I love upcycling thrifted items. Today I would like to share some thrifted items that I am upcycling and styling in my home.
Thrifting is so much fun to me and I love to find things at the thrift store and use as is. Sometimes that is not always possible and an item takes a little imagination to make it into that dream item for your home.
I would like to show you some items that I found recently that had good bones but needed a little bit of an update.
Watch Upcycling Thrifted Items Here
What Is Upcycling?
Upcycling is simply the process of taking something that is no longer useful and giving that item new purpose and most of the time a new look. This process of upcycling enables a creative person like myself to purchase something that’s inexpensive and turn it into a high end looking item to display in your home.
Most of the time the item just needs cleaning and a few coats of paint. I always say to never underestimate the power of paint. Paint can take an item from drab to fab in as little time as it takes the paint to dry.
Upcycling Thrifted Items Using Only Paint
I recently saw this three tiered basket at the thrift store for $15. Thinking that $15 was a little too expensive, I walked by it and continued shopping. It was metal and in very good condition but I wasn’t sure what I could even use it for. I also wasn’t crazy about the green pots or the color of the metal.
Several ideas popped into my head and one thought was that it could serve as some sort of display in my antique/vintage booth. Did you know that I have an antique/vintage booth? You can see more about it here.
I digress, anyway back onto the subject of upcycling. The idea of a display was just a passing thought because I didn’t have anything to display.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! I could paint it first and get rid of the green. This is where my power of paint comes into play. Just about everything can be painted. If an item at a thrift store is not the right color, consider painting it a color that will go in your home.
I scooped up the basket and brought it home. In true Angie fashion, the basket went into my “waiting to be upcycled” pile until I could find the time to work on it.
The Power Of Paint
After a few days, I finally had time to work on my basket. I took it all apart, washed all of the dirt and grime away and then gave it two coats of black spray paint.
After it all dried I gave it a coat of sealer.
I painted the baskets and the trays that held the baskets. It was an instant change and I was loving it.
Upcycling Our Thrifted Basket Into A Plant Station
My daughter decided just a few months ago that she would like to start a fall garden. Since I love to encourage her to explore and learn, I set out to help her make her dream a reality. We made this three tiered basket into a place that she can store her pots with seeds and wait for them to sprout. Then she can transplant her young plants into the garden. We still need to get a few more seeds but we are off to a great start. I’ll keep you updated on our upcycled tiered plant station.
What would you use this basket for?
Bright And Shiny To Antique Brass
I bought this long, shiny brass planter because I thought it was so unique. I thought that it would be beautiful as a centerpiece on a long table.
A lot of times most of my thrifting trips are for my antique/vintage booth. I am always looking for items that I can resell. I prefer to find items that I can sell as-is and I thought this would be one of those items. However, this container sat in my booth for two months with no movement.
I have a rule of thumb and that is if an item has been in my booth for 2 + months, it’s time to upcyle it.
This container got two coats of dark brown spray paint
I filled it with some fall florals that I had on hand and sat it on my dining room table. I think it’s here to stay!
A little bit of vision and a few hours of work took this container from shiny and outdated to a container that looks like antique brass.
Upcyling Thrifted Bamboo Frames To Memory Holder
My next project really happened by accident. I saw these bamboo frames at the thrift store and I loved the frames but I didn’t love the pictures. I knew that I could change them up but really had no idea what I was going to display in them.
I brought them home and deconstructed them. This was a little more than I bargained for because they were put together very well. I used my Xacto knife and I questioned whether or not I should have left them intact.
I was too far to turn back so I kept working away and finally got them apart. I decided to paint the mats and the picture since they were all glued together. I sprayed it with this spray paint and since it has primer built in, it covered up the picture very well.
I gave the frames 2 coats of this spray paint and it made them have the appearance of real brass. I was very satisfied with this color.
“If you are thrifting and you love the art but the mat is not the right color, paint the mat! It makes everything look so fresh and clean and you can customize it to fit in your space for a fraction of the cost of new art.“
What Will I Display In My Upcycled Frames?
This stumped me since the opening was only 3×3 and my options were not anything that I truly loved. I thought about making my own print to display in my frames but then I thought about the pins that I had received when my granny passed away in 2019.
They were the perfect size for these frames. I picked out the perfect ones and hot glued them to the mat. This way if I ever want to remove them I can without any damage to the pins.
I love how they look in these frames propped up on my bookcase. Every time I pass them I smile and think of my granny. These pins are so much better here than stored away in a box.
Upcycling A Thrifted Fish
I saw this fish sitting on the shelf and was intrigued by it. It looked like it may have been a candle holder back in the day but I wasn’t sure.
Someone told me on Instagram that she had one and it held a fish bowl. I was never able to find a picture so if you know anything about this fish, I would love to know.
Anyway, I gave this fish two coats of navy paint and since it had so many beautiful details I wanted to highlight those.
I added a layer of white wax and brought out all of those details.
I styled this fish on my console table two ways.
The first way was a candle with some greenery around it. I love how the greenery looks with the navy and how the white wax makes the eyes pop.
The second way was with a blue and white vase with some greenery. I love this look too. Which way is your favorite?
I also did this process on a thrifted lamp that you can see here.
What Items Can I Upcycle?
There are endless possibilities on what items can be upcycled. Let your imagination run and create a one of a kind item. I love to try out new painting techniques on small items from the thrift store that I purchased for a few cents. That way if I do mess it up, I don’t feel bad since I didn’t spend a lot of money on it in the first place.
Many things can be upcycled.
An old cutting board can be used as a riser in your decor.
A beautiful saucer can be used to elevate a flower pot and catch the water.
Use a wooden riser to elevate a flower pot
or to give a candleholder some height.
Old thread spools can be displayed in a thrifted apothecary jar.
I could go on and on but you get the idea.
Have You Upcyled Any Thrifted Items?
I would love to know what you have found while thrifting recently? Did you upcycle it or use it as is? Also let me know which upcycled item is your favorite.