The first years of our marriage were pretty lean. We didn't have money for nice furniture -- okay, we didn't have money for furniture at all. We had a very small black and white television set that belonged to my husband before we were married. In order to get "watchable" reception, it was necessary to wrap the rabbit ear antennas in aluminum foil and move them around until they were in just the right spot.
Someone gave us a nice color television with a huge big cabinet -- you know, a real nice piece of furniture. It worked for about a week and then died. Looking around at the lack of furniture in my living room, I just couldn't let that nice big piece of furniture go to waste just because the TV inside was dead.
Warning: Kids, don't try this at home! I took my hammer and smashed in the entire TV. I cleaned out all the broken parts and threw them in the trash. I found a couple of pieces of scrap lumber in the garage and made a little stand to sit inside the TV cabinet. I set our little black and white TV on top of the stand and centered it (because it was smaller than the original set in the cabinet). I found some scrap paneling out in the garage, and framed the little black and white TV inside the cabinet. The cabinet even hid the ugly rabbit ears and aluminum foil. Suddenly I had a nice piece of furniture that actually worked. Friends visited our home and didn't even know it was a fake.
As the saying goes, "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without!"