Thrifted Farmhouse Decor ~ Get the Look for Less

Do you look at pictures in magazines and long for the farmhouse look in your home? Wipe the drool off your chin and head to the thrift store, my friend. There is a plethora of potential waiting for you around the corner – seriously! I have shown you mini-makeovers like this before and I want to continue to do so as so many love them. Here’s is a selection of goodies I nabbed and I’m going to show you how you can turn them into thrifted farmhouse decor for your home.

Thrifted Decor Pile for Farmhouse Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

This set may not look like much now, but with a few simple tricks I can make them take on a whole new vibe. Which shall I start with? hmmm…how about the small knick-knack shelf.

Small Oak Knick-Knack Shelf |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

It’s solid oak and totally beautiful as is, but let’s say you don’t care for the stain and don’t want to sand it all down. There’s an easy fix for you! Wax. Yup, just plain ol’ wax. You can see how I’ve used it in past posts HERE.


All I do is brush it on using circular strokes and rub off the excess. The wax will remain in the grain of the wood and in the nook and crannies giving it a soft glow.

Brushing on White Wax for Farmhouse Look by Prodigal Pieces |

I filled it with a few of my antique apothecary bottles, and a few other gems that were found for pennies here and there.

Farmhouse Oak Shelf with Eclectic Vignette by Prodigal Pieces |

It doesn’t take much to create these vignettes, so don’t be shy about going fleatiqueing. Did you notice how the wax softened that orange glow?

Refresh Oak with White Wax |


Okay, next let’s grab that wooden sign and make it new.

Bless Our Home Thrifted Sign |

I removed the “Bless Our Home” metal text and then did a cleaning to the piece.

Removing Sign to Make New |

Then enters in your best friend…spray paint. I chose a white satin and oil-rubbed-bronze for my finish.

Spray paint is your best friend |


Before I show you the after, let me also demonstrate how I redid that pine heart cut-out shelf for our thrifted farmhouse decor. In my area, you can find this style everywhere. It was a hot rage in the 80’s that has continued to today. However, sometimes hearts don’t cut it for me, so I cut them off. hahaha…

Here’s how I do it. I trace one side of the profile of the top of the shelf to get a sort of stencil.

Tracing Heart Cut-Out Shelf |

Then, I draw on the paper where I want the cut-line to flow and cut it out with scissors. I place the paper back in the same spot that I traced, except on this time on the front of the shelf. Trace the new cut-line on one side and then flip the stencil and draw on the other. Now I have a new cut-line and use my jigsaw to cut off the unwanted pieces.

Primitive Shelf Makeover with Paint and Tools by Prodigal Pieces |

After that I sand down with my sander to make the edged nice and smooth, then spray paint to give it a new look altogether. Here is my sign and shelf put together and staged with 100% thrifted items.


Modern Farmhouse Shelf with Vignette by Prodigal Pieces |

Notice how the cutesy heart is gone and the look it totally updated. The sign said goodbye to the 1980’s too. So much better, don’t you think?

Bless Our Home Sign above Upcycled Shelf by Prodigal Pieces |

Modern Farmhouse Black Knick-Knack Shelf by Prodigal Pieces |


Last, but not least in our thrifted farmhouse decor makeover series is that ugly green thing I nabbed. Know what it is? A plastic ice bucket. I had fun asking JC and each kid if they could guess what it was. We do this often so they can learn to tell what something is and the age of the item. Fun!

Vintage Ice Bucket by Prodigal Pieces |

The green was funky and totally not my style, so…I paint it. BIG surprise, right?? hee hee hee. I was so stoked to find this because when we enjoy our new fire pit and patio, I haven’t had something like this to serve guests. Instead I was using a mini crock pot to suffice. So, just like I redid my candlesticks in this video below or my buffet makeover in this post, I used that funky orangey paint as a base (knowing full well it will get better). My round brush is my go-to for all nooks and crannies.

Painting Ice Bucket |

I use two coats of paint letting them cure properly in between and then add the same white wax I used above to highlight that faux wood grain and embossed grapes.

Look who’s stylin’ now. tsk.

Al Fresco Farmhouse Style Dining by Prodigal Pieces |

Finally I feel like a grown-up with a good lookin’ ice bucket to set with my served beverages. That there is one of my favorites…fresh apple cider. Mmm… Not to mention those handmade fry pies. I think I’m hungry!!

Handmade Fry Pie and Fresh Apple Cider Served Farmhouse Style by Prodigal Pieces |


I gave the ice bucket a contrasting handle with a darker paint, and added a metallic color to the lid knob. It made for a nice contrast and gave a realistic look.

Vintage Ice Bucket Made New by Prodigal Pieces |

Retro Ice Bucket Gets Farmhouse Style Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

There you have four mini makeovers all done in a different way with the hopes that you have learned something new. I also hope you will take on the challenge of trying a DIY to not only have fun, but get the look you’re after. And…you can find the shelves and sign, along with much more, available in my shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Do pin and share this thrifted farmhouse decor post to inspire others to put on their trashure glasses and see past the obvious to the potential. It’s fun to share!

Four thrifted items find new life with mini makeovers turning them into Farmhouse Decor. Get the details at Prodigal Pieces |

Up next is Furniture Fixer Upper day and this already beautiful set will be getting a new look too. See the after HERE in this post.

Vintage Lexington Dresser Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like my thrifted farmhouse decor:

Want to add farmhouse style decor to your home, but lack a big budget? It's easier than you think. Come see at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comFarmhouse Cupboard Makeover with Tutorial on Adding a Wall Cleat by Prodigal Pieces |


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  • Pam

    I absolutely LOVE the style of this dresser! This is the first one I’ve seen that I could live with and I’ve been looking for at least 50 years. I love your ideas and transformations. You prove that they don’t have to involve a lot of product. I have several of those shelving units with the heart in them and I was trying to figure out a way to fill them in or cover them over but just cutting them down seems to be the easiest way to change the look of them. Thanks and God bless you and your family.

    September 26, 2017 at 6:59 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I can’t wait to show you it later this week, Pam. Yes, those hearts are not my thing for sure, but cutting them off is! hahaha. 🙂

      September 26, 2017 at 7:54 am Reply
  • Lynda

    Love all your transformations. I especially love that ice bucket. So unique!

    September 26, 2017 at 8:07 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They were such fun to do. Thanks, Lynda!

      September 26, 2017 at 8:10 am Reply
  • Cornelia L Short

    Very inspirational post as always ? I can’t wait too see what you do with the dresser and mirror. My bedroom set has the same mirror but the chest is just a little different. We have the queen size bed and a nightstand that my husband and I bought 26 years ago and has been through the 17 moves we made while my husband was in the military ? So it’s got good bones and I’ve been wanting too update it for some time, I even have all the supplies ? So seeing your next project has me jumping for joy!
    Thank you

    September 26, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply
  • Kaycee

    Larissa, Wow, cutting off those 80’s hearts, perfect!! Only you would come up with a beautiful way to remove the old heart cutout design, and show us how to do it with an easy tutorial! Thank you for sharing

    September 26, 2017 at 10:45 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My absolute pleasure, Kaycee. Thank you for stopping by!

      September 26, 2017 at 11:05 am Reply
  • Connie

    I have that ice bucket! I’ve never seen another one. It was a safety gift that my mom received in the 1960s for safe hours worked at a paper mill. Of course, I love it as it is because of its story. I use it every summer for dinners on the porch of our WVa vacation home, which was built in 1935. So the ice bucket fits right in with a lot of vintage décor.Thanks so much for posting this!

    September 26, 2017 at 10:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      So cool to hear and glad you shared. I seriously think my mom or someone I knew had one like it as it seemed so familiar. The green was cool, just not for me. 😉 Many happy servings to you!

      September 26, 2017 at 11:06 am Reply
  • Sherry Stuifbergen

    Wonderful transformations! I see the “hearts” alot. Will have to stop and look again. Thank you, Larissa!

    September 26, 2017 at 9:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Sherry! They are everywhere here. Hope you find some!

      September 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm Reply
  • Carol S

    Oh my goodness, you have my old ice bucket! Well almost. Mine was brown. So cool to see what you did to it.. I knew I should have saved it! Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

    September 26, 2017 at 9:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Too cool! I think I would have liked the brown better. hahaha…

      September 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm Reply
  • Jeannie M Scott

    Really want to learn this process and try the brushes and the paint!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 30, 2017 at 9:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s the spirit!!

      October 1, 2017 at 6:46 am Reply
  • Frances Batson

    I love that you cut off the heart. It made the shelves dated and the new color brings it into today. Painting the ice bucket was amazing. The green had to go. It kinda made me cringe.

    January 17, 2019 at 7:44 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It was kinda fun to do too! like therapy…haha. Yes! That green was so 70’s. hahaha!

      January 17, 2019 at 9:17 am Reply

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