From Country Decor to French Farmhouse Style

From Country Decor to French Farmhouse Style

Country decor from the 1980s, the wooden pieces covered in ducks, geese, and hearts, are a pretty common sight in thrift stores. And while the motif is outdated, the pieces often have good bones and are made of heavy, solid wood. This magazine holder was no different and I decided that I could “re-trend” it from country decor to the French farmhouse style pretty easily.

Country decor from the 1980s at Goodwill

A lot of thrift store makeovers could be considered “re-trending”, or taking a piece from one trend to another. But this particular piece is SO 1980s country decor that I couldn’t shake that word from my mind.

Removing the goose decor from hardware mesh

Besides, I figured I could “borrow” the same look that I applied to these lavender sachets. That would be PERFECT for French farmhouse decor…

Faking the look of grain sack fabric for DIY lavender sachets

Once I had a clear plan in mind, I gathered my DIY supplies and got to work!

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Removing the Country Decor from a Magazine Holder

First, I needed to take off the goose decor and hearts from from the hardware mesh. Removing them seemed like an easy idea when I was studying the piece in the thrift store. But, admittedly, the reality wasn’t as quick and simple as I had hoped.

Globs of 40-year-old hot glue are ornery and stubborn. They don’t like to let go.

Removing old glue from mesh hardware cloth

But with a little patience and the help of needle nose pliers, I was able to successfully remove all traces of the country ducks.

Cleaning the country decor before upcycling as french farmhouse decor

I was left with a clean surface on the magazine holder and the mesh hardware cloth in the front was no worse for wear.

Magazine holder with mesh hardware cloth on the front

Speaking of which, the hardware cloth was one of the reasons I was so smitten with this piece! While I’ve upcycled a similar magazine stand before, it was 100% wood.

Next, it was time for a makeover with paint. Before I got started, I taped off the edges of the hardware cloth with wide painter’s tape.

Then, I gave the entire piece of country decor a makeover with gray chalk paint.

Painting the country decor with chalk paint

Pale gray paint seemed fitting for the French farmhouse style that I was going for.

And when the paint dried, I gave it a light distressing to smooth out the paint and give it that vintage look we all love.

Updating the country decor in the French farmhouse style

For painting the interior, I used a long-handled paint brush. But this could still be problematic for large hands and/or smaller spaces. So, keep a few paint sticks on hand to tape to your paint brushes! That gives them a much longer handle to work with.

The Look of Grain Sack Fabric on Painted Wood

Now, to get the French farmhouse look that I desired, I wanted to add some grain sack fabric behind the mesh hardware cloth.

But NOT actual fabric.

Rather, I wanted the LOOK of grain sack fabric using a piece of painted wood. Specifically, a wooden insert created from some scrap wood in our garage.

Adding the look of grain sack fabric by painting stripes on plywood

My husband used our jigsaw to cut out an 8” x 8” square of thin plywood, which was the size of the opening behind the hardware cloth. I proceeded to paint the wood a warm white color that I mixed with a drop or two of tan paint.

Just trying to replicate the look of linen without being too brown!

Next, I created adhesive stencils from painter’s tape so that I could paint stripes like grain sack fabric.

How to get the look of grain sack fabric with wood

I stippled on blue paint in a somewhat uneven pattern (to look like natural fading on grain sack fabric)…

Finally, I removed the adhesive stencils and was rewarded with a wooden panel that looked like grain sack fabric! Exactly as I had hoped.

How to paint grain sack fabric stripes for French farmhouse decor

Lastly, I buffed on some clear wax to protect the chalk paint finish and popped in the wooden insert behind the hardware mesh. It was a nicely snug fit so I didn’t even need to add any glue!

Repurposing a country decor magazine rack in a French farmhouse style

Country decor no more, eh?

From Country Decor to French Farmhouse Style

And that was it! I had completely transformed the country decor into something far more on-trend currently. Would you even be able to tell it was the same piece?

French farmhouse style by repurposing an old magazine holder

A magazine holder is always handy, even if you don’t read magazines! Maybe it just holds paperwork near your desk or notebooks in your craft space. But either way, what a way to undo the look of country decor, eh?

Updating a piece of country decor in the French farmhouse style

And that, my friends, is what “Re-Trending” is all about. I fully expect that someday in the future, another thrift store shopper will find my magazine stand and “Re-Trend” it again!

Speaking of thrifting, it’s Thrift Store Decor Team day, which means my friends have published new upcycling projects today, too! Click on the links beneath this collage to see the “after” photos.

Thrift Store Decor Team Makeover Collage May 2019

1. Accent Table MakeoverMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
2. Wind Chime MakeoverMy Repurposed Life
3. “Re-Trending” from Country Decor to French Farmhouse – Sadie Seasongoods
4. Breadbox RepurposingHouse of Hawthornes
5. Metallic Spray Paint Makeover – Petticoat Junktion
6. DIY Nautical OarDomestically Speaking

7. Chandelier to Lantern Makeover – Our Southern Home
8. Vintage Wood Bowl DIYRefresh Restyle

If you enjoyed this magazine stand makeover, then you might love my French Farmhouse Decor from the Thrift Store post as well!

French farmhouse decor from the Thrift Store

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.


  1. Colette says

    Love the way you made “sackcloth” insert. It looks like fabric. Great transformation.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much, Colette! I originally wanted to use fabric, but wood just made a lot more sense. 🙂

  2. Those poor little ducks! It’s funny how decorating styles come around again eventually, but I can’t see ducks and hearts being back in style until all of us who lived through the 80’s are long long gone! Love your grain sack look much better!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Right?? I did a poll on my IG stories on whether or not people thought ducks would make a comeback and the overwhelming response was NO! Haha. Thank you so much!

  3. Great save Sarah! You find the best stuff. I try to stay out of the thrift stores for the time being, as I already have a ton of stuff waiting for it’s makeover. hahaha



    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Oh, I know! I have enough “future projects” in my garage to last a lifetime or two. LOL. Thank you!

  4. What a fab makeover! Love the stripe you added.

  5. JoAnn H says

    Great ideas- love how it turned out!!

  6. Love it! I need to be on the lookout for one of these!

  7. This is perfect and turned out super cute! Your cat is gorgeous!!

  8. Molly Tomaszewski says

    Excellent! what a lovely improvement on this magazine stand

  9. Naomi Shelton says

    I LOVE it! Inspired! I would put that in my house and I know just where!

  10. acraftymix says

    It looks gorgeous now Sarah, but all your stuff does. And it is a little bit weird to think that someone in the future might repurpose what we’ve repurposed, but only a teeny, tiny bit 😉

  11. Hey Sadie, another great article. My favourite part is your cat though 😀 S/he doesn’t have a care in the world. Ahh the life of a cat. We included you on our best modern farmhouse sites to follow in 2019

    Have a look!

    Can’t wait to see what’s next. Cheers,


  12. Sadie, You have such a great idea for perfect farmhouse looks from thrift store items. I’ve always been a sucker for anything grain sack stripes or ticking stripes. Love it!

  13. I ACHED for you when you told about chippping off the hot glue. I have used my heat gun and my hair drier to help soften up several kinds of glue; might make next time easier. I think it will take a LONG time for grain/flour sack stripes to go out of style. Your rack has a timeless look to it now!

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