10 New Uses for Old Items
Decorating with Finds from the Past
by Kathy Wilson
Creativity reigns in budget decorating, and there is no better place
to showcase your creativity then repurposing old things. Just a
couple of great ideas can make a room scream with style, and add
loads of personality.
1. Crate It!
Use an old wooden crate once used for pop bottles or wine as a
shelving or wall display unit. Be sure to attach it to the wall
with heavy duty hardware. Display pretty knick knacks, books or use
it as storage in the kitchen or bath.
2. Bring in the Birds
Pick up an old concrete birdbath at a thrift shop or yard sale for a
song. Top it with a round of glass for a one of a kind end table.
3. Open Doors for Your Dining Room
Another creative table idea is to use an old door as a dining table.
Have glass cut to top the table, and add legs from a home
store. The shabbier the door, the better! Peeling paint and rusting
hardware adds character to the piece, and the glass adds elegance.
4. Mirror, Mirror
Pick up small wall mirrors on clearance from your local discount
store and use as candle trays. Place pillar candles on the trays in
groups of three to five. The mirror will reflect the candle light,
doubling the sparkle!
5. Fence in Your Pots
Find an attractive piece of iron fencing at the salvage yard and use
as a pot rack in the kitchen. Hang from the
ceiling with chain. Be sure to secure the hanging hooks into studs
for safety. Use metal s-hooks to hang pots, pans and utensils.
6. Serve Coffee on a Bench
Yard sales are full of old wooden garden benches with lots of
character. Use them in a casual home as creative coffee tables in
living or family room. They can also serve as entry tables.
7. Make Candlesticks
Old turned table legs or stair balusters make wonderful
Use a paddle drill bit to create a seat for the candle just and inch
or two deep. You can both sand and paint the candlesticks to match
your decor, or enjoy their weathered appearance.
8. Use Old Fabric
Old tablecloths can be sewn into wonderful curtains, and pretty
quilts can make wonderful table covers! Cut up stained pieces to
create chair covers or placemats. Evan a worn floral gown can be
salvaged and made into pillows.
9. Plates and Cups
Glass, stoneware and china plates and cups can be re used as wall
art, flower vases, planters and candle holders. Check out thrift
shops for a great selection for only pennies per piece!
10.Picture Frame Panels
Dollar shop picture frames can be used to add traditional wall
at a budget price! Remove the glass and backing from the frames, and
hang in square or rectangular groupings beneath the chair rail. This
will mimic the wood molding panels in expensive homes.
Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget
Decorator. For thousands of free budget home decorating ideas, visit