Ask Renee: DIY reclaimed furniture 

Learn to craft your own furniture right here in Indy

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We recently bought a home and we are updating much of the house. We both like the look of reclaimed pieces, but sometimes they are incredibly pricey. I'm pretty adept with my hands and would love to learn how to create reclaimed wood pieces myself, do you know of any places that teach the process?


Some of us are BIYers and some are DIYers. Last week’s piece about locally made, sustainable furniture was definitely for the Buy It Yourself type. Here are a few ways you might learn to Do It Yourself.

The Indianapolis Art Center offers all types of classes, including Woodworking . I also found the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, IN, where you can learn to make anything from a rocking chair to a Federal style blanket chest.

Another really cool way to learn new things is Trade School Indianapolis, a barter-based learning community. While they don’t have a furniture or woodworking class listed at the moment, you should tell them what you’d like to learn – and maybe you’ll even find another class that piques your interest!

At Mod Home Ec in SoBro you can learn how to transform an old, worn out piece into something awesome. Owner, Shelly, says, “ModHomeEc is a modern hybrid of Home Ec and Shop Class.” You will learn to use everything from a needle and thread to power tools in one of her classes!

Maybe someday we’ll be buying reclaimed, upcycled and salvaged décor from you, Cavan!

Piece out,

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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at

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