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29 Creative Ways to Repurpose and Upcycle Things for Your Home

Ideas for repurposing and upcycling items for your home
used bottles upcycled into liquid dispenser bottles
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Repurposing and Upcycling Ideas for your home


I always love taking an unused item and finding a new way to use it. It's a great way to save money and have some unique, sustainable, and interesting items in your home. 

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite repurposed and upcycled projects from my home. Most are very easy and only require simple tools and skills.



It's all part of this month's Thrifty Style Team Challenge, hosted by my talented friend Julie at Redhead Can Decorate. There are currently 15 of us on the team, and each month we share tips and ideas for decorating your home without breaking the bank. 

There are always so many creative ideas. You can find this month's at the bottom of this post so keep scrolling all the way down. 

What does repurposed and upcycled mean?


Good question! Upcycling is taking an item that's destined for the trash/recycle bin and turning it into something useful. I have several examples of upcycling old bottles into something of value, as well as other upcycled items. 

Repurposing simply means using an item in a way that it wasn't originally intended to be used. One example would be using a ladder as a blanket rack, like I've done below in our living room. 

Where to find items for upcycling and repurposing

The key to finding items to upcycle and repurpose is to think outside the box. You probably have things in your own home that aren't being used currently and can be converted to a new use. 

Look at different items and ask yourself how else you can use them. There's no limit or rules on how to do it. 

Besides your own home, garden shed, or garage, you can find used items at thrift stores, yard sales, curbside, estate sales, as well as online at etsy and eBay. Or maybe you have a friend or relative who is decluttering and has items they're getting rid of. There are lots of available sources.

These are some of my favorite repurposing and upcycling ideas to get your creative juices flowing!


Repurposing and Upcycling Items for Your Home


1. Repurpose an old ladder as a blanket rack


living room with blue and white furniture and old ladder repurposed as a blanket rack

Necessity breeds creativity, right? Or something like that. I needed a blanket ladder for my burgeoning throw blanket collection. I had an old ladder. Voila! Problem solved!

2. Repurpose a vintage bar cart as an end table


vintage bar cart repurposed as end table in living room

In our recently updated living room, I'm using one of my favorite great finds, a mid-century modern brass bar cart, as an end table. I used it as an actual bar cart for a while but love using it as an end table now. It keeps the area light and open and is a great place for plants, a lamp and everything else there.

3. Repurpose a vintage planter as a utensil holder



a vintage mccoy planter is repurposed as a kitchen utensil holder

For an interesting way to corral your wooden spoons and kitchen utensils consider using a pretty planter. I found this one at a thrift store and loved the color and drip glaze. And it's tall and narrow enough to be the perfect place for my wooden utensils.

4. Repurpose a vintage teacup to help organize drawers


vintage blue and white teacup used to organized kitchen drawer

A few weeks ago I organized and lined our kitchen cabinets and drawers. I had some little cheese markers and corn cob nobs that I organized in vintage teacups and bowls. It's a pretty way to organize small things in drawers.

5. Repurpose vintage teacups as candleholders


diy candle made in vintage teacup

For a fun afternoon project I recommend making your own teacup candles. Vintage teacups and coffee mugs or any similar unused container make great candles.


6. Repurpose an unused dresser or buffet into a bathroom vanity



a vintage dining room buffet is repurposed into a bathroom vanity

One of my favorite repurposed project is our master bathroom vanity made from an old dining room buffet. We don't have an actual dining room in this house and weren't using it when we remodeled our bathroom and it was just the right size. You could also use a dresser with a vessel sink as a vanity.


7. Repurpose a vintage china hutch for craft storage


vintage china cabinet repurposed as storage cabinet for art and craft supplies

In my craft room, I'm using an old china hutch for storing craft and art supplies. We inherited it from my in-laws and I gave it a fresh coat of paint and applied some leftover wallpaper inside. Also used for storage in here are the vintage picnic baskets. They hold yarn and ribbons.


8. Repurpose an old wire milk crate for blanket storage


vintage wire milk crate with plaid throw blankets

Our fall mantel decor at our house always includes plaid throw blankets and blanket scarves. Using a wire milk crate to store them in allows me to see the colors and textures.

9. Repurpose a vintage planter as storage for garden gloves and tools



vintage mccoy planter with garden gloves and hand tools

A vintage planter is a fun and colorful place to store your garden gloves and weeding tools. 

10. Repurpose an vintage toolbox as a planter


vintage metal toolbox repurposed as a planter for succulents

Got plants? Try using an old metal box as a planter. 

11. Repurpose a vintage planter and flower frog as a pencil holder


vintage Mccoy planter and glass flower frog repurposed as pencil holder

I love organizing with vintage items all around the house. In my craft room I added a glass flower frog to a little McCoy planter and use it as a pencil holder.

12. Repurpose vintage jello molds as jewelry storage


vintage jello molds repurposed as jewelry storage

Little jello molds, tart tins, and muffin tins are just a few creative ways to store your jewelry


13. Repurpose vintage wire flower frogs as tiny easels


metal flower frogs and silver baby cups repurposed as tiny art easels

Little wire flower frogs are a fun way to display pretty note cards. For an interesting pedestal, use little silver baby cups. 

14. Repurpose vintage dominos as unique decor


vintage blue mason jars with old dominoes used as decor

Old dominoes in a jar can be a fun bit of decor on a mantel or bookshelf.

15. Repurpose old bottles into liquid dispensers


used bottles upcycled into liquid dispenser bottles

For a very simple project, convert old bottles upcycled into liquid dispensers. All you need to do is add some of these dispenser spouts to a pretty bottle.

16. Repurpose little bottles into bud vases


green bottle upcycled into bud vase

This pretty little bottle was lying on the ground outside of a restaurant one evening. I loved the color and am not too proud to pick up trash when I see it. I cleaned it up, removed the label, and now it's a lovely little vase.

17. Repurpose wine bottles into vases


clear wine bottles upcycled as flower vases

A few weeks ago I joined some blogging friends and we shared some outdoor dining ideas. I used some bottles that were destined for the recycle bin as vases for the table. It's an eco-friendly and pretty way to make a centerpiece.

18. Repurpose an old fishing creel as a flower basket

vintage fishing creel upcycled as flower basket

Baskets, crates, and bins are always useful. This old fishing creel on our kitchen wall is a fun place to add some faux hydrangeas.

19. Repurpose an old champagne bucket as a tabletop Christmas tree stand

vintage Christmas decor with champagne bucket repurposed as table top Christmas tree stand

Using a vintage champagne bucket as a tabletop Christmas tree stand is about is simple of a project ever. I added some crumpled up paper to the bottom to stabilize it, but this project took about 2 minutes. 


20. Repurpose an stoneware crock as a utensil holder

old stoneware crock repurposed as kitchen utensil holder

Little stoneware crocks are ideal places for storing kitchen utensils. 

21. Old Shutters Repurposed as Wall Decor


old shutters repurposed as wall art

Add texture and interest above a fireplace mantel by hanging old shutters on the wall. 

22. Upcycle a boring file cabinet into a vintage style cabinet

file cabinet with wood drawers and antique brass hardware

A few years ago I upcycled an old boring metal file cabinet into a vintage style cabinet. It only took a few supplies to give it a stylish new look. 

23. Upcycle fabric scraps into flowers


heart shaped yarn wreath with fabric flowers

Got scrap pieces of fabric or old clothes? Make a pretty wreath with flowers made from fabric scraps. It's a fun way to upcycle fabric that's unusable otherwise.


24. Upcycle old pans into stylish pedestals


salvaged pans and candlesticks repurposed into pedestals



25. Upcycle paper egg cartons into flowers


flowers made from upcycled paper egg cartons

These cute flowers and succulents made from paper egg cartons are one of my favorite sustainable crafty projects. It was a satisfying and fun thing to do on a rainy afternoon.


26. Upcycle wall calendars into wall art


wall calendar used as art

There are dozens of ways to create upcycled art. Wall calendars usually have beautiful art that looks nice hanging on the wall. See more here: ideas for thrifty wall art


27. Upcycle old jars and broken glass into solar lanterns


solar lanterns made with mason jars and creek glass

Making solar lanterns from old mason jars and broken glass is probably one of my favorite sustainable upcycled projects. These were created with broken glass pieces that were cleaned out of a nearby creek and some solar mason jar lids

28. Upcycle used wine bottles into luminaries


diy wine bottle luminaries

These simple diy wine bottle luminaries look great in a fireplace or as a centerpiece. No tools are required and it keeps the bottles out of the recycle bin. All you need are these wine bottle lights.

29. Upcycle a piece of driftwood into a planter


diy driftwood succulent planter

This diy driftwood succulent planter was made with a free piece of driftwood, moss, and some succulents. The moss was dug up from our front yard so it was a very low cost little upcycling project.




I have many more repurposed and upcycled projects but this post is already way too long. To see more, visit my crafts or diy tutorials.

Now it's time to see all of this month's Thrifty Style Team's projects! Be sure to visit everyone for some  budget-friendly tips for beautifying your home. 




Redhead Can Decorate – Old Martini Glass Repurposed into Q-Tip Holder
Our Crafty Mom – Buffalo Check Bench Makeover
DIY Beautify – No Cost Decorating Tips
2 Bees In A Pod – 12 Fall Decor Items To Buy At The Thrift Store
The How To Home – Simple Seashell Centerpiece
Vinyet Etc. – DIY Decor Beads From a Thrifted Beaded Seat Cover
Sweet Pea – Easy Upcycled Twine and Lace Cans Craft
What Meegan Makes – Late Summer Tablescape In Pink
Cottage At The Crossroads – Thrifted  Peat Pot Pumpkin Holder
Postcards From The Ridge – 29 Creative Ways to Repurpose and Upcycle Things for Your Home
Lora B. Create & Ponder – Fun Vintage School Decor Ideas
The Tattered Pew - 5 Simple Ways To Decorate With Flea Market Finds
I Should Be Mopping The Floor - Garden Gift Ideas and Tags
Chas’ Crazy Creations – Vintage Drawer Pulls Jewelry Hanger
Cottage On Bunker Hill – Anthropologie Dupe Moss Wreath



29 comments

  1. Love all these thrifty and pretty ideas Angie!

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  2. Love all your ideas, Angie, and loved seeing them in your home. That green drip floral container is awesome with the wood untensils, and that wire container with the blankets; now I'm in the mood for Fall decor!

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    1. Thanks, Lora! I might have done a little happy dance when I found that green planter. I'm in the mood for fall now too!

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  3. I love all of your creative ideas, Angie!

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  4. I love your home and all these great ideas and I was wondering if you painted the china cabinet in your living room. I love it and the color.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I painted it with Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain in an eggshell finish.

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  5. Angie, I enjoyed seeing so many of your creative projects. I especially love how you use the vintage planters and flower frogs. I have a thing for those vintage planters, too!

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    1. Thanks, Jane! I love planters too and they're so versatile!

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  6. I love this post. I love the use of the bar cart, dresser to vanity, the green hutch, the vintage tool box as a planter, and the use of the champagne bucket as a tabletop Christmas tree stand.

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  7. Angie - you speak our language. We love your home, style and ideas!

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  8. There are so many ideas and thrifty suggestions that I need to apply in my guest bedroom. You have given me lots of ways to get my creative juices flowing! Thanks, Angie.

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    1. Thanks, Meegan! I always love to see how you use things in a different way too!

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  9. ALl great ideas and tips Angie! Makes me want to get out and do some thrifting!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy! I haven't been thrifting much in a long time but really do miss it!

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  10. I love this post so very much. It just speaks to me and I love repurposing and upcycling. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I just love your style! Your home is so beautiful.

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  12. Angie this was such a great post! So many fabulous ideas…I loved your frogs on top of the baby cups! Just beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kelly! I can't wait to see what you do in your new home!

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  13. I LOVE all of your ideas, so clever! What a great way to bring all of that beautiful vintage into your home! I am now obsessed with a bar cart as a side table, it's stunning! I'm on the hunt!

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    1. Thank you so much, Laurie! I've had that bar cart for years and got it for a steal! It has such a cool style. I hope you find one!

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  14. I feel so good when I can repurpose something. Keeps more stuff out of the landfills. Love your unique ideas!
    Brenda

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  15. So many FANTASTIC ideas, Angie. Loving the idea of the vintage floral frog for pencils and such! That's so clever. Plus, the tea cups in drawers is another "must do" that I'm adding to my list. xoxo, Kristi

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  16. Hi Angie...I am so happy to see you put all of these beautiful ideas together. The amount of content you have shared over the years is incredible. Uh oh! I think I use the wrong words sometimes when using repurposed vs. upcyle...now I know!!! My favorite is that tea cup candle! Pinned a few to our Thrifty Style Team Board!!

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