Upcycled Lighting Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I have written about repurposed lighting ideas before from inspirations I found while shopping out and about in retail stores.  I haven’t written about upcycled lighting ideas, however, from my internet shopping trips!  There are so many fantastic ideas out there… several I would have NEVER even dreamt of that I thought I’d put together another fun round-up of these interesting and repurposed creations.

Let’s start with the Kitchen!  OK so these first two aren’t for everyone, but I love the ingenuity of both vintage finds. (I apologize but I lost the source for the strainer light.  If you know it, please leave a comment so I can add it!)

vintage bowl pendant

upcycled lighting ideas (11)

These are Repurposed Spoon Pendant lights by Designer Francois Legault.

upcycled lighting ideas (4)

I love these Mason Jar lights from Etsy.

mason jar lighting ideas (10)

This birdcage chandelier is one of my favorites from Design Sponge.

upcycled lighting ideas (6)

This shabby chic pendant light is made from a basket.

recycled basket lighting pendant

Love these!  They are globes turned pendent lamps!

upcycled lighting ideas (3)

Can you believe that this floor lamp is made out of plastic knives?

upcycled lighting ideas (5)

These fun DIY liquor bottle lamps have step by step instructions of Tip Junkie.

upcycled lighting ideas (7)

Is this repurposed telephone a good idea or bad idea?

upcycled lighting ideas (2)

I saved the most creative for last (well, most creative to me anyway).  This pendant lamp is made out of 1960’s plastic camping chairs!

upcycled lighting ideas (9)

I hope these upcycled lighting ideas inspired to you to make your own!  What would you upcycle into a lamp???

 

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin

by Dinah Wulf

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (8)

Every year for Christmas we get several yummy treats as gifts… it’s the best!  It seems, however, that every tasty indulgence comes in a tacky Christmas tin.  Why is that?  I love receiving these tins because they are so useful.  You can use them for organization in your pantry, craft room, office, or bathroom.  This time I received one that was the perfect size to hold my daughter’s crayons.  It is wide enough to show several colors at once, which seems to be important to my toddler.  Here is how I made a crayon holder out of a Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin.

Here is the BEFORE photo.

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (1)

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Christmas tin of your choice
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • Decorative Paper
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter
  • Ruler

This craft project is SO easy that I even had my daughter help me (I probably don’t even need to write a tutorial, but here it is anyway!).  After all, this was for her.  First, I let her choose the paper she wanted. Using a paper cutter or scissors, and a ruler to measure the tin, cut your paper to size.

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (2)

Using a paint brush, paint on a thin coat of Mod Podge or watered down glue.  Put your decorative paper on top.  Smooth out any air bubbles.  Paint another layer of Mod Podge over the top of the paper and allow it to dry completely (approximately 15 minutes).

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (3)

 

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (4)

Repeat this process to cover the rest of your container.

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (5)

I applied two coats.

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (6)

Here is another after photo.

Recycled Christmas Cookie Tin (7)

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials!

Upcycling Ideas for the Kitchen

by Dinah Wulf

Writing this blog, I see so many amazing and creative upcycling ideas.  Upcycling is when you take something old or unused and turn it into something more useful and beautiful.   It’s not a new idea by any means; rather I think it has become more of a fun a trend in today’s tough economy.   I’ve done my share of recycled craft projects but some people just amaze me with the things that they create.  Today, I wanted to focus specifically on upcycling ideas for the kitchen.

This if a fun idea from Sweet Something Design.  She turned a “hideous glitter tray” she found at a discount craft store, spray painted it a glossy white, and covered it with recycled bottle caps that she also spray painted in her favorite Summer time colors.  With a layer of acrylic water on top, she turned this unwanted tray into a fabulous serving tray.

Upcycling ideas for the kitchen (5)

Now this upcycling idea is pure genius.  I would have never thought of it.  This is a recycled child’s puzzle play mat turned into a kitchen mat from DIY Show Off.  With a little primer, paint, and creativity, she created New Orleans poster inspired kitchen floor mat.

Upcycling ideas for the kitchen (2)

Oh how I wish I had the source for this one!  I found this on Pinterest a long time ago, saved the picture, and lost the source. L  If anyone knows, please leave a comment to I can give them credit!  This is an old cabinet door turned into a lovely menu board!  Who wouldn’t want this in their kitchen???

Upcycling ideas for the kitchen (3)

A fabulous idea from Life Hacker, this is an old fence turned kitchen peg board!

Upcycled Kitchen Peg Board

OK, here’s another one I lost the source for!! I feel horrible.  Again, please let me know if this one is yours!  This upcycled lighting idea is unique FOR SURE and I can’t picture it in any other room BUT the kitchen.  They are colorful vintage colanders turned chandelier!

Upcycling ideas for the kitchen (1)

Fun fun fun!  This next piece of inspiration is from The Crafted Sparrow.  Turn that jar of pennies sitting in your closet into fabulous kitchen wall art!

Upcycling ideas for the kitchen (4)

So many ideas, so little time.  Hope you enjoyed my favorite upcycling ideas for the kitchen!

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials! In case you missed them!

Craft Room Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Craft Room Makeover

We moved into this house in February of this year and we never used the office.  I housed all my craft supplies in the closet, and had an old desk, filing cabinet, and office chair in it but that was it. So this year when my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to turn the office into a craft room.   I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my reveal and put together some helpful craft room ideas.

Here is the room before with a picture of the closet.

Craft Room Before (1)

 

Craft Room Before (2)

Eventually, I would like to do some more garage sale and thrift store shopping and refurbish some furniture to add (that’s why you can’t see the right side of the room…. Ha!), however to start the organization process, IKEA had an explosion in this room.  We bought the shelving and craft table there, as well as the blue metal kitchen cart I used for my sewing machine and fabric. If you look at the first picture above you can see the bar stools I upcycled as well.  Here’s a close up of the kitchen cart.

kitchen cart sewing storage

I loved this table because it had extra storage in the legs.

Craft table with storage

I also organized the drawers according to materials.

Craft Room Drawers

I added wire baskets from the dollar bins at Target for added storage as well.

Craft Room Organization

The DIY colored glass Mason Jars I made were perfect to organize the items I use all the time and made them easily accessible.

Craft Room Organization Recycled Jars

I hung a magnetic board on the side of the shelving unit and added little magnets to small plastic bottles to store some notions and small beads.

Craft room magnetic board storage

On the top of my shelving unit, I displayed my white frame, a free curb side score.

Craft Room Storage Ideas

I also placed my repurposed spice rack up there…

Recycled spice jar storage

And I used some glass containers and made some recycled craft jars filled with DIY necessities to display on top (both pretty and useful).

Glass Jar Craft Storage

On the unfinished side of the room I hung my craft organization board I made from a free, unwanted, and ugly painting I found.

DIY Organization Board

Lastly, I hung a little inspiration from a Blogger Socal Social I attended.  It was part of my swag bag!  It says, “Your spark can be a flame and change everything” by E.D. Nixon.

Craft Room Inspiration

 

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Free Curb Side Pick Up

by Dinah Wulf

Free Curb Side Pick Up (1)

The frame you see here was a free curb side pickup.  It was left unwanted alongside of a few other frames I picked up in my friend’s neighborhood.  I made a craft organization board with another one.  When I first had an interest in literally turning trash to treasure, I was hesitant in dumpster diving.  It just seemed… well… gross.  I also felt maybe a little ashamed?  Now not so much! I don’t mind it all.  If it’s free, I just saved some money and I scored!  Now, instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed, I will literally jump for joy.

Trash to Treasure Frame (2)

When I first saw this frame, I immediately knew I wanted to paint it white…kind of go the shabby chic route.  The first thing I did was clean it.  That is one thing you have to watch out for when picking up someone else’s trash.  It may look good on the surface, but look for damage, bugs, rot, mold, etc.  Smell it.  That’s right.  Smell it.  Make sure there are no funky odors, especially furniture with fabric.  If you’re clear of these things, throw it in the back of your car.

Trash to Treasure Frame (3)

Next, I set it on a protective surface to paint it.  It would have been a lot easier and faster if I spray painted it, but I already had white paint and, well, I’m cheap.  I applied two coats, allowing it to dry in between coats.  I didn’t make it perfect because of my shabby chic idea.  I thought about sanding it and make it look worn, but I stopped and thought it looked just fine.

Trash to Treasure Frame (1)

Now, this once homeless frame is in my craft room.  It sits on top of my storage book case on display to simply look pretty!

Free Curb Side Pick Up (2)

 

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Recycled Craft Jars

by Dinah Wulf

Recycled Craft Jars (9)

OK, I’m not going to lie.  Sometimes I purchase things because of the packaging.  If I know I can reuse things, I feel like I get my money’s worth.  That’s what initially attracted me to Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Ketchup.  OK, the packaging was a bonus but I also liked that the ketchup is an all-natural healthy alternative to the average commodity ketchup… much better for my little Mia!  It has half the sugar and half the sodium of regular ketchup!  So, after I used up my jars (BTW, I used it in my turkey and vegetable meatloaf…. And it was amazing), I decided to turn them into Recycled Craft Jars for my new craft room (that post coming soon).

Recycled Craft Jars (2)

Here is what you’ll need:

First, I cleaned out my jars (a regular and mini… so cute and perfect for glamping).

Recycled Craft Jars (3)

Next, I cut out an old book page to fit around the existing label; two inches wide for the regular jar and one inch wide for the mini jar.

Recycled Craft Jars (4)

I also covered the regular sized jar with some decorative ribbon.

Recycled Craft Jars (6)

Using a circle craft punch, I cut out a circle for the lid and attached it with double sided tape.  I didn’t cover the mini jar because the knob I chose has a base that covers the label perfectly.

Recycled Craft Jars (5)

After the top is covered, drill a hole in the center of the lid.

Recycled Craft Jars (7)

Insert your drawer knob.

Recycled Craft Jars (8)

Ta Dah!  Super adorable recycled craft jars or anything jars!  I used mine for beads and straight pins. I have made these before with Mason Jars and they make the perfect candy jar and gift.

Recycled Craft Jars (1)

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Top 15 Recycled Crafts and Projects of 2012

by Dinah Wulf

It is so tough to figure out what the top projects are for the 2012, especially when you have to sort through over 200 posts I wrote this year!  I ended up narrowing them down specifically to recycled, repurposed, or upcycled projects.  All of these got a lot of love from social media.  They have been liked, shared, pinned, tweeted, emailed, stumbled upon, you name it!  Here are my Top 15 Recycled Crafts and Projects of 2012. Enjoy!

Top 15 Recycled Craft and Projects of 2012

  1. A quick and easy project, this Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow is an inexpensive way to add style to your outdoor patio furniture.
  2. Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping out of recycled grocery bags is the way to go for any occasion.
  3. There are several tutorials out there for this one!  Here is the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to make DIY Colored Glass.
  4. I found these night stands for $5.00 each!  Here is how I Refurbished Garage Sale Night Stands.
  5. What do you do with all those fabulous cards you receive every year in your mailbox?  Recycle them of course into a Recycled Christmas Card Ornament. This craft was re-pinned over 500 times and counting on Pinterest!
  6. Another steal for five bucks, here is a fun Garage Sale Bench Makeover I made by adding a cushion and pretty fabric.
  7. A SUPER inexpensive way to add flair to your guest room, here is how I made Shoe Box Lid Wall Art out of old shoe box lids and stencils.
  8. A popular retail wreath that you can no longer buy was circulating through social media this year.  Here is my version of a Recycled Book Page Butterfly Wreath.
  9. From an old iron plant hanger I found in a garbage pile, I made this Repurposed Plant Hanger chandelier for my daughter’s bedroom.
  10. Another super easy and fun way to recycle those old Christmas cards is to make Repurposed Bottle Cap Magnets out of them!
  11. You know you drink out of those plastic water bottles all the time! Make Recycled Water Bottle Flowers to embellish gifts or other craft projects.
  12. This is a fun macramé tutorial I did to make a Recycled Mason Jar Lantern that is perfect for your back yard or patio.
  13. Another fun water bottle project, make these Recycled Water Bottle Butterflies, a project easy enough for the kids to do.
  14. This little sucker is pretty darn sturdy and has still lasted this whole year.  Here is how to make a Recycled Magazine Bowl.
  15. I reused an old painting I no longer loved and my daughter’s first baby blanket to make a Recycled Painting Organization Board.

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials! In case you missed them!

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Metal File Cabinet Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

Today I have the honor of sharing an amazing metal file cabinet transformation done by Barbara from Chase The Star.  Here is her tutorial for her metal file cabinet makeover.

Witten By Barbara from Chase The Star

I’m all about bringing out of the box ideas to fruition, on the cheap!

My most recent attempt at this came in the form of old run of the mill file cabinet that had been sitting in my hall closet, for um, ever!  At least 6 years, I kid you not.  Worst of all it was empty!  Sadly I stacked stuff on top, but kept nothing in it.  Not practical or smart considering that my son’s video games were in desperate need of a home.

If you’ve visited Chase the Star at any time, you’ll know I’m not one to leave well enough alone, like ever.  A black metal file cabinet would’ve fit in the playroom just fine.  But ‘just fine’ ain’t gonna cut it!

Take a look at what he looked like before:

{Sad and lonely}

I don’t have too much experience working with metals so this was a new endeavor for me.  However, I knew that I wanted blue and I wanted chevron, and that would be easy with a couple of cans of spray paint and a lot of patience!

 Luckily I had all of the materials I needed, just had to pick up a can of Rustoleum Ultra Cover in Lagoon and a skinny vanilla iced latte from Starbucks to get started.

After wiping the cabinet down with a damp cloth, and removing the drawers and the casters, I added a coat of the pretty blue (Lagoon) to the entire cabinet shell (making sure to tape the inside rim).

As that was drying I started the tedious task of taping out the chevron pattern on the drawers.  This was done free-hand which took a little longer, in retrospect; I would’ve printed out a pattern to follow.

After a couple of coats of white spray paint, I peeled off the tape and had an almost perfect chevron print!  ‘Almost’ works for me!

Painted the drawer pulls the same blue by screwing them in to an old (and overly painted on) piece of cardboard so they’d sit still!

Once everything was dry I added the casters and the drawer pulls back on and wound up with this ultra- cool almost retro looking cabinet for the playroom!

{Happy!}

Even after working on about a trillion spray paint projects, it never ceases to amaze me how it can easily transform almost anything!

If you happen to have an old metal cabinet, don’t get rid of it because it doesn’t fit in to your space, take a can of spray paint and make it special!

 

DIY Craft Organization Board

by Dinah Wulf

This painting I found was in a pile of unwanted garage sale items about to hit the trash.  Lucky for me, I was able to salvage a few of them before their journey to the garbage dump and ultimate demise. I am re-doing my office into a craft room…yay… and wanted to turn this old painting into a craft organization board.  I made an organization board for my daughter’s room with an old painting and her first baby blanket, but for this one, I wanted to make it a little different.  With a little tender loving care I literally turned this piece of trash into my treasure.

Here is a Before and After shot.

Materials You May Need:

  • Old Painting (best if it’s free!)
  • Paint or spray paint in the color of choice
  • Paint brush
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  • Material (amount depends on the size of the frame)
  • Ribbon
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer and nails (depending on frame)
  • Pliers
  • Imagination (this one is free too!)

Step One: Disassemble your frame.

For this particular frame the canvas popped right out.  It was nailed to the frame, so I had to carefully remove the nails.  At this point I cleaned both the canvas and frame as best as I could.

Step Two: Paint your frame.

This frame has a fun natural fiber edge to it (score!) so I had to use painter’s tape to protect the edges.  I used left over paint I had from other projects. Otherwise, I would have spray painted it because it would have been easier and faster.  I applied two coats of paint.

Step Three: Cover the canvas.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I covered the canvas with some utility fabric that I bought using a staple gun.  I added a pocket for extra storage, and ribbon as well.  I played around with the ribbon until I got my desired pattern.  I attached the ribbon using the staple gun as well.

Step Four: Reassemble the frame.

For this particular frame, I had to nail the canvas back onto the frame.

Here are a few After photos.

 

That’s it!  This project was so fun for me, and now I have a fun piece for my new craft room! Sneak peek coming soon!

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Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow

by Dinah Wulf

Flea Market Coffee Bean Sacks

I purchased these coffee bean sacks from a flea market a while ago.  They have been sitting in my craft closet just waiting to be transformed.  Ever since we remodeled our patio, I knew I wanted to make this Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow.  I knew it would look fabulous on my new outdoor furniture.  It also helps that the wood looked perfectly refinished thanks to Teak Master.  Here is how it turned out.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (1)

So, you know my issues with sewing.  So here is the spot where I make a disclaimer… since I’m not confident in my sewing skills, this is not a tutorial (in my head anyway), it’s rather a post showing you how I made this.  I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong.  I just know how I happen to make it!

First I cut out the area of the coffee bean sack that I wanted to showcase.  I cut it about an inch and a half wider and longer than my pillow.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (2)

I pinned it inside out using straight pins.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (3)

I broke out my sewing machine and… yep… you guessed it… sewed in a straight line, leaving an opening for the pillow.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (4)

I turned the pillow case right side out and inserted the pillow.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (5)

Next, I pinned the opening to make it easier to hand stitch.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (6)

Finally I hand stitched it closed.  The beauty of working with a burlap sack is that you can’t really notice the hand stitching.

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (7)

Voila!  Now you have a fun Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Pillow!  Here are some after photos.

Burlap Sack Pillow

 

Recycled Coffee Bean Sack Outdoor Pillow (8)

If you need some tips on how to care for burlap, I have a few for you!

Here are some more fun trash to treasure ideas and tutorials!

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DIY Colored Glass Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

Since I have done so many mason jar crafts, I have always wanted to try DIY Colored Glass.  I searched the web and found some great tutorials, but as always found my favorite one and tweaked it a little. I love these jars because they are so pretty and useful at the same time.  You can use them for craft, kitchen, or bathroom storage.  You can also use them as centerpieces with flowers.  Here is my version of the DIY Colored Glass Tutorial with some tips and tricks along the way.

Step One:

Gather your materials.

You will need:

  • Recycled glass jars (sauces, pickles, dressings, etc)
  • Water
  • Craft glue
  • Food coloring (I used neon because that is what I had, but regular food coloring works well too)
  • Glass ramekins
  • Spoons
  • Wax paper
  • Cookie sheet
  • Paper towel
  • Oven

Step Two:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line your cookie sheet with wax paper.

Step Three:

Add the ingredients to the ramikins (approximately)

  • 2 tablespoons of glue
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Step Four:

Mix your ingredients thoroughly.  You don’t want the mixture too thick because it will be too hard to cover the glass, and you don’t want it too watery because it will create streaks.  The consistency is similar to Alfredo sauce (that’s the best way for me to describe it)!  Also, because you are using such a small amount of glue and water, you only need one or two drops of food coloring depending on the desired color.

Step Five:

Pour the mixture into your glass and slowly tilt and twirl the jar until the entire jar is covered.

Step Six:

Allow the excess to drip back into the ramekin.  I was able to color two jars with each mixture.

Step Seven:

Place the jars upside down on a wax lined cookie sheet and allow the liquid to drain.  If you notice streaks, your mixture was too thin.  You can start over at this point (without rinsing) and cover the glass again with a new and thicker mixture (I know this from experience)!

Step Eight:

Once your jars are drained, remove the wax paper and wipe the edge of the rim with a wet paper towel.  Be careful not to wipe off the inside of the rim.

Step Nine:

Place the jars upright onto the cookie sheet and place them in the oven.  Let them cure for 45 minutes to one hour.

Handle with care when removing them from the oven.  Once they are cool you can use mason jars for so many things including craft storage or flower vases.

Note: The tutorials that I read said that you can put water in them for flowers, however I found this not to be the case!  Flowers with no water? No problem.   I personally use them for craft storage such as paint brushes, colored pencils, scissors, rulers, markers, etc. Here are some fabulous suggestions from DIY Inspired Facebook friends!

” I just created a girls gift, and put in the jar an entire nail polish kit.” –  Manon Roderick

“Christmas lights make a cute night lite.” – Nicki Etheridge

“Colored hanging tea lights, centerpieces, and potpourri pedal holders. My wife suggested filling them with Jewels, stones, seashells and making them into a lamp base.” – Chris Carl

“Pad the top to make it a pin cushion and inside the jar could be a sewing kit. You can use them as candle holders (attach a glass taper candle holder to the bottom so it has a base). Use them as a vase with coordinating colored flowers in them. Put a slot in the top and make it a pretty bank.” – Frugal Sally

“My momma just converted several of her “old blue glass” ones into functioning oil lamps…they’re great!!!” – Heather Mueller

“We are putting bath salts in them.” – Hope E Barker, Photos Of Hope

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Book Folding Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

I am so excited to share one of my favorite tutorials from Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box.  This book folding art is a great way to upcycle an old book.

Written By Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box

Here’s a new craft idea I learned it’s called book folding. I occasionally saw it in store displays and I found it fascinating.  I could never figure out how they made them, then a couple of days ago I took a class and they showed me how it was done. It can be a very tedious job and mind numbing, but the outcome can be fantastic. I use them as decorations on my dining room table and on my fireplace mantle. They are so easy to make and convenient if you find yourself hating the idea of throwing a book away. I love to read and throwing a book away should never be an option. So here is a great way to keep using those books you no longer want or you can go purchase bargain books at your local bookstore. I love all my books and I just can’t see myself damaging them so purchasing $1 books is the next best thing.

Here I did a simple folding which is just folding the pages in half in the same direction. It’s so easy to make! It only took me about 15 min, but it depends on how many pages the book contains. I would like to mention that a book with 600 pages would be too difficult to manage. The first picture on the page was made with a book of 600 pages, but I had to rip out the last 50 pages because the pages started to rip at the top while folding and the book became very heavy.

Now I am going to show you a very simple fold that has a dramatic effect.

Step 1: First, you want to start with using a paperback book. Tear off both covers from the spine.

Step 2: Fold the first page into a triangle.

Step 3: On the following page, fold the top part to form a 90 degree triangle.

Step 4: Again make a triangle on the next page.

Step 5: Now do a 90 degree triangle from the bottom of the following page.

Step 6: Keep alternating and repeating the pattern until you get to the end of the book.

You can make different pattern depending on the fold of the page. The sky is the limit. I hope you have fun with it. Please do post your pic of what you came up with.

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

Refurbished Garage Sale Night Stands

by Dinah Wulf

On the same garage sale trip I found my bench I posted recently, I found these two night stands for… you’ll never believe this… $5.00 each!!! What?? I know!  All I knew was that it has great bones and would be a good trash to treasure project, it didn’t smell, there were no major scratches or dents, and the lady was coo coo.  Just kidding about that last part but I seriously couldn’t believe that I walked away with three great pieces for $15.00.  Anywho, here is how I made my refurbished garage sale night stands.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Thrift store or garage sale night stands in need of some love
  • Sander (I used both block and electric, but just block is fine)
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Hardware (optional)
  • Screwdriver
  • Clean cloth
  • Time
  • Read this to find out if you need primer

The first thing I did was removed the hardware and sanded it.  I used a hand block sander for hard to reach areas, and used an electrical sander for the larger areas like the top and the shelf.  Next, I cleaned the sucker.  It obviously had not been cleaned in a long time, perhaps left lonely and unattended in a garage. There were caked on gooey stains, but nothing that couldn’t be easily removed.

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Once they were clean and dry, I painted them with the left over paint I had from re-painting my guest room.  I used two coats.  I had to order the new handles online because the average size these days is either 3” or 4”.  These were 3.5”.  If you’d rather not order new handles online, you can always putty the holes and drill new ones.  I screwed in my new hardware when they arrived in the mail and I was done!  Here are some more after pictures.

 

Recycled T Shirt Bunting

by Dinah Wulf

I wanted to spruce up my mantle for the holidays so I decided to make a Thanksgiving banner.  Naturally, I wanted to use recycled materials so I found an old wrinkled cotton T shirt in my husband’s side of the closet (my side is neat and tidy of course!).  There was a huge stain on the front right on the chest so this was perfect for my recycled T shirt bunting.

Here are the materials you will need:

  • Old clothing item
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paper (to make your flag pattern)
  • Iron
  • Spray starch
  • Fabric paint
  • Spouncer
  • Stencils
  • Ribbon or rope
  • Hot glue

Instructions:

Step One: Grab and old T shirt or any other piece of clothing.  Feel free to play with colors and textures.

Step Two: Make your flag pattern.  I used a piece of cardstock (8”X6”).  It’s easiest to start with a rectangle, measure the center of one end, and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the center mark for both sides and cut.

Step Three: Cut out your flags.  I chose to spell out “Give Thanks”.

Step Four: Lay out your flags to iron and spray it with starch.

Step Five: Iron your flags.

Step Six: Stencil your letters using a spouncer.  I chose green my favorite color!  Check out my stenciling tips I from my stenciled place mat project. You can purchase these stencils online.

Step Seven: Allow your letters to dry and then hot glue each flag to your rope.  I bought 3 yards of rope they had on sale for the holidays and cut it in half.  It was perfect for my recycled T shirt banner!

Here are some AFTER photos.

I took these during the day…

 

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Shoe Box Lid Clock

by Dinah Wulf

I recently painted my guest room and I wanted to add some DIY wall art so I decided to recycle some shoe boxes and make shoe box lid wall art instead of buying paint canvases from the craft store.  For one of them, I thought I’d turn into a clock using a clock kit from a craft store.   You can turn practically anything into a clock!  Consider using other recycled items like books or paintings.  Here is how I made a shoe box lid clock.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Shoe box lid
  • Craft Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Stencils
  • Spouncers (sponge stencil brush)
  • Clock Kit
  • Drill

I started off by choosing my color pallet and laying out my shoe box lid and painted it with two coats.  Allow it to dry in between coats.  It dries fairly quickly (approximately 15 minutes).  Using stencils and spouncers, I added my design by carefully saturating the tip of the brush, removing some excess, and stamping the paint down onto the stencil in an up and down motion.  This helps prevent bleeding.  Allow the box to dry in between stencils if you are using more than one.

Next, drill a hole into that area you want your center of your clock to be.  Follow the directions on your clock kit.  Typically you put the hour hand first, the minute hand second, and the second hand last. Add a battery.   Viola!  There you have it!

I ended up hanging my shoe box lid clock with a thumbtack among other lids that I painted.  You can add rubber putty at the tip of your thumbtack to prevent slipping.

Here are some more after photos.

 

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Garage Sale Bench Makeover

by Dinah Wulf

Here is my story about the best trash to treasure garage sale bench makeover ever.  Two weekends ago I got a call from my best friend.  It went something like this:

  • Jen: I just dropped Tiff off at school and am stopping at this garage sale.
  • Me: Ooooh is it any good?
  • Jen: Let me call you back.

<vibrate vibrate> (I never have my ringer on anymore these days)

  • Me: Well?
  • Jen: She’s moving and needs to sell everything this weekend.  She said she’d give you a good deal!
  • Me: I’m putting on my shoes! Text me the address!

In 5 minutes, we were out the door and my daughter was in her car seat.  It was the best garage sale I’d been to in a while.  A lot of stuff for cheap!  I walked away with two side tables and a bench for $15 total!!  I didn’t even have to haggle.  Yeah, I thought she was nuts too but I didn’t argue.

I had no idea what color to do so I posted it on my Facebook page.  I got a ton of great feedback but for some reason I still couldn’t choose. All I knew was that I wanted to add a cushion and upholster it on top.   I decided to go to the fabric store and stare at all the upholstery fabrics until one jumped out at me and I found this fabulous print that happen to match.

Side note: Please let me tell you that if you have a toddler, going to the fabric store to pick out something that is not yet decided is no easy feat.   The entire time I was there my daughter was running up and down the aisles, throwing yarn in the air and yelling out the wrong colors. Put her in the cart you say? Yeah right…

Also, because I am SO CHEAP I went back to the store 3 times on three different days, so that I could use a coupon for each item I bought.  What? It saved me $15! It was totally worth it.  I already had all the other supplies I needed from past projects so technically, this entire makeover cost me $20.00 including the bench! Woot woot!

Before I go on, here are the materials you need:

  • Bench
  • Spray paint
  • High density craft foam
  • Scissors
  • Yardstick
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun and staples

I first attempted to clean the bench and started wiping it down.  But the second a giant spider ran out and attacked me I decided to take this sucker outside and hose it off.  With the highest stream setting on my nozzle, I hosed it down and let it air dry outside.

After the bench dried, I spray painted it red.  I loved the original color and it matched my fabric, so I touched it up with some red spray paint with primer.

Meanwhile, using a ruler, pencil, and the best scissors ever, I cut some high density craft foam to fit over the top of my bench.

I also cut and measured my fabric.

I laid the foam on top of the center of my fabric and laid the bench on top upside down once it was dry.

Using a stable gun and heavy duty staples, I began pulling the fabric taught and stapling it to the bench.  The corners were a bit tricky, but with a little maneuvering and folding, I was able to make the sides look neat.

Here are a couple after photos.

That’s it!  I’m pretty proud of my $20 garage sale bench makeover that will go perfectly in my guest room at the foot of the bed! The best part is that I saw a smaller plain wood bench in a catalog for $149.00!

For more repurposing ideas and trash to treasure ideas, check out this fun round-up of garage sale and thrift store transformations! There are over two dozen original projects I have done including housewares and furniture transformations.

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