Repurpose or Reuse Common Household Items in Your Home Decor


The following is a guest post by the contributor of DIY-Guides.com, where you can find other useful decoration tips. Photo by suzette.

If you have an old household item that you just don’t use or maybe even don’t like any longer… why not give it new life and use in your home? It will be more eco-friendly – by not filling up our landfills, and help on the pocketbook at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

So don’t think of a piece of furniture or household item as “old” or “useless” – repurpose it into something useful that will fit and even enhance your home decor.

While searching for some ideas, I found some great ways to repurpose some old items I have hanging around the house. One of them is on how to make new pillows. I happen to need new pillows for my guest bedroom – without having to trash the old ones and spending more money.

I fell in love with this first idea. In fact, I’m working on the pillows right now. And plan on giving these other ideas a try, too. Maybe you’ll find them useful as well:

Turn a Shirt into a New Pillow

As I said, I was looking for a way to make new pillows, so this idea was up my alley. My husband had several button-down shirts in his closet that don’t fit anymore or have had small stains on the sleeves. Perfect. And my guest bedroom is blue and white so blue, white and white/blue striped dress shirts are just what I’m looking for.

Here’s the easy to follow instructions to make your own button-down pillows at MarthaStewart.com. I also ran across another idea using old blankets. So I’ve decided to use one of my son’s baby blankets to make a special pillow as a keepsake. Here’s an easy how-to at DIY Guides.

Turn a Mason Jar into a Soap Dispenser

This idea is ingenious! You know how you hear about something and wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” That’s exactly how I feel about this idea. My mother-in-law cans a lot of vegetables, jams and pickles each year and shares them with us. I have these mason jars that I use to store buttons, etc. in, but have plenty that I just didn’t know what to do with… until now.

You can find step-by-step directions for making your own mason jar soap dispensers at ApartmentTherapy.com.

And if you really want to be environmentally safe – make your own soap to put in it. Here’s an easy recipe from TipNut.com.

Jewelry into Magnets

Most of us have some old vintage jewelry from our mothers or grandmothers, especially brooches or pendants. Well, you can turn them into beautiful magnets. Check out these 3 easy steps from Country Living and you’ll turn your refrigerator into a work of art.

Turn Sheets into Curtains

I have a friend that does this often. She has turned sheets, before they’ve gotten to worn, into curtains. As well as buying sheets new and made curtains out of them. Because sheets (all you need is the flat sheet) are much cheaper than custom made curtains.

I found two great how-to’s so you can make your own curtains. Here’s one from eHow and another from craftstylish.

Turn Plastic CD Cases into Frames

This is a great way to reuse those plastic CD cases and make an interesting and beautiful piece of art to frame on your wall. It’s a creative way to showcase your child’s artwork. Check out these directions at Care2.com.

I’m sure there are dozens of things you can repurpose in your home. Here’s one more quick tip – don’t limit yourself by thinking that a particular piece of furniture has to stay where it is, forever. You can move it to a different room and give it a new purpose. You’re only limited by your creativity and imagination.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.