Repurposing old items into new decor



Are you tired of hearing recycle, recycle, recycle? Well, it’s a good thing to do, so do it. But another way to recycle is to repurpose items and give them new life.

Take, for example, an old bicycle wheel. Decorate it with pastel flowers for spring or whatever the season calls for and you will have an interesting wreath to display.

How about an old mattress spring? This can be from any bed, be it full size, king size or even a crib. Attach the mattress spring on the wall and you have a message board. Clothes pins can be used to attach the messages or the pictures you wish to display. Or instead of a message board, the mattress spring can be used to hang clothes. Just put the clothes on hangers and hook the hangers to the springs.

Do you have an old wooden ladder? If it’s self-standing, separate it and use the side with the rungs on the wall. Hang the rungs vertically on the wall and you have an instant book shelf or knick knack rack. And since the ladder is wood, you can paint it any color that suits your decorating needs.

Did you injure a leg or foot and have to use crutches? If those crutches are wood, try this idea. Turn the crutches into a standing shelf by removing the rubber caps at the bottom and saw off the round pieces of wood that the caps were covering. Hinge the bottom. Flip the crutches so the arm supports are on the floor and the bottom, hinged part is facing the ceiling. You have two places to add shelves, the bottom where the arm supports are and the middle where your hands grabbed the crutches. If only two shelves work for you, you’re done. If you want more shelves, then screw in little braces on each of the crutches wherever you want to add another shelf.

Old suitcases make for interesting repurposing. An end table or a nightstand can be made by attaching the suitcase to a four legged backless stool. Done. That’s all you need to do. Or you can use an old suitcase to make a dog bed. Open the suitcase and place a cushion inside. Done again. Or you can take the top off the suitcase and just use the bottom with a cushion inside.

Old umbrella hooks (that’s the curved part of the handle) can be used to make a coat rack. Cut off the hooks from the umbrellas and attach them to a board. Attach the board to the wall and your hooks are ready to use.

Repurposed items make for interesting decorations for your home and not only are the items interesting but they are also unique and personally yours.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.” For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at

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