How to Decorate with Repurposed Items for Farmhouse Flair

 repurposed farm house

OK, first things first.

I’m far from being one of those super-cool decorating bloggers.

I’m not good at “staging” my home, and my picture-taking skills leave a lot to be desired.

However, I had so much fun showing you the chicken wire frame I made, that I wanted to share a few more of my other simple homestead decorating ideas.

When I first got married, I was under the impression that “home decor” had to come from a “home decor store.”

Not true!

I’ve found some of my most favorite pieces in trash piles and thrift stores. Over the course of time, I’ve found myself gradually getting rid of my “home decor” items in favor of things I’ve repurposed, salvaged, and repainted.

How to Create Farmhouse Charm with Repurposed Junk

Old Headboards

One of my favorite items to grab at garage sales and thrift stores are old headboards. Lonely twin-sized headboards are a dime-a-dozen and the possibilites are endless.

Here is a 1970’s beauty *cough cough* that I nabbed at the thrift store for $8.

With a little bit of trimming, some chalkboard paint, knobs, and wooden embellishments, it turned into this:

repurposed headboard

I got this lonely little headboard at a yard sale for $1.

A fresh coat of paint, a free sheet of galvanized metal, a little distressing, and some knobs?

And I have a magnetic message board for my mudroom.

Homemade Alphabet Letters

I made the alphabet magnets from a few supplies from the craft store: scrapbooking stickers, small wooden disks, and magnets.


What better way to decorate a homestead house than to bring a bit of nature inside?

I love the simple elegance that a few twigs or sticks can bring to a room.

farmhouse decor

I filled this simple antique pitcher with twigs from our backyard.

This arrangement sits on our bathroom vanity. The milk glass vase was 69 cents at a thrift store, and the sticks and rock were free.

Glass Bottles and Jars

I have a thing about quirky little glass bottles and jars.

farmhouse decor

These bottles might look antique, but they’re not. I chose them for their unique shapes, but they are modern glass. I printed off these free “vintage” labels, stained them with some coffee, and glued them to the bottles. Voila! Instant “antiques” that fit the apothecary theme of my bathroom.

apothecary bathroom

These are more thrift store bottles, filled with medicinal-type herbs (not cooking herbs) and displayed in my “apothecary” bathroom.

Thinking Outside of the Box

It doesn’t matter whether you are living in a small home, homesteading in a unusual location, or decorating on a dime. Being creative is THE key to success!

As you decorate your homestead, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and even bend the rules a little bit.

I was wanting new curtains for my kitchen, but I didn’t want to pay a lot for them (drapery panels aren’t cheap!) and I don’t sew.

So, I headed to the fabric store and purchased a couple yards of burlap. A little glue-gunning at the top and some fraying at the bottom gave me this:

burlap curtains

Fresh new curtains with a homespun look.

(Did I mention that I have an obsession with burlap? I can’t get enough of the stuff…)

Another design dilemma I had was an odd-shaped wall in our bathroom.

The bathroom is situated under the stairs, which results in a weird slanted wall/ceiling thing.

frame collage

The solution came in the form of frames. Lots of them. I somehow had accumulated a pile of cheap-o frames that I wasn’t using. I took off the backs, removed the glass, and spray painted them with a hammered bronze spray paint.

I was able to arrange them on my odd-shaped wall, and they look like they totally belong there.

I find that decorating like this is not only frugal, but also just plain fun. I’ve completely lost interest in shopping in regular stores for home decorations and much prefer to scour yard sales and thrift shops for my latest project. It’s borderline addicting, so consider yourself warned! :)

How to you like to decorate your home? Have any ideas to share?



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  1. Meghan R says

    Oh I just love that first picture! The blue of the table and chairs is gorgeous, and it immediately drew my attention to the color of the sky. Reminds me of the way the sky looks with a summer storm on the way : ) Your repurposed headboards are fantastic too!! Thank you for the great ideas!

    • Jill says

      I think there was a summer storm on the way that day. 😉 That sort of natural light always boosts my sad photography skills, ha!

  2. says

    I love your blog! I stumbled across it a couple of weeks ago when searching for ways to use whey. The recipes are very fun and today’s re-purposing post is right up my alley! We have lived in the country for 18 months and are stumbling our way through owning dairy goats and chickens. We love it, but grew up as city folk and have so much to learn! Thank you for the inspiration! Oh, and we homeschool our 3 kids as well, so I love that you grew up that way too. :)

  3. says

    Burlap curtains! You’re brilliant! That plus the framed chicken wire idea you gave me before will get this new house decorated . . . finally!

  4. says

    I love your ideas! I, too, have lost interest in decorating my home from a store. My favorite piece in my home at the moment is a table that my husband pulled out of a dumpster. We had it in our guest room for a couple of years, but recently moved it to the living room. We got rid of a monstrous armoire that held our old TV. We replaced the old TV with a new flat screen and the huge armoire for the dumpster table. I love it so much that I can’t even bring myself to paint it. I made my shower curtain and Roman shade in the same bathroom out of burlap. Both only set me back $15. I love your idea of decorating with sticks and bottles, too. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jill says

      Oh yeah! I was so happy the day that we gave away our monster TV and traded it in for a flatscreen. It saves SO much room! The burlap shower curtain sounds awesome- just might have to give that a try.

  5. Judi says

    GREAT ideas!! We are possibly moving across the country to a *much* smaller house, and I am thinking about just selling all of our big furniture and replacing it with stuff that will fit. I didn’t even think of going through all the boxes of home deco I have inherited…until now! I am praying that this move will be a light one, as we’ve moved back and forth twice now. With 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 horses and a milk cow, that is a BIG job! Plus, we homeschool…need any books?? ;o) Thanks for some wonderful ideas, and the courage to DO IT!

  6. says

    Holy smokes! First, I love your design aesthetic. Second, you are seriously talented. Should you ever take a fancy to selling these online, you could make a fortune, man! I’m terrified of ruining stuff when I try to redo it… I need to just Get Over Myself and try stuff like this. Thanks for continued inspiration. :)

  7. Susan says

    This is so refreshing; I just love it. I’ve been getting tired of the fake, model looking homes everyone was doing. One year, my husband and I went to a progressive party in our neighborhood and each time we arrived at a new house for a different part of our meal, every house looked the same to me. They were beautiful, but not one of them evoked that cozy feeling that invites you to stay a while. It was like attending a “look at how much money my husband makes” party hosted by stepford wives. YUCK!

    True decorating, to me, comes from how creative we can be with what we already have or what we can salvage. Now that is talent! And it is beautiful too!

  8. says

    Thank you for this! I have such a hard time thinking outside the box with decorating. Not to mention, I need cheap ideas! Love the burlap curtain idea. The pain job and the table and chairs is gorgeous BTW!

  9. Debra says

    How cute, I love your repurposed things. You gave me a great idea for my odd shaped bathroom too. And those burlap curtains…hmmmmm! BTW…i call those”sticks” roadiniums…any roadside weed will do and if you put a florists spray on them you can really punch it up. I use the green tinted and rust tinted versions for my road side treasures! Great job…love your blog so full of excellent treasures!

  10. says

    I am SO impressed! I know when something looks good, but how to get it there is usually beyond me. What a great talent you have.

  11. says

    I LOVE the chalkboard headboard!! VERY CREATIVE!!

    I’m not always real good at coming up with ideas like that, BUT if I see a creation like this, I can duplicate the project. Thanks! I’ll now be on the lookout for headboards or something similar.

  12. Frances says

    Just loved your table and Chairs. and the color also. I would have never thought of the headboards that way. thanks.

  13. says

    Wow Jill! You are very creative! I love your thrifted treasures, especially the magnetic board for your mudroom! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

  14. says

    I love to repurpose items to decorate with as well. I really love the burlap curtains. I’ve been thinking of doing the same thing in my living room. I did make some simple curtains from white sheets that I picked up at the thrift store for my kitchen. I like them so much that I’m on the hunt for more sheets. Easy and inexpensive. A win-win. :)

  15. says

    I love the blue table and many of the other items. I love to transform things I already have into something beautiful and useful. Thanks for your great inspiration. I just became a follower through RSS.

  16. says

    Love your blog! That table set on your deck is absolutely beautiful!!! Isn’t repurposing fun?!?! Where I work I get a lot of interesting free things, from free_cycle type sites, too… so fun to find new uses for old things!!!

  17. says

    Uh…..Jill – this is so wonderful! I don’t think I have the talent to do all of this but maybe I can try! I have a LARGE window space that needs curtains. I sew, but I really don’t want to figure out how to do it….I like the idea of burlap – can you wash it? I can’t see the fraying on the bottom…..but now you really have me thinking.

    Do you think that could work on a large space? I have 4 windows right next to each other, all facing our back yard. About 4-5 feet tall I’m thinking and about 9-12 inches wide. Hmmmmm :-).

    • Jill says

      Yes, I definitely think it would work in a large space- especially if you made a separate curtain for each of your 4 windows and hung them side by side.

      The fraying is super easy- burlap naturally wants to fray, so all you have to do is “unweave” a few of the fibers on the end you want to fray. (It will be self-explanatory once you start playing with it)

      Not 100% sure about the washing- I’m assuming yes, but would need to double check to be postive. Good luck! Post pics if you decide to do it!

      • says

        Here’s a maybe answer to the washing question:

        So..I’m just wondering b/c I’d like something I can wash the dust off of – not that my home is dust free or anything :-).

        And how did you tack up the top w/ a glue gun? I guess if I want to wash it a glue gun wouldn’t work, eh? Maybe I’ll have to sew afterall….

        I can’t believe w/ everything on my plate that now I’m thinking about decorating…ah well. All in good time :). Off to bed now.

  18. Debbie Jennings says

    I am wanting my DH to build me a rustic looking dining room table and I want the mismatched chairs for it. I love that look. Our house sits on an acre of land and looks like an old farm house, even though it’s not. I am wanting to decorate in the farm house motif. Well, as much as I can. I can sew a little, and made red and white gingham curtains for the kitchen/breakfast room, I will be doing more later to the rest of the house. I have been thinking about getting some muslin and making some curtains out of it for the dining room. Or, I might have to borrow your idea and make some burlap curtains. =)

  19. lynette says

    Would you share the kind of paint/color for the table and chairs? I would love to paint a table we found for free for my daughter. Thanks!

    • Jill says

      Hi Lynette– unfortunately, I don’t have the name of the color. It was a gallon of paint I found on the mis-tint shelf. :) It’s semi-gloss interior paint. However, if I were to do it again, I’d pick something a little more durable, as it is showing some wear from being out in the weather.

  20. Mpbusyb says

    Hi Jill – when I married my husband almost thirty years ago, he brought with him a cheap pine dresser he called the “Orange Monster”. Guess what color it was. We were poor students, so we were not too picky about our furnishings. Over the years, the OM got passed down from one child to the next. Finally, when it was going into our last daughter’s room, I decided to do something about it. I just couldn’t change the color after all these years, so I took my palm sander to it, distressed it to bring out some of the old pine underneath – knots and all and to brighten up the orange paint, coated it with some high gloss Tung Oil and gave it new pewter pulls. The Orange Monster has become part of the family. Now we have to struggle over which of our children inherits.

  21. Dottie says

    I love your decorating ideas! I’m not quite as good at it yet, but I’ve been trying to “channel” my Dad’s instinct for seeing the potential in something, like you do. Hope to see more ideas like this. :)

  22. says

    I’m smitten! I am falling in love with your blog. It’s all the things I care about and all the things I want to learn. Thanks for the inspiration!