When I say in my blog bio that I’m a “mid-century modern magpie,” it’s not just an excuse to get alliterative. Like the bird of the same name, I too hoard small shiny objects. Jewelry is a particular problem for me, and no matter how many boxes or trinket dishes I fill, I’m compelled to collect more baubles. Now that I’m in spring cleaning mode, I’m trying to get organized and part with the pieces I rarely wear, but what can I say? I’m sentimental. This Pinterest pin inspired me to start thinking of old jewelry in a new light and I found even more amazing craft ideas to turn my paste into priceless decor. Now I can keep it all! [insert evil supervillain laugh here]
Old jewelry is a perfect way to get creative with curtains. Use a beaded necklace as an eye-catching tieback that won’t break the bank, like designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here. (Bonus: It picks up the colors in the wallpaper, too.)
Don’t have a beaded necklace you can spare? Thick bracelets or men’s cuffs also work well in this context. Cinching your curtains is a cinch with old jewelry!
MORE BRILLIANT OLD JEWELRY CRAFTS
We’ve covered crafts you can make with wine corks, bottles, glasses and crates…what could possibly be left? This great post on Made + Remade reminded me: Wine barrels! Small scotch barrels make for attractive shelving and storage, but you’ve gotta think bigger for wine barrels. Take a look at some of our best ideas and if you’re inspired, hit up your local winery or hardware store’s garden center to claim your vessel.
This wine barrel fountain‘s got a clever twist: the water flows out of the wine bottle on top! This would make a charming water feature for any oenophile’s garden. Get all the how-to details here.
MORE IDEAS FOR WINE BARRELS
Although you can never go wrong with a delicious home-cooked spread, trays are for more than just breakfast in bed. If you’ve got some wooden or metal trays taking up space in your cabinets, bust them out and give them new life with these pretty craft ideas.
A tray can add a little glitz to your vanity…and keep your cosmetics, candles and jewelry elegantly organized. Try this tutorial from Maureen Stevens for an Art Deco tray upgrade that has loads of Gatsby glamor.
MORE TERRIFIC IDEAS FOR TRAYS
Sweaters used to be my winter uniform, but pesky moths seem to have made a feast of my fashions. If you’re like me and have a closet full of holey sweaters that you’d like to replace, don’t toss them out before you take a look at these cool ideas for upcycling sweaters.
These dress shirt and sweater pillows from Brian Patrick Flynn are delightfully preppy and would add a wonderful menswear touch to any bedroom. Get all the how-to details and instructions here.
MORE AMAZING WAYS TO UPCYCLE SWEATERS
The winter Olympics may be over, but you can still add a little sporty spice to your home. If you have old baseball, golf, billiard or croquet equipment collecting dust in your home, these sports crafts are perfect for you. Take a look at these ideas and hit a DIY home run!
If you’re like me and played croquet a sum total of one time after watching Heathers, turn your old set into some way-cool wall art like this vignette from HGTV’s Cousins Undercover. Move over, starburst mirror! These mallets really make a statement.
MORE SPIFFY SPORTS CRAFTS
It’s been snowing pretty much every other day here in NYC (or that’s what it feels like!), so I have been thinking a great deal about footwear. I’d been getting by with some cheap wellies and thick socks until one of the wellies sprung a leak. Now I’ve got proper snow boots (thank you, Sorel), but even though my old wellies aren’t made for walking anymore, they’re pretty perfect for fun projects. Take a look at these ideas for old shoes and achieve great crafting feats with things that used to go on your feet. (Oof, sorry. I think cabin fever makes me punnier than usual.)
Now here’s a wonderful way to give some new life to your old galoshes…literally! Grow a strawberry plant in boots with this tutorial on HGTVGardens. Sigh. This is definitely making me long for spring.
MORE IDEAS FOR OLD SHOES
Wooden ladders are functional, but did you know they can also be fun? If you have an old ladder or two hiding in the garage or attic, check out these clever ideas for repurposing them as home decor.
Photo: Thomas Liggett
This wooden ladder shelving unit from HGTV Magazine is a bright idea, both literally and figuratively. (Don’t have two ladders to spare? Find some at your local flea market!)
MORE WAYS TO WORK A WOODEN LADDER
Doilies are a bit fancy and frilly, but that’s part of their charm, am I right? If you’ve got leftover paper doilies from celebrations or other crafting endeavors, there are plenty of adorable things you can do with them for Valentine’s Day…or anytime you want to add a little sweetness to your life. Take a peek at these paper doily crafts that are so darling, they just may sway the doily-haters. (I’m looking at you, Troy from Reality Bites.)
Making treats for your sweetheart? (Like say, these Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes?) Add an extra special touch with these doily treat cups from our own Camille Smith.
MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DOILIES
Of course, there’s the “big game” coming up this Sunday, but if you’re like me, you’re more into board games, card games and puzzles. I have quite the collection at this point, but some of them have been with me since I was a kid and are missing crucial pieces or are just looking shabby. Fortunately, there are a bunch of nifty craft ideas for old game boards, cards and pieces so I can turn my old amusements into something equally diverting.
Give your valentine a piece of your heart and a few pieces of your games with these card ideas from Camille Styles. Old Bingo cards adorned with hearts have a vintage charm and Scrabble tiles are great for spelling out your sweet nothings.
MORE GOOD IDEAS FOR OLD GAMES
I remember my dad tucking fold-up maps and road atlases in the car before road trips when I was a kid. These days, in-dash navigational systems are becoming standard and smartphones can call up directions with a few finger taps and swipes. Paper maps may be falling out of favor when it comes to travel, but they’re hotter than ever in the home. Take a look at these cool vintage map crafts and get ready to raid your car’s backseat pockets and glove compartments for supplies!
Plain wooden chairs for little explorers are a lot more appealing after a decoupage map makeover! Follow Brian Patrick Flynn’s tutorial and jazz up your kids’ bedrooms or playrooms on the cheap.
MORE EYE-CATCHING MAP CRAFTS