Thrift Store Haul & Creative Upcycling Ideas for Home Decor

Today, I'm going to give you some thrift store decorating ideas. I will be upcycling some items and creatively combining others. I want to show you how I use and repurpose these thrift store finds, often in unexpected ways.

Kitchen decor

1. Kitchen decor

When thrifting, I usually buy things I like and figure out what to do after I get home, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this bread box. This bread box is large enough to corral our dog treats in one place.

Fruit art

2. Fruit art

One of the Currier & Ives calendar prints was of colorful fruit, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to frame it and use it somewhere in my kitchen. I found a perfectly sized frame in my stash, and its terracotta-colored mat looked perfect with the print.

After removing the cardboard backing and glass, I freshened up the wood frame with a bit of Restor-A-Finish and applied it to fine steel wool. I removed the picture from the mat.

Then, I thoroughly applied a glue stick to the back of the fruit print and adhered it to the frame's original picture. Doing this removes all the wrinkles in the fruit print and assures it won't rip or tear.

Next, I aligned the mat over the print and used paper tape to attach them. I added it to the frame, returned the cardboard backing, bent back the nails to hold it in place, and then covered the nails with more paper packing tape.

3. Rearranging the counters

I traded out the fruit art on my kitchen counter and moved the smaller oil painting to an empty wall next to the pantry doors.

Fruit art

In this different spot, the painting feels like a completely new artwork.

Now, of course, I needed to rearrange the counter on the opposite side of the stove.

Arranging decor
Arranging decor

I traded out the brass tray for the thrifted tole-painted tray and added napkins to the butter crock.

It looked crowded, so I moved the tile tray to a shelf above the microwave and switched the tray's location and the oil painting.

These are hung to the wall with velcro strips, which work great on all types of backsplash. It was still crowded, so I moved the butter crock to the other side.

I had also thrifted a blue and white clock plate. To create a working clock, I removed the clock hands and battery mechanism from a small wood clock that I had also thrifted.

Two-sided foam tape works well to adhere the clock box to the back of the plate. Then, you need to reattach the clock hands in the appropriate order. I love a small wall clock hung above a doorway.

Arranging decor

4. Small storage

I had an idea for using these three small drawers. I cut the handle off this divided wicker basket to create a cabinet.

Small storage drawers

I only had three drawers, so I stuck a small chicken salt shaker in the empty slot.

Small storage drawers and display

I decided to add a small child's chair as the opposing bookend and to style it; I added a few books across the leg rungs and a vintage flour sifter on the seat filled with a droopy faux plant.

Dining room decor

5. Dining room

I replaced a metal arch in the dining room with some antique tin tiles someone had given me. I applied white wax to tone down the tiles' dark brown and rust tones.

I wasn't worried about ruining the original tin tiles because I could tell this was not the original paint and that these tiles had been recently repainted.

I brushed on the wax, ensuring it got into all the crevices, and then wiped and dabbed off the excess wax. I created a spring vignette on the buffet, adding vintage thrift store books.

I weighed the books down with a bag of rocks from Dollar Tree to keep the books from knocking over the vase.

Decorative lamp

6. Family room

The blue and white wall sconce was cracked and missing its glass shade, but I didn't care. To hang it, I needed to use a large screw or a picture hanger that I could bend to fit through the sconce hanger.

I added some sticky tack inside the candle cup to securely hold a remote-controlled candle and then topped it with a glass shade from another thrift store find.

Family room decor

I was drawn to the dark wood on this $3 vintage magazine rack.

Once again, I polished the wood with some furniture refinisher and fine steel wool, followed by a coat of Feed-n-Wax.

I'm going to use it on the fireplace hearth in my family room, putting magazines in the back half and pretty decor in the front. I added a couple of flocked rabbits, a droopy plant, and a vintage doily for some interesting texture.

Living room decor

7. Living room

I thought this beige and dark red Afghan would look good in my living room next to the red table that was a recent DIY project.

I had thrifted a few other decor items I wanted to place in the living room, including a tiny ceramic cottage to add next to the one I purchased in Ireland and one gifted to me. I also added a small brass bell to the two bells on the lower shelf.

Living room decor

I love the look of a bit of china mixed in with books, and I thrifted a transferware cup and saucer similar to the red bowl I already had on the shelf.

While arranging and rearranging things, I realized the red transferware would probably fit nicely into the large drawer I had thrifted. Using things in unexpected ways like this is also a sign of a collected home.

Living room decor

I thought I'd add the fox-hunting-themed Stein to the other bookcase in the living room.

Just like with the desk shelves, adding that one item triggered a rearranging of all the shelves.

One tip on arranging shelves is to stagger where you place the books and where you place the greenery to create variety and an overall balanced appearance.

I'm obsessed with vintage frames, and I love the unusual green paint on one. I grabbed a tall wicker basket that I had thrifted for just $1.50, ran some florist wire through the back side, and suspended it from the picture wire. Then I added some faux greenery and the doily inside the basket.

Living room decor

I would never have thought to put together a picture frame, a basket, and a doily like this if I hadn't just thrifted these items and brainstormed ideas on how to use them.

So, I think collecting promotes creativity.

I also thrifted a small and unique hurricane lantern. It can sit on a table or hang on a wall. Its coppery color coordinated well with the tiny frame, so I hung them next to one another on my china cabinet.

Living room decor

If you, too, are drawn to tiny things, you might consider displaying them together as a collection on a tiered tray.

Thrift store haul

What thrift store decorating ideas do you have? Do you have collections? Share your style in the comments below.

Next, check out this Unbelievable Living Room Transformation Using Only Thrift Store Finds.

Join the conversation