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4 Upcycled Decor Ideas

Upcycled Decor Ideas

Whether you call it recycling, reusing or upcycling, they all refer to the same great thing. Take an item that’s still too good to throw away or store. and give it a new life for all to see or use. Creating upcycled home decor is a talent you can easily harness as soon as you look at an object with a creative new lens. Here at Pottery Barn, we love offering ways to upcycle objects in your home or outdoor space. Next time you find yourself reaching for the closet door to store an item that’s otherwise gathering dust, think about how you can reassign it a new identity to fill a need you have elsewhere in your home. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Upcycling Vases

Who doesn’t have a collection of lovely decorative vases sitting in a closet, cabinet, basement or attic just taking up space? Stop waiting for the day that you buy yourself fresh flowers to use them again. There’s a multitude of upcycled decorating ideas for unused vases. The holidays call for all clear vases to come out of hiding and start holding glittering ornaments, strings of decorative white lights, scented pine cones, hard candies and candles. For everyday use or casual get-togethers, use vases as flatware or utensil holders. 

Turn a vase into a hanging lantern for summer nights outdoors. Hang it alongside your traditional mason jar lanterns for a change of pace. Wrap sturdy wire around the neck of a vase and fashion a loop to hang on a hook or a tree branch. For safety, use strings of twinkling lights or flameless votive candles. 

Make unbreakable vases useful as storage containers in kids’ rooms by filling them with little pieces that go to sets, random coins from around the home and all those miniature race cars that zip along the carpet. Large, sturdy vases can head to a cabinet or pantry. Just make sure you put them to good use, such as creating a plastic bag or rag holder. You can shove dozens of plastic bags in one vase. In the bathroom, use a small vase to hold razors or cotton swabs that spill out of their packaging.

Upcycling Planters

Planters may be another group of items you’ve collected over the years that don’t get much use. Just like vases, try decorating your outdoor space with upcycled planters. First, blend older planters in with newer, more fashionable styles to create a large grouping with varied, visual interest. Bring non-plastic planters back to life by turning them into candle holders. Turn a large planter on its side, nestle in some rocks or plants, and arrange three or four pillars inside. Galvanized planters in particular take on a beautiful glow. Use a pretty clay pot as a table centerpiece. Put a jarred candle in the center. Fill the rim of the planter with flowers or succulents. Use your planters as ice buckets that keep bottles and cans cold during a party. Keep ice bucket planters outdoors to naturally drain the ice through the holes in the bottom. Do you need a use for a large outdoor planter that’s too beautiful to hide? Turn it into an umbrella holder for your front entryway. Put it on a tray to catch the water that runs off.

Upcycling Wall Art

What’s one of the easiest items to upcycle? Artwork. Wall decor can be moved to a different spot in your home for instant update. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to upcycling your artwork. For instance, if you’ve unearthed a forgotten wooden sign or piece of artwork, turn it into a useful item by adding hooks to it. Hang it in the entryway for keys and hats. If it’s large and stable enough, use it for coats. Or, secure a pair of candle sconces onto the artwork for a truly one-of-a-kind piece of wall decor. Find reclaimed wood, frame it and glue on three-dimensional words or letters found in craft stores. Spell out a saying or a name – it makes a perfect gift for a new homeowner or neighbor.

Upcycling Plates

Besides breaking your ceramic plates and cups to make mosaic tabletops, there are other ways to reuse chip- and crack-free plates. Create a plate wall display. Modernize yours by choosing a handful of one color for a monochromatic arrangement. Or glue together a bunch of beautiful plates with patterns. Overlap them for an impressive, vibrantly colored three-dimensional piece of wall art. Mix and match random plates turned into cake plates, either multi-tiered or single tier. Use strong glue to attach a candle holder or a candle stick to the bottom of a plate. Make sure the candle holder or stick has a broad base so it makes a stable cake stand pedestal. Make tiered display pieces and cake plates from small mirrors, too, using the same technique.