Hollow Book Safe How To

by Dinah Wulf

Arguably, “vintage” is anything 50 years or older while “antique” is considered anything that is 100 years or older.  The difference between the two always confused me, so naturally I Googled it.  I tend to Google everything that I am unsure of (which is a lot of things). That didn’t help, because everyone and their mother has a different definition of the two meanings. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I inherited boxes full of “antique” books.  I had so many and in my diyinspired head, I wanted to do something creative with them.

I know what you’re thinking… so FIRST I tried to see if anyone else would enjoy them before I altered them.  I took them to three different antique book shops and none of them would take any of them because they were in poor shape and were “not worth anything”.  I put them on Craigslist three different times and only sold a handful.  So now I am left with two plastic bins of beautiful antique books in my garage waiting
to be repurposed and given new life.

I recall writing a few blog posts on recycling old books, so I used my own site for reference and decided to tackle the book safe challenge.  How hard can it be to hollow out a book?  Here is the hollow book safe how to.

Materials needed: thick hardback book, decoupage medium or glue and water mixture, paint brush, sharp knife, metal straightedge.

Step One:

I wanted to keep a few of the front pages in tact to show the copy-write date and an illustration. I covered the front cover and those pages plus one page with plastic wrap.

Step Two:

I used Mod Podge, a decoupage medium, and a paint brush to seal the three edges. Make sure you saturate them with approximately three coats.  Allow the Mod Podge to dry (about 15 minutes), meanwhile set something heavy on top of the book to create pressure.

Step Three:

Next, using a straightedge and a pencil, I marked the area I wanted to cut out.

Step Four:

Using a sharp knife and a metal straightedge, I carefully cut out a few pages at a time, making sure to remove small bits and pieces along the way. Take your time while doing this step.

Step Five:

After I reached the desired depth, I sealed the inside edges with Mod Podge and allowed it to dry completely.

Step Six:

I then used Mod Podge around the top edges and glued the extra front page on top.  After a few minutes, I used the knife to cut out the center.  This top page gives it a nice clean look.

Notes:

Save the book pages for other craft projects. Also, consider using ribbon to cover the inside edges or decorative paper to cover the inside back for a more finished look.

{Back to 12 Recycled Book Page Crafts}

 

 

7 Ways to Reuse Light Bulbs

by Dinah Wulf

7 Ways to Reuse Light Bulbs

So I decided that today is Reuse and Recycle Friday. If you’ve been following my blog then you are familiar with my obsession to creatively recycle, reuse, and repurpose.  I’ve done blog posts in the past about reusing old, crates, old books, boxes, jars, beer bottles, you name it.

Being the geek that I am, I inspected, rummaged, and explored my house to see what other household items could be recycled creatively.  In thought, I looked up, finger on the tip of my nose, and saw them staring right at me.  Light bulbs!  So here is what I found…because apparently there are several other people out there (well, at least six) that thought of the same thing.  Here we go, seven cool
and artistic ways to reuse light bulbs.

Design Squish, one of my favorite websites, showed how to make these cute oil lamps.

How great is this light bulb lamp and cube hanging lamp posted by fellow blogger at technabob.com? I love the industrial style of the hanging bulb light fixture.  It’s genius and doubles as a sculpture!

OK, this “fish bowl” is a really cute idea, but can a fish really survive in there?  Maybe a plastic fish is better.

These hanging bud vases would be a super cute party or garden decoration.

One of my favorites, this terrarium piece adds life to any room.  It’s pretty too!

Last but not least, so creative and love; this is another great idea for a simple party centerpiece. Check out this cute light bulb bud vase.

 

 

Trash to Treasure: Recycling Old Crates

by Dinah Wulf

Trash to Treasure: Recycling Old Crates

I’ve blogged about it numerous times and I have to do it again!  This is yet another post on reusing, recycling, and repurposing.  Today I decided to take on recycling old crates!

Crate Shelves

Crate Bike Basket

Crate Furniture

Crates Drawer

Shipping Crate Bike Basket

Recycled Wooden Crates Shelving System

 

Who knew shipping crates could look this good? This was a post on Design Squish that I had to share. Check out these amazing ideas. Love these shelves, bike basket, and crate furniture from Design Squish; Shipping Crate Bike Basket from Globe Revolution; and Crate Shelves from Baileys Home and Garden!

The shelving system has to be my favorite.  It has a vintage modern look that I love. Also, if you notice the last crate shelf picture, there is a crate on the floor with wheels added.  What a great idea for additional storage for toys, or a bassinet for baby dolls!

How cool are the colorful plastic chair, side and end table? Depending on the size and style, you can purchase wooden legs from Home Depot for about five to twenty dollars a piece.  There are several choices from traditional to modern styles.

I had mentioned the other day that you can get wine crates for free or for less than five dollars each from most spirit wine and liquor specialty stores.  Just ask!  Call to find out when they receive shipments and ask to take them off their hands.  Otherwise, they will likely get broken down and thrown out.

 

Thirty creative ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose:

 

 

Repurposed Kid’s Storage Solutions

by Dinah Wulf

Repurposed Kid’s Storage Solutions

Summer is almost over, which means it’s time for back to school!  There’s no better time than now to make sure your little ones are organized and clutter free. Better Homes and Gardens is one of my favorite websites and magazines to peruse for innovative storage solutions and ideas. Here are some of my repurposing favorites to get your kid’s rooms organized.

Repurpose an old computer/media cabinet for kid’s toy storage. The depth of these cabinets are perfect and keeps the clutter and toys hidden away.  Add storage cubes, baskets, or shelves inside.  You can also add a tension rod to hang things for another storage solution.  Also consider adding hooks on the inside doors to hang other items or display your child’s artwork as well.

Repurpose office storage containers for your child’s supplies.  An unused letter or mail sorter is the perfect size for lotions, wash clothes, and bath wash.  Use a pencil holder for cotton balls or Q-tips. Use bins for diapers or blankets.  Add decorative paper or photos to match the nursery decor.

Repurpose kitchen tools like rolling pins and baking pans to hold jewelry and pictures.  Baking pans are magnetic, and perfect for holding artwork or notes.  Another option is to paint the baking pans with chalkboard paint.  Use S hooks on the rolling pins to hang hats or purses.

Repurpose a chest of drawers for tools as a side table with extra storage.  Metal tool boxes are perfect for a little boys room.  Red is a great color too!

Photo Source: BGH.com

Get Inspired by: Picker Sisters

by Dinah Wulf

Get Inspired by: Picker Sisters

OK, so I just figured out what my dream job is!  I want to work with the Picker Sisters on that new Lifetime television show, appropriately named, Picker Sisters.  This show is officially one of my top three favorite reality shows.

The “sisters”, Tracey Hutson and Tanya McQueen both from Extreme Make Over Home Edition essentially travel across middle America and search for unique antiques, relics, and even trash and then use their design skills and trained eyes and the help of a contractor, to repurpose these rare finds into something new and fabulous.  They buy the initial piece for a few dollars and then resell the repurposed transformed masterpiece for a large profit.  This is right up my alley!

The term masterpiece is not to be used lightly.  In a recent episode the painted an old Harley Davidson gold and turned it into a glass top table.  They also bought an old and rusty meat grinder and repurposed it into a gorgeous industrial style bathroom sink! From the first episode, I decided to set my DVR on “record all episodes”.

The Picker Sisters website gives awesome tips for picking and also has a guide for treasure hunting.

I found it interesting that their number one first tip for picking is “inspiration everywhere”.  They draw inspiration from “magazines, the Internet and nature itself [which] are brimming with interesting, evocative images and objects that may spark a thought that you can incorporate into your own design.” I did a similar blog post on that a few months ago and have the same philosophy.

Here is a picture of their shop.  Watch this show!  It definitely inspires me!

Four Easy Repurpose Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Four Easy Repurpose Ideas

My husband’s idea of being eco-friendly is not changing the light bulbs until there is only one left and we can barely see at night anymore.  To me, repurposing is more like it! If you’ve read this blog before, you already know how obsessed with it I am.

Repurposing  is a fantastic eco-friendly way to use your creativity and save money at the same time. Do-It-Yourself repurposing is a creative way to custom turn an old cherished piece with character into something new instead of throwing it away. I’ve said it a thousand times before… Turn your trash into treasure!

Check out re-nest for these four easy inspiring repurpose ideas! If only I were THIS good!

Books turned Side Table – I love the look of the leather belts that hold this piece together.


Ladder turned Book Shelves- This has a great vintage look and adds interest and depth to any room.


Sweater Shelf turned Craft Paper Storage- This saves so much room in your craft rrom or closet and makes it easier to access your scrapbook paper

 

Milk Crates and Salvaged Boxes turned Coffee Table – How much cooler can recycling get? The old dairy lables give it a unique custom look.

 

Other Cool DIY Repurposing Ideas

Check out these other creative ways to recycle:

 

 

Clever Coat Hangers

by Dinah Wulf

Clever Coat Hangers

One of the best parts of blogging, is visiting other  blogs and being a part of the blogging community.  There are so many interesting and unique projects and not to mention, creative blood out there to inspire us!

I’ve noticed so many cleaver coat hanger projects lately, and I had to share a few. My ABSOLUTE favorite, the vintage trophy coat rack is from Design Sponge. I’m going to have to recreate this one for sure! Anyone want to part with some old trophies?

Here are some cool ideas for coat hangers from some of my favorite websites that double as wall art!

  1. Babydoll Coat Rack from Craftzine- OK, so this first one is a little odd, but I’m sorry… I think it’s absolutely ingenious!
  2. Rustic Coat Hanger from Calfinder – perfect the way it is, but also try painting it in bold colors to modernize the look
  3. Vintage Trophy Coat Rack from Design Sponge – favorite!
  4. Autumn Coat Rack from Casasugar- so simple and pretty, this would look cute in a nursery or kids room
  5. Cassette Tape Coat Hooks from Ready Made- repurposing at it’s finest!
  6. Pretty Paper Coat Rack from Design Sponge – perfect for any decor, choose a paper to fit your style

 

Check out these other DIY Projects:

Need more inspiration? Check out these Interior Design Ideas:

 

 

 

Repurpose Project Runway Style

by Dinah Wulf

Repurpose Project Runway Style

So I normally don’t write blog posts about clothing design, but since I am an admitted reality show junkie, and I have an obsession with all things repurposed, I had to do this post on Repurpose Project Runway Style.

The new season of Project Runway just started and the last episode was the unconventional challenge.  This challenge has always been my favorite part of the show, because the designer’s creativity and imagination is truly tested by repurposing unconventional items into a wearable garment. Some examples of challenges from past seasons are items from a candy shop, car parts, flowers and greenery, and hardware.

This season’s challenge was Pet Store design.  The contestants had to present a design made entirely out of items from a pet store.  They made dresses out of everything from wee-wee pads to bird seed.  Here were the top three.  The first look is entirely made out of birdseed, the second from aquarium rocks, and the third from hamster bedding and a dog bed.

These looks are from the hardware store challenge in which they had a budget of $150.00.  Contestants used metal, duct tape, copper wire, and nails.

In the candy store challenge in season four, designers used, candy wrappers, Twizzlers, peppermint patties, and chocolate from the Hershey store in Times Square.

I have saved the best for last.  The eco-friendly flower challenge from season two is probably my favorite.   The contestants had to create a design that is appropriate for a garden party constructed out of flowers and plants.

 

Another reality show obsession… Check out Million Dollar Look For Less… my take on Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorator!

 

 

Repurposed Furniture & Décor

by Dinah Wulf

Repurposed Furniture & Décor

Repurposing furniture is all the craze these days.  At least it is to me!  Repurposing is just that… giving a new purpose or use to (in this case) a piece of furniture or household item.  I subscribe to several magazines including Ready Made and Better Homes and Garden’s DIY magazine and there is rarely an issue without a repurposing feature in it.

Getting inspiration from reading books, magazines, blogs, and other online material has allowed me to think and re-think before I throw something away.  Often times if a friend is throwing an old piece of furniture away, I’ll take it…just in case… I can find a way to update it or turn it into something else. You never know!

Basket Table

Garden Shed Crate Cabinets

Half-Table Console

Stacked Bench Shelf

 

  Stepladder Bed Stand

Martha, Martha, Martha!  If you couldn’t tell already, I heart Martha Stewart! She is the Goddess of all things domestic, so of course she has some awesome reporposing DIY projects.  Check out these fabulous, yet simple repurposing ideas from Martha.  They are easy eco-friendly solutions for unwanted or broken furniture.

Basket turned Table
Garden Shed Crate turned Cabinets
Broken Table turned Table Console
Benches turned Stacked Shelf
Stepladder turned Night Stand

Budget Saving Tip: An alternative to the garden shed crates turned cabinets, is to use wooden wine crates.  Most spirit and liquor specialty stores will give them away for free if you just ask!  They will be broken down and thrown away later anyway!

You may also like these Before and After DIY Projects:

 

 

5 Clever Ways to Reuse Tin and Aluminum Cans

by Dinah Wulf

5 Clever Ways to Reuse Tin and Aluminum Cans

So after doing this blog I have officially become a hoarder because I no longer want to throw anything away, in hopes that I can turn it into something fabulous!  I have also become a huge advocate for recycling, reusing, and repurposing.  Taking the eco-friendly route feels good and also gets your creative Do It Yourself juices flowing.

If you strive to be the Hostess with the most, I have discovered that reusing cans, jars, boxes, and the like are perfect for party centerpieces and other decorations.  By covering them with decorative paper, or painting them, recycling items like these gives them a whole new look to fit any party theme.  For example, use wrapping paper to cover old boxes and create height and dimension to a candy or dessert table, or use glass mason jars embellished with ribbon or raffia as a tea light holder.

Check out these five ideas for reusing tin and aluminum cans.

1. Aluminum Can Tea Lights – Turn your favorite cans of soda into  decorative lighting.

2. Food Can Centerpiece – Use vintage cans to create an interesting centerpiece.

3. Food Can Storage Containers – Paint food cans to store office supplies.

4. Tin Pincushion – Make a cute pincushion out of a small tin.

5. Craft Supply Tin – Cover food containers with scrapbook paper to store scissors, paint brushes, or other craft supplies.

 

Check out these other creative ways to recycle:

 

Furniture Makeovers Before and After

by Dinah Wulf

Furniture Makeovers Before and After

If you couldn’t tell already by my past posts, I love it when old furniture is upcycled or repurposed into something new and fabulous.  Go green and get eco-friendly by turning trash into treasure.  Better Homes and Gardens had a fantastic online article on Fabulous Furniture Makeovers and these are some of my inspiring favorites.

Check out these before and after photos.

Here is an old dresser updated with paint, stencils, and colorful storage baskets.

This is an old microwave cart repurposed into a bedside table.  It is revamped with paint and wallpapered doors.

 

Give an old side table a modern update with wallpaper remnants and a crisp white paint color.

 

Add baskets for hidden storage and a stencil to an outdated coffee table to fit your style.

 

Turn a boring wooden cabinet into a piece of art and make a statement.

Source: BHG

 

Check out these other Before and After DIY Projects:

Check out these other creative ways to recycle and repurpose:

 

Trash to Treasure: Upcycled Seating

by Dinah Wulf

Trash to Treasure: Upcycled Seating

This is another one of those posts for me that make me think, I wish I thought of that! I would be happy to have any of these pieces in my home. I can’t even choose a favorite among them.  If I have to choose, I’d have to pick the tree stump seats… or the bath tub… or maybe the shopping cart…

 

Just click on the link to find out more about the artist and their repurposed furniture master piece.

The sofa made out of a vintage suitcase trunk is designed by Junktion out of Tel Aviv.  I love their commitment to taking everyday objects out of context and repurposing them into something unique and useful.

The playground slide chair was briliantly designed by Evan Dublin. His designs include flatpack display tables and tableware.

Other Ways to Repurpose, Reuse, and Recycle:

Ways to Repurpose Record Albums and CD’s

by Dinah Wulf

Ways to Repurpose Record Albums and CD’s

With the emergence of the internet and the ipod or mp3 player, we had to have known that just like eight tracks, records and tapes, CD’s would become obsolete too!  Not too long ago, I drove by an old Tower Records building which was about three blocks away from a vacant and empty Virgin Records store. Most of the Blockbuster Video stores around town are boarded up as well.  Yikes!  At least, I have noticed, that all three still have somewhat of an online presence.

Here are some more inexpensive crafts from recycled old record albums, DVD’s, and compact discs.  They make great DIY gifts too! If you  don’t have any old LP’s, you can buy them for about $1 at almost any local thrift store.

 

 

Tip: Some old record album covers have beautiful artwork on them.  Frame and arrange a few in coordinating colors to make interesting wall art.

Check out these other creative ways to recycle:

Trash to Treasure: Recycled Beer and Wine Bottles

by Dinah Wulf

Trash to Treasure: Recycled Beer and Wine Bottles

You know you’ll party like a Rockstar on the fourth of July in a few days, so what do you do with all the beer and wine bottles? Don’t throw them away! Save them all! Recycling bottles is a must these days; so start thinking GREEN and turn your trash into treasure.  Check out these creative ways to reuse recycled beer and wine bottles.

So a few of these may be challenging for a first time DIY’er; but fun to look at nonetheless.  It’s tough choosing the best idea (they’re all ingenious).  If I had to choose, I’d have to go with the wine bottle wind chimes… eco-friendly, creative, and beautiful.

Wine Bottle Wind Chimes- So pretty and unexpected!

Beer Bottle Chandelier- All I can say is WOW!

Wine Bottle Chair- I love the shape and style of this.  However, it doesn’t seem to look too comfortable!

Beer Bottle Tea Lights- Very cool and one I need to try!  I LOVE the look of the mercury glass.  It’s very timeless.

Wine Bottle Shelves-  These would be cool painted a fun vibrant color.

Beer Bottle Clock- Can you see the bottles?

Check out these other creative ways to recycle:

Trash To Treasure: 4 Ways to Reuse Old Boxes

by Dinah Wulf

Trash To Treasure: 4 Ways to Reuse Old Boxes

Think twice before throwing away your old boxes. What better way to be eco-friendly and recycle than by turning trash into something functional.  Recycling and repurposing boxes is budget friendly as well! There are many many ways to recycle boxes, but here are four ways you can repurpose cardboard cereal, food, and other boxes very easily.

The plate and napkin holder is for my daughter’s Paul Frank themed birthday party. The party is outdoors at a park and I wanted to make sure the paper plates and napkins did not blow away and came up with this solution. I covered an old wooden box with themed wrapping paper and scrapbook paper and added a personal sign… simple, cute, and festive.

1. Plate and Napkin Holder for a Themed Party

 

2. Cereal Box Magazine Holder

3. Food Box Organizers. A perfect and inexpensive way to stay organized.

4. Recycling Bin – Recycle to recycle!!

 

More Ways to Repurpose! 

Creative ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose:

 

 

 

5 More Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Books

by Dinah Wulf

5 More Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Books

There were so many inspiring ideas out there for repurposing old books that I had to share five more! The purse seems like it would be a little heavy, and the desk, well it speaks for itself, but how ingenious! Here we go…

Create interesting artwork and make an invisible book shelf.

Hollow it out to make a secret hiding place. (on a side note, I love how the picture shows a cherished floppy disk).

Turn books into a purse.

Create an interesting conversation piece and make a desk or coffee table.

Become eco-friendly and repurpose old books!

 

More Ways to Repurpose! 

Creative ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose: