With everyone spending more time at home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, home decor has made a comeback (not that it ever really went anywhere). We can see this in Google search trends. For example, queries for mid-century modern have increased by 18% in the 12 months ending February 8, 2021. Meanwhile, automotive decor has stayed steady, but maybe that’s becausepeople don’t realize they can upcycle old car parts with a DIY eye.

Decorating with old car parts—from the headlights to the tail lamps

One of the coolest ways I see people decorating with old car parts is by transforming headlights into lamps. The options are endless. If you have a strong enough DIY streak, you can craft one all by yourself to adhere to your unique style.

In particular, I’ve often seen the style of connecting a vintage-style headlight (including the lamp that surrounds the bulb) to some sort of tripod or three-pronged structure. It has slight Pixar-lamp vibes, but it’s definitely unique.

You could also make a hanging lamp by simply attaching a cord to the ceiling, like this Pinterest user did:

How cool is that?!

It’s not just headlights that I see. Human creativity never ceases to amaze me.

One creator turns old Chevy Pistons from 5.7-liter engines into clocks. 

Oversized trucks have coil springs in them, and there are definitely people making bar stools out of them.

One company charges $460 for a stool, but if you can get your hands on a used coil spring, I have a feeling you can do it yourself.

Smaller coil springs from passenger vehicles could be used as candle holders on a rustic farmhouse table. Because of its separate compartments, a smaller coil spring could also function as a paper holder or mail sorter. This is truly the meaning of trash-turned-treasure.

Old steel wheels (not the tire part, obviously) can be transformed into fire pits that are the perfect size. They look cooler than the normal fire pit and they’re totally safe from rusting because of the material.

More of our favorite Pinterest influencers upcycling old car parts as automotive decor

Check out this mega-cool bar table, which uses the front of an old tractor as the base for the upgraded piece. It’s retro, especially when paired with a metal bar stool and a cookie jar. I love the metal lining of the wood (or faux wood) tabletop. 

This tailgate-turned-bench is so pleasing. Every time I pass by an antique pickup truck, especially one in a cool pastel color scheme, I drool a little bit and wish I knew enough about fixing cars to get one for myself. However, I feel like this bench does the trick. I would love to keep that on a covered patio surrounded by a ton of plants.

Another idea for a tailgate is to attach chains to it and hang it from the wall like a hanging desk or bar top.

People really do think of everything, don’t they?

As someone who loves a good reason to procrastinate, I encourage you to share your own old car parts turned into automotive decor if you’ve got them. DIY or shopping small can really get us some cool household gems.

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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    2 Comments

    1. Love this! So creative.

    2. This is awesome! I just made an old muffler into a flower pot! I might try some of these next!

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