8 DIY Vintage Accents for the Home

8 DIY Vintage Accents for the Home
By Jennifer Riner of Zillow


Source: Zillow Digs

For decades, savvy designers have added vintage charm to newer homes. While some homeowners prefer the shabby chic look, others might favor just a few staple antiques to offset more modern interiors. Whatever the case, incorporating rustic materials to homes creates cozy and interesting interiors.

Integrate one or multiple projects into rooms to create a historical look at thrifty prices. Here are a few basic do-it-yourself projects for homeowners to tackle.

1. Reclaimed Wood Headboards
What better to contrast fluffy comforters than sleek, pallet headboards? The recycled look is trending on a sustainability level, but reminiscent of shabby, antiques. Check out local construction sites for discarded wood slabs. Cut pieces so they can fit together seamlessly. For queen-sized mattresses, gather enough wood to stretch 60 inches wide. King-sized headboards usually measure at least 78 inches wide. Keep in mind that individual pallets can be shorter and attached together to fit appropriate widths. Sand and stain pallets before assembling.

2. Tree Slice Coffee Tables
While not as easy to come by, tree slices are unique accessories for homes. However, don’t go cutting down trees for this project. Instead, search craft websites like Etsy for tree rounds. Stack slabs for thick, round tables or attach hairpin legs for mid-century modern flair.

3. Pallet Walls
Again, free pallets are available to those who are patient and willing to search around before beginning their projects. If construction sites aren’t producing, try home improvement stores looking to get rid of broken pieces they can’t sell. Watch for parasites or other wood-feeding critters before bringing pallets indoors. Dismantle, sand and stain pallets, similar to building headboards. Wooden pieces can be attached directly to walls, although might potentially be a red flag for those searching for new homes when it comes time to sell. For easy removal, consider using plywood as a barrier.

4. Dress Mannequins  
Channel an inner fashionista by displaying old dress forms in walk-in closets or bedrooms. While these are great pieces as vintage décor, they also act as sturdy holders for hem jobs. Visit local fabric stores for basic mannequins and reupholster to match existing textiles throughout rooms.

5. Wood Pallet Floating Shelves
Have leftover wood from previous projects? Build simple, minimalist floating shelves. Use a 4-foot level and stud finder to mark shelf placement. Build and fix frames to act as invisible brackets or support systems. Then, cover hollow areas with wood and stain or paint entirely.

6. Antique Books
While Kindles are convenient, modern options for reading, real hardcovers are ideal for displaying historical literature. Bookstores often feature bargain bins for less popular, softcover novels. For old encyclopedias and almanacs, visit antique dealers who specialize in rare books. Signed autobiographies are great décor pieces and investments, as they might appreciate in value throughout time. Therefore, make sure to display rare books in glass cases where they are protected from kids and spills.

7. Vintage Radios
Mp3 players may be the most widely-accepted form of musical entertainment these days, but old radios and phonographs are definitely the most visually interesting. Broken record players or other vintage audio equipment can be purchased inexpensively through online classifieds or neighborhood garage sales.

8. Faux Windows
With demand for energy efficiency at an all-time high, many homeowners are swapping out their dated, un-insulated window panes for more eco-friendly alternatives. Antique window frames can still be used in homes as a throwback to old-fashioned exteriors. Consider hanging or carefully laying antique frames against walls in rooms lacking real windows and natural light.


As always, these accents stand out best when used in moderation, so avoid showcasing faux windows on every wall or creating every piece of furniture out of reclaimed wood. No matter which project, keep safety precautions in mind when operating handheld saws and drills.


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