10 Clever Ways To Repurpose An Old Fridge In Your Home Or Garden

Refrigerators are likely one of the most used appliances in your home, and for good reason. In 1913, Fred W. Wolf invented the first electric refrigerator as a way to store food and keep it fresh. Back then, refrigerators were small units with an ice box placed on top. Today, a similar idea keeps refrigerators running—many homeowners have a separate fridge and freezer to preserve both fresh and frozen food. But when these refrigerator units grow old, your immediate response may be to get rid of the old fridge and buy a new one. Rather than simply disposing of the old refrigeration unit, have you considered repurposing it in your home and garden?

Consider the last time you were cleaning and organizing and thought, "I wish I had a designated space for these items!" Although fridges typically have an assigned purpose, they're also an efficient storage space that can be used to organize, preserve, and decorate an empty space in your home or garden. Additionally, you don't need to make any electric changes to the appliance; you can simply unplug and get to work utilizing this multifaceted item. If we haven't sold you yet, we've lined up a few ways for you to consider repurposing an old fridge.

DIY outdoor cooler

You won't need to buy a new cooler for all your outdoor summer parties this year. Instead, repurpose an old compact fridge or freezer by cleaning out the box to create an amazing DIY backyard cooler. You may choose to paint it a few bright colors or cover it with wood to match your aesthetic. Fill the box with ice, add a few beers and soda cans, and you're ready to throw the party of the season. Since the surface area is much larger than a regular cooler, be sure to place the box vertically.

Enclosed bookshelf

If you're a bookworm with more books than you can count, consider turning your old fridge into an enclosed bookshelf. All you have to do is wipe down the empty shelves to ensure they're clean, add all your favorite books, and place the fridge where you desire. In case you want to give away any books, you can turn the enclosed bookshelf into a creative community project by putting it in a public area and adding a "free books" sign.

Indoor plant nook

If you happen to have a lot of plants but only a few places to keep them, consider turning an old fridge into a small plant sanctuary. Start by removing all the shelving, drawers, and other organizational fixtures from your fridge before filling the bottom with soil, plant starts, and seeds. You can add character to the space by decorating it with hanging plants, potted plants, and some wood. Alternatively, if space permits, you may use this box to store all your planting and gardening tools.

Damp box for unfired pottery

A pottery maker's house isn't complete without an arts and crafts nook. An old fridge can be easily repurposed into a damp box by simply cleaning it out and placing your prized sculptures inside. You can place the box in your garage or designated sculpting area. Since refrigerators are inherently cool and damp, they'll make the perfect home for you to store all your creations and easily display them to your friends.

Extra wardrobe

If you're overwhelmed by the amount of shoes and accessories you have, consider placing them in an old refrigerator. Multiple pairs of shoes can be stocked on these durable fridge shelves, especially if you want to place them in your room or away from guests. Just clean the shelves, pack in all your pairs of shoes, and observe this chic reinvention. You may also use the wardrobe for clothes, but be sure not to place anything too valuable since the old fridge may still harbor some bacteria.

Refrigerator grate earring holder

Repurposing can also include taking smaller parts from an old fridge and turning them into something new—for example, an earring holder. Refrigerators typically have removable coils on the backside or are shelved with small grates that you can use elsewhere. After you've removed and wiped the grates or coils clean, place them near your vanity or in your bathroom before hanging a variety of earrings on them. What's more, these can be easily hung using a hook or Command strips!

Above ground garden

As the sun begins to shine again, so can your garden. One way to add creativity to your garden is by creating an above-ground vegetable garden from a defunct refrigerator. Start by laying your fridge horizontally and removing all the drawers and compartments. Fill the freezer and fridge compartments with dirt and soil before planting seeds for the vegetable of your choosing. To keep things organized, you can create labels for each vegetable to remember what you planted come harvest time. Place the unit in sunlight and watch as your garden grows!

Cold-day package delivery

There's nothing worse than leaving your house on a cold day to retrieve packages from your front porch. If you'd rather avoid this, consider turning an old fridge into a cold-day delivery mailbox—this way, you can grab packages at your convenience and know they've been protected. Just like many homeowners do with their traditional mailbox, feel free to decorate the old fridge to your liking. It might even be a fun project to collaborate on with your family!

Extra bathroom storage

Our bathroom cabinets are packed to the brim with our toiletries, heat-styling tools, and extra towels, so why not turn an old fridge into extra storage to hold these surplus items? Start by cleaning out your fridge without removing any adjoining compartments. Once the box is wiped clean, place all your towels in the old freezer compartment and your toiletries and heat-styling tools at the bottom. If you have enough space, place the box in your bathroom to add some character to your designated spot for getting clean.

At-home aquarium

If you're feeling ambitious, constructing an at-home aquarium is the ultimate way to repurpose an old fridge. Start by removing the doors to both your fridge and freezer before using a saw to remove the internal casing to hollow out the space. Using an electric drill, you'll want to drill holes inside and around the fridge to attach an oxygen cylinder to help your fish breathe. Replace the detached doors with glass casings and use silicone glue to secure the tank shut. Paint the box, add a variety of fish, and watch your fish friends flourish.