Found Object Décor: How to Make Seasonal Home Décor Using What's Around Your House

Wooden crates that may be hiding in the garage are one of the most versatile décor items you can have in a house.
Wooden crates that may be hiding in the garage are one of the most versatile décor items you can have in a house.
Elisabeth Coelfen/Getty Images

It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re short on time or cash and trying to pull together a festive look for your home or event, but before you whip out the credit card or waste precious time running from store to store looking for want you want, take a peak around the house and chances are that with a little creativity you can create the look you want or an even better one with things you’ve already got. And the added bonus: projects like these can be a great way to bring the family together. Here are five items that you’ve likely got laying around the house and that can be put to good use in your décor.

Wooden Crates

There are so many great uses for wooden crates that it’s hard to list them all. Whether you’ve got a small produce crate from your weekly purchase of fruit or a large bottle crate that been collecting dust in the basement, there are ways to incorporate them into your décor. Fill a crate with flowers or fruits and vegetables to create a natural and rustic centerpiece. Or use it to create height when putting together a buffet or dessert table. Crates also make great storage bins for everything from magazines to remotes to art supplies. A small crate can be used for something as basic as a soap dish. And sturdier crates can be stacked on end to create open shelving for added storage. As long as the crate can be cleaned and doesn’t have any dangerous nails poking out, there is certain to be a decorative and useful function for it.

Cheese Graters/Tin Cans

How often do those standing cheese graters get used for cooking in your house? Collect all of them and place them on a tray with candles underneath to create a soft flickering light. Don’t have cheese graters? Take tine cans out of the recycling bin and poke holes in the sides of them randomly or in a specific pattern using an awl or hammer and nail. Then place votive candles inside of them to create that same soft glow.

Nuts and Grains

To spice up your décor a good place to start is the pantry. Whole nuts, rice, grains, coffee beans, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, popcorn, or any other dry goods are the perfect items to fill in around candles, layer in vases for dried arrangement, and fill bowls with to add a splash of color and perhaps even a nice smelling scent to a room.


Chances are there is some burlap lying around the garage, even if it was previously used for wrapping shrubs. Shake off last year’s leaves and use that burlap as cloth for a table or buffet. Or cut it into strips and weave a piece of wire through it and into a circle to create a wreath with a ruffled flair. It can also be cut into table runner sizes or cocktail napkin sizes and frayed on the edges for a rustic chic look for your table. Or use it as matting for a picture frame, to create a banner or pennant flags, or as pillows or upholstery fabric.

Cake Stands

Many look at a cake stand and see only that—a vessel which is used to put cake on a pedestal. But those pedestals are great for showing off all sorts of objects. Head to the cabinets and gather cake stands of varying heights to place on a buffet, down the center of a table or kitchen island, or on a mantle. Top the stands with pumpkins or gourds, a collection of pillar candles, or bring plants or flower arrangements to new heights by placing them atop these cake stands.

More to Explore