16 Creative Thrift Store Makeover Ideas

Let’s take the thrift store finds I came across recently and give them creative thrift store makeovers you will love! It’s all about farmhouse-style home decor on a budget!

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

It’s so true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

The local thrift store (or maybe I should call it a flea market) where I found these items has been one of our favorite places to shop for thrifty finds since we started our repurposed life over 30 years ago.

In fact, over 20 years ago when we built our new home, we bought a 1940s cast iron sink with a drainboard. Unfortunately, we replaced that sink with a more practical stainless steel sink when we renovated our kitchen.

But that’s another story!

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**There is also a video below for you to watch as I give these thrift store pieces a new lease on life!

Thrift store shopping

Let’s get back to the thrift store DIY projects for today!

A great place to begin shopping for your next upcycle projects is your local thrift shop.

Support small businesses like this in your area. Hunt them out, share them on your social media, and shop often! They will appreciate it, you will have so much fun and you will come home with decor items at a fraction of the cost of new!

When you are out shopping for thrift store items that you can repurpose for your home, keep in mind a few things:

  • find pieces that do not need repair if they are beyond your abilities
  • think outside of the box of the piece’s original use
  • look past the dirt and grime the piece may have
  • pick the quality pieces that will stand the test of time

Thrift store makeovers

Let’s chat about each of the pieces that I will show you how to makeover today using creative ideas that will inspire you!

pile of thrift store home decor pieces including wooden basket, vintage silver plated serving dish, broken table

Broken side table

This sad little side table top was laying on top of a pile of mismatched flea market finds like plates, cups, vases, and silverware.

The scalloped edge is the first thing that caught my eye. And my first thought was a thrift store tray!

broken small table top bought at a thrift store for a makeover

The bottom of the single-leg side table was completely missing. The only thing still attached was the area to attach the leg to the tabletop!

small table repurposed into a serving tray with peel and stick wallpaper

She came home with us, got a good scrubbing, and then laid out in the sunshine to dry.

A little bit of paint along with some pretty peel and stick wallpaper and wa-la, instant serving tray! What do you think? She’s a cutie, isn’t she?

Thrift store tray

Have you seen these silver-plated chafing dishes in your local thrift stores and flea markets?

Grab them! Then grab a few reclaimed fence pickets (I happen to keep those on hand!)

picket fence boards and vintage thrift store chafing dish

Ok, so you may not have picket fence boards laying around but you could use any scrap wood pieces from other projects.

vintage chafing dish tray with reclaimed fence pickets used to make an upcycle serving tray

This simple project is a great way to use a silver-plated serving tray that is missing the glass dish insert.

This style of serving tray is useful too! It can be used as a farmhouse-style riser for home decor, a trivet for hot dishes, and a pretty serving tray for snack foods!

Home decor basket

Baskets are a common item to find in a thrift store. Baskets that you find are usually wicker.

This basket was made of thin wood pieces like luan board and it also had a woven basket detail on the sides.

It was dark and gloomy but in really good shape.

Plus it was only $5! At that cost, I couldn’t pass it up!

old wooden basket with woven sides thrift store find

All this basket needed was a new life that included feet to raise it up and a little bit of mineral chalk paint.

You’ll see in the YouTube video at the bottom of this post how I achieved this new look for an old basket.

This before and after is so easy to do!

wood basket thrift store makeover painted with chalk paint

thrift store basket

Speaking of baskets, this one might be my faves.

Remember I said earlier in this post to look past the dirt and grime that may be on a piece?

Well, all that dirt was definitely on this thrift store find! I used soapy water, a stiff scrub brush, and a garden hose to clean it.

The dirt came off and was all over my driveway by the time I was finished cleaning it!

woven basket flea market find for a farmhouse style home decor makeover

The heavy woven basket is heavier than your typical wicker basket.

I think the long pieces that weave in and out to create the basket are made from thick, pliable wood.

The basket weighs about 3 pounds!

woven basket filled with fresh hydrangeas for summer home decor

The color was darker than I wanted so I bleached it!

This was the first time I have bleached a basket.

Often I have used white wax to lighten dark finishes but since this basket was woven, I thought bleaching was the best method to lighten the wood.

Handy tip: Get a Shop Vac!

My shop vac is one of the most used tools in my workshop! I keep it plugged in next to my workbench so it’s always ready to clean up dirt and dust from my thrift store makeovers!

easy thrift store makeover for a bowl

This bowl is solid wood and super heavy. Plus it was only $5.

Some deals you just can’t walk away from!

The ugly part of this wooden bowl was the color. It looked reddish/purple. Not exactly my color scheme!

wood bowl found at local thrift store for a painted home decor makeover

I took a little inspiration from the basket I bleached.

So I sanded this bowl (actually I tried to sand off the color but that was a total flop!) just enough to scuff off the shine.

The bleach would be able to soak into the wood without the shiny topcoat.

But that didn’t change the ugly color of this bowl one bit!!

painted wood bowl from a thrift store shopping trip

You’ll see in the YouTube video my go-to last resort for this wooden bowl.

If all else fails, grab a paintbrush and some mineral chalk paint!

farmhouse style organizer

Who doesn’t need a little more organization in their life?

These little antique sewing cabinet drawers make creative organizing containers once they have a new look!

vintage repurposed sewing cabinet drawer upcycled to farmhouse style organization container

I added some old chair spindles as legs on this drawer to raise it up.

That way, another sewing cabinet drawer could slide in underneath.

vintage sewing cabinet drawer upcycled to farmhouse style home decor

Next, I painted it! I have a special method to create the gorgeous crackly paint finish you see on this piece.

more awesome thrift store makeovers

Each month I join several other bloggers who love to do fun projects, simple thrift store makeovers, and their great ideas for upcycled projects.

I’m sure you will find so much creative inspiration as you go through each of their posts! Just click the links below and be ready to get creative!

Our monthly edition

Thrift Store Decor Team

more creative thrift store makeovers

Maybe you are thinking, ‘Cindy I thought you said 16 Creative Thrift Store Makeover Ideas??

Girl, I got you covered!

Here are more ideas for you to be inspired for your next thrift store makeovers!

Just click any of the images below to be inspired, my friend!

list of supplies:

Use the links below to purchase some of the supplies for this project! You are helping to support this blog and all the free tutorials we offer here! Thanks so much!😊

Pin the image below to your home decor and furniture boards! Just click the pin button at the top left corner!

pinterest graphic creative thrift store makeovers

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    1. Wow !! You dud great, I love everything that tray is beautiful, I love basket’s you made it beautiful!!

      1. Thanks Debbie! So glad you enjoyed the projects!

    2. Thanks, Carlene! Don’t we have the best jobs??

  1. I LOVE your thrift store makeovers in this post – especially the upside down mirrored tray! You’re so clever, Cindy!

    1. Thanks, Jenn! So glad you enjoyed the projects!

  2. WOW! So many fabulous ideas. I absolutely love the tray from a table and the old wire tray with the plank top. You are so creative. I just love how you turn otherwise junk into elegant, useful pieces!

    1. Thanks Christy! It’s a good day in the workshop when we turn ugly junk into useful pieces!

  3. Cheryl Atkinson says:

    Hi Cindy! I loved all of the makeovers! Pinned

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thanks so much for pinning! It really helps me! 🥰

  4. Thrifting is my absolute favorite! All of your finds look amazing and you did such a great job re-purposing them!!

    1. We are kindred spirits Rachel!

  5. shawn Hoffman says:


    1. Thank you! How embarrassing that I made an error in my email announcing this blog post! Check for my email today to explain! 🤪

  6. Oh my goodness! I love the silver tray with the vintage wood. It is gorgeous! I definitely will be in the lookout for the silver tray platform.
    You are so creative. Hugs to you.

    1. Thanks Renae! The tray is such an easy makeover!

  7. Definitely trash to treasure! What great ideas. I live the variety and all of the projects are doable for normal folks!!!

    1. We love do-able projects around here!

  8. Awesome ideas Cindy!
    My favorite is the new tray from the old table top! It’s so so pretty.

    1. That’s my favorite too Gail! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Connie Douglas says:

    I have followed you for several months now and I just had to tell you I have never seen anyone repurpose an old silver casserole dish holder before. I love love love it! No have some old barn wood I’m going to use it no also love the repurposed little table. Great job!!!!

    1. Yay!! So glad you enjoyed the casserole dish serving tray! I hope you get to make one too! Tag me on socials if you do – I would love to see it!

  10. Great idea about using the table-top for a tray – lovely.
    I think the bowl is my favorite. What color is that?

    1. Hi Sheila! I’m so glad you enjoyed the projects! The bowl is painted in Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in the color Gravel Road. There is a link to purchase at the bottom of the post! It’s a gorgeous gray and I hope you get a chance to use it on one of your projects 😊

  11. I love your video! Who knew an old chafing dish holder could be so cute!

    1. Thanks for watching the video Pam! I appreciate the encouragement!😊

  12. Cindy! I love that you showed us how take these affordable finds and elevate them- not only are they beautiful but they are practical. 👍👏👏👏 Pinned

    1. Yay for upcycling things into practical and useful items! Thanks for pinning Anna!😊

  13. So many great ideas all in one post! Linking you this week in my Mitten Moments! 💛

    1. Thanks for sharing our post, Kim! Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  14. Only you could come up with these fantastic ideas, Cindy! Your talent never ceases to amaze me and I’m so thankful you share your creativity with us. Loving and pinning, CoCo

    1. Thank you CoCo! I appreciate the encouragement so much!

  15. I love all of your makeovers. Great job.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! So glad you enjoy the makeovers! Be sure to watch the video on this one. I’m sure you will enjoy it too!