15 Double-Duty Decorating Ideas
Earrings as Pushpins
Face it: That long-lost earring is probably gallivanting with a wayward sock in Ye Olde Land of Misplaced Items. (What a stud!) Let its lonely, abandoned mate rebound as a pretty thumbtack on a bulletin board.
Courtesy of reader Bailey Mulholland of Appleton, Wisconsin
Brooches as Refrigerator Decoration
Instead of tossing out seldom worn or broken brooches, remove the pins with a wire cutter, glue a magnet to the back of each, then use them to mount postcards, children’s artwork, or this week’s grocery list.
Flower Frog as Photo Display
After you’ve thrown out the bouquet, just wash and dry the frog and insert your favorite snapshots.
Coffee Can as a Wine Rack
Use a can opener to remove the tops and the bottoms of multiple cans (here, 12). Spray-paint the outside of each. When they’re dry, glue them together with a strong adhesive (like Krazy Glue) in an artful, balanced way. (Binder clips can steady the cans until they’re dry.)
Knobs as File Pulls
Make hard-to-maneuver files easier to remove from high shelves with the help of pretty knobs (available at home stores). Punch a small hole in the file with the tip of a pair of sharp scissors, push in the knob, then secure it from the inside with a small screw and nut.
Cupcake Foils as Votives
The best part of using foils to hold tea lights: No cleaning up the dripped wax. Simply toss the cupcake foils when the wick is snuffed.
Skateboard as a Shelf
Purchase a pair of L-brackets (available at hardware stores) that are a little more than half as long as the skateboard's width. Screw the brackets into two studs in a wall, about 16 inches apart. Remove the trucks and the wheels from the skateboard—or leave them on if they aren't grungy and you want to hide the supports—and place the board atop the brackets.
Cake Stand as a Platform for Candles
Use cake stands to display votive and pillar candles in assorted sizes. Place a doily under the candles to protect the plate from wax.
Salt and Pepper Shakers as Bud Vases
Screw off the caps of spare salt and pepper shakers (or empty jam jars or perfume bottles) and use the receptacles to display flowers on a bedroom night table or a guest-bathroom sink. You can also put potpourri inside.
Permanent Marker as Lampshade Decoration
To customize a standard linen shade, trim the seamed edges with a permanent marker in a shade that matches your decor. If you don't have a steady hand, use painter’s tape to outline the area to be colored.
Wallpaper as Drawer Liners
For a flash of style with every pull, line the inside of a drawer with wallpaper cut to fit. Attach with double-stick tape or removable mounting squares so the lining won’t shift when you’re rummaging for a sock’s mate in a pre-coffee morning daze.
Wine Rack to Hold Magazines
Roll up your pile of to-be-read glossies and slip them in the slots.
Action Figures as Hooks
Use action figures (that aren't seeing action anymore) as Herculean hooks. Position the arms of each toy straight out in front and apply a two-part epoxy (available at home-improvement stores) over the arms, the shoulders, and the torso, following the package directions. The epoxy will make the outstretched limbs strong enough to support clothing, hats, and even towels. Mount a figure on the wall using two screws placed through the torso.
China Pitcher to Hold Flowers
Display branches of seasonal flowering shrubs, tall grasses, and even cattails.
Toy Box as Window Seat
The toy box, home to a host of plastic baby goods, can easily be turned into an older child's window seat and a stylish storage chest. If desired, cover the box with a fresh coat of paint. Line the interior with cedar paper ($26, organize-it-online.com), and fill it with blankets, holiday decorations, or your tween's growing crafts collection. Attach self-adhesive Velcro strips to a store-bought cushion (order custom-size cushions at foamorder.com) and to the top of the box. Set the cushion in place for a cozy spot to sit.