Decorating With Repurposed Products & Household Items

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Repurposing objects is a nostalgic project that can create beautiful additions to your home or provide a lovely gift for friends and family. These objects can come in many different forms, including headboards, window frames, shutters, old beams, old doors, game boards and a variety of items that accumulate around your home. Having an eye for creativity and design will help when wanting to give new life to an old object, but it’s possible to be inspired no matter your creativity abilities. Many items in antique stores and sold at flea markets or eclectic retails stores do come from repurposing everyday items into art or other useful products.

Repurposing Household Items

If you are doing major cleaning or repairs to your home, think about what might need replacement and what can be made into something useful and functional. Many homebuilders and remodelers are always looking for old beams from barns or old homes, which add a creative element or authenticity to a home project. Barns, old machine shops and even old gas stations have leftover items that have been abandoned and can be used to create table bases or coat racks and even cabinets. Check with property owners or companies to find out the history of objects and the availability of their removal. In many cases, owners have not removed items because of lack of time or resources and you could be a dream come true for them.

Other home items such as old doors can be used as headboards, tabletops or creative spaces for photographs and art pieces, especially if glass is replaced. With home and house items such as window frames and shutters, these old objects can find a new home as cabinet doors or doors for shelving, as well as replacing any type of cabinet door around your home.

If you are ever remodeling or redecorating, think about how you can repurpose items including broken materials you can’t use for the original project. Heavy objects such as old wooden boxes and trunks can make great tables and storage pieces as well as be used outdoors as stools or seating. Sometimes a piece of furniture or home object needs to be repainted or restored to have a new life, including cupboard doors or picture frames. Adding hardware to these items in the form of handles and knobs can change wooden objects into functional doors and cabinets. Even wallpaper can spruce up décor and give a new and fresh look to shelves and cabinetry.

Decorating With Repurposed Products Decorating With Repurposed Products


Outdoor Uses For Repurposed Items

Old home improvement tools and supplies like ladders can be repurposed into gardens for trellises and stands for potted plants. Painting these objects may bring more color to a garden or outdoor area too. Gardens are excellent environments to help vines climb or stagger potted plants with different types of heights for a beautiful and pleasant garden design. Other useful garden items you can repurpose include old bowls for potted plants, which are especially nice for herbs and annuals, and cracked or broken dishes to create ground mosaics, which can continuously be added to year after year for an eclectic and unique look.

Ideas For Repurposing Objects

Salvaging and reclaiming objects can be as simple as repainting and fixing stools and chairs or using old jewelry for décor items on picture frames. Other ideas for décor include silverware or hooks, which can be used for cabinet hardware. Chairs and stools can be reshaped to use as small tables and even bases for tabletops. Using old jewelry can give almost any décor a new look and purpose, especially for decorative items such as lampshades, table and shelf knick-knacks and bathroom items. Use large costume jewelry on curtain ties for a glamorous look, or attach it to bowls, plates or trays to create a luxurious matching set.

Other items that may appear useless from age but can be given a second life are silverware and wine racks. Old silverware, especially spoons and forks, can be bent to make handles and hooks for kitchen dishtowels or holders for scrubbys and other cleaning items including rags. Bend a piece of silverware to create an arch, then nail both ends to a cabinet door or drawer for a custom cabinet handle or drawer pull. Simple metal or wood wine racks can be used to hold towels in the bathroom for an elegant display. They also work well in the kitchen to hold grocery bags and other frequently used carryall items for shopping or errands.

If you are looking for creative ways to reuse household items, furniture, building materials or other items, peruse online resources, antique stores and flea markets for ideas. Other places for ideas are craft shops and home improvement stores where items may be available to help you create. Asking artists and professionals for ideas is another source for creative inspiration. Craft and home improvement stores are also great resources to treat items for longevity if wood pieces and metal object have been rotting or rusting. Repurposing projects offer a great deal of satisfaction and can lead to brand new ideas for your home décor and gifts.

Last Updated: February 14, 2012
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About Sabina Dana Plasse Sabina Dana Plasse holds a bachelor's degree in history from Bucknell University, a master's in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in film and video from American University. She is an award-winning writer and editor living in Sun Valley, Idaho. Besides writing on fine arts, lifestyle, home and garden, entertainment, philanthropy and business, she enjoys teaching film and writing screenplays. Sabina has served as the arts and events editor and living writer for the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, a twice weekly national award-winning newspaper serving Idaho's Wood River Valley. Sabina adores mountain town living where she is an active snowboarding, skier, mountain biker, hiker, supporter of the arts and an avid seeker of practical living ideas.  

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