’ says Helen. ‘We also reused the cushions that it originally came with. Our two younger kids helped with the painting and cutting up some of the rattan so it really was a family activity. We’re delighted with the end result and not only have we saved something that we wanted to keep, but we’ve also saved it from being disposed of and going to landfill.’ 

 We think the finished furniture looks incredible compared to how it was before – and well worth considering embarking on a project like this before throwing out any broken garden sets in the future. 

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at