How can I reuse or recycle a glass table top?

We’ve had an email from Josie:

My council (Suffolk) say they’ll only recycle glass bottles not other glass like windows. I’ve got an old glass coffee table to get rid of, what can I do with it?

That’s a pretty standard glass recycling policy – only bottles and jars, not plate glass (like windows or photo frames) or cooking glass items (pyrex or other dishes) – so it’s probably better to look for reuse rather than recycling ideas.

Firstly, as with all furniture, try to pass it on to someone else who might still use it — even if you think it’s rather old fashioned or outdated, someone might appreciate having any table at all or love having it if they’re going for a retro thing ;) If it’s a nice piece that’s damaged, someone else might be willing to repair it. Offer it on Freecycle/Freegle, or to a furniture-accepting charity shop (not all charity shops have the space to accept furniture but some specialise in it).

If it’s not suitable for passing along, the glass might be reusable (either by yourself or someone else via Freecycle/Freegle) for a project around the home or garden – on top of another table/desk as a surface protector, to make a cold frame/as part of a greenhouse (although be careful about cutting out too much light if it’s smoked or frosted) or maybe mounted on the wall as a dry erase board?

Any other ideas?

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10 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a glass table top?”


  1. Alice says:

    Ooh, I’ll have it for raising seedlings!

    Put something around the edges like polytunnel plastic, corrugated clear plastic, or even something that’s not transparent since there’ll be loads of light coming in through the glass top already.

    Instant mini-greenhouse!

    BTW the reason this kind of glass can’t be recycled is that it’s treated to make it heat-resistant, i.e. so that you can spill boiling cups of tea on it etc without it cracking. Does that give any more ideas for reuse?

  2. Melinda says:

    I’ve rigged a light to shine up from under a glass topped table to use in transfering designs for a craft project.

  3. Elouise says:

    You could hang it just about head-height and walk into it periodically. Gently, so as not to damage your skull permanently. This will remind you why you don’t work in a nasty office job, in which you get to bang your head on the glass ceiling every single day for ten hour-stints.
    Three cheers for self-employment.

  4. Olia says:

    Cover with it another table to keep clean.

  5. Debra T. Espinosa says:

    How would one go about hanging a 48″ glass table top on a wall for use as a dry erase board. I’m very curious about this…

  6. Uluska says:

    If it is tinted, lean it towards a window to keep sun light away or for extra privacy.

  7. Olesia says:

    build on aloof a sun window.

  8. Olia says:

    Build on a roof a sun window.

  9. Olia says:

    Use glass as table runner.



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