Do you love an ugly duckling to beautiful swan story? I know I do. That is how I look at used pieces that I find at thrift stores to take home and upcycle to add to my home décor.
When I go searching for things, I always look at the potential that they have rather than the state that they are currently in. Trust me, I have brought some things home and my family looks at me and just shakes their heads. My youngest son usually says… “I’m sure she has something on her mind for that ugly thing.” And of course he's always right when he says that.
I can’t say that when I go looking for things that I always have a specific idea in mind. A lot of times I just see stuff that catches my eye and I buy it. And by the way, almost everything I purchase is under $10.00. Usually when I get the items home they sit in my craft room closet until I get an idea of what I want to do with them. On the other hand, sometimes I do see something and know right away what I want to do with it. I guess it just depends on the day and what I find.
In this post, I want to show you some of the items that I have revived and given its own place in my home. I don’t have “before” pictures for everything, but I think that in the end result pictures you’ll see some pretty things that have been given a new life and purpose.
When I go out on a quest and am looking for something specific, I usually don’t find it right away, typical, right!?! So I keep a list of items that I want. Over this past year, I decided that I wanted to change the overall feel in my home, so I made a list of items that I wanted to change and/or add.
I knew that I wanted to add farmhouse style items throughout the house, simply because I love the cozy feel of farmhouse décor. I knew that I wanted some trays (See my post on How to Decorating with Trays here) and some antiqued and vintage items, so I added that to my list. I keep the list in my purse to refer to whenever I am out. Now I can say that I have successfully found pretty much everything that I was looking for and have had a great time making them my own.
I do want to mention that not everything in my home has been upcycled or is used. I do add some new elements to the upcycled pieces.
Small Upcycled Shelf with Jars & Cotton Pics
When I bought this shelf, I wasn't sure what I would do with it and honestly, I didn't really like the heart cut out, but for $.99 I couldn't pass it up. I do save a lot of jars that I use so I decided that I would lay the shelf flat and put jars in it.
Here you see the price, the shelf & jars and the layout of the jars in the shelf.
The first thing I did was to clean up the shelf. Originally I was going to paint it and add an antique finish, but I decided instead to spray paint the jars matte white.
Once I finished the jars, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in them...cotton plants. I found some cotton pics for around $1.00 each at Old Time Pottery. I also tied some jute yarn around the rim of each jar for some added interest.
And here is the finished product sitting on a shelf in my master bathroom and I love it!
Rustic Frame with Boxwood Wreath
As simple as this piece is, I really love it. The upcycled piece is the rustic frame. All I did was remove the picture it came with and added a new boxwood wreath hung on burlap ribbon inside of it. It is one of the first pieces that is seen as you walk into my front door and although I left the frame exactly how I found it, I really love what it adds to my wall decor.
These are so cute and so easy to make. I bought some glass bowls with interesting scroll work on them at Goodwill and some small ceramic birds for about $2.00 each. I decided that I wanted to put one in my living room and one in my master bathroom which is how I decided what color each would be.
I glued one of them to a glass candlestick in order to give it height. I also glued the birds on to the edge of each glass bowl. This is the glue that I used. Once the glue dried, I spray painted them brown and then painted them with chalk paint and distressed both. Aren't they cute?!?
Small White Crate
I don't know why, but I love this piece. It is so simple, but there's something about it that makes me smile. I just love the shape and the handle. I found it at Goodwill for $2.52. I brought it home and immediately painted it white. I knew that I wanted it on my entry table but not sure what I was going to put in it.
I found 3 new vases for $1.50 each at Walmart and they fit perfectly. I had some greenery in my craft room closet and here is the finished product:
Candlesticks with Moss Balls
I love how these pieces transformed. They were a light brown candle holder set that I knew I wouldn't use as candle holders. I decided that they would look better white, so I used some chalk paint and then distressed them to achieve the look I wanted.
I really love moss balls (that sounds so funny...Ha!). I decided that I could make them cheaper than what I would pay for them. I bought the reindeer moss at Michael's and although it was $7.99, I made 3 balls and still have quite a bit left over. I bought the styrofoam balls at Michael's also. I used tacky spray glue to attach the moss and held it until it was sticking pretty well. Lastly, I glued the balls on the candle holders with the same glue I used to attach the glass pieces above. (E600 Glue). By the way, if you want to make the moss balls, make sure to use gloves!
Now this set lives in my master bathroom on a table next to my tub. I think they look great next to the lantern that I made out of Dollar Tree picture frames.
I want to share one more piece with you. This is a mantle that I bought for $25 from a 1920's home that was being refurbished. It literally sat in my garage for almost 2 years until I finally knew what I wanted to do with it.
It was in rough shape, but now I just love it. It is in my master bedroom and serves not only as a focal piece, but holds our cable boxes.
I painted and distressed it, that was it. As far as the mirror insert, I bought a cheap piece of glass at Home Depot and used Mirror Spray Paint called Looking Glass and a distressing technique to make it look old.
By the way, the pieces on the floor in front of the mirror are all thrift store finds that I spray painted and added crystals for some bling.
I hope that some of my ideas and transformations have given you inspiration to create new things out of items that were basically given up. There is a new purpose in everything that you see.