Simple Projects & Upcycles: Beautifying Your Home with what You Have

Being stuck in my house with no options to go out and shop or thrift during the pandemic have brought out my creativity! I’ve had a few home upgrades I have wanted to make for quite some time, but with covid-19 my plans were put on hold…or so I thought.

Just because you can’t go out and buy something new, doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade your space! After taking inventory of items I already owned, I began making some easy upcycles! I hope this list inspires you!

Old things + fresh coat of paint = good as new

This is such an easy upgrade and honestly one I should have made a long time ago! I bought a shabby, distressed gray shelf from Goodwill for around $3 in 2018 because I needed somewhere to put my elephant collection.The shelf was rough looking when I bought it so I sanded it down and left it like that…until recently. (I was massively pregnant and not up for projects when I bought it.)

I found some white acrylic paint tucked away in a closet and applied a few coats. It was a near instant way to refresh a very affordable and functional piece in my house. Definitely a thrift-flip win!

 

I also had a photo my dad had taken which was housed in an oak picture frame. While I loved the photo, the wood didn’t match the rest of my home decor, so I found some black acrylic paint and gave it two thorough coats. Now it suits my home, and I get to enjoy my dad’s artwork!

Painting works for many items in our homes; old figurines, plant pots, picture frames, baskets…the sky is the limit! I had a black laptop table that I spray painted a bright gold for a more luxe look. It’s truly amazing what a little paint can do to refresh and customize your space.

Old unused tablecloths > into airy curtain panels

This was also an easy project to brighten up the same corner as the dark shelf. I had two white linen tablecloths that have spent much of their life unused, so I simply folded the tops down, ironed in place and stitched one long seam creating a pocket to thread the curtainrods through. So much light floods that corner of the house now!

 

Clothes and bedding no longer worn or used > into pillow cases

This is probably the most labor intensive project listed yet, but I love the result! I had an old pale pink jersey knit dress that I no longer wore and decided the color worked perfectly with some of my other upgrades. I traced the old pillowcase onto the dress and cut. Once pinned, I sewed 3 of the 4 sides. I took the zipper from the old pillow case and flipped my new pillow case right side out, and top stitched the zipper into it. With all the edges sewn in place, I transferred the pillow into the new case. Voila, instantly brighter couch with a ridiculously soft pillow case that I am aching to snuggle up with!

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Tacking onto making a pillowcase, I’ve also attached two old bed pillows to create a long bedroll (very messy project lol, foam everywhere!), and I’ll make a custom case for that, too!

Rather than pitching out old textiles and bedding, you can get really creative with what you have on hand and turn them into something beloved! Using fabrics you already own is a great way to add some variance to the textiles in the room which can really elevate the look and make it feel more expensive. Not to mention, old clothing and bedding makes for easily washable pillow cases – which is a must for me with 3 pets and a toddler!

Old canvas > into new artwork!

If you’re feeling daring and creative, this is a really fun project to take on!

We had a family portrait on canvas that turned out unfortunately larger than we anticipated. I’m not kidding when I say we were all the same size in real life as we were on that canvas and when you live in a small house…well…it just looks bizarre. Not to mention, the hubby and I have dropped about 140 lbs. combined, our daughter isn’t an infant anymore, and I’m no longer a redhead, so it didn’t exactly look like our family.

Because I previously painted all the time, I had the art supplies to tackle this. I prepped the canvas with primer before going in with my creative skills. Below shows the beginning phase of a beachy paradise…noticing a color trend with the peachy pinks?

Rather than spending a ton of money on new artwork, I am able to customize it to my exact liking with things I already have on hand!

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It’s a work in progress…oil paints take time to dry!

Add plants

This is so simple and does wonders bringing life (literally) into your space! I happen to have some little succulents that I was able to clip, pot, and bring indoors. You can get really creative with your container ideas, too. For one of my little succulents, I put it into a little kitty cat mug which is equal parts kitchsy and adorable if you ask me. Another easy upcycling idea is reusing old candlejars that have been cleaned out. I’ve kept several that are pretty and use them as vases and jars for things like cottonballs and q-tips; a bonus to doing this is you get a jar with a lid that keeps dust out!

Rearrange

Sometimes all you need to do to bring a little freshness to your space is to move things around! Whether that be furniture, wall decor, or even organization within cupboards, this is an easy, surefire way to revamp what you already own without needing any special supplies to do it. I do this every so often just because I find it has an energizing effect.

 

I hope these tips have inspired you for your next home project, especially if you’re feeling stir crazy! Have a tip I didn’t mention? Drop it in the comments below!

 

 

 

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