Interesting repurposed items for inspiration

Garage sale finds can be spruce up to be valued possessions.

Ever since I found the children’s room decorating books for the grand kids to look at before moving into their new home, they like to pick out decorating books to look at at my place when we go to the library.

I took a bit of time last night when I couldn’t sleep to go through a couple, bad idea it got my mind working on lots of new ideas. Here are a few of my favorite ideas as a result.

I have read through plenty of “green” and “eco” books with ideas to reuse old things.  But here’s something from a “regular” decorating book.  Don’t know what to do with that old umbrella that  just doesn’t work right?  Try making an awning.

Inexpensive door awning

What about all those pots you need to store now that you aren’t starting seedlings for the garden.  Why not use them to decorate a table for the holidays.

Using planters for holiday decorations

Now this one caught my eye.  I’m not much into chandeliers, but this one is more to my liking.  I have no electrical boxes in my ceilings, and this would have to be scaled down to work in an apartment, but my thought is to use a large embroidery hoop (painted maybe black or silver) and blue Christmas ball ornaments. I’d have the look of a light fixture…


People do a lot of things with egg shells.  I usually put mine in the compost, but I wonder if I could use real egg shells to make a candle.  This is just too cute.

From the Modern Museum of Art

These gloves are sold everywhere.  I have a couple pairs myself for those cold days but not freezing where I need the real thing.  With a little ribbon and a couple holiday bells from the craft store or an old decoration that is too worn to use any more you could design the perfect stocking stuffer for a little one.  Of course in place of the bells you could use a charm, or even just use the ribbon alone.

Using a 99 cent pair of gloves to make a stocking stuffer

I have a new lamp, which has a shade that I don’t hate, but needs something.  I realized I could go to the thrift shop and find beaded jewelry, maybe wood beads, and string them.  I have a collection of feathers dropped by the many birds who fly over the apartment that the kids and I have been saving.  I could string the feathers among the beads for a really unique way to upgrade the lamp shade.

Not really my taste, but I could work with this.

My dil has a collection of old keys.  She has been asking me for a while now what she could do with them.  I’ve given her a few ideas, but so far, none that she liked.  I just told her about seeing this and she’s now excited to try this.

Picture this with antique keys instead of charm

Of course who doesn’t have old shoes they don’t know what to do with.  I recently spotted one shoe outside a Tim Horton’s that laid there over a week before I finally became disgusted enough to toss it away for them.

I like this picture because the red pops so.  You could easily paint a shoe to get this look.

One of yours or a thrift store find.

Want to dress up your pots before you use them.  Here’s an idea I spotted.  Using a little bit of rubber cement to hold the leaves in place the pot was spray painted.  Of course think about the things you could use besides leaves.  There’s always my feathers, lace doilies, and so much more.

Let the kids help find items to use in this project

Have you collected lots of bottles?  I have jam jars, and even a bottle from a store-bought frappachino my sister brought with her one day and was going to toss. I use them for the cut flowers from the fields during the summer months.  I also give them away to people when I need a gift filled with, again, found flowers.  Try painting them to personalize them.  Who knows you could have a yard sale and make some money off them when others would only toss them away.  What about all those plastic bottles people toss away?  I don’t buy plastic bottles, but here’s another idea for them.

Cute for Someone Else’s garbage isn’t it?

Here’s another idea for found bottles.  Using a little metallic paint you could get a look that would cost you plenty if bought in a store.

I’m partial to silver, but if you like gold that would work as well.

Well there are  my inspirations for today, and yes I finally got to sleep, eventually.  What have you seen that inspired you lately?  I’d love to see your before and afters.  Better yet, have something you don’t know what to do with? Let’s brainstorm and find ways to re-use everything.

8 thoughts on “Interesting repurposed items for inspiration

  1. I love those ideas! I like to spray paint things from nature with gold paint, for the holidays. The long stalks of long-stemmed sedum when dry, look beautiful painted gold. I put a bundle of them, tied with a holiday ribbon, into a vase as a centerpiece for the coffee table.
    I’ve also made luminarias out of tin cans. I use a punch-type can opener to add notches along the top and bottom ends, so the light flickers through, add votive candles and set outdoors along the path to the front door, on Christmas Eve.

    • I too used to make luminaries out of tin cans. I would fill with water and freeze, when frozen use an ice pick and hammer to punch a design in it. I recently found a branch that fell off a tree, I’m going to lightly spray paint it and hang it on the wall for the holidays. With a few smaller branches I can hang ornaments on it and not sacrifice floor space with company in and out. Pine cones are also popular around here to spray paint.

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