What would you do with a piano??

beck_wi(z5 WI)March 9, 2010

Lately, there have been a ton of used piano's on the free page on my Craigslist, and it got me wondering what I could do with one.

Some of them are broken and not working, so I thought I could take one of those and recycle it into something cool--- but I'm stumped.

I normally work better when I have the thing I'm tranforming in front of me but I'd rather not take one unless I have a concrete plan of what its going to become, since its going to be such an ordeal to move it.

The only thought I've had so far is a bench out of the shell of an upright.

So, what would you do with a free piano???

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The cast iron frame inside that streches the strings will make a wonderful garden art/harp.

The rest for firewood.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:55PM
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The wire could also be used to string wind chimes or bug wings.
The black keys also would work on wind chimes.
The 'Ivory' keys can be made into jewelry.
The frame itself can hold potted plants on a 'shelf'-I think it would take too much dirt to fill it up....
Depending on how it's made, the hinged-top pieces could also be made into shelving.
I hate these green words that are coming up in our posts.
Have tried to use the delete thingy, and it is not working..

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:16PM
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garden2garden(z8 FL)

That's a good idea about the innards as a garden harp, that might be fun to play with.

Most have big sturdy decorative legs that might be salvageable to use as a short pillar/ bird bath holder/ hose guide in the garden.

I keep picturing it as a large planter with trailing viney flowers dripping off of it (ala flower "bed" style). You'd probably have to set pots in it or just plant around the edge the whole thing filled with dirt would be really heavy. Maybe a junk candelabra on it with crystals - hey how about a garden gal to go with it. She could be playing it or kind of mossy and draped over the top amongst the flowers.

You'd have to protect the wood pretty good if you were going to keep it outside, I don't think it will last too long in the elements, but it would be fun.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:18PM
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cody_mi(z5 MI)

obviously plant fiddle head ferns and trumpet vine around it

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 5:47PM
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I haven't seen a lot of old pianos used outdoors, perhaps because many are veneered and won't last long in the weather. I have seen them repurposed for indoors. Lots of components in old pianos so it might be one of those things where you get it and find what the pieces look like to you.

Posted pic of piano desk found here: http://blog.oregonlive.com/hg_impact/2009/05/pianodesk14.JPG

Old pianos are really, really heavy which I think is why so many are offered for free. Bring 6 big strong guys to move!

Here is a link that might be useful: piano bar

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:32PM
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I can just see making a galvanized liner for inside of a baby grand piano & filling it with lush plants even if "lid/top" was missing. But most of those were lacquered so doubt they would hold up either. I really like that desk, should be in a parlor in a turn of last century old house!! Nice! Jan

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:35PM
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On the show 'Design on a Dime', they took an old piano, removed all the innards and added plexi (I think) shelves, lights, and turned it into a bar. It was really cool and unexpected.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:51PM
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My brother works for a piano sales shop. They often get old, upright pianos as trade-ins. The owners can't sell them, and the local thrift stores won't accept them...so they take them to the dump. How sad... My brother has offered me many, old, cool, upright pianos with intricate wordwork. Once we move, I think I'll take one. I saw one once in a garden, tucked in the greenery, vines trailing out the top. It was soooooo elegant and mysterious in the garden. Bear Hugs! Kirk

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:50AM
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I agree with others that it would be wonderful to tuck into the garden and plant. You can always give it a good coat of paint and polyurethane. Maybe put cement blocks under it to keep it off the ground. I'd have a piano bench with the seat part planted with small succulents or ground cover plants. You could decoupage pots with old sheet music to put around it too. Maybe even collect some old horns and put them around it (who had horns displayed in their garden?). Once it rots away, then you can start using the parts for other things. I think it would be a very fun idea!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:03AM
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Marlene Kindred

Even though this wouldn't be garden art, lots of old pianos are made from walnut and other hardwoods. My DH has gotten several large pieces of wood from them that he has planed down and used in other projects, so if you have a woodworker in your family, you might want to consider that!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:46AM
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When I read the title of your post the first thing I thought of was the fantastic waterfall made from an old piano that I saw at the 2008 Philadelphia Flower Show (a particularly great show). They also had a fountain made of old brass instruments.

I've linked a blog that has pictures of it that I found through Google, (this is not my blog and I never read it before)

Here is a link that might be useful: Blog with picture of piano waterfall

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:53PM
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maureeninmd, that was very interesting blog about the flower show. Loved the piano & the musical instruments displays & the walkways into "homes" very nice!! Thanks! Jan

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:19AM
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Maybe you could make a potting cabinet/table out of it?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 10:41PM
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desiderata(#8 Puget Sound)

that's a whole lot of wood for furniture for a doll house..
or musical instruments, if one wants to find a DYI on the construction of them.
I've had chances to have one but it's the brute strength that has kept me from ever laying claim to one..darnit.

if it would be destined for the landfill, then at least to put it in the garden would give it a second life for quite a while, till the elements would make it compost but what a fun time it would provide to visitors..
now that would be a good entry feature to the yard...hmmmmm
I think I better be checking my local craig's list..

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 3:19AM
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beck_wi(z5 WI)

After much deliberation (aka whining) I have decided against the piano.
Why you ask??
My husband, who is usually very tolerant of my projects, has put his foot down and I can't budge it.
I even tried bribery and its not working.
He says it will be too much trouble to move, and he won't be part of it.
When I said I'd find one that the owners would let me dismantle there and bring home on my own I got "the look"

oh well... I'll file it away for someday.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:38AM
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This isn't really a garden project, but I saw one once and would LOVE to have one for my home. Someone had taken all 81 keys out of the piano, cut the long piece thats on the back of each key off (the part we never see) and then had a custom frame built to hold the whole keyboard...hung it up in the entrance to their house, and it was BEAUTIFUL!..keys were brilliantly clean and shiny, and the frame was just mat black, was gorgeous..

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:35PM
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One suggested is to have the piano gutted and converted into a computer desk. They are beautiful! It would require a piano technician to help remove the hammers, strings, and inner parts of the piano. Then adding a large piece of wood for the table top.

Another suggestion is to actually learn piano yourself and develop a new hobby. It will be like learning a new language, and you will never be bored.

Here is a link that might be useful: Private music lessons

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 4:10AM
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I know this isn't what you were looking for, but I think this has got to be one of the most creative ideas ever! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGLvk33LzwM
I saw this in person at the Arts in the Parks exhibit. A little over the top, but fabulous!
The creator's name is Michael Frasinelli.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 6:19PM
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I love this blog post about the garden piano.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden piano

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 9:55PM
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mosswitch, I think it is cool to come across something like your dad's old piano out in a garden. It's like discovering the remnants of a long lost civilization, which I think is one reason I love garden junk too.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:30AM
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take off all the keys..lay them out alongside each other just like they were in the piano...glue them down to a board, cut to the exact size..will be long, but not too tall...put molding around the edges to frame it..and hang it on a garden wall...I saw this once and thought if I ever come across an old piano, that's what I'd do!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:58AM
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Many years ago, I was given an old upright piano. It was just too beautiful to throw away, so I decided to try something that just came to me. I stripped out everything I could remove, took the pieces and sanded them smooth and spray-painted them a nice onyx black. I then lined the area where the keys had been with black velvet. Then I found an electronic keyboard and placed it in the opening. It made a very nice piece of furniture, a stand for the keyboard and an instant conversation starter.. It's still being played.. somewhere. My former wife sold it after she took it from me !!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Loved this idea!

Here is a link that might be useful: Piano Headboard

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 4:49AM
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I agree with Kirk....a piano looks mysterious in a garden. I just want one to put out there and let mother nature do her thing!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 1:24PM
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We've been working on dismantling our old upright. The decorative front panel where the music leans is now a beautiful headboard. Still not sure what to do with the soundboard.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Please post a photo.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:14PM
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texann(z8 Austin)

Many ideas here for recycling pianos and piano parts. Scroll through the pics.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 9:46AM
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