How to Transform a Home Into a Farmhouse that’s the Envy of Joanna Gaines

Trista - May 12, 2019

The rustic farmhouse is one of the best decor styles for any home on a budget. Many pieces can be upcycled, made through some clever do-it-yourself work, or even savvy thrift store and a garage sale find. The style’s hallmarks are pastel, muted colors, painted wood furnishings, distressed finishes, and burnished or weathered metallic accents. These lend themselves naturally to vintage finds, DIY aging treatments, and hand-crafted items. If you’re willing to tap into your inner crafter, you can make a gorgeous rustic farmhouse room (or even an entire house) for a surprisingly low cost.


Chip and Joanna Gaines

You may have heard their names before; that’s because they’re the stars of “Fixer Upper,” which is a television show on HGTV. They run a home renovation and redecoration business together, renovating homes within the Waco, Texas area. They started their hit series to help bring more awareness to what they do, and soon after the first episode aired, the pair began to gain recognition for their hard work. The two have been together ever since, both in their personal lives and in their TV show. Joanna Gaines is also a home designer, so she brings her tastes to the homes she works on and the show.

Even if a rustic farmhouse isn’t your first style pick, you probably adore the show. Chip is funny, Joanna is sweet, and together they make a great team. He does the construction as she does the design and boom! Another satisfied set of homeowners are featured in each and every episode. Even if you aren’t ready to buy a new house, or remodel your current one, you probably tune into this HGTV for the personality and the style tips. Keep reading for more ways you can transform your house to look like it came straight off this show.


The Life of Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines was born in April 1978 in Waco, Texas, so she has lived there all her life. She currently has four children with her husband, which is impressive for a working mother! She graduated from Baylor University, which is also located in Waco, Texas. Her father used to work in a tire store, and it was where she started to develop her business sense. After graduation from Baylor University, she had several jobs working in boutiques, which probably enhanced her sense of fashion and taste. That is just the beginning of her road to many successful businesses and a beautiful family.

So what else does Mrs. Gaines do? Besides the hit HGTV show she has with her husband, this designer created multiple businesses. That way, even if you can’t afford to have your home remodeled on television, you can still incorporate this country chic style into your home. Not only is her design line charming and affordable, but you can easily find it online and in retail stores. From little knick-knacks to larger pieces of furniture, you can find everything you need to create a farmhouse space that will wow your friends and family.


Successful Business Endeavors

Chip and Joanna both started their first business together, called the Magnolia Market, and it was where Joanna began to learn about interior design. Their business’s name came from a magnolia tree that they would often pick flowers from, so they decided to name their business after that memory. They now own several accommodations, all bearing the Magnolia name, that provide services and products to their customers. The first is the Magnolia house, which is a rental property. To stay for just one night costs $695.

They also own the Magnolia Market at the Silos, which is a trio of buildings that offer goods and products. There is a seed supply store, a small crepe restaurant, and plenty of gardens to walk through. Alternatively, if you just want to sit and relax, there are plenty of seating arrangements in the area for you to find peace and quiet. The married couple even wrote a book together called “The Magnolia Story.” It’s a behind-the-scenes look at their personal lives, offering helpful anecdotes and discussing their issues with being married, working, and raising children all at the same time.


Everyone Deals with Scandals

If you are in the spotlight, let’s face it: you are going to have someone making accusations. Movie stars, athletes, comedians, politicians, and more are plagued with scandals. Sometimes, because they are up to no good. Other times, it is because people know that celeb has a lot of money; furthermore, they want a piece of it! Just because the Gaines are beloved by those who enjoy watching their show, their family has fallen into a few scandals over the years. The first scandal involved Chip Gaines. His former partner for Magnolia Real Estate sued him for $1 million, saying Chip had undersold them in stocks. The accusations were dismissed.

The second scandal involved Joanna. Rumors had spread that she was planning to leave the Fixer Upper show to start her own line of skincare products. However, she had come out and addressed these rumors, stating that they are not valid. So don’t worry! Your wholesome farmhouse family is still just as picture-perfect as you thought. Sure, everyone has a bad day, but the Gaines’ seem like they really try to do what is best for everyone.


Vintage Window Headboard

If you’re looking for a cheap, simple DIY headboard project, look no further than old windows. Frequently available on sites like Craigslist and the Facebook marketplace, vintage windows are an extremely affordable way to make a simple, unique headboard. With weathered paint or stain to match your decor, they’re an effortless way to make your bedroom look far more sophisticated and coordinated. The windows can be mounted in a classic symmetrical style or staggered for a more modern take on the rustic trend.

Just exercise caution if your windows still have glass in them. Either replace it with something unbreakable or remove it altogether. The last thing you want is to sit back in bed and hear the tinkling sound of broken glass on your bedroom floor. To give your windows a little extra whimsical feel, you could also paint tiny flowers around the borders if you’re the artistic type.


Vintage Crate Storage

Vintage milk and farm crates are widely available at swap meets, antique stores, and flea markets. They are typically quite reasonable, especially if they don’t have any particular brand or product marking. They make adorable countertop storage for milk pitchers, mason jars, and more. In a bathroom, pair pastel towels rolled with ribbon in a warm-toned wooden crate, along with a galvanized metal accent like a toothbrush holder or soap dispenser for an attractive, rustic look.

Go even more rustic and use some simple black paint to decorate your galvanized tray with some words. Maybe just “towels” or “bathroom,” just so everyone else in the house knows where it belongs. There are also specific treatments out there to distress metal if you want it to look even more rustic.

Sew Many Ways

Kitchen Towel Pillows

If some of your pillows have seen better days, a cheap and easy way to upcycle them is to create DIY pillow covers from cheap, cute towels from your local big box store. Towels often come in more prints than pillows and are far less expensive. Simply sew or fabric tape a pillow cover to fit your current pillows, and seal them with a cute ribbon tie. You can even create multiple sets of covers to change up your decor with the season or holiday!

Going with an eclectic look and choose kitchen towels that don’t match, or stick to one color scheme if you want them to look more coherent. It’s a great way to keep around those kitchen towels that just can’t be used anymore, but you can’t bear to throw them away. Remember to wash them first before turning them into cushions; you don’t want them to smell like food debris.


Weathered Shutters

Shutters finished with a crackle finish paint or aged wood finish lend an instant bit of farmhouse flair to any window and lend extra pop when used as a backsplash or piece of wall art. New wooden shutters can be custom-aged or painted if that’s in the budget, or vintage shades can be found at rummage sales and flea markets and displayed immediately. Try a bit of sanding to age up paint on old shutters that look too neat.

Choose a paint color that goes with the rest of your decor, or settle for a simple white if you want to achieve a minimalistic look. However, red is quite the popular color, especially if it’s that deep red shade of barns. That’s the best way to give the farmhouse feel.


DIY Chalkboard Menu

Few things stoke the appetite more than seeing the evening’s menu laid out on the dining room or kitchen chalkboard. Chalkboard menus create a convenient space for grocery lists, recipe instructions for cooking, and more. Many different cheap surfaces can be spray painted with chalkboard paint for inexpensive and simple chalkboards. Look for vintage picture frames with glass, metal serving trays, or any other large and flat object that strikes your fancy.

Furthermore, when they’re not in use for showing off the menu for the day, they can be used to leave messages for the rest of your family. Maybe you need to add some things to your grocery list, or you need to remind your kids what chores they still need to do. This idea creates a versatile concept that can be used for more than just listing the menu.

The Basket Room

Basket Storage

The practical, natural, and handmade look of a good basket adds old-fashioned elegance to any room. While many new baskets are quite expensive, thrift stores and estate sales often have beautiful vintage baskets of many sizes. Try incorporating a basket into your space to hold a blanket at the foot of a sofa, hold toiletries or rolled towels on a bathroom counter, or display fresh produce in a kitchen or dining room. Simple baskets can also cover nursery pots on house plants to give a more rustic look.

If wicker baskets are a bit too expensive for you, you can always go for upcycled plastic ones. They’re much brighter in appearance and are an excellent recycled product that can still be added to your home. They may not look exactly like wicker, but they’re still pretty functional.


Mason Jar Canister Set

Mason Jars have long been a staple of farmhouse design. While they’re wonderful for their intended purpose of canning food, they also have multiple other uses, from storing dry goods, turning them into soap dispensers or candles, and more. One affordable project to create is a kitchen canister set of varying sizes of mason jars. Try spraying the outsides of the jars with a pistachio or mint spray paint, and gently sand and weather the color once dry. These canisters will be ideal for beans, rice, coffee, and other baked goods.

Just spray paint the outside to any color you want and get some nice wooden lids that fit perfectly. You don’t have to be perfect with your spray paint either. Making it look a little weathered and not-smooth adds to the farmhouse charm. Want to remember what foods are in each one? Go with color-coded instead and paint the mason jars in different colors.


Scrap Wood Sign

Many community-wide garbage weeks will feature a great deal of scrap wood on boulevards and front lawns. If you can acquire scrap wood in a variety of textures, colors, and finishes, you’re already well on your way to making a one-of-a-kind scrap wood sign for your rustic farmhouse home. Saw the pieces to equal lengths (or keep asymmetric for a bolder look) and fasten them together however you prefer. You now have an ideal canvas for stenciling a saying, mounting a clock or chalkboard, or whatever your heart desires.

You can get your kids involved in this project, too, by asking them to help paint the wood first before you add your stencil. They’ll have a lot of fun slapping different colors onto them and will brag and boast when guests come over about which signs are theirs.


Shelf Bracket Plant Holder

Hanging plants add a great deal of whimsy and warmth to space, especially in a farmhouse-style home. Many modern ways to hang house plants, like macrame hangers or invisible floating lines, don’t compliment the farmhouse aesthetic. Try going to your local hardware store and looking for decorative shelf brackets. Many come in elegant styles that would perfectly complement rustic charm. The curled ends make an easy mounting spot for a nursery hanging basket.

Alternatively, you could leave the hanging basket empty and use it for storage for keys instead. Just make sure you don’t put too many things in there, as the weight could end up being too much for the hook. It’s a great way to keep those small items in one place that’s easy to find.

SBB Midwest Co

Bottle Crate Centerpiece

Old milk crates labeled with the corporate designs of historic or long-gone businesses can be expensive collector’s items. However, more run-of-the-mill bottle crates from milk delivery days are relatively easy to come by at reasonable prices. If you can find one, try pairing it with decorative glasses as bud vases for fresh, dried, or faux floral arrangements. A bit of jute or pastel ribbon can add a beautiful finishing touch when woven throughout the centerpiece.

That doesn’t only have to be a centerpiece for your table. You can place it on a mantle over your fireplace or on a bookshelf for some added interest. Add some color to the whole piece with some colored sand. The possibilities are endless when you exercise some creativity.


Egg Basket Accent

Egg baskets used to be a common sign in any farmhouse and are slowly making a comeback in popularity thanks to backyard chicken keeping. The wire baskets were designed to allow many eggs to be collected with minimal chance of breaking any shells. The baskets’ airy, open nature makes them ideal for several storage options, including blankets, a stack of rustic, vintage books, dried floral arrangements, and more. Plus, if you ever end up keeping chickens, they’re beneficial!

Furthermore, if you feel like keeping eggs in there and putting them on your kitchen table, you can do that too! Just as long as they don’t sit there for too long. Having eggs that start to smell is not attractive for any kind of farmhouse decor.


Salvaged Wood Shower Curtain Hanger

Whether old or new, a fantastic use for a large enough piece of rustic-looking reclaimed lumber is to hide the shower curtain rod in your bathroom. It may not be easy to quickly find a recycled selection wide enough to cross a shower opening. However, patience and an eye on Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace will undoubtedly pay off. When mounted in front of a suspension or traditional shower curtain rod, the wood face gives an incredibly rustic and hand-crafted cabin look to a bathroom.

Moreover, if you find one that’s too long, you can simply take a saw to it and cut it to the length you need. You may have to add some finishing touches, like staining, to the wood so that it looks like one coherent piece, but it’s not that difficult to create a unique piece that fits perfectly in your bathroom.


DIY Salvaged Wood Frame

If you have a bit of salvaged wood laying around and aren’t quite sure what to do with it, try a simple picture frame. That is also a great project on which to include children or beginners, as it requires a minimum of tools and expertise. It provides a great chance to learn about cutting angles. Once assembled, a salvaged wood frame can be paired with chicken wire and clothespins to make a photo-hanging wall piece, paired with a chalkboard to create a menu display, and more.

Some great places to look for wood to salvage are the local woods at your park, driftwood from the beach, or discarded pieces from the lumberyard. Just be sure that you ask beforehand; you don’t want to commit theft in your pursuit of creating a rustic decorative piece for your home.


Wood and Doorknob Hangers

Another great and straightforward use for reclaimed scrap wood pieces is to combine them with vintage assorted doorknobs and fixtures to create unique hangers. Whether in a bedroom, bathroom, or mudroom, you can never have too many places to hang a coat or hat on the fly, and the eclectic touch of mismatched vintage knobs gives a quirky bit of farmhouse charm. It also reuses materials that might otherwise end up in a junk pile, giving them a fun new purpose.

You can choose to leave them looking a little dusty, or you can clean and shine them up until they absolutely sparkle. The choice is up to you, but if you’re going to use them for hanging up coats, it would be better to let them soak in some warm soapy water first. You don’t want all that dust and grime to get inside your jacket.


Chicken Wire Frame Hangers

If you have a beautiful old frame with no glass, or you’ve made a frame yourself out of salvaged wood, try completing your wall decor piece with chicken wire. Be very careful to avoid cutting yourself on the thin, sharp ends of the wire. Staple small-mesh chicken wire to the back of the frame. Once complete, you can use clothespins to display holiday cards, photos, upcoming event invitations, and more.

You can use sturdy bulldog clips and metal or settle for tiny wooden clothespins for a more farmhouse feel. Just be sure to check on your chickenwire now and again. It’s supposed to be sturdy stuff, but accidents can happen. Also, be sure to keep your kids’ fingers away from any exposed wire edges, as they can easily cut fingers open.


Produce Shelf

If you happen to luck out and come across several wooden crates at once, a great way to use them is to create a rustic produce shelf. Looking like something out of an old Sears Roebuck catalog, tilted crates suspended between simple 2×4 beams make a beautiful vintage grocery store aesthetic and give you an excellent way to display your produce. Nothing says farmhouse quite like a bounty of fresh food, so showing your apples, onions, potatoes, and more in vintage crates is an absolute farmhouse treasure.

Keep an eye on keeping your produce shelf out of the sun, especially if you have potatoes in there. They’ll start to spud and won’t taste as good. Onions have to be kept in a cool dark place as well, so placing your produce shelf in front of a bright window may not be the best idea.

Factory Direct Craft

Galvanized Pail Floral Arrangements

Whether vintage or new, galvanized pails and buckets are a beautiful addition to any space with a farmhouse or rustic edge. When new, the bright gleaming surface can add a bit of elegance, while vintage tarnished pieces to give more of a muted, utilitarian vibe. New parts can be stained to look older, and there are many online tutorials for aging galvanized metal. With either finish, galvanized pails make gorgeous containers for floral arrangements, particularly for dried flowers, reeds, cattails, and branches.

Even if you don’t have a garden, picking any wildflowers in your area will make for a lovely country bouquet as well. Even if it’s just daffodils, nothing says more farmhouse than an eclectic set of flowers in a bucket. Just be sure that the bottom is sound; if you add water to keep the fresh flowers longer, there might be holes you don’t notice, and the water will leak everywhere.


Crocheted Accents

Crocheting is a diverse fiber art that can create items in many styles, but the granny square stitch is beautifully suited for farmhouse decor. A staple for blanket making among many of our grandmothers, the simple stitch can be adapted to make potholders, washcloths, and more. Use natural fibers like wool for a more rustic look, if desired. Many beautiful dyes can be made from common plants and produce scraps like onion skins to give your own wool crocheted pieces a charming, rustic color.

You can make anything from doilies for your dining room table centerpieces, to coasters, to an entire blanket if you have the talent for crocheting. Furthermore, there are so many different crocheting styles as well, so no two pieces will ever look the same. If you are interested in taking up crocheting, there are plenty of online videos to walk you through the process of making your first piece.


Dark Wood Window Boxes

Window boxes are always a great choice in dressing up a window. They’re a great way to add some floral and green touches to any window. Alternatively, if you don’t have a green thumb, some fake flowers will do, as long as you replace them regularly when they get too faded.

If you wish to give a bit of rustic farmhouse charm to the outside of your home as well as within, try attaching some rich, dark wood window boxes full of flowers or herbs. Always be careful with window boxes that your siding can bear the weight and that water is not held against your siding material to prevent rot. Rustic plant choices for the boxes include daisies, sage, thyme, lavender, and nasturtiums.

Lost Mom

DIY Garlands

Numerous rustic garlands can spruce up (sometimes literally, with spruce) a farmhouse room. For winter, try fresh or faux spruce and fir garlands and enlist children to help make berry and popcorn ribbons to accompany them. For autumn, pine cones and felted balls in oranges, ambers, and dark greens are a beautiful touch. The sky is the limit for spring and summer, with felted balls in myriad floral and pastel hues, faux florals, fresh botanical and greenery, and more. Garlands are an item where you can let your creativity run wild.

Garlands can be strung up along the walls, hung from the ceilings, or wrapped around banisters to provide some much-needed color to a room. If you want to add a bit more flair, some inexpensive fairy lights can be intertwined around them, too, so that your garlands can be seen at night. These can be an excellent addition to any kids’ room.


Jute Accent Pillows

Jute, or burlap, is another long-favorite item of rustic farmhouse decor, and for good reason! This material has long been invaluable on farms as a source of material for seeds, seed potatoes, baling twine, and more. It is a natural, beautiful, and utilitarian fabric that creates a gorgeous, textured accent wherever and however it is used. One great way to incorporate jute into a living space is to create accent pillows. These can be stamped or painted with a fun design, or they can be left to speak for themselves with their warm, creamy texture.

It can be challenging to sew burlap, so ensure that you have a sturdy needle on your machine. The improper needle can break easily when you’re trying to put a jute cushion together. What’s even better about jute is that you don’t have to finish the edges. Allowing them to fray only adds further appeal to the farmhouse look.


Cast Iron

Cast iron is the cooking stuff of legend, being used by many great chefs and home foodies. However, it is also a terrific accent material for kitchens and dining rooms. While some vintage brands like Griswold command extremely high prices for their skillets and other items, there is a lot of unmarked cast iron on the secondhand market that is very reasonably priced. Cornbread molds, napkin holders, trivet trays, and kettles are beautiful pieces of craft iron craftsmanship that will instantly add a vintage vibe.

The best place to look for cast iron pieces is at garage sales or auctions. The older and more vintage, the better. These pieces will withstand time, and even if one is broken, that still adds to the charm. Just don’t overdo it when you’re placing them around your home; you don’t want it to become too cluttered.


Damaged Crockery for Decor

Crocks were a staple in many elements of food preservation in earlier times. From being an early form of canning jars to helping in dairies and larders, crocks are inseparably linked to food and kitchens. With that in mind, a crock is a wonderful item to hold your kitchen utensils, a basket of fresh fruit, and more. Many pots are quite collectible, so that those mint condition items will come at a steep price. However, cracked and chipped crocks are often quite structurally sound and usable for decor and are much cheaper and readily available. With an open mind, a well-loved and heavily used crock could become a gorgeous decor item.

The good thing about crocks and stoneware is that most of them are also handmade. It means that very few pieces are actually “perfect,” adding to their charm. They’ll look a little uneven, both in shape and in the glaze, but that’s what makes them so special: they’re unique.


Old Kitchen Utensils

Old kitchens had a wealth of specific gadgets that would put most modern professional kitchens to shame. From cake breakers to strainer sieves, butter molds to pot strainers, there are countless wood and metal vintage kitchen items that are both beautiful to behold and excellent conversation pieces for guests. While some of these items’ uses are obvious, others look a fair bit like ancient torture devices, which could add a humorous element to any rustic farmhouse kitchen.

For this case, the stranger and more obscure, the better. They’ll be a talking piece the next time you have company over. Show off your random knowledge chops by sharing the strange item’s history and what it was used for. Having them hanging from your walls will give your kitchen some character.


River Rocks

River rocks give a rustic beauty whether used indoors or out. Outside, they are beautiful accents or even ground cover in garden beds. They also beautifully line sidewalks and driveways while keeping down weeds. Indoors, they look gorgeous in fish tanks, terrariums, on succulent or cactus potted plant displays, in vases with candles, and more. The polished finish combined with muted colors is hard to match with any other material, and they’re typically available in large quantities at reasonable prices.

Be aware of where your river rocks are sourced from, too. The removal of too many river rocks can lead to soil erosion and flooding in certain areas, so it’s good not to buy from a depleting riverbed source.

Laurel Leaf Farm

Vintage Corn Dryers

Corn dryers look quite frightening at first glance. It’s a long, thin iron pole with many lightweight iron poles with sharp ends radiating from the center. However, despite looking like a devilish old-timey medical instrument, they were simply used to dry fresh ears of corn as part of preserving one’s harvest each year. In a modern home, they can function as a unique piece of wall art. Another purpose is to hold decorate dried ears of corn for an autumn display.

Instead of just wall art, you can use it to dry bundles of herbs if you’re growing them yourself. Just add some string, and your herbs can dry in the sun, ready to use in your next meal. They’ll also add a pleasant aroma to your home, which can be quite pleasing while you’re cooking.


Rope and Twine Mountings

An easy way to make any photograph or painting look more rustic is to mount it to the wall with a bit of visible rope or twine instead of wire. The same goes for hanging planters. Use string or twine in place of more modern materials will give that rustic edge that only natural, utilitarian fibers can provide. While vintage rope is available for the safety of your beloved paintings and photographs, it would probably be wise to invest in a newer string that is less likely to fray or break.

Twist the rope and twine into any knots you want. You can even try some nautical knots, which can look quite lovely and elaborate. It’s a simple way to hang some paintings while still adding aesthetics to the character of your home.


Vintage Cookbooks

One of the cheapest types of vintage books you can find at rummage sales, flea markets, and secondhand shops is the cookbook. A staple of every single church throughout the Midwest and South, there are countless vintage cookbooks widely available with recipes ranging from delicious to terrifying for the modern palate. A small shelf of vintage cookbooks, especially comically regional ones, provide a charming and folksy feel to any rustic kitchen.

Even if the recipes seem unpalatable to modern tastes, they’re also a remnant of history. To see where people’s taste buds used to be and where recipes have progressed since then is like a trip down memory lane.

Mommy Perfect

Terra Cotta Pots

Terra cotta pots are often associated with cacti, succulents, and desert plantings, but their vibrant, earthy color is also a beautiful pairing for many farmhouse decor styles. A terra cotta pot next to a weathered galvanized metal piece is a lovely combination of mediums. Terra cotta could also be used to hold a fun relic of the past, like pie beans for baking pie shells or keeping a dry spice mix. If you want to use a pot for food storage, make sure you select food-safe quality terra cotta!

If you want to dress them up a little more, add some stencils and paint, a bit of ribbon, or even stickers for the kids to put in their rooms. Terra cotta is a beautiful, neutral, and warm hue that ties together nicely with any color decor.

Country Living Magazine

Clearance Easter Wreaths for Year-Round Decor

Easter is a time of bountiful spring wreaths in almost every big box store your visit. Many of these wreaths have rabbits, eggs, or carrots on a mossy green or wooden twig background. Crafty decorators should look into buying these wreaths at 50% off or more after the Easter rush. With some innovative modifications and perhaps a bit of hot glue, an Easter-specific wreath can be upcycled with some faux florals and ribbons in a seasonal or even year-round wreath.

Alternatively, you can paint the beige eggs to have some more shades. Add some dots of colorful paint to turn your front door into an accent door. Intertwine a few twigs of different colors to keep your wreath interesting. It’s all about learning to mix and match.

Ali Express

Wooden Spoons

Not only are they useful for many tender foods like rice, but wooden spoons are also a classic piece of vintage kitchenware that makes any rustic farmhouse kitchen a little more perfect. Many modern wooden utensils are made from more ethically-sourced and sustainable woods like bamboo and are treated to be less porous and therefore safer from contamination. However, wooden spoons are still not safe for most dishwashers, so be prepared to hand-wash this bit of rustic charm!

There are also those great tones and patterns within the wood itself, making wooden spoons eye-catching all on their own. Even if you already have kitchen utensils that you enjoy using, placing a row of wooden spoons along your kitchen wall can make for a nice decoration piece.


2x4s Are Your Best Friend

In a rustic home, the 2×4 is your best friend. A simple piece of lumber that is easy to find and relatively affordable, the 2×4 can be used in so many projects. They can be used in place of salvaged wood when none can be found for projects like doorknob coat hangers. They can also be the support structure in projects like a vintage crate produce rack. When stained and weathered, 2x4s themselves can take on a beautiful, rustic appearance.

They’re also the most commonly used wood in various projects, so don’t be afraid to break down any old wooden furniture you find at the side of the road just to strip them for 2x4s. You’ll be giving the wood new life and a new purpose within your home.


Hydrangeas — Real or Fake

With their full, luscious heads of blooms, hydrangeas are a quintessential American rustic flower. When grown outside, the color of Hydrangea blooms can often be changed by altering the pH (acidity or alkalinity) of the soil. They come in shades including white, pink, blue, and green and grow as large, leafy shrubs. As faux florals, they come in a wide range of colors and look beautiful in baskets or galvanized metal containers.

Their fullness also goes with the minimalistic structures of farmhouse decorating. They can be quite charming and be used anywhere in your home, from a vase by the front door to being in a wreath you hang in your kitchen. The possibilities are endless.

DIY Network

Bark and Raw Wood Accents

Got old wood lying in your yard? Look no further to putting them to good use. Raw wood and bark look great anywhere in your home, as long as they’re stripped properly. They’re rife with textures that harken to nature, which is the basis for the farmhouse look.

The wide range of colors and textures present as tree bark is one of nature’s wonders. From the beautiful, peeling white of sycamore to the dense, rugged brownish-greys of oak, tree bark, and raw wood accents can be found to fit any color scheme or rustic decor. Natural wood slabs can be treated and turned into tables, while bark baskets or sprigs can add a great deal of raw, elemental beauty to floral displays.

Magia Mia

Vintage Picture Frames

Picture frames can serve a significant number of purposes in rustic decor. They can be backed with chicken wire to make a farm-style photo holder or recipe-card holder. These vintage picture frames can be filled with a chalkboard to make a kitchen notepad or menu display. They can have wire or rope strung across the back to create a jewelry or scarf display. When looking for vintage picture frames, look for dramatic textures that will show even if spray painted. A weathered, white paint job can spruce up any old framing.

Whether you choose to insert pictures of your friends and family or leave them empty is up to you. You could even insert photos from old magazines to keep your frames looking interesting.

Gettin’ Crafty With Natalie

Upcycle Cans With Fabric or Twine

If you find an old metal can that has seen better days or has a label or logo you don’t care for, try upcycling it by covering it with vintage fabric, jute, or twine. Mod Podge, fabric glue, and craft glue will allow you to easily cover an ugly or aged container with a fresh appearance. Small upcycled cans can be used as pencil holders and bud vases, while larger ones can serve as kitchen utensil holders, dried or faux floral arrangement containers, and more.

Upcycling cans are also a great way to reuse any old wallpaper you have lying around. The patterns unite everything together or make a nice contrast if your can is placed in a different room. Add a strip of lace to the middle for that extra soft touch.


Vintage Maps and Textbook Pages

If you’re looking for wall art that’s a bit more learned and sophisticated but still rustic, keep an eye out for pages from old textbooks and atlases. Many antique shops have beautiful pages from books of botanical drawings, bird field guides, and more. Often, these pages sell for only one or two dollars per page, making them an incredibly cheap base for a finished piece of wall art. Favorite recipes from vintage cookbooks are another fun option for this type of decor.

It may feel like a bad idea to destroy some old books, but putting the pages to good use is much better than risking them being tossed into the garbage. The simple drawings inside can add a nice element to any wall in your home, especially if they’re in a nice frame.


Bring Outdoor Rugs Inside

Outdoor rugs tend to be made from much heavier fabrics and feature more earth tones and botanical designs. Well, what could be more perfect for a rustic farmhouse decor style than that? Outdoor mats that mimic the appearance of brushed straw, in particular, could give a genuinely classic farmhouse, handmade look to a rug. If you find one that’s plain, consider stencil painting your own decal or saying on it with acrylic paint.

Just be sure that if your outdoor rug has been outside for a while that it is properly cleaned first. You don’t want to track all of that dirt inside onto your nice clean floors. Just because your rugs are rustic doesn’t mean that your floors have to look like they belong in a barn too.


Worn-Out Ladders

Every farm garage sale tends to have at least one old, worn-out ladder that looks like it would easily kill you if you tried to use it. While they may not be much for use around the gutters, they can make terrific display pieces in a rustic farmhouse space. Small ladders can be leaned up against a faux floral display or houseplant to add a rustic wooden touch. Larger ladders can be used to display quilts, textiles, or, if they’re structurally sound enough, some small hanging houseplants.

They make great places to hang any kind of towel, too, especially if you need them to dry. These ladders can save you a few bucks from having to use your dryer, and you can have all of your beautiful towels on display too.

Mark Hackley

DIY Basket Liners

While vintage baskets are a beautiful and cheap way to add some natural fiber art to your home, not every basket is the cleanest or in great shape. If that’s the case for some of your baskets, add basket liners to your list of craft projects. A simple, symmetrical sewing project, basket liners are simply rectangular or square (depending on the shape of your basket) inserts that provide a barrier for whatever items you’re storing against the material. Calico, gingham, and chintz fabrics would all be wonderful choices for this type of project.

You can choose to go with white linen, burlap, or any kind of fabric that tickles your fancy. It is your decor, after all. Just be sure that the basket liner is something that can be washed easily so that it’s always looking its best every day of the year.