Upcycling Ideas for Cabin Decor

Upcycling Ideas for Cabin Decor

Every now and then, we all just want to escape to a cabin in the woods. But when we can’t get away to a rustic retreat, it’s nice to have touches of cabin decor in our own homes, no matter where we live. Here are some thrifty and upcycling ideas to get that cozy cabin look for less.

Lodge or Cabin Decor

cabin decor ideas

Photo source: Shutterstock via PicMonkey.

When we think of cabin decor, certain things come to mind: (1) Warm, earthy colors; (2) Natural elements; (3) Outdoor recreation (water sports, fishing, hunting); and plaid fabrics such as wool and flannel. Thankfully, there are a lot of thrifty ways to get the rustic feel of cabin decor without breaking the bank.

Wooden Paddle Coat Hooks

Upcycling a Boat Oar as a Nautical Coat Rack

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

A canoe paddle or oar has a great lake house look, and they are easily transformed into decorative elements. Painting stripes on the paddle and adding basic hardware to the handle results in coat hooks that are both functional and decorative at the same time.

Cabin Decor Inspired by Hudson’s Bay

DIY cabin decor that is inspired by a Hudson Bay Point Blanket

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

The iconic stripes found on Hudson’s Bay blankets are synonymous with vintage camp- or cabin decorating. But if an authentic wool blanket isn’t in your budget or climate-appropriate, recreating the stripes on thrift store dishes scratches that itch quite nicely.

Rustic Table Runner

table runner made from flannel shirts

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Flannel shirts from the thrift store are a really inexpensive way to create rustic elements for your home. For instance, this table runner was made from several shirts with vintage lace ribbon to cover the seams.

Canteens and Vacuum Flasks

Upcycling a metal canteen into plaid decor

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

A misty morning on the lake isn’t complete without steam rising from a coffee flask. A collection of canteens or plaid flasks (often referred to as Thermos™, but that’s technically a brand name, not a generic term for an object)  is a great way to get the cabin look.

Plaid Pillows

plaid pillow from a shirt

Photo source: House of Hawthornes.

Since a lot of us wear plaid shirts on cabin vacations, it’s no surprise to see one that’s been upcycled into related decor! Even better, this DIY pillow is no-sew, which makes it a great craft project for all skill levels.

Plaid Trimmed Towels

hand towels with a flannel trim

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Plain hand towels get the mountain lodge look with an easy DIY upgrade: flannel trimmings. This project is straightforward and simply requires the most basic of sewing skills.

The tutorial for this project can be found in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”, by Sarah Ramberg.

Wood Slice Coasters

wood slice coasters for a cabin

Photo source: House of Hawthornes.

Wood slice coasters don’t require any tree trimming or woodwork. Thankfully, they’re readily available at most craft stores! And they have that live-edge rustic look that is just perfect for cabin decor, perhaps with some simple embellishing like this.

Cabin Decor Sign

cleaning an old cutting board to make a cabin sign

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

There are some great cabin-inspired quotes out there that are ideal for stenciling on a sign. And this particular sign gets its vintage, weathered look by starting out as a well-loved cutting board purchased at a thrift store.

Flannel-Covered Books

flannel covered books from crafting with flannel

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Love the idea of reading a book by the fire in a mountain cabin? Then decorating your space with flannel-covered books might be just the simple upcycling project you’ve been looking for. This is a perfect way to repurpose any mass-produced hardcovers you have no intention of re-reading (or ever reading in the first place).

Checkers Table

buffalo check stencil on a table for checkers

Photo source: Beyond the Picket Fence.

Here’s proof that plaid comes in many forms when it comes to cabin decor. A buffalo-check stencil is exactly what you need to turn a rustic table into a checkers table that is perfect for a rustic home.

Cabin Stencils

brochure stand and mountain cabin decor

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

This wooden magazine holder started out plain. But a little stenciling with a rustic cabin theme made it really come alive! Now, it’s the perfect thing for holding brochures and business cards in a rental cabin- both decorative AND functional.

Vintage DIY Lamp

upcycle idea for vintage thermos

Photo source: Virginia Sweet Pea.

A plaid vacuum flask is decorative enough on its own. But it can also be upcycled into a DIY lamp for a charming element of cabin decor, too.

Door Draft Blocker

adding leather strips to a door draft stopper

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

The floor by your door might not be the first place you think of for decorative elements that look cozy and rustic. But if your home is drafty during cold weather, a DIY draft blocker like this (made from flannel shirts) will help it stay cozy and LOOK cozy at the same time.

Thrifting for Cabin Decor

lake house decor

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

When in doubt, your local thrift stores are always a great place to look for elements that have that cabin look to them.  Curated pieces that give off lake house or mountain lodge vibes can be assembled into an eclectic cohesive design to achieve this rustic style.

Relish the Rustic

cabin decor projects

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

With so many upcycling projects and ideas for cabin decor out there, it’s hard to decide which one to recreate first! I hope this collection gives you the inspiration you’ve been looking for to add cozy, rustic touches to your own home, no matter where you live.

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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