Upcycle Ideas for Industrial Decor

Upcycle Ideas for Industrial Decor

Industrial decor has been a popular aesthetic for several years, and shows no signs of slowing down. From repurposed factories and warehouses to exposed design elements like brick walls and air ducts, industrial style is everywhere. With its vintage elements and repurposed design, upcycling and industrial decor go hand-in-hand. And if you’ve been looking to add some of this rustic style to your space, perhaps these upcycle ideas will spark your imagination.

Thrift Shopping for Industrial Decor

Vintage vignette of industrial decor with factory molds and old brushes

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Thrift stores and yard sales are a great place to hunt for industrial elements to use as decor. From vintage office supplies to unusual objects that look like they came from a manufacturing facility, thrift shops are a great place to hunt for inexpensive elements that are infused with that factory-relic look.

Upcycled Accent Table

industrial side table or industrial end table

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

The thrift store is full of items that can be completely transformed into something unexpected. And in this case, unbelievable. This industrial-style accent table started as something thrift stores can’t seem to get rid of, but it looks completely different (and amazing!) now.

Industrial Shelf

industrial shelving

Image credit: My Repurposed Life.

Industrial decor is comprised of a lot of metal and wood when it comes to furniture. So, creating a DIY shelf like this is a great way to infuse your home with some industrial style. It’s easy to make, is wonderfully functional, and looks fantastic when completed- making it an ideal DIY project for anyone to take on.

Industrial Decor with Scales

decorative scale makeover

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Brass or metal scales like this are a fun and unique way to add touches of industrial style to your home. Small and easy to soften with the addition of greenery, it eases you into the style without a big or expensive commitment.

Decorating with Found Objects

picture frame made from found objects

Image credit: My Repurposed Life and Scavenger Chic.

The idea of “found objects” such as reclaimed wood or metal is a recurring theme in industrial decor. Unsurprisingly, a photo frame that marries an old tin tile with wood reclaimed from a pallet is a great example of an upcycled project in this style of home decor.

Card Catalogs and Storage Cabinets

Tabletop version of a vintage library card catalog

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

An old library card catalog might not have come from a factory or plant, but its scarred wood and endless storage drawers give it a quirky, vintage office feel. But the real deal is hard to come by and surprisingly expensive. So, this version is actually a thrift store “makeunder” that started out looking nothing like this. Amazing what “unpainting” can do to a piece…

Upcycled Orbs

embroidery hoops as an industrial style orb

Image credit: The Creek Line House.

Decorative orbs are a fun element to add in home decor, particularly if you lean towards a vintage, industrial, or dark academia-style home. And you can make your own orbs like this with a handful of embroidery hoops.

Steampunk-Inspired Wall Decor

pocket watch wall clock from a picture frame

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

The steampunk aesthetic has a lot of cross-over with industrial style, and this upcycle idea straddles both themes nicely. A unique picture frame was given a quick makeover and some faux clock faces to look like an oversized pocket watch. Now it’s a perfectly unique and quirky piece of wall decor to add a dash of steampunk-inspired industrial style to your home.

File Cabinet Makeover

file cabinet makeover idea for an industrial home

Image credit: Postcards from the Ridge.

Like library card catalogs, vintage map drawers and blueprint cabinets are popular pieces of industrial-style furniture. But since they’re harder to come by and often quite pricey, a fake-out makeover might be the solution. Can you believe this started out as a plain metal filing cabinet?

Industrial Decor with Blueprints

upcycling a bamboo tray with blueprint paper

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Speaking of blueprints, if you come across any that could be repurposed, they’re perfect for this upcycle idea. A plain bamboo tray from a thrift store was given a subtle but fresh paint job and decoupaged with old blueprints! Such a fun makeover on an otherwise boring thrift store find.

Industrial Decor in the Kitchen

diy paper towel holder from pipes

Image credit: Virginia Sweetpea.

You can even add a touch of rustic industrial style to your kitchen with this simple and straightforward project. Metal and wood come together again with this DIY paper towel holder. Those hardware store pipes sure are handy when it comes to industrial-style DIY projects, aren’t they?

What a “Grate” Table

industrial table with a metal grate

Image credit: Beyond the Picket Fence.

An old metal grate is a terrific piece of upcycling potential, as shown on this industrial-style end table. That metal and wood combination really does keep popping up in these industrial-style decor projects.

Industrial Decor with Stencils

Crate stencils for wooden tool caddies

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This once-plain tool caddy was given a factory-inspired makeover thanks to some shipping crate-style stencils and the addition of salvaged hardware. And inside, soup cans were made over and recycled as holders to round out the industrial look.

Pipe Shelves

industrial shelving in the powder room

Image credit: House of Hawthornes.

DIY pipe shelves don’t have to involve a fully standing piece of furniture. They can be as simple as these pipe shelves are for a powder room, laundry room, or other room where storage space is needed. Not only are they easy to install, but they look and function fabulously, as well.

Tupperware® as Hardware

Hardware organizer from a Tupperware veggie tray

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Hardware bins that once held nuts, bolts, and nails are a great example of industrial decor that is hard to find these days. But you can recreate a mini version of the bin with a pair of treasures from the thrift store. One of which includes this popular snack tray that many of us used to have or grew up using!

Upcycle Ideas for Industrial Decor

Industrial decor from the thrift store

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Hopefully these upcycle ideas have inspired you to dip your toe in the industrial pool. At the very least, they’re proof positive that you can add stylish and/or functional touches of this decor style to your home without committing your whole space to it. Some savvy thrift shopping and a few inspired repurposing projects can go a long way to getting that industrial feel without draining your bank account.

Craft on!


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repurposed projects with industrial style

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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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