Thanks to television shows like Flea Market Flip, turning thrift store finds into conversation pieces has now become a sport. We made a list of ten thrift store finds you can use for DIY home decor projects and then surveyed the internet, looking for easy tutorials you can follow. Keep reading for your next craft inspirations!
The next time you see your neighbor put an old ladder out on trash day, grab it! Thanks to the farm house trend, there are many ways you can use these thrift store finds in your home as functional conversation pieces.
From a stylish shoe rack to a clever bookshelf, DIY & Crafts has the goods on how you can turn a rickety old ladder into a work of art. Paint the ladder to give it a face lift or leave it the way it is for a more rustic look. Either way, you just made room in your closet and freed up some space on your bookshelves by using that discarded ladder as either a shoe rack or a bookshelf.
This next DIY project might take a bit more effort but as you can see from the picture above, Two Paws Farmhouse came up with a really exciting way to update your light fixtures using a couple of different thrift store finds. The photo above is a kitchen chandelier made from an old ladder and a set of mason jars. If you like the look of the ladder but don’t need a light fixture for your kitchen, there are also many online tutorials available on how you can use a ladder as a potholder in your kitchen.
Vertical gardens are another way you can repurpose a ladder for your next home decor project. Balcony Garden Web has a list of ladder ideas including the two photographed above. The best part about using these thrift store finds to make these crafts from Balcony Garden Web is that in most cases, all that’s needed is a little paint. Depending on your garden needs, you can attach hooks to your planters and hang them from the rungs. Another option is to place planks of wood across the rungs of a folding ladder and set your kitchen herbs on them.
Shutters are also hot thrift store finds. There are many ways you can use shutters in your home. Some people hang them on the wall like art. Others use them in their garden for hanging flower pots or drying herbs. We found some other ideas for you to consider.
MJ Designs used four repurposed shutters to make a headboard for her bed. Two additional shutters were hung behind the bedside tables. We love that MJ Designs attached sconces to the shutters behind the tables. A free tutorial on how this look was achieved is available on MJ Designs.
Making a kitchen island from old shutters is an awesome idea! Even more awesome is the free tutorial provided by Beyond The Picket Fence. Becky, the genius behind this blog, added an old drawer to the base of the table and a reclaimed piece of wood for the top of the table. The added casters made it perfect for positioning this island anywhere it’s needed.
One last option for using repurposed shutters is to make a bench. Liz Marie Blog has all the details on how she took an old shutter to make the bench featured above. In her case, Liz had the shutter lying unused in her home. She used a Swiffer Duster to clean the slats. A baseboard was cut to fit the shutter and the shutter was placed on top of it during the final stages of assembly. Check out Liz Marie Blog for the full tutorial.
Who knew picture frames could be exciting thrift store finds? As it turns out, they can be used for so much more than holding pictures. Check out some of the most creative ways we’ve seen picture frames used. And the best part about using picture frames for your projects is that they can be purchased for as little as one dollar!
Are you tired of digging through your jewelry box to find earrings? Little Red Window has a fun solution using these thrift store finds. Take an old picture frame, remove the backing, and add chicken wire. Voila! You’re now the proud owner of a stylish earring display. Check out Little Red Window for a free tutorial and more fun ideas!
Message boards are fun for the whole family. Sure, you can buy them for a relatively low price, as long as you want something small. But, if you want a larger, more stylish message board check out the one featured above by The Happy Housie. Krista, author of The Happy Housie, used an old picture frame to make a corkboard for her home. She used a roll of cork and some festive fabric to complete this look. We’ve also seen numerous internet tutorials where picture frames were used as dry erase boards. If cork boards aren’t your thing, check out this dry erase board tutorial by Good Housekeeping
This is quite possibly our favorite reason for including picture frames on your list of thrift store finds. The DIY Mommy has an awesome way of using picture frames as charging stations for your tablets and cell phones. For this project, an old picture frame, wood trim, and thick cardboard were used to make the charging station.
Have an old set of dishes you don’t know what to do with? Before tossing them out or selling them, check out what we found. These awesome gift ideas will make old dishes wonderful thrift store finds.
Tiered trays used for appetizers or cupcakes are super pretty but can also be super expensive. Fortunately, Joy’s Hope has a pretty clever idea for how you can use these thrift store finds to make your own tiered tray. Some of the supplies she used for this particular project are not food-safe so if you follow her exact instructions, you’ll want to line the plates with paper before placing the food on them.
Want a fun way to grow your herbs? Family Handyman uses old coffee cups for kitchen herbs. Check out the article for more, fun gardening ideas. Numbers three and four on Family Handyman are two of our favorites!
Looking for a fun gift?. Kim Power Style used old teacups from her stash of thrift store finds to make candles. Kim provides easy instructions on her blog on how to do this. We think this would make a fabulous gift to give someone. The next time you add an old tea set to your thrift store finds, we hope you’ll think of Kim Power Style.
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Storage, storage, and more storage! We love that doors can be used to increase the storage in homes! Check out these incredible, and stylish ways to repurpose doors!
Once upon a time, there was a lonely door and an unloved chest. They were unhappy and alone. Then, one day, Refresh Restyle stumbled upon them and said, “Hey! I can make a hall tree out of these!” And at last, these thrift store finds were no longer alone. A few coats of paint, a couple of towel hooks, and optional chalkboard paint were used to make these awesome hall trees.
Towel Holder or Coat Rack
Lehman Lane ramps up the coat rack look by hanging a door on the wall and adding some hooks. It’s a fun, farmhouse look for the mudroom or entryway! Plus, by using this coat rack, you’ll free up closet space. Visit Lehman Lane for the tutorial.
Repurposed Life used old french doors as shelves for their living room. The glass panes were removed from the french doors and Repurposed Life put a frame around the outside of the doors to box them in, then added shelves on the inside to accomplish the look featured above.
We were shocked to learn that there are people in this world who actually think it’s possible to own too many books. And to them, we say, “No way!” You can never own too many books and these next craft ideas prove that old books make wonderful thrift store finds.
From an engrossing tale of intrigue to a knife block? This is a unique way of using these thrift store finds. Town & Country Living used a decorative rope to tie a set of books together and then inserted the knives, making this a very fun countertop piece! The only thing more entertaining would be if these books were a collection of murder-mysteries.
Many of us would love to have a bookcase that opens into a secret room. In case you’re curious, there are tutorials online that will show you how to build one. But for this article, we’re sticking to something a little easier. For everyone out there who’d love to have a bookcase that holds a secret, Jen Woodhouse came up with a fun way idea using the bindings of old books. The full tutorial is on Ryobi Nation.
Give the lamps in your home a fun look! Morena’s Corner has all the details on using these thrift store finds as the base of a lamp. For this particular project, hardback books are required. Also, a mason jar light kit was used. If you like this project, Morena’s Corner has some other fun DIY ideas.
This next set of DIY ideas will require hardshell suitcases. Thrift stores definitely have these but vintage suitcases can also be found on eBay. Wherever you buy them, consider them for one of these fun ideas.
Do you have some delicate decorations that need to be displayed? Pretty candlesticks or a small vase? Do you have a wall that needs decorating? Perfect! Grillo Designs has a unique way of using old luggage that’s been cut with a saw for shelving. Check out their blog for the complete set of instructions!
Vintage suitcase lovers will adore this next craft idea because their precious thrift store finds won’t require mutilation of any kind. 17Apart used a stack of old suitcases as a bedside table! To get the table to the desired height, an old wooden crate was put on top but, depending on your needs a vintage makeup bag could also achieve the desired height. This is a super simple concept that requires very little time and zero tools.
When searching for home decor ideas, don’t forget about your furry friends. HomeTone has some cute ways that pieces of vintage luggage can be used to make a soft bed for your cat or dog. They used furniture legs to help create this pet bunk bed.
Have you ever wandered through a thrift store, seen a bunch of license plates and wondered what someone would do with them? Wonder no more! We’ve found some clever ideas for these thrift store finds.
Toilet Paper Holder
Some people might look at a rusty, old license plate, and see junk. Funky Junky Interiors looked at these thrift store finds and saw a genius way to hold rolls of toilet paper. Visit Funky Junky Interiors to see how they did it.
Home Talk added clipboard hardware to their vision to turn these thrift store finds into writing surfaces. Clipboard hardware can be purchased from Amazon in a variety of sizes and styles. Home Talk recommends using clipboards that are stiff for this project. Avoid flimsy clipboards that bend easy.
Refrigerator magnets are another fun way to repurpose license plates. HGTV has all the details you’ll need. Make sure the license plates are steel and not aluminum! To tell the difference, bring a magnet along with you when you’re shopping for old license plates. HGTV explains that steel is magnetic, aluminum is not.
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Whether used as decorations or repurposed into something else, telephones are always fun thrift store finds. We found some fun ways to repurpose them. Check out this list for some inspiration.
The next time you stumble upon a collection of old rotary phones at a garage sale or thrift store, take a second look. Just because these thrift store finds might not work with your phone line doesn’t mean you can’t make them work for your home. Upcycle That used their old phone to make an awesome desk lamp. They have both written instructions as well as a video tutorial available on their website.
We never would’ve thought of using these thrift store finds as planters. Fortunately, I Spy DIY did! This phone was purchased in a different color but painted to achieve the above look. As you probably guessed, it was gutted leaving only the numbers. For larger plants, I Spy DIY recommends removing the outer numbers.
Smart Phone Projector
Old cell phones aren’t necessarily thrift store finds, but this next craft idea was too cool not to mention. If you happen to have an old smartphone, or you want to use your current phone, Upcycle That has a great idea and we highly recommend it as a family project. It’s the perfect activity for parents do to with their homeschoolers! All this project required – besides a smartphone – is a shoebox and the lens from a magnifying glass. Once everything is assembled, you’ll have your very own shoebox projector. Set it up in your house and have a movie night with your kids! Popcorn not included.
Vinyl records. Some of us are old enough to remember these before they became thrift store finds. They preexisted MP4s and CDs. Vinyl records are easy to find at thrift stores and if you happen upon them, consider one of these ideas.
Thanks to projects like this one by Little Red Window, clocks will never be the same! Dress up your timepiece by turning an old vinyl record into a clock. The only thing extra that you’ll need is a clock kit and a little bit of patience.
Dress up your scrapbook! Cut Out & Keep has everything you’ll need to turn these thrift store finds into book covers. This isn’t one of the easiest projects, but once everything is assembled, we know you’ll love it!
Looking for a lampshade? FerrisBuilt turned these old records into lamps. And it’s actually much easier than it might seem. In addition to the record, all you’ll need is your oven, a glass bowl, a cookie sheet, a marker, and oven mitts. Basically the only thing you’ll have to run out and buy is the record. It doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to repurposing old records.
We hope you enjoyed these home projects inspired by thrift store finds. If any of them influenced you, please let us know. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram and let us see which thrift store finds inspired your home decor crafts!
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Photo Credits: DIY & Crafts | Two Paws Farmhouse | Balcony Garden Web | MJ Designs | Beyond The Picket Fence | Liz Marie Blog | Little Red Window | The Happy Housie | The DIY Mommy | Joy’s Hope | Family Handyman | Kim Power Style | Refresh Restyle | Lehman Lane | Repurposed Life | Town & Country Living | Jen Woodhouse | Morena’s Corner | Grillo Designs | 17Apart | HomeTone | Funky Junky Interiors | Home Talk | HGTV | Upcycle That | I Spy DIY | Upcycle That | Little Red Window | Cut Out & Keep | FerrisBuilt
Sources: DIY & Crafts | Two Paws Farmhouse | Balcony Garden Web | MJ Designs | Beyond The Picket Fence | Liz Marie Blog | Little Red Window | The Happy Housie | Good Housekeeping | The DIY Mommy | Joy’s Hope | Family Handyman | Kim Power Style | Refresh Restyle | Lehman Lane | Repurposed Life | Town & Country Living | Jen Woodhouse | Morena’s Corner | Grillo Designs | 17Apart | HomeTone | Funky Junky Interiors | Home Talk | HGTV | Upcycle That | I Spy DIY | Upcycle That | Little Red Window | Cut Out & Keep | FerrisBuilt