If you’re willing to perform a few easy clean-ups and fix-ups, refurbishing, a charity shop or garage sale find can make your decorating budget go a lot further.

Make a Table

If you have a solid foundation piece, it isn’t hard to make a table out of it. Wood, glass and acrylic tabletops can be attached to unique bases to create cool effects. You can even find inexpensive, quirky candidates for the price of a set of table legs.

How about a glass-topped table on a stone birdbath base? You might also consider using a discarded wooden cable spool as a table base or even use a wooden door as a tabletop.

Prefab tops and turned table legs are available at most home improvement and some craft stores. They’re easy to install and pretty cheap considering the cost of tables these days.

Reuse Sheets

Sheets are a useful all-purpose fabric resource. After they’re done in the bedroom, you can cut them up for curtains, tablecloths, placemats, napkins, couch covers and even rag rugs.

Sheets have the advantage of being large and tightly woven, which makes them sturdy and versatile. As budget décor materials go, they’re a winner. One hundred per cent cotton sheets work best, and if the thread count is under 200, multiple layers will be easier to sew together.


Lucas led on the bright spotty secret bed

Reuse pillows

Use old pillows to make a secret bed! Secret Projects are craft items including homewares, pillows and clothing made by women in India who face social and economic challenges. The money they earn through the making and selling them enables them to pay for their child’s education, food, medicine and other essentials. The women are affiliated to a charity who provide a safe space in which they come together to receive training, support, and materials to produce their crafts. The secret bed is perfect for children having friends over to sleep or just to relax on. It folds up to not take up space and also make a comfy chair. Just slide in some old pillows and you are sorted.


Lucas sat up on the folded secret bed to make a seat whilst reading his book

Craft a Lamp from a Kit

You can make a lamp out of almost anything that you can drill two holes into or wrap an electrical cord around. That includes glass, ceramic, wood and even metal. All it takes is a lamp kit and a drill with a bit that can cut through the object in question.

Turn a special wine bottle, candle holder or even a vase into a lamp. Once you start looking around, you’ll come up with lots of bargain lamp ideas that’ll work for you.

Start a Collection

Take advantage of the nostalgic appeal of old things by creating an attractive visual collection. Old pop bottles in a wicker basket, mismatched spoons mounted on a wooden base or old thimbles enclosed in a shadow box can look dynamic and cost very little. All you need is a group of similar objects and some time to play with the presentation.

Recycle Frames

Picture frames are one accessory item that can be reclaimed in lots of ways. There are also so many of them around that they’re one of the best designer bargains out there.

Put a painted plywood backing behind a frame and you’ll have a tray for the top of an ottoman or vanity. Add some legs and you have a serviceable table. You can also install a cheap mirror on an elaborate old frame for an expensive look that can add style to an entry or hallway.

A cheap print will look better in a vintage frame, and an eclectic collection of vintage framed art will add lustre to your walls on the cheap. Add a backing covered with velvet and mount your collection in a frame. Those ticket stubs or matchbooks may look silly by themselves, but once they’re enclosed in a unifying frame, they’ll look downright impressive.

When you use your imagination, anything’s possible.


The lovely people over at Secret Projects are offering one person the chance to win a Secret Bed in the design of their choice, subject to availability. For your chance to enter, use the app below. Good luck!

Win a secret bed


Ways to repurpose old items. A few easy clean-ups and fix-ups, refurbishing, a charity shop find can make your decorating budget go further.


92 Comments on Ways to repurpose old items – giveaway

  1. My kids have friends/cousins stay the night a lot. We go through air mattresses so fast. They always seem to get a leak and patches do NOT work. I love the idea of a big pillow to sleep on. It would save me a small fortune!

  2. My son would love one of these – he always needs to lie down everywhere as he has low muscle tone! Perfect

  3. this would be so much better for my grandchildren to sit on when we have story time and we can use it as a nice chair when they have a friend over

  4. This would be amazing for my teeny tiny house for my 8 year old! Its her birthday coming up so what a treat x

  5. Recycling, crafting, etc were popular in the past. Repurposing makes sense, again something that has been done in the past. Sometimes through necessity due to low and limited income / finances, as well as limited space within the home. Overcrowding was an issue within homes in the past. This likely eased when authorities became aware of the risks in regards to spread of infections within households and communities that had overcrowding.

  6. I think this secret bed is a brilliant idea! A great way to recycle old pillows too and perfect for lazy rainy days in.

  7. Fantastic giveaway indeed a wee winkie would definately sleep on this bed so bright and colourful an adventure for them

  8. Thanks for an interesting post and some good tips and ideas, I’d much prefer to upcycle/repurpose items than throw them away

  9. These are brilliant – super cosy! My nephew would love it and great for sleepovers too. Love the bright colours.

  10. I have just swapped an old quilted bedspread for a new one and have been wondering what to do with the old one. Your post has given me a few ideas. Thanks.

  11. Our 10 year old has severe learning difficulties, when we move house he will finally have a safe bedroom of his own and will move into his own bed, (has shared with me till now!), this would make for a brilliant addition for occasions when one of us will be needed to be in there with him, when not used as a bed it’s bright and cheerful enought to be incorporated into every day play for him.

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