“Making Furniture Out of Old Chicken Bones”

“Making Furniture Out of Old Chicken Bones”

Chicken bones may seem like an unusual material for furniture, but they can actually make sturdy, lightweight and environmentally friendly pieces. With a little creativity and effort, you can upcycle leftover chicken bones into one-of-a-kind chairs, tables, lamps and more.

Gathering the Raw Materials

The first step is collecting enough chicken bones for your project. Here are some tips:

  • Save bones from your own meals. Roast chicken, fried chicken, wings etc all work. Rinse and dry the bones after eating.

  • Ask friends and family to save their chicken bones for you. Set out a “bone collection bin” to make it easy.

  • Check with local butchers, restaurants and cafeterias to see if they have leftover bones to donate.

  • Use bones from whole raw chickens – just remove the meat first.

Aim for at least 1-2 pounds of bones for a small furniture project. Larger pieces may need 5 pounds or more.

Cleaning and Preparing the Bones

Before using chicken bones for furniture, they need some cleaning and preparation:

  • Remove all meat, fat and tissue – this can attract bugs and bacteria.

  • Simmer the bones in water for 10 minutes to fully clean them.

  • Use a wire brush or steel wool to scrub off any leftovers.

  • Allow bones to dry fully before using them.

  • Cut or snap bones into segments as needed – e.g. short pieces for mosaic designs or longer strips for legs.

  • Bleach and sterilize bones for extra sanitation if desired.

  • Wear gloves when handling raw chicken bones to avoid salmonella risks.

Joining and Assembling the Bones

There are a few techniques for joining chicken bones together into furniture:

  • Tie bones together with natural twine or hemp rope. Wrap tightly to secure.

  • Use a food-safe adhesive like carpenter’s wood glue to glue bones.

  • Drill small holes and use zip ties to fasten bones together.

  • Insert dowels into drilled holes to attach multiple bones.

  • For flat surfaces, arrange bones like mosaic tiles and glue into place.

  • Wire, metal brackets and screws can add extra stability but will be visible.

Build up your furniture shapes gradually by joining bones into legs, surfaces, frames and other components. Let glue fully dry between each step.

Finishing Techniques

To complete your chicken bone furniture:

  • Sand bones lightly to remove sharp edges. Don’t erode the bone.

  • Apply food-safe sealants like mineral oil or beeswax to harden and preserve the bones.

  • You can stain or paint bones with acrylic craft paints for color if desired.

  • Add cushioning like pillows or foam to chairs and benches for comfort.

  • Affix functional items like hinges, wheels, handles or shelves.

  • Add decorative accents with pieces like driftwood, seashells or stones.

Design Ideas and Inspiration

Chicken bones can be transformed into all kinds of creative furniture projects:

Chairs and Benches

  • A simple bench with bone legs and a wood or bone seat.

  • An intricate chair made of hundreds of small bone pieces.

  • A bone swing or hanging chair suspended from the ceiling.

Tables

  • A mosaic bone coffee table with bone tiles inlaid in a wooden frame.

  • A bone pedestal table with bird feet-like bone legs.

  • A bone and driftwood side table with natural accents.

Lamps and Lighting

  • A bone chandelier with bones dangling like icicles.

  • Bone sconces with carved bone frames.

  • A desk lamp with a bone mosaic lampshade.

Decor and Accessories

  • A photo frame with bone edging.

  • Coasters, cutlery and napkin holders.

  • Jewelry, mirrors, vases and bowls.

With creativity and patience, the possibilities for furniture made from chicken bones are nearly endless! It makes for an unusual green craft and great conversation piece.