How to Repurpose Home Items that Actually Look Stylish

August 23, 2021 5 min read

how to repurpose household items for beautiful affordable home decor

Forget shabby DIYs. While the internet offers countless ways to re-use ordinary household objects, many of them require meticulous crafting, and some just turn out to be... not so elegant-looking. We propose a better way to repurpose: keep it quick, simple, and classy. Here, we've gathered some of our favorite ideas for repurposing household items to make them into beautiful (and often functional) elements of your home. Try these yourself!


1. Rope-wrapped and pretty

Soft, natural, neutral materials are beautiful elements in a cozy home. Natural fibers like jute, sisal, and seagrass are huge in interior design today -- you'd find them as placemats, wall decor, rugs, and more. The best part is, you can use these inexpensive materials to wrap unsightly items around the house such as old plant pots, boxes, and even trash bins (like in the photo).


2. Milk bottles as botanical displays

As kids, we learned how to upcycle empty bottles into flower vases. Now, here's the classy grownup version: filling these glass bottles with elegant botanicals like eucalyptus leaves, small palm fronds, or a single stalk of fiddle-leaf fig.

Put one bottle-slash-vase on the table for a lovely minimal accent, or group a few together for a lush centerpiece, like above.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Family Rules" Phrases On Background Premium Canvas

You can even mount your bottles on wood boards so they can hang on the wall, like below:

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "There's Always Something To Be Thankful For" Premium Canvas V2


3. Teacup planters

Breathe new life into those chipped or faded teacups that you just can't bear to part with. Use them as planters for small indoor plants like succulents and some herbs. These look oh-so-charming on the windowsill or on any tabletop around the house. Just make sure they get the sunshine they need.


4. Outdoor plant to indoor delight

Some potted plants in your garden or patio can also add life to your indoor spaces. From flowering annuals like begonias and geraniums, to tree species like weeping figs and rubber trees, these plants can thrive indoors with some tender, loving care. For best results, do some research first before bringing your houseplant in.

Wall art pictured above: "YOLO" Gold Typography Premium Canvas


5. Bejeweled magnets

Can't let go of your broken jewelry or buttons? Turn them into fridge magnets! Just hot-glue a small magnet on the back of the gemstone and voila -- some glammed-up magnets ready to bedazzle your fridge door. We got this idea from creative mom Virginia over at LiveLoveDIY.

Alternatively, you can use those fabulous stones to accent your mirrors, photo frames, and memo boards.


6. Throw in that blanket

Some blankets we just outgrow, especially when we're redecorating our bedroom. Give that cozy textile a new home by draping it over your couch as a stylish throw blanket. Or, if it doesn't go well with the living room decor, how about on your entryway bench, on your porch chair, or on your reading nook? So cozy!

Blanket pictured above: Personalized Family Name Premium Teal Fleece Blanket


7. Tray chic in the entry

Decorative trays are the new darlings of interior decor. Not only are they functional, they also come in endless tasteful designs that look like accents by themselves.

So if you have a lovely tray or shallow dish in your kitchen that you haven't used in ages, see if it can land on your entryway table or console. Here, it can corral your daily odds and ends like keys, coins, and trinkets.


8. Tray chic on your dresser

Another great place for that vintage serving tray? On your vanity table! It's a perfect landing spot for commonly used items like creams, makeup, or that pair of earrings you wear every day. For extra finesse, place a sweet candle or vase of flowers towards the back of the tray. It'll bring a smile as you sit at your mirror.


9. Tray chic in the living room

Your coffee table is yet another place for a pretty tray. Here, that stylish crate can hold together your aesthetic table-toppers like flowers and candles, alongside practical items like the remote control.

Many smaller homes do away with the coffee table and just use an ottoman topped with their living room tray. It's a more petite way to complete the living area without sacrificing style.


10. Fish bowl as flower vase

A retired fishbowl can find a fabulous new purpose as container of your flower arrangement. This gorgeous centerpiece is versatile, too -- whether you fill it with vibrant colors, lush greens, or elegant whites (like above), it's bound to look sophisticated.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Bless The Food, Family, Love" Premium Canvas


11. Ladder as textile hanger

Yes, old ladders can be rustic-chic when used right! In the lounge setup above, a wooden ladder is propped against the wall and repurposed as a rack for beautiful blankets and scarves. Try this yourself with a variety of fabrics; play around with layering them. It's clever storage and rustic decor at once!

Wall art pictured above: Elegant Pink Flamingo Premium Canvas


12. Ladder as shelf

Ladder shelves are now a staple in home decor stores and magazines -- a sign that we totally can repurpose those old wooden ladders we don't use anymore. It may need a bit of cleaning and sanding down, or even a little paint if you prefer, but if you style your ladder shelf right, it can transform into a charming display. See our tips here on how to style an open shelf.


13. Food jars as toiletry holders

If, like us, you've amassed a collection of empty mason jars and spice jars, you've probably run out of things to use them for. Arrange several of them on your bathroom shelf to stylishly organize cotton balls, Q-tips, toothbrushes and other grooming essentials.


14. Cookie tins as baby things organizer

We know there are plenty of uses for those pretty cookie tins, not least of which is to hold sewing materials. But if you need some simple containers for your baby nursery or kids' room, these decorative tin boxes could be perfect. They could hold baby supplies, toys, mementos, and more. Plus, they don't make a sound when you open or close the lid.

Bonus tip: Decorate two or more cookie tins with the same theme as the room (like above). Painting and decoupage are common ways to do this, but to make your tins extra child-friendly, you can choose to wrap them with fabric (tutorial here).

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "More Than We Wanted You" Kid's Premium Canvas


Which one of these repurposing tips is your favorite? We have lots more in our previous blog post on swapping items between rooms -- check it out!

And if you liked the home decor we featured here, you'll love the highly-rated items on Happy shopping!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Gift and Decor Guides

Fall 2023 interior trends / Thanksgiving 2023 decor
The Coziest Fall Decor 2023 Trends You'll Want For Good!

September 25, 2023 4 min read

These trending interior styles for autumn are just so cozy and beautiful that they might as well stay in our homes forever. Take a look at these Fall 2023 interior decor styles highlighted by experts, and get the look for your own home!

dining room with beige wall - how to decorate a blank beige wall - Gear Den
15 Fantastic Ways to Decorate a Beige Wall

September 21, 2023 5 min read

Unsure what to do with a blank beige wall? Paralyzed by all the decor options? Or are you just afraid you'll go overboard and make a mess of it? We got you! We have lots of easy decor tips to make a beige wall look beautiful! Read on.

living room with "home sweet apartment" wall art - apartment decor tips - Gear Den
How to Make Your Apartment Homey: 10 Decor Tips

September 10, 2023 4 min read

Apartment living can be wonderful, but it often doesn't equal the homey-ness of home. Whether you have a tiny studio or a spacious rental, here are easy decorating tips to make your apartment feel the coziest and homiest it's ever been.