Upcycle Old Christmas Decor to Suit Your Home

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Maybe the holidays have passed and you’re looking to purge, or maybe it’s time to drag out the decorations and you’re debating on changing it up this year. Either way, don’t pitch or donate your unwanted holiday decor. I’m going to show you one of the ways you can upcycle old Christmas decor into something new for your home. It’s Trash to Treasure Tuesday, so stick around to see what my blogger friends have for you too.

Let’s pretend for a minute that this set of cutesy snowman art is no long your fancy. I admit, even I have taken things to the thrift store like this just to be rid of it. However, let’s look at them in a different light.

Thrifted Snowman Christmas Decor Before Makeover | prodigalpieces.com

At first glance, there’s nothing really wrong with them, and the bonus is they’re made of wood. For those of you who prefer to see a video rendition of this, I have that below for you. It’s time to get our DIY boots on and have some fun!

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First, I remove the center panel on the two wall art pieces by tapping them out with a hammer being careful not to crack it.

Removed Snowman Wall Art | prodigalpieces.com

At this point, I can either cover up the snowman art, or simply flip the board over and use the back side. For this project, I chose to use the back side because I wanted a clean slate to work with. I could stain it or paint, just depends on what my end vision would be.

Wooden Art Backing | prodigalpieces.com

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

Since I wanted to create a word art set, I decided to use paint. I head outside to set up my Small Spray Shelter  and Turn Table. You can see how I love to use these tools in these past posts and how easy they are to set up in my video below.

Making use of the HomeRight Small Spray Shelter by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

First, I spray the frames with this dark gray spray paint. It’s actually an automotive primer, but it is the only dark gray paint I can find in a flat finish.

Rustoleum Flat Gray Spray Paint Primer for Farmhouse Decor | prodigalpieces.com

Next, while the frames are curing, I remove the snowman art from the tray bottom. This is an easy way to upcycle old Christmas decor.

Removing Tray Paper to Upcycle Old Christmas Decor | prodigalpieces.com

I peeled off the top layer and then lightly moistened the remaining white film and rubbed it off. Then, I took it outside to my Small Spray Shelter and gave it a coat of flat white spray paint.

While the tray is curing, I sand down the two art inserts I removed with my Corner Cat Sander to remove any fluffed grain.

Sanding Boards with Ryobi Corner Cat Sander by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

After that, I used the same flat white paint and gave it several coats of paint, letting cure in between coats.

Rustoleum Flat White Spray Paint to Upcycle Old Christmas Decor | prodigalpieces.com

Once the paint cured on the boards, I added a scripture verse to both using my transfer method and then used a Sharpie marker to fill it in. The verse I chose to use is, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Song of Solomon 6:3.

DIY Image Transfer Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Last, I used my brad nailer to reinsert and attach the boards. I also added a sawtooth hanger on the top end so they can now hang vertically. I’ll show you the end result in a bit.

Now, onto the second part of how to upcycle old Christmas decor – the tray makeover. I lined in the bottom interior with the same thrifted Laura Ashley paper I used in this makeover. However, I wanted to up the ante on the function of this tray. tee hee! I decided to create a sort of pillow for the bottom. Stay with me now.

Upcycled Christmas Tray Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

I cut a piece of folded cotton to extend about 2 inches past the tray edge. Then, using my serger I serged the edges, flipped it right side out and created a French seam with my sewing machine. This would make my “pillow” nice and tight and look pretty too. I left a small opening on one end for the next step.

French Seam used to Create Rice Pillow by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

One of the favorite gifts that I like to make and people also like to receive is a rice neck warmer. They can be heated up in the microwave and the moist heat holds for hours. It works wonders on aches and pains and is so simple to use. The rice pillow I am creating is going to serve two purposes: (1) it will be a stabilizing base for my tray (2) and will can also serve as a heating pad and/or ice pack. Do you see where I’m going with this? You can see my Boo-Boo Bear tutorial for little ones HERE.

I filled up my pillow with two bags of white rice and 2 Tablespoons of dried lavender, then stitched the opening shut.

CAUTION: Using a natural fiber, like cotton, for the pillow is critical as other man-made fibers like fleece and such will catch on fire in the microwave.

Filling Hot Pad with Rice and Lavender | Details at prodigalpieces.com

For added fun and function, I sewed a pillow case with a soft green linen. That way it can be removed before microwaving and washed when needed. Before stitching it closed, I added two strips of heavy duty hook and loop to both the pillow and the tray. I used my Hot Glue Gun and these strong Glue Sticks to attach the hook side to the tray bottom. The loop strips were sewn on to the pillow case with my sewing machine.

Adding Velcro to Tray and Rice Pillow | prodigalpieces.com

For added function, I also added two webbing handles to each end using a box stitch to reinforce. To finish the edges, I used the same French seam technique to make it strong and look pretty too. In addition, I also added ties on the open end of the pillow case.

Making ties is simple, just measure the length you want and add 2″. Cut the ties to be 2″ or wider.

  1. Fold in one short end two times and press with your iron.
  2. Fold the in long sides to meet in the middle and iron.
  3. Again, fold in long sides and iron.
  4. Sew down short end, turn, sew down long end.
  5. Attach. Easy!

How to Make a Pillow Tie by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Now my vision to upcycle old Christmas decor is complete and I’m ready to show you their new look and purpose.

Farmhouse Style Bedroom with Upcycled Christmas Decor Fun by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #bedroom #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

DIY Scripture Wall Art Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #farmhouse

What fun it was to see this cast-off Christmas decor become something new! The wall art came out as I had hoped. I typically have the other two mirrors from my repurposed vanity mirrors hanging in those spots, but I wanted to show you how easy it can be to change it up.

DIY Farmhouse Decor from Upcycled Christmas Holiday Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #farmhouse #homedecor #homedecorideas #home

DIY Heating Pad Tray with Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

The tray is even more fun than I hoped. Yay! The rice makes for a steady base as well as a sweet way to relieve the daily grind stress. Take a peek at it in action in my video below. Subscribe to my channel for even more DIY fun.

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces on YouTube for DIY video tutorials and a whole lotta fun | prodigalpieces.com

How fun is that? I’m especially smitten with the colors as they are some of my favorite soothing tones.

Beautiful Upcycled Christmas Tray into Home Decor with Heated Pillow by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #farmhouse

Rustic Farmhouse Chic Bedroom with Chippy Cupboard | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

You can find both the wall art and tray in my online shop along with many other items for you and your home. Sign up for my newsletter below to get a discount on your first purchase.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com

DIY Typography Wall Art with Scripture | Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

My goal was to inspire you to see past the old and onto the new, the what-could-be. Time to go snag up all those clearance Christmas decor items at the thrift store and make them your own. Woot!

Do pin and share how to upcycle old Christmas decor because you know there are others out there debating… 😉

WAIT! Don't throw out or donate your old Christmas Decor! Come see how Larissa of Prodigal Pieces shows you how to upcycle your old Christmas Decor | Video tutorial at prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #farmhouse #shopping

Up next, this other thrifted item is about to get a new look and life. Head here to see.

Thrifted Americana Wall Art Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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. Time to see what my blogger friends have for you below.

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Check out what these fantastic DIY ladies have in created for you:

Trash to Treasure Tuesdays - Thrifted Makeover Fun | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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13 Comments

  • Christy James

    Such great repurposes, Larissa!! I never think to check out the holiday aisle at the thrift store… I think I need to do that more now!! XOXO

    January 8, 2019 at 10:35 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you. You will rock it! 😀

      January 8, 2019 at 11:35 am Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    Awesome ideas, Larissa! You are so clever!

    January 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! I had fun and got carried away. haha!

      January 8, 2019 at 4:51 pm Reply
  • Julie Briones

    Really nice, Larissa! Love the fact that you add lavender to your rice bags! And love the signs and verse. 😉

    January 8, 2019 at 3:12 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It felt good to get creative in a different way this time. So glad you liked it. 😀

      January 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Kaycee

    Great projects Larissa! I can feel that warmth and smell that heavenly lavender in my imagination, fantastic.

    January 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      My aching back and neck could use one! 😀 We don’t have a microwave, however. haha.

      January 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule

    Such awesome repurposed treasures!!

    January 8, 2019 at 9:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! It was a fun post-holiday thing to do.

      January 9, 2019 at 9:36 pm Reply
  • Debra A Wise

    Great projects Larissa. I love the scripture wall art. You are just so clever!!

    January 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm Reply
  • Lorin Small

    Love this, Larissa! Great little flip!

    January 9, 2019 at 10:44 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Lorin – for stopping by and a giving me a smile. 😀

      January 10, 2019 at 5:57 am Reply

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