Reuse and Upcycle What You Already Have to Make Your Home More Stylish

Decorating your home can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Chances are, you already have plenty of items around your house that can be repurposed into beautiful and unique home accents. With a little creativity and DIY spirit, you can give old things new life and make your space more stylish on a budget.

Turn Everyday Items Into Wall Art

Blank walls make a home look unfinished and bare. Unfortunately, high-quality art and prints can be prohibitively costly. Luckily, you can easily make your own wall art using things you already have at home:

  • Old maps and blueprints look amazing framed or displayed in collages. Maps of your hometown or favorite travel destinations make for great personalized art.
  • Frame your kids’ artwork or your own. Even simple doodles and sketches can look fantastic enlarged and framed. Display a collection for lots of visual interest.
  • Create a photo wall with Polaroids, printed photos, magazine clippings, and postcards. Arrange creatively and frame special images.
  • Use patterned cloth, scraps of wallpaper, or wrapping paper as eye-catching accent art.
  • Transform old shutters, doors, or window frames into beautiful full-wall art displays.

With a little creativity and inexpensive framing, you can make art out of almost anything you already have.

Give Vintage Finds New Purpose

Second-hand stores and garage sales are full of great vintage finds. Old items like silverware, china, and glassware can be upcycled into decorative accents:

  • Display china on floating shelves or in wall-mounted glass front cabinets. Mix patterns and styles for interest.
  • Stack vintage plates or bowls on a buffet table or mantle. Hang plates on the wall for quick DIY art.
  • Fill apothecary jars, vases, decanters, and bottles with decorative items like marbles, colored sand or water, river rocks, shells, fresh flowers, and more. Add lights for drama.
  • Upcycle old silver and glassware into beautiful candle holders. Use glassware in different sizes and shapes for lots of height and dimension.

With a bit of imagination, any thrift store find can be given new life as a charming home accent.

Showcase Your Collections

Got an antique bottle collection? Funky button assortment? Display your unique collections using creative presentation methods:

  • For small items like sea shells or stamps, use a shadow box frame to beautifully showcase them.
  • Bottle collectors can affix horizontally to a wall with varying amounts of space between them. Use LED strip lighting to illuminate from behind.
  • Display collections in divided trays, glass jars, or other interesting vintage containers.
  • Small items like thimbles or LEGO minifigures can be adhered to magnet boards or strips. Keep things organized yet playful.
  • Rotate items from your collection to keep displays fresh and provide a glimpse into your personal style and passions.

Repurpose Everyday Household Items

You can breathe new life into common household items and turn them into functional yet decorative accents:

  • Old mismatched plates become a unique mosaic backsplash for kitchens. Apply to the wall with adhesive.
  • Wine crates and bottles can be upcycled into handy open shelving units. Paint or stain them for character.
  • Vintage luggage stacked and adhered to a wall creates cool geometric wall art and storage.
  • Shutters add visual interest when affixed to exterior home walls. Hang pots of flowers from the hardware.
  • Repaint an old dresser, side table, or mirror in a bold color or fun pattern for kid-friendly decor.

Don’t toss out old household items that still have life left. With a DIY spirit, you can give them a brand new look and purpose.

Decor Ideas for Common Household Items You Can Easily Transform

You don’t have to buy expensive decor items to stylize your living space. With a little imagination, you can turn the ordinary stuff around your house into beautiful accents that show off your unique personality. Here are some easy ways to repurpose common household items into gorgeous decor:

Old Books

  • Stack your favorite colorful books on an empty table or shelf to add height and visual interest.
  • Use old book pages to cover plain boxes and journals for a custom look.
  • Create abstract wall art by fanning book pages out in a frame.
  • Make a literary gallery wall with framed book covers, pages, or custom quotations.

Mismatched China

  • Display mix-matched vintage plates, cups, and bowls on open shelves or in glass-front cabinets.
  • Create unique patterns and dimensional art by affixing plates and saucers to a wall.
  • Hang large plates or shallow bowls on the wall and use as catchalls for jewelry, office supplies, or collections.

Plain Mirrors

  • Make basic mirrors pop by framing with painted wood, nailheads, rope, or other materials.
  • Lean mirrors against walls or furniture for a casual look with reflective dimension.
  • Connect mirrors back-to-back with colorful cans of food or beverage between them.

Wine Crates

  • Assemble wooden wine crates into storage cubbies, open shelving, side tables, or desktop organizers.
  • With casters attached, old crates become portable craft supply organizers, coffee tables, or plant stands.

Scarves and Textiles

  • Use scarves or swaths of fabric as table runners or to cover plain lamp shades or chair cushions for a pop of color.
  • Drape scarves over paintings as unique frames or fold into origami wall art.
  • Wrap vases, bottles or cans with fabric or burlap and tie on with a colorful strip of cloth.

The possibilities are endless when you think creatively! Don’t toss items out – give them new life as stylish decor in your home.

Old Furniture

That dated dresser, side table, or desk taking up space in your basement or garage likely still has lots of life left. With some DIY skills and paint, you can give tired old furniture new purpose as decorative accents for your home:

  • Sand and paint a scratched up old nightstand or dresser in a fun, vibrant hue. Use as a bedside table or to hold toys in a kid’s room.
  • Apply patterned contact paper or chalkboard paint to give basic furniture a cool customizable look kids will love.
  • Stencil patterns, shapes, or inspirational words onto the surfaces of old wooden chairs, tables, mirrors or picture frames.
  • Replace drawer pulls and knobs with more modern hardware to give furniture a quick update. Spray paint existing hardware in metallics.
  • Cut an old dresser or cabinet down to size and attach chalkboard tiles, pegboard, or corkboard to create a custom organizer.
  • Add hairpin legs, casters, or new feet to change the style and lift furniture up. Make a coffee table from an old trunk or crate.

With some DIY inspiration, you can take flea market finds and old pieces from your past and reinvent them into stylish accents that show off your personality.

Old Shutters

Reclaimed wood shutters from old houses or barns have lots of potential for new life. Here are creative ways to use old shutters as home decor:

  • Hang matching shutters together over a bed, sofa, window, or doorway for a charming architectural feature.
  • Arrange an asymmetrical grouping of shutters on a wall for visual interest. Hang photos and art in the open spaces.
  • Remove shutters from the original hardware and adhere to a wall side-by-side to make a textural headboard or accent wall.
  • Use shutters as shelving in home offices, laundry rooms, playrooms, and more. Lean against the wall or adhere horizontally.
  • Paint or stain shutters in contrasting colors and use to make room dividers or privacy screens, indoors and out.
  • Furnish outdoor living areas with shutter side tables, benches, or planter boxes. Add some weatherproof cushions.

There are so many ways to give old shutters new life as functional decor. Let them inspire you!

Old Windows

Like old shutters, salvaged windows from old homes, barns, and buildings have lots of potential for creative reuse in home decor projects:

  • Create interest on a blank wall by mounting an old multi-pane window. Display collections in the panes or fill with art and photos.
  • Make a custom mirror or piece of wall art by removing the glass and backing the window frame with mirror or salvaged metal.
  • Use old windows and frames as room dividers or partitions between open concept living spaces or bedrooms
  • In entryways, mount a window horizontally with coat hooks installed in the muntins for a handy catchall.
  • Set old windows on the floor and use as coffee tables, side tables, or plant stands. Prop on crates or blocks for height.
  • For a quick DIY headboard, position an old window frame on a bed. Customize by adding lights or trim.

With a little creativity, you can give old windows a great new purpose and let their inherent character shine.

Creative Ways to Display Your Collections as Decor

If you’ve amassed an interesting collection over the years, don’t keep it packed away in boxes. Display your unique collection as home decor and let it showcase your personality and passions. Here are some creative ideas:


  • Use different sized clear glass or acrylic boxes and fill with shells to make coffee table books or singular wall art pieces.
  • Adhere small shells to plain vase or candle holders using clear glue for beachy accents.
  • Fill hurricane vases, apothecary jars, or glass terrariums with layers of sand and shells.
  • Glue shells (in patterns if desired) to the outside of plain glass lampshades or vases for coastal texture.
  • Affix tiny shells to place card holders or table numbers for seaside wedding decor.


  • Coin collections can be exhibited in customized wall-mounted or freestanding display cases. Elevate with accent lighting.
  • For casual display, insert coins in between stacked old books or line them up neatly on a floating shelf.
  • Frame interesting individual coins along with photos and other memorabilia for personalized collections.
  • Adhere special coins to the top of plain glass vases or bottles using clear museum putty. Add a kiss of gold or silver.


  • Display rocks, minerals, and geodes in divided compartment trays or glass shadow boxes on shelves or tabletops.
  • Fill apothecary jars or glass terrariums with layers of sand, small rocks, big rocks, and succulents or air plants for desert-inspired art.
  • Adhere rocks, crystals, and agates onto frames, candle holders, vases, lamps, and other accent pieces using clear glue.
  • Let kids decorate rocks with paint, stickers, or markers. Use to line garden pathways or display on shelves.
  • Arrange rocks, crystals, and minerals atop stacked old books, crates, or blocks of wood for an earthy mixed media display.

Showcasing your unique collections as home decor is an easy (and free) way to express your style while cherishing the items you love. With a little creativity, you can come up with endlessly fun ways to put your collections on display.

Repurposing Old Kitchenware into Stylish Decor

If you’re like most people, you likely have a mishmash of old plates, bowls, pots, pans and utensils tucked away in kitchen cupboards. But before you throw away chipped china or outdated cookware, consider giving these items new life with clever repurposing projects:

Vintage China Collections

  • Display an eclectic mix of patterned china and serving pieces in glass door cabinets or on open shelves. Coordinate by color or style for a cohesive look.
  • Use plates and saucers as bases for candle displays, floral arrangements, or to hold jewelry and other small decorative items.
  • Hang plates, or groupings of plates, on the wall. This works especially well with brightly colored or highly patterned vintage pieces.
  • Decoupage chipped china by gluing broken pieces to vases, lamps, or other decorative accents to conceal cracks and damage.

Mismatched Glassware

  • Fill glass bottles, jars, decanters and vases with colorful sand, stones, marbles, beads, dried flowers or branches to create eclectic accent pieces.
  • Upcycle glassware into elegant candle holders. Gather varying sizes and styles and display grouped together for lots of dimension.
  • Attach glasses and jars to walls or shelving using hanging hardware. Use them to store office supplies, plants, cotton balls in bathrooms, or for displaying small decorative items.
  • Make glassware into tabletop lanterns. Place battery-operated candles inside and display on outdoor tables or line pathways with them.

Metal Buckets, Cans, and Containers

  • Use old watering cans, buckets, coffee tins, and storage containers to organize everything from utensils to bath towels. Paint or decorate them to coordinate with your decor.
  • Metal pails make great plant stands. Just flip them over and drill drainage holes if needed. Paint and stencil for fun patterns.
  • Stack cylindrical metal buckets and cans of different sizes to make decorative risers for displaying special objects.
  • Punch holes in old tins and containers and string lights through them to make unique DIY luminaries and lanterns.

Kitchen castaways can often take on exciting second lives throughout your home. Get creative with repurposing old china, glassware, buckets and cans into stylish decor.

Creative Ways to Display Photos and Artwork

Large bare walls make a home feel incomplete and impersonal. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune on store-bought art to make your space feel homey. Photos and other beloved keepsakes can become beautiful wall displays with a little creativity:

Photo Clothing Lines

Use clotheslines, festive string lights, ribbons, or twine to display framed and unframed photos indoors or out. This works especially well in narrow hallways, staircases, and bedrooms.

Photo Wreaths

Adhere photo prints onto the front of inexpensive plain wreaths from craft stores. Hang on walls or doors for an instant personalized art piece.

Map & Photo Collages

Collect arresting images from magazines or Instagram and arrange creatively on a piece of plywood, scrapbook paper, or wall map. Use photo corners to affix everything for easy additions and subtractions.

Memory Shadow Boxes

Display nostalgic memorabilia like ticket stubs and programs from cherished events inside shadow boxes. Alternate with photos printed on decorative paper for interest.

Frame Collections

Showcase collections of similar frames, prints, or displays. Opt for simple black frames in identical sizes and styles. Feature a coherent color scheme or theme.

Gallery Photo Ledges

Adhere ledges to a wall for displaying framed and unframed photos and prints. Paint ledges the wall color for them to blend right in.

Vinyl Wall Decals of Favorite Images

Turn meaningful photos into removable wall decals or murals using services like ImageSnap. Recreate special portraits, vacation vistas, pets, and more.

With creative staging, you can easily transform your favorite photos and art into stunning displays that reflect your memories and personal aesthetic.

Fun Ways Kids Can Repurpose Stuff into Decor for Their Rooms

Crafting DIY decor together is a fun project that helps teach kids creativity and resourcefulness. Let your child’s unique personality shine by repurposing household castoffs and thrift store finds into stylish, kid-friendly room accents:

Drawer Dressers to Toy Boxes

Remove the drawers and hardware from a cast-off dresser and let kids paint or decoupage the fronts for pretty, personalized toy storage. Add hinged tops for easy access.

Bookcase Dollhouses

Have kids turn an old bookcase on its back and divide the shelves into dollhouse rooms. Use craft paper, fabric, wallpaper or contact paper to customize each miniature space.

Pallet Headboards

Let kids paint an old shipping pallet fun colors and use as a statement headboard. Add hooks to hang artwork masterpieces. Lean against the wall or adhere directly.

Desk Organizers from Containers

Yogurt cups, tin cans, jars and tissue boxes painted and decorated become holders for supplies when affixed to desktops. Stencils, pom poms and googly eyes add whimsy.

Bulletin Boards from Clipboards

Cover old clipboards in wrapping paper, cork tiles, or fabric and hang on walls. Add decorative trim for a customized bulletin board kids can pin their creations on.

Wall Pockets from Old Pants

Cut the legs off old jeans or corduroy pants and hang like pockets on the wall to stash books, toys and treasures. Let kids decorate with markers, appliques, or studs.

Encourage kids to view old things with fresh creative eyes. With a little imagination, kids can transform almost any household castoff into fun, stylish bedroom decor.

Inexpensive DIY Wall Art Anyone Can Make

You don’t have to break the bank to give bare walls some artistic flair. With simple craft supplies and a little imagination, anyone can make these creative DIY wall art projects on a budget:

String Art

Hammer rows of nails into a board in any pattern, then wrap colorful string or embroidery floss around the nails to create geometric designs. Super simple yet striking.

Shadow Boxes

Grab a shadow box frame, then use craft paper, natural items like feathers or flowers, mementos, photos, or 3D objects to create a one-of-a-kind, dimensional display.

Gallery Wall

Arrange a collection of thrift store paintings and prints creatively on the wall. Mix sizes, colors, frame styles, and subjects for lots of impact. Leave some space between pieces.

Paint Chip Art

Collect your favorite