16 Ways to Decorate With Things You Already Have

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

If you’re trying to redecorate your bedroom, study or other living space, don’t buy anything new until you’ve assessed what you already own. With a little bit of imagination and some effort, you can repurpose things you already have to create new upcycled home decor for a fraction of the price. Check out some of these creative and clever upcycling ideas for easy home decorating using items in your house (or that you can get cheaply).

Old clothes into a wreath

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Save scrap fabric, old blue jeans and other spare pieces of cloth because they’re perfect for upcycling projects. When you have a sizable amount in complementary colors, cut them into circles and hot-glue them to a wreath form, then add ribbon for hanging. We love a burlap-and-cloth version from Tatertots & Jello.

Headboard into bench

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Got an old headboard gathering dust in the basement? Use a saw, plywood and paint to repurpose it into a new place to sit. You can find detailed instructions online.

Picture frames to chalkboards

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Sift through that stack of unused picture frames in your closet and paint one in a shade that’s complementary to your decor. Then paint the frame’s backer board with black chalkboard paint, secure it to the back and hang it. (If the backing board is made of cardboard or is damaged, use a piece of laminated plywood that’s cut to the proper dimensions.)

Mason jars as flower vases

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Home decorating on a budget doesn’t get any easier than this: Coat old Mason jars with glossy spray paint, then add flowers for a striking display. The best part? If you change your color scheme or the “feel” of your room, simply update the jars by repainting them.

Wine corks into – well, almost anything

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If you have been saving your wine corks, they can be turned into all kinds of upcycled decorative items, including a bath mat, a wall hanging, decorative balls and more. (For more pizzazz, color them first by soaking them in a fabric-dye solution.)

Sweaters into throw pillow covers

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Upcycle your favorite, stretched-out old sweater into a cozy lounge pillow. All you’ll need is scissors, thread, a needle and some buttons for a unique living room decoration. Try it using this DIY sweater pillow tutorial.

Old maps and tiles into coasters

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From DIY vintage decor, combine your old paper maps and those leftover tiles from your bathroom renovation into adventurous coasters. Use a little Mod Podge and some clear sealant spray paint when following this map coaster tutorial.

T-shirts into hanging planter

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If your greenery is starting to monopolize your floor and shelf space, it’s time to take things to the next level. Add some visual interest and help your plants get more sun by repurposing your old shirts into a macrame plant holder.

Table legs into candle holders

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If you’re looking to decorate using what you have or can pick up cheap, you can break apart an old table to create unique decorative items on a budget. Use the ends of table legs to create elegant candle holders. With a little paint and some glue, you’re ready to go. DIY blogger Angie Holder’s tutorial on wooden candlesticks made from table legs will help you get started.

Wall clock into statement art

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Dismantle an old clock and use your favorite patterned paper to turn a traditional wall clock into a fun (and functional) statement art piece on the cheap. Most tutorials call for wrapping paper, but feel free to branch out; you can use old maps or even fabric to achieve the same effect. HelloNest has a great DIY upcycled wrapping paper clock tutorial.

T-shirt into wall art

t-shirt artwork
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We’ve all kept T-shirts long past their prime because of nostalgia or other attachments. If you like to reuse things to decorate, follow this easy tutorial on repurposing a T-shirt into wall art to keep the memories while emptying out your closet and giving your home a new look.

Vinyl records into bowls

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If you’ve been hanging onto a bunch of old records but don’t feel like investing in a new turntable, don’t throw them out. Upcycle them into useful and eye-catching conversation pieces. As a bonus, they’re incredibly easy to make. Learn how to get started with this record bowl tutorial.

Glass jars into bathroom storage

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Turn all those glass pasta and salsa jars into cute and useful bathroom storage. See how to make them with this tutorial on upcycled glass jars for bathroom storage.

Cardboard boxes into decorative storage

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Add extra storage at no extra cost with this DIY no-sew storage box project from The DIY Nuts. The only things you’ll need are a sturdy cardboard box, fabric, a glue gun and some rope or twine.

Book into jewelry box

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Follow this DIY tutorial on repurposing a book into a jewelry box to create a whole new piece for your home. Hollow out the inside of a hardcover book and attach legs to give your space a new look and finally get rid of some of the clutter on top of your dresser.

Sweater tights into knot pillow

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You won’t need Boy Scout level knot skills to make this cute pillow. Fill some old sweater tights with stuffing and then twist to create a new throw pillow perfect for the couch. This knot pillow DIY tutorial will show you how to decorate your living room with things you already have.

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