Shabby DIY Ideas For Decorating Stairs

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One of the next decorating projects that I have in store for our cabin is our two flights of unfinished wooden stairs.   I want to do something fun and unique, especially since this is for our rustic vacation space and not our home.  The usual carpet runner or stained finish would look nice but would be far too common for our relaxed and not so ordinary place of refuge.

Our railing is all natural logs, that we cut right from our property, so we want to finish decorating the stairs in a similar rustic fashion.  I have a few ideas in mind for decorating the risers with paint and stencils or a fun wallpaper pattern like birch bark.  I will then most likely use a coordinating color of paint or stain on the stair treads.

As I am mulling the ideas over in my mind, I am also perusing the web for other ideas so help spark my inspiration.  I was happy to find some wonderful and creative ideas for decorating stairs that are both shabby and a touch funky in style.

Here is what I found:

This first idea from Bees Knees Bungalow is an amazing idea.  Why not paint on a runner?  And, the added numbers are such a fun shabby chic touch.  I could see myself doing something similar to this at our cabin.  I’m picturing a few different scenarios to make it a little more rustic and whimsical for a cabin.  I might add numbers by attaching birch branches to form the digits or instead of having numbers, I may use a stencil to paint on different fish, flys, or hunting sports labels.

Here is a similar idea by Trendir.  Something like this would be fun to do with favorite quotes from a movie or book that would go with the theme of your space.  For our cabin, I’m thinking about my husband’s favorite movie, Jeremiah Johnson.  He and his good cabin friend from down the road are constantly reciting different parts of that movie!


Now…these rustic stairs are such a cool look, especially surrounded by all of the white!  This is a look I could definitely go for.  I would just have to majorly distress our wood and then stain it dark…it could work.

Another fun idea is this one using timbers by Tree Hugger.  I really like the look for an open staircase.  It’s probably a little more than what I would want to deal with for my own stair cases though.

Does anyone have any old yardsticks that they would like to donate?  I love this idea for the stair risers.  I was actually thinking along these lines for attaching sections of pallet wood or other old wood on the risers.  This is such a fun idea.

I just find these stairs inspiring!  It gets me thinking about what kind of wood I can possibly find to cover my stairs with.

Happy Decorating!

I'm addicted to crafting and decorating my downtown urban loft and up north rustic cabin. Read more about me.
  1. Way cool inspirations. My fav stair inspiration was where they painted them like old books. Like you, I can’t paint-paint but thought you could do the book titles using one of those cutting machines. (did you know that many scrapbook stores have those machines that you can use?)
    I went and found the stairs I was yakkin’ about so you could add it to your inspiration file.

    1. Thanks Tee! I absolutely LOVE that idea! I am a huge book fan anyway. Thanks for the tip on the cutting machine too :). I may just have to try that one!

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