Repurpose Household Items Into “Wow-Worthy” Decor

How to repurpose household items into decor and more. These ingenious ideas are created using every day items you have in your house right now.

How to Repurpose Household Items Into Decor

I have been decorating as well as organizing using common household items in ways other than they were intended for many years.

I learned how to do most of the decorating ideas I am sharing in this post when I worked in a department store as a visual merchandiser where we had to decorate the store using only items in a “prop room”.

Learning to become very resourceful was part of the job.

What Can You Make Out of Household Items?

You can make quite a few decorative things using hard-covered books, paper clips, rubber bands, thumbtacks, paper towel tubes and more.

Decorating with Common Household Items

Have you ever tried to hang a picture frame on a wall only to realize you don’t have any picture hanging hardware? No need to have to go run out and buy some when you learn how to use a few common household items to assist you when decorating.

Here are a few of what I call my “fast fixes” for decorating. The ideas are so simple and use ordinary stuff I know you have around your house or stashed in a drawer.

Decorative Uses for Old Books

How to use common household items like to make risers for these white hydrangeas on a stack of white books on a table in front of a wall of mirrors.

Make a Riser – Thrift Store Books stacked to make low items taller make the best risers. Look for hard-covered books in the same size or similar. When searching for them, make sure the books are large enough to place a decorative item on.

For this console table, I made two stacks of books to hold the thrift store planter I made over to look like it was made of concrete.

  • Paint the books using spray paint or use a brush and leftover paint in any color you want. I paint the entire book – cover and edges of the pages.
Uses for common household items when decorating a home or fall. Make a stack of painted books.

I have even added strips of paper with printed sayings on them.

How to repurpose household items into Rustic Red and Plaid Christmas decorations.

These are the same books that I covered with wrapping paper last Christmas. You can also use fabric.

Decorate With Book Pages

decorating  a plastic planter with book pages

Cover an Ugly Plastic Flower Pot – Cut or rip up the pages into squares. Use Mod Podge to attach and seal.

Decorating with common household items as done in this Dining room hutch that was decorated with pages from old books.

Accent a Piece of Furniture – I did this when I didn’t like the hand-me-down dining room hutch that was in my previous house.

decorating with common household items can save money.  Update old drawers by lining them with pages from books.

Line a Drawer – When out thrifting or in your own stash of books, look or interesting type, patterns or colors on the pages. This was from a typography book.

  • Cut them up to create a layered look. Attach and seal with matte Mod Podge.

Decorative Repurposing Ideas Using Paper Clips

Paper clips are by far my favorite little helper when decorating. Besides clipping sheets of paper together, paperclips can be used to:

decorating with common household items like a simple paper clip. How to make a plate hanger using a paper clip.

Hang Plates on a Wall – Use sandpaper to rough the surface up and attach with hot glue. Instant plate holder. Readers always ask me if these last. The answer is yes, and for years!

Simple DIY Thanksgiving Table Place Cards made using a common household item

Make Table Setting Place Card Holders – I make these for a fall table setting using Owl style paper clips.

How to decorate using fabric and paper clips.

Make a Modern Christmas Tree Collar – With fabric and metal sheeting from the home improvement shore – binder-style clips hold it in place. Best part about this tree collar is that it rolls up and doesn’t take up a lot of storage space in the off-season.

How to repurpose household items like paper clips.  They can be used instead of wire when hanging a picture on a wall.

Hang Artwork – When you don’t have picture hanging hardware or wire, make a chain of paper clips to the length needed. Use a staple gun with long staples to attach it to the back of the frame.

Instant Seat Cushion Covers Using Safety Pins

Safety pins are my second go-to when I want to make or cover a seat cushion with fabric.

no sew seat cushion

Make and Attach a Dining Chair Cushion Cover using safety pins.

Using common household items to make a fabric cover for a cushion.

A No-Sew Way to Cover a Seat Cushion Kitchen Banquette Cushion or a Porch Swing Cushion.

Decorative Uses for Rubber Bands

Add flair to any Flower pot

If You Have and Ugly Flower PotDisguise it using fabric and a rubber band.

Flowers being cut for flower arranging

Floral Arranging – When you want floral stems to bunch together in a vase, simply wrap a rubber band around the stems to hold them in place. Once placed in the vase, you won’t see the rubber band.

Twist Pins

This may be something every household does not have, but they sure do come in handy. Twist pins are sold at most fabric stores and online.

I use twist pins to:

slipcover fitting tips using twist pins

Secure a Slipcover – Once you have a slipcover in position, use twist pins to hold it in place. This works well when using loose-fit slipcovers.

Blue and white bedroom with blue and shite striped area rug over dark hardwood floor.
  • Keep a Dust Ruffle or Bed Skirt From Moving – If you have ever tried to center a dust ruffle on top of a box spring and then keep in in place, then you know how hard this can be.
    • Instead, use a dust ruffle that goes around a bed so you don’t even have to remove the mattress.
    • Use a few twist pins to attach to the top edge of the dust ruffle on each side of the bed to secure it.

Plain or Decorative Thumbtacks

How to hang a wreath with ribbon

No Wreath Hanger? Hang a Wreath on a Door In Seconds with no damage to the door.

How to repupose household items like thumbtacks when making over a piece of furniture.

If a Painted Furniture Makeover needs a little something, add some thumbtacks.

Paper Towel Tubes

How to keep a slipcover from moving

Use Paper Towel Tubes to hold a slipcover in place – or a cardboard tube from gift wrap.

  • How to Use: Once the slipcover is on, push a cardboard tube deep into the crevice along the back of the sofa and cushion. The tube or tubes if you have a large sofa will stay in place and keep the slipcovers in place.

I hav many more ideas on how to use ordinary household items to help you decorate your home. You can find them here on my blog:

I am sure you have a few clever or decorative ways you repurpose household items in your house. I would love to hear your ideas so I can put them to use in my house and can say…. “Now why didn’t I think of that!”

decorating with common items in every room of your home.

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  1. Jeannette says:

    Diane, you are amazing! Your ideas are highly useful and most of all classy. Thank you for sharing your behind the scenes details.

    Most appreciated,

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Jeannette – :-)

  2. Ordering those curly pins! Great idea!

  3. Sue Bauman says:

    Great suggestions, as always! Especially love the plaid book cover idea! And those curly pins for dust ruffles, they are a great invention, too!

  4. I’ve used the hot glue idea with both paper clips and pull tabs from aluminum cans. One caveat I learned the hard way – not on the wall over the oven if you have a rear vent!

  5. Such clever ideas! So simple yet big impact! Thanks for the tips!