9 Thrift Store Decor Ideas to Repurpose Easily Found Items

Personalize your home with one-of-a-kind secondhand gems using these tips for turning thrift store items like lamps, mirrors, and books into stylish decor.

Thrift stores provide the perfect opportunity to find beautiful home decor without the expensive price tag. You can always rely on them to have an abundance of certain items, including timeless mirrors, picture frames, light fixtures, and more. Sometimes, you'll find the perfect piece that can go straight into your home; other times, you might need a little creativity to transform a secondhand accessory into the decor of your dreams. But with a bit of creativity, any thrift store find can be customized to fit your home's aesthetic.

You're almost guaranteed to find these nine thrift store items on your next vintage adventure. Shop with an open mind and keep your eyes peeled. Make sure you scan shelves from top to bottom; sometimes, the best finds are just out of reach. Whether your new accessory becomes part of a gallery wall or earns a spot on your fireplace mantel, there is a perfect place in your home to showcase your latest vintage finds.

1. Frames

staircase gold frames horse figure
George Ross

With a bit of imagination, old picture frames can dress up any room. When hunting for thrift store decor, look for designs with character. Don't worry too much about scrapes, nicks, and chips. If you're leery of the wabi-sabi style, minor imperfections can easily be fixed with a bit of TLC and a fresh coat of paint.

Collect or paint frames in a similar palette to create a cohesive gallery wall, or omit the artwork and layer frames in various shapes and sizes for eye-catching mantel decor.

2. Vases

Plants with flower vase on chest of drawers
Adam Albright

Vases are a staple at any thrift store. Coming in all shapes, sizes, and colors, they are a simple and easy addition to any display. Find one that matches your color scheme or design style, and add flowers or pampas grass for a traditional look. Vintage vases are also a great way to accessorize open shelving.

3. Baskets

eclectic breakfast banquette with rattan chairs
Helen Norman

Baskets come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and woven patterns and can be found secondhand for only a few dollars (or less!). When choosing baskets for your home, consider your needs. For example, select bright baskets to hang over a banquette if you need wall art in your kitchen. Or, if you need more storage in the bedroom, look for large, wide baskets to stash extra linens and pillows.

4. Dishware

dining wood table chair china dishes
James Nathan Schroder

Many thrift shops have an entire section designated for dishes. Before you buy thrift store decor dishware, cutlery, or glasses, decide on a theme or location for your display. Do you want all cream-colored plates for a dining room wall? Or vibrant red serving pieces for holiday decorating? Bypass any chipped pieces and look for patterns or colors that suit your style.

5. Lamps

vintage painted light pink dresser dormer bedroom snake plant
John Bessler

There are so many ways to refresh a secondhand lamp, whether it's the complete fixture, just the shade, or only the base. Use an oil-based paint marker to embellish a plain ceramic or glass lamp base. Flower decals, rope, embroidery floss, felt, and other crafting supplies are other ideal tools for transforming a boring lampshade.

Editor's Tip: When purchasing a lamp base, most stores will let you plug it in before you buy to make sure that it works. Just ask at the register.

6. Books

books and artwork on desk
David A Land

Nearly every thrift store doubles as a used bookshop. Cookbooks, self-help books, and bestsellers of yesteryear fill shelf upon shelf. With some creativity, old books have the power to become beloved thrift store decor. Find decorative pages you love and add them to frames for DIY artwork. Or collect old volumes with attractive spines in your favorite color palette to complete your home office or living room.

7. Mirrors

several shapes of mirrors on wall
Dana Gallagher

Instead of buying a new mirror, head to your local thrift store and find one with character. Try arranging multiple vintage mirrors on one accent wall, use one in your closet for getting ready each day, or hang one above your bathroom vanity. If you can't find a mirror you love, find one with a frame you like and paint it a different color.

8. Wall Art

warm rustic living room with poufs and fireplace
Dane Tashima

Thrift stores are art galleries in disguise, without the expensive price tag. Beautiful vintage paintings can often be found at thrift stores and are perfect for creating the eclectic gallery wall of your dreams. Decide on a color palette and start thrifting artwork for your living room, bedroom, or hallway.

9. Serving Trays

Flower pot and tray on dresser against wall with mirror
Jason Donnelly

Serving trays are a decorating must-have that you can use in various ways. Whether you place a tray on a coffee table or dresser to gather multiple items or place them in drawers for better organization, vintage trays are highly versatile. Plus, they can double as wall decor. So next time you go thrifting, be sure to grab at least one to upgrade your home decor.

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