Upcycled Sweaters

by Dinah Wulf

Spring it here!!! It’s time to put away all those winter sweaters, or in my world upcycle them!  Upcycling is taking something old and repurposing it into something new.  As you may (or may not) know, I love promoting Etsy handmade sellers because I respect their craft and I just think it’s amazing all the ideas that these talented folks come up with. Here are a few of my favorite items for sale that are currently on Etsy.  All of them are hand-crafted from upcycled sweaters… so awesome AND eco-chic (hey, that’s a new term I am officially coining today)!

These cupcake pin cushions made out of felted wool sweaters are a must have for every crafter.  Complete with a cherry on top, it doubles as an ornament too!

I found some SUPER cozy pillows from Pams Warm Creations and Fancy Marmot.

Spring also means Spring cleaning and organizing!  Check out these adorable upcycled hangers made from wool and cashmere by Folk City.  What a great idea!

I don’t care how nice it is outside, every cup of coffee needs this eco-friendly coffee cup cozy made out of vintage upcycled sweaters.

Display your Spring flowers in this clever sweater vase made out of the sleeve of a vintage sweater.

And last but not least, just in time for Easter, the Easter bunny is bound to fill up this eco-friendly sweater Easter basket full of goodies made by Seasons of Wool.

 

Repurposed Mailbox Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

So, our new house is coming along.  We’ve been doing a lot of small things like changing light fixtures, cleaning carpets, and updating the old mailbox.  Here is a picture of the old one.

My husband, for some reason hated this mailbox.  Probably because it still had the old owner’s names engraved in it.  So we decided to replace it.  Ta Da!

Although plain and simple, to us it’s much better!  On a side note, if you decide to replace your mailbox, don’t get a plastic mount, spend the extra five bucks for and get a metal one.  The plastic one is not secure enough… at all!

Anyway, after replacing the mailbox, I thought it’d be cute to put a little one by my daughter’s playhouse outside.  Along the way I found some cute inspiring ideas for repurposing mailboxes that I had to share them.

This playroom mailbox is absolutely adorable.  Posted by I Am Momma Hear Me Roar, I can’t think of a better way to repurpose an old mailbox!

Another Play Room Organization idea; one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy featured this one.

How cute are these Personalized Mail Boxes by fellow bloggers, Anderson Family Crew???  These would be so cute for Valentine’s Day or organization for a little girl’s room.

Lastly, I love this idea for a wedding; an old tin mailbox for all the cards and gift cards.  It’s so simple and beautiful!

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And the winner is… SABRINA!!! Thank you to all who entered the Simply Spray giveaway!! For those of you who haven’t, “like” Simply Spray on Facebook and they will donate a $1 to Project Linus!

 

Flea Market and Thrift Store Finds

by Dinah Wulf

I have written a prior post on some of my flea market finds.  Since then, I have had some other great Flea Market and Thrift Store Finds that I wanted to share with you.

For me, I find a thrill in flea market and thrift store shopping.  I love the hunt for a great deal on new old things and even a bigger thrill in creative ways to repurpose some of them.  Here are a few of my new old finds.

I scored when I found this old carpenter’s tool box.  I see these all the time, but they are usually sixty to one hundred dollars for one this size.  I found it in a lonely corner for twenty bucks at the Long Beach Antique swap meet.  I use it in my living room to store extra blankets and fabric collected from all over the world.

Antique blue Ball jars are highly collectable. I got a great deal on this one for five dollars at a Junk in the Trunk flea market.  I use it as a memory jar to hold concert tickets, hotel keys, and the like.

Mercury glass is timeless and matches any type of décor style.  I found these two candle pillars for six dollars at a local Salvation Army.

There is a humor in vintage ads.  Frame them in a modern frame and you have a great piece of art (I thnk I need to add a mat to this though).

OK, this isn’t a flea market or thrift store find; rather it is an ice pick that has been in my husband’s family for generations.  You can, however find these at flea markets and antique stores.  I LOVE this piece, and I think for the past decade or so, it has been repurposed into a paper towel holder (right, Jolene?).

Another Salvation Army score, I found this pedestal table for the low low price of sixty-five dollars! Yay me! Pedestal tables are classic and match several types of décor styles.  I’m thinking of painting this one a vibrant color…not sure yet. Any suggestions?

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Reminder: ENTER TO WIN free Simply Spray Fabric Spray Paint to upcycle your flea market finds! The winner will be announced next week!

Don’t forget to vote for us for the Top 25 Creative Mom Blogs! You can vote once a day.  The contest ends on TODAY! Thank you! Just click here!

 

Recycled T Shirt Scrap Skirt

by Dinah Wulf

My little one LOVES to play dress up.

She’ll wear hats…sometimes more than one at a time.

She doesn’t discriminate on the TYPE of hat…

She loves sunglasses and purses…

She loves scarves…

She even wears fairy wings with her PJ’s around the house…

During my spring cleaning, I always bring out a couple boxes.  One for things I would donate and one for things I need to throw away. I noticed I had a ton of cheap (but colorful) old shirts that I was throwing away.

I decided to make a skirt that my daughter can wear to play dress up with. This project took no time at all.  This Recycled T Shirt Scrap Skirt doesn’t need to be perfect because it’s just for play and it’s very easy and inexpensive to make.

I purchased four child sized head bands at the dollar store for one whole dollar.

Simply place one headband around a large round vase or can.

Cut your recycled T-shirts at the desired length.  I cut different lengths.

One by one fold each scrap in half lengthwise and tie them in a knot around your headband as shown.

Here’s a picture of one of my daughter’s best friends playing dress up with it.

Try different colors, patterns, and fabrics.  The possibilities are endless.  You can use the same tutorial with tulle, to create a tutu as well!

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Don’t forget to vote for us for the Top 25 Creative Mom Blogs! You can vote once a day.  The contest ends on March 15th! Thank you! Just click here!

 

 

Places To Go: Arenbeology

by Dinah Wulf

My family and I were out one day shopping in Costa Mesa.  While in route, I almost caused a car accident because I saw a sign on the side of the road that said, “100% Reclaimed Wood”, and yelled out for my husband to stop. Being used to this, he pulled over without question.

The sign led us to a small shop in what looked like an office complex. Outside, on this sunny Sunday afternoon, were several pieces of gorgeous furniture.  As my husband and daughter waited in the car, I went inside to check out more.

I can sum up this experience in three words, I WANTED EVERYTHING.  The shop, Arenbeology embodied my motto, “Repurpose, Reinvent.” I briefly met a few friendly faces, Ryan Jestin, the Owner and his employee, Ted who invited me to look further at the look book sitting at this beautifully crafted dining table.  They both explained that anything can be custom made based on your specifications and that each piece was unique and made from local reclaimed wood from old warehouses and other buildings in California. The pictures shown are some of my favorite pieces on their website.

If you are lucky enough to live locally in Southern California, here is some information.

  • Open Saturdays 10:30-4, Sundays 12-4
  • Open on weekdays by appt.
  • 3303 Harbor Blvd Unit K4
  • Costa Mesa, CA 92626
  • Phone: (714) 812-6772

If not, feel free to visit their website here.

 

 

Repurposed Spice Rack

by Dinah Wulf

The other day I was doing some spring cleaning and purging. Although I feel like I’m ALWAYS cleaning, I noticed a little bit of dust on my spice rack.  Then it dawned on me.  I have had that spice rack for over five years and I have NEVER used it.  Why do I have a feeling that many of you can relate?  Anyway, here it is. Even in the picture you can see how full they are!

Naturally, my next step was to Google “shelf life of spices”. I came across some interesting links. After a little research, I found out and answered the following questions:

1. Are your spices older than three years old? YES

2. Have they lost their color? YES

3. Have they lost their aroma? YES

4. Do you even know what the heck some of them are used for? NO

There you have it… time to get rid of it. Just kidding! Being the hoarder that I am, I could never throw it away! I would repurpose it; but into what? I looked around my craft room and found two containers and two drawers of craft items that I thought would fit perfectly.

I dumped out each container.

And washed and dried each bottle.

My beads, shells, stickers, pins, charms, and the like are all now organized in one place and can easily be seen! Here are some pictures of my repurposed spice rack.

 

 

 

Simple Ways to Reuse and Repurpose

by Dinah Wulf

Simple Ways to Reuse and Repurpose

Did you know…

  • Large oatmeal canisters are the perfect size to hold 2 rolls of toilet paper? Cover it up with decorative scrapbook paper to match your bathroom to make the perfect, but necessary hiding place.
  • Pringles cans are the perfect size to store cookies. Pretty it up with wrapping paper and ribbon and there you have the perfect hostess gift.
  • An old rake can add some rustic charm and be used to hold wine glasses in your kitchen, jewelry in your bedroom, or tools in your garden. Photo Source: BHG

  • Coffee mug racks make handy accessory and jewelry racks.  Spray paint it a fun bold color and it doubles as art.
  • A spice rack can be repurposed to hold beads or small notions for a craft room.  How many of us have one of these and NEVER use the spices? I don’t even know what half of them are!
  • Drawer pulls can be mounted on your wall to cleverly and decoratively hang picture frames with twine or ribbon. Photo Source: Pottery Barn

  • Old plates and glasses (or candlesticks) can be converted into cute cake stands.  Simply adhere the two with epoxy and spray paint it the desired color.  If you paint the platter, make sure you place a napkin on top with unwrapped food to make it food safe.
  • On old plate stand can be used for extra storage in your bathroom for your toiletries and makeup.

  • The clips from plastic pant hangers make perfect chip clips.
  • Old dresser drawers can be repurposed into shelves. Paint them a fun color and add wall paper inside.
  • An unused magazine file holder can be used in your pantry to hold and organize (vertically) foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, etc.

  • An old wall mounted magazine rack can be used to hold extra towels in your bathroom or guest room.
  • You can drip old candle wax into a bottle cap and add a wick for an instant tea light.
  • This one’s for the kiddos… you can cut bubble wrap in large squares and write each number with a black sharpie to create bubble wrap hopscotch!

 

Repurposed Kitchen Inspiration

by Dinah Wulf

My motto is, “Repurpose, Reinvent.” (If you haven’t noticed ;))

I thought I’d put together some of my favorite repurposed kitchen ideas from some of my favorite websites.

A website I peruse often is Apartment Therapy.  They have countless inventive and creative ideas.  Check out this repurposed IKEA shoe rack turned pot holder and this salvaged card drawer turned kitchen storage.

Here are some repurposed fruit crates for shelving and storage from Poetic Home. I love the idea of displaying canned preserves in old mason jars as opposed to hiding them in the cupboard.

Anyone know where I can get truck springs? Check out these fabulous repurposed truck springs as bar or counter stools from House Beautiful. It reminds me of something from the Picker Sisters.

Card catalogues are popular. Also from Poetic Home, a card catalogue for kitchen utensils has enough compartments to store your knives, forks, spoons, serving utensils, napkins, and more!

Although not necessarily repurposed, this upcycled and salvaged dish rack from Country Living is beautiful.

I found this repurposed newsstand into a plate rack from a great blog, Craft Journal.

This cut idea from Better Homes and Gardens is simple and unique.  Consider adding a magnet to the back and hanging them on your refrigerator.

 

Wine Crate Shelves

by Dinah Wulf

A few posts ago I wrote asking for help on recycled wine crate ideas.  I FINALLY thought of something!

But first, as a recap, I’ve had these wine crates from a Wine Tasting Bridal Shower that I did.  You can get wine crates from any specialty wine store.  Oftentimes they are free or some stores sell them for about five dollars apiece.

Materials:

  • 3 Wine Crates
  • Stain (optional)
  • Polyurethane (Optional)
  • Paint Brush (Optional)
  • Rag (Optional)
  • Four ¼” 20X36” Threaded Rods
  • Eight ¼” Cap Nuts
  • 24 ¼” Flat Washers
  • Knob

Here are the wine crates before.

As you can see here, there were white sticker labels on some of them.

To remove stickers from unfinished wood, apply heat directly with a hairdryer, peel, and voila! No sticker!

As most wine crates are made out of unfinished wood, I wanted to darken them a little with stain to give them a weathered look.  I purchased a sample from a hardware store for less than three dollars.  To do this, I first sanded and rough spots with 150-grit sand paper.

Next, I applied the stain with a paint brush. Each stroke should be in the direction of the wood grain.

Wipe the stain off with a cloth or old rag in the direction of the wood grain. I did this to the top, bottom, sides, and inside for all three crates.

Once the stain is completely dry (check the drying time on the stain you choose), apply a coat of polyurethane to each crate.

When the polyurethane is dry (approximately two hours), align the bottom and middle crate with the bottom crate upside down (as shown below).  This will make it easiest to drill and align the holes.

Using a ¼” drill bit, drill a hole in each corner, drilling through both crates.

Next, align the middle and top crates, turning the top crate upside down (as shown).  Using the holes in the middle crate as guides, drill the four holes in the top crate.

Insert each threaded rod one by one and sucure each one with a nut and bolt on both sides. Use cap nuts for the bottom and top.

I think 24 inch threaded rods may work better (sturdier). I may perhaps add metal brackets for more support too because of the height.

I added a decorative knob to the top crate with a lid.  I used a pre-existing hole.

Here are some after photos.

I think this would be perfect in a kitchen or bathroom for extra storage, or for plants!

 

 

 

Crafting with Duct Tape

by Dinah Wulf

Walking through craft stores all the time, I noticed there were so many different patterns and colors of duct tape. Intrigued, I thought I’d do some research on crafting with duct tape.  Surprisingly I found so many cool projects!

Gift Wrap

It doesn’t get much simpler than this.  Use duct tape to embellish your graft wrap. Plus, it’ll be funny to watch the recipient struggle with opening it… tee hee.

Flower Tissue Holder

I did notice several duct tape flower tutorials, however the blue in this particular one caught my eye.  What a sweet touch to embellish a simple wooden tissue holder.

Valentine Roses

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a duct tape bouquet that will last a lifetime.

Rings

There are so many great duct tape rings! Who knew?  Heck out these from Living Locurto.

Here’s a great YouTube link for how to make a duct flower tape ring.

Purses

Check out this duct tape purse from Martha Stewart.  Yup! Martha uses duct tape!

Here are some other cute purse ideas from Second Chances.

Lamp

Last but definitely NOT least…rather this one takes the cake.  This lamp is made out of duct tape and plastic 2 liter bottles!!! What????

 

 

Repurposed Lighting Inspiration

by Dinah Wulf

Everywhere I go, I always have my camera.  Not only do I want to capture fun moments with my daughter, family, and friends, but I find decorating inspiration EVERYWHERE. I end up filing my pictures in digital folders on my computer.

I just noticed that I had taken several pictures of lighting ideas and thought I’d share them. Some of these pictures are old, but in my head, the store bought version is way too expensive anyway.  I’d rather try and recreate them with flea market or thrift store finds.

Anyway, here is some really cool repurposed lighting inspiration that I’ve captured on my camera over the last several months.  I think with a little creativity, you can get these looks for less.

This was a lamp I saw at Anthropologie.  It’s simply a tea kettle, lamp kit, and colorful lamp shade.  I’ve also seen lamps similar to this made out of stacked tea cups and saucers… super cute.

This one is also from Anthropologie (I frequent there often… love the window displays). It’s a lamp made out of recycled cardboard!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one! The mix of an industrial metal basket and chic chandelier is fantastic!

If I recall correctly, the price tag on this one was pretty steep…several thousand dollars….yikes! I think a smaller version of this made out of mismatched thrift store silverware would be cute.

I can picture this one hanging in an enclosed patio or sun room.  I like the mixture of glass bottles, shells, and twine.

Technically, this one isn’t repurposed, but it caught my eye.

 

 

 

Repurposed Nursery Furniture

by Dinah Wulf

Over the past few months we’ve had a few cool DIY tutorials perfect for a baby’s nursery.  I posted a step by step how to for a DIY Ribbon/Organization board to hold hair clips and photos. I also shared some DIY Nursery Letters that my best friend made, and perhaps my favorite, I showed you how a refurbished and upcycle an old Disney Princess play table.

But when the little one’s all grown up, what do you do with the old nursery furniture? Repurpose it, of course! I found these amazing repurposed nursery furniture ideas that I had to post. Each unique idea is creative and genius. I love them all!

Cribs

It doesn’t get much simpler than this.  Use the sides of a nursery crib to create shelves to display your collections or as a clever magazine rack.

This is perfect for your future crafters and little DIY’ers! Remove one side of the crib and voila! There you have an instant craft table.  Paint the new table with chalk board paint and hang a white board, hooks and shelves for organization.

This one is pretty cool… a crib turned bench.  I like the all black with white accents.  You can also add pillows made with durable outdoor fabric.

Chalkboard paint can transform just about anything.  Check out this crib turned menu board!

Changing Tables

Your little one may no longer need diapers, but every toddler needs a play kitchen! I have shared repurposed TV media cabinets turned play kitchens, but apparently changing tables work well too!

This last one may be my favorite.  Changing table turned bar cart!

 

Photo Sources: Consignment Mommies, Encore Baby Registry, My Repurposed Life, BHG, Oh Dee Doh, A Little Learning For Two

 

Repurposed Pin-spiration

by Dinah Wulf

“Pin-spiration” is a new term I’ve been seeing a lot lately. Pintrest is yet another social networking site that allows you to create virtual pin boards of absolutely anything that fits your fancy.  Check out my Pin boards here.  Did I mention I am obsessed with it? I can spend hours perusing the site.

Here are some great repurposed pin-spiration ideas I pulled off this addictive site.

Maps are the stylish craze these days! Better Homes and Garden repurposed a globe into a bowl by adhering (what looks like, or could be) a candlestick to make an interesting centerpiece.

Good Housekeeping displayed this cute outdoor side table made out of four window shutters and a glass top.

This one is fantastic! Curbly.com repurposed an old filing cabinet into a rolling kitchen cart. It serves several purposes including kitchen storage and cutting board… genius!

What girl wouldn’t like this to show off a collection of shoes! Check out these shelves turned beautiful display case. (Photo source unknown)

This may be my favorite and DEFINITELY my style. It’s an old barn door turned sliding bathroom door. (Photo source unknown)

Another idea for repurposing old rustic doors is using two as headboards as pictured below. (Photo source unknown)

Greenisuniversal.com has this creative tutorial for repurposing old belts and weaving them into a vintage aluminum lawn chair.

And last but not least (ok, maybe). Unfortunately, not all designs work out. Although it was initially a good idea, this repurposed Nintendo game console was repurposed into a lunch box and posted on failblog.com… at least they tried!

 

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Six Ways to Recycle Maps

by Dinah Wulf

Maps are so beautiful.  I’ve been looking for some ways to use them because I see them everywhere (including my glove box).  Just like CD’s, record albums, and books, they are becoming obsolete due to the emergence of electronics like the GPS and the internet.  But what I do love about maps is that they tell a story and simultaneously serve as a work of art.  Here are six great ways to recycle maps.

One: Art Work

Check out these heart maps by Tcktyboo.  Each heart represents a special place.  For example, where you were married, where you went on your honeymoon, or where the kids were born.

 

I also saw a great idea on Pintrest (I can’t find the picture or source anymore) where a map was framed and the route to a special trip was stitched in a coordinating colored string… so cute! Update! Thanks to Adri, here is the link for that map! http://www.marthastewart.com/375160/map-artwork Thank you, Adri!!!

 

Two: Pillow

This is a pillow from Etsy inspired by a vintage map.

 

Three: Pinwheels

Another Etsy find, these cute pinwheels make a whimsical vintage wedding favor.  Click here for different pinwheel tutorials.

 

Four: Upcycle Furniture

Here are three great examples of using decoupage on maps to turn an old piece of furniture into a unique and beautiful conversation piece.

Cover a wooden chest

Inspiration from Nate Berkus

Revamp an old Dresser

Add new life to an old Vanity

 

Five: Gift Wrap

Just in time for the holidays, use an old map as gift wrapping paper.

 

Six: Monograms or Letters

Use decoupage to commemorate a trip on craft letters (source unknown).

 

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Long Beach Antique Swap Meet

by Dinah Wulf

Every time I attend the Long Beach Antique Swap Meet I have the best time.  This time, last weekend, I went by myself and I STILL loved every second of it. I spent two and a half hours meandering around, admiring each vintage find, examining unknown artifacts, and meeting friendly vendors. I spoke to a father son team who fly around the country, picking up old Pepsi crates and salvaged materials from old buildings.

I also met a woman named Linda who has a full time day job but still finds the time to and design and sell cottage furniture and vintage décor for fun on the weekends. As I was walking up, she had just sold a huge dining room table.  Here is some of her other pieces.

On my next stop I met Neil who sold farm and industrial collectables.  Check out some of his pieces.  I love all the rust! It’s beautiful.

Check out some other amazing finds I found along the way.

This place had a lot of Restoration Hardware inspired pieces.  I didn’t get the chance to speak with the vendor, because he was too busy selling.  LOVE the large orbs and metal baskets.

I have to say that one of my favorites of the day was from a shop called Irons & Duck. The industrial seating and lighting is just my style.  If only I could weld…  You can see all their inventory on their website.

For more information about the Long Beach Antique Swap Meet, click here!

Oh wait! I almost forgot.  I didn’t leave empty handed! I bought a large antique wooden tool box which is a great piece for organization, and these three vintage seltzer bottles!

 

Repurposed Crate Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

A few months ago, I did a blog post on recycling old crates.  It included using crates for shelving, bike baskets, and side tables.  Since then, I have gathered a collection of old wine crates from a wine tasting party I did in October.  I’ve been searching for more inspiration for a new project and found some other great repurposed crate ideas.  Here are a few pictures.

This wine crate dog bowl would be a perfect DIY project for me, especially since I have two little pups, Harley and Pablo.

I like these ideas of layering and using a crate as a planter.  This would also look nice outside, on a patio or atrium. The problem with this idea is that I don’t have a green thumb, so I don’t really have that many plants.

How cool is this… creating a rustic work space in the garage complemented with a wood bench. The problem with this is that my garage has no room for it.

I’m guessing these are milk crates? Love this look, but my collection of crates are too small and are in different shapes and sizes.

This is also great.  These crate shelves have two purposes. It’s functional for holding kitchen necessities as well as displays a collection of antiques. My issue with this idea is that my kitchen is so small that I have no wall space for this.

I started a list a while back of how I should repurpose my collection of wine crates including making a jewelry case, a cornice, a seat, or a dog bed, but I still can’t decide.

Any ideas or suggestions? I feel stuck… help!

 

Photo Sources: Eco Salon, funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot, Green Dairy, Love1, Remodelaholic, tangledepartment.blogspot