Recycled Paper Ceilings
Using paper products is a simple way of covering a ceiling. Not only are they common, but they are quick and easy to install.
Brown grocery sacks can be torn into small pieces and decoupaged to the ceiling to create a faux leather look. Use white glue or a craft glue designed for decoupage. Add two or more layers of clear poly or other clear finish for sealing.
Cardboard or wooden boxes with decorative motifs can be used as ceiling tiles. Pizza boxes often have cool, colorful designs. Staple or glue the boxes to the ceiling and run duct or gaffer's tape along the seams between rows in the boxes for a finished look.
Old magazine photos, comic art or other vintage paper goods can be used to decorate your ceiling. Pick a theme, such as vintage cars, cut out enough pictures to cover the ceiling and glue them down. Glue down a solid color paper background to fill gaps between pictures, and seal as for paper bags.
Recycled Metal Ceilings
Tin ceilings have been around for more than a century. Using recycled metal gives that same vintage feel.
Rusted corrugated metal attached to your ceiling gives a rustic look. Corrugated metal can be found on almost any farm, and many farmers will gladly pay you to haul it away. Use screws to attach the metal and be sure to locate ceiling joists to screw into.
Old metal advertising signs are another way to use recycled metal for ceilings. The colorful pictures and text gives it texture and visual interest. Choose signs from a specific industry or location to create a theme.
Find vintage ceiling tiles in a building that is being renovated or torn down. They are very popular, so expect to pay or barter something in exchange.
Recycled Wood Ceilings
Nail barn wood to your ceilings for genuine country flavor. With or without weathered paint, rugged antique wood has a rich texture and color that cannot be mimicked.
Pallet wood can be found for free in almost any large shopping center. Removing nails and staples may make it labor intensive, but it gives a similar feel to barn wood and is much easier to find.
Use old stockade fence pickets with the ends cut off for another source of easy-to-find and generally free wood for your ceiling. As with hanging metal, be sure to locate the joists and screw into them for the best results.