5 creative ways to decorate by repurposing

Jennifer Gilligan Email

Decorating your house can be an exciting project, but it can also be hard on your budget. If you're looking for ways to add flair to your home's existing decor, consider repurposing items. Repurposing can limit the amount of trash that ends up in landfills, and it's also a wonderful way to put a personal touch on any home decor.

Throw Norms out the Window

Okay, so maybe you shouldn't put a couch in your kitchen, but if you think outside your typical comfort zone, you'll find creative ways to use furniture. For an outside patio area, for instance, you could repaint a medium-sized yard sale or thrift store table an offbeat color (think blues and greens), and take some sandpaper to it to give it a rustic look, then spray it with a waterproof sealant to give it a chance against the elements. Add some mismatched wood chairs with the same color and treatment, and you've got yourself a unique place to have family picnics, or to relax and enjoy the fresh air with a good book.

You can also make furniture out of otherwise useless items. An old barrel makes a lovely side table, and bedroom dressers make great TV stands. Pallets make a great basis for creating your own furniture options. Add glass tops to an old drum set, and you've got coordinating accent tables to use throughout the house.

Chalk it up to Good Taste

You can find chalkboard paint in the spray paint aisle of most home improvement and department stores. With this fun new paint option, you can turn everyday household items into customizable conversation starters. For your kids' playroom, find a small dining room table at a garage sale, and paint it whatever color suits the room, but use the chalkboard paint on the top surface. Now that tired old table set is a place for young minds to explore their creativity.

This same tactic can be used throughout the house. If you're a wine, beer, or liquor connoisseur, save some bottles with distinct shapes. Cover them in the chalkboard paint and fill them with fresh flowers. You can write whatever you want on them. Put one in your entryway with "Welcome" sprawled across it and fragrant lilacs spewing out the top. Personalize a bedroom or bathroom with these makeshift chalkboards wherever you see fit.

Make Your Own Throw Pillows

Old cloth napkins make great throw pillows to add to your designer chairs. Use varying sizes, textures and colors to add an unexpected dash of flair to any room with outdated or unused napkins and towels. All you'll need is a sewing machine, some thread, and a pinch of imagination and you'll be set. What you choose to use for the filling depends on how firm you'd like it to be; you can use worn out wash rags that would otherwise be thrown away, or any other cloth that isn't being used. It doesn't matter if you're not a talented seamstress; sometimes the more rugged the better.

Lots of household products can be made into pillows. Old burlap bags add a rustic feel to any decor and go great on four season porches and patios. Take an old favorite flannel shirt and craft it into a cozy couch add on. The possibilities are endless when it comes to repurposing pillows.

Alternative Planters

Got a green thumb? Plants can grow in any number of things. So forget standard pots, and find other household items where you can plant your greenery. Hang a colander outside your window and enjoy the built-in drainage option. Plant things everywhere: oil tins, buckets, pots and pans, baskets, and varying sizes of soup cans. If it can hold dirt, it can hold a plant. You'll want to drill holes in the bottoms of some options, but otherwise, go wild!


Is your bed missing a piece? Think outside the box when it comes to finishing your bed with a headboard. This is another way that a pallet works nicely. Keep it rustic or sand it and stain it to match the decor of your room. Other options for headboarding are antique doors, old fireplace mantels, old barnwood nailed together, window frames and shutters, and anything else that you can think of, really.

When it comes to decorating, there's no need to spend a ton of money buying brand new furniture. Sometimes all it takes is a little repurposing to give your home the fresh touch it needs. It's a fun way to curb your carbon footprint, and it's easy on your wallet, too!

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