Learning how to utilize unusual objects in decorating is nothing new, especially when you’re thrifty. In fact, not only does this create beautiful effects but it also provides an interesting way to recycle, which is always a plus. All you need to accomplish this decorating style is your imagination, something everyone has in varying degrees. Start out by looking around for old and unusual items that can still be used in other innovative ways. These items, or treasures as I like to call them, can be found all over, from yards sales and secondhand stores to attics, garages, and even deserted properties (with owner’s approval, of course).
Do not pass up an item’s potential simply because you feel it has outlived its usefulness. Find a new purpose for it, freshen it up if needed, and display it proudly. For instance, I’m sure many of you have old, unused pocketbooks just lying around somewhere collecting dust. Why not put them to use as something else. For instance, put a Styrofoam block inside and add an assortment of dried flowers. Display your creative pocketbook container as a centerpiece on a table. Perhaps you could fill it with other items such as art supplies for a child’s room, reading material for the den, or even bath soaps and the like for the bathroom.
Create colorful storage using paint cans. Paint the exteriors in a different color and attach them to each other with hook-and-loop tape. Put a canning jar kit to new use as an art-supply organizer. Add decorative embellishments and use them to store colored pencils, markers, paintbrushes, etc. Arrange candles in an old birdcage and decorate with artificial flowers. Hang it outside or use it as a table centerpiece. Turn a distressed window frame into a display for your favorite collectibles or add a wooden box and use it as a window box that can be hung wherever you desire. Flowerpots have other uses besides housing plants. Use them to hold toothbrushes in the bathroom, pens/pencils in the office, or utensils in the kitchen. Old galvanized pails are great for holding magazines, storing supplies, or showing off brilliant blooms.
Use a wooden spice rack to hold sewing or crafting notions such as buttons, snaps, safety pins, beads, etc. Likewise, you could use it in the workshop or garage to store nuts, small bolts, nails, screws, and the like. In the office, it could be used for housing supplies such as tack, paper clips, labels, stamps, and staples. Tackle boxes are also great for storing small craft or office items. Use an old nightstand as a good printer stand with ink cartridges on one shelf, paper on another, and extras in the drawer, if included. Don’t throw out those used up boxes. Revive them with fabric covers, wood appliqués, paint, or decoupage and use them as decorative storage for stationery, magazines, files, photos, etc.
You can do so many things with everyday items that have outlived their original purpose. All you have to do is look at them in new ways.