12 Double Duty Decorating Ideas

Martha Stewart has 700+ new uses for old things on her website. I decided I’d share my favorite double-duty decorating ideas so you don’t have to spend hours looking through them!

New Uses For Old Things 1-3
1. Vase as Picture Frame
Display family photos inside tall cylindrical glass vases of various sizes for an unexpected arrangement on a bookcase or mantel
2. Paper Doily as a Cake Decoration
You baked the cake. Now you’re expected to frost it, too? Take a break from the sticky stuff and use a doily to stencil on a pretty sugar topping. Press a doily flat on top of a round cake and, using a fine-mesh sieve, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar liberally over the surface. Use two hands to carefully remove the doily post-dusting.
3. Cookie Cutter as Candle Stencil
Repurpose mini alphabet cookie cutters as monogramming tools for pillar candles. Hold the candle steady, position the letter, and tap it lightly with a hammer. Do just an initial or go wild and spell out MR AND MRS or MERRY CHRISTMAS.
New Uses For Old Things 4-6
4. Picture Frame as Dry-Erase Board
Let’s see—you need milk, eggs…and something to replace the stark white memo board that’s sucking all the style from your otherwise charming kitchen. Frame a pretty piece of fabric or paper, then write temporary to-dos on the glass with a dry-erase marker.Note: Melinda did this for multiple to-do lists. One for individual tasks, one for joint tasks with her husband, one for the crafts she’s started or needs to start, and one for her work projects. Have fun with what you put behind the glass – use scrapbook paper, wallpaper, or put a fancy title on top so you know what each board is for!
5. 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.
6. Wallpaper as Clock Customizer
Remove the clock’s plastic front or back and detach the hands from the battery mechanism. Using the existing face as a template, trace the outline on the back of a piece of wallpaper. Apply a multipurpose adhesive to the original face, then affix the new one. Reassemble and hang for a unique design that makes a statement time after time.
New Uses for Old Things 7-9
7. Clothespin as Holiday Card Display
Adhere a wide grosgrain ribbon to the wall with double-sided mounting tape, then attach holiday cards up and down it for a jolly–and changeable—seasonal exhibit. Both regular-size and mini clothespins will work.Note: You can do this for any occasion where you receive cards, or display photos for a birthday celebration.
8. Toothbrush Holder as Vase
Display individual blooms (peonies and ranunculus work well) in each hole and fill with water for a foolproof, evenly spaced arrangement.Note: Have fun with the toothbrush holders – reuse what you have, pick out pretty ones from your local Target or Wal-Mart, pick some up from a thrift or antique store, or paint and decorate Dollar Store finds!
9. 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.Note: Have fun with colors, metallic markers, stencils and more!
New Uses For Old Things 10-12;
10. Linen Napkin as Photo Album Cover
When the rest of the set is too stained to use, salvage a cloth napkin by turning it into a slipcover for your store-bought brag book with a length of ribbon and some fabric glue.
11. Shoes as Growth Chart
Record how quickly your child has grown by lining up shoes in a shadow box and labeling them with the appropriate ages. This growth chart is way prettier than pencil marks on the wall.
12. Tape as Plaster Securer
Keep a plaster wall from chipping when you hang a picture by placing a small piece of tape over the spot where you plan to hammer in the nail

Want to see all of Martha’s ideas? Visit her Double-Duty Decorating Ideas index.

Do you have any favorite ways to re-use things you already have to decorate your home? Share it in the comments below!