Repurposing Ideas, Repurposed Furniture Ideas - DIYInspired.com
30th Sep2011

83 Inventive Ways to Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

by Dinah Wulf

I have been blogging for over four months now.  In the beginning, I knew I wanted to blog about things that I enjoy doing but I didn’t really have a plan.  I’d take it one day at a time and just figure it out as I go.

A common thread ended up being the whole “green” thing.  I have always been eco-conscious, so to speak, but I never really thought about it.  Now that I have been blogging, and have it all down in front of me (and posted all over the web) I have gravitated toward recycling and repurposing ideas for my posts.  I decided to count how many ideas I put out there and got eighty-three…holy crap!

It’s funny how things work out.  I even have gone on the anti-plastic bag bandwagon and use only recycled bags at the store.  I get irritated if someone hands me a plastic bag or I forget to bring one inside.  Next thing I know I am carrying baby and all my purchases without a bag!

Since this has been an important topic for me, so here it is again… eighty-three crafty and inventive ways to reduce, reuse, & recycle and turn your trash into treasure! Just click on the link or picture to find out more!

1.   Six Creative Ways to Recycle Old Crates

 

2.   Five Clever Ways to Reuse Tin and Aluminum Cans

 

3.   Six Cool Upcycled Seating Ideas

 

4.   Eight Ways to Repurpose Old Record Albums and CD’s

 

5.   Six Innovative Crafts with Recycled Beer and Wine Bottles

 

6.   Ten Artistic Ways to Recycle Newspaper

 

7.   Four Ways to Reuse Old Boxes

 

8.   Six Eco-Friendly Crafts from Recycled Glass Bottles and Jars

 

9.   Five Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Books

 

10.  Five More Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Books

 

11.  Seven Ways to Reuse Light Bulbs

 

12.  Six Ways to Reuse Suitcases

 

13. Nine Ways to Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags

 

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle!

23rd Sep2011

Places To Go: Old Good Things

by Dinah Wulf

I finally get the phrase, “It’s like being a kid in a candy store.” I mean, I always knew what it implied, however I think I saw white lights and heard a choir of angels singing when I walked into Old Good Things, an architectural salvage wonderland.

First of all, going there was my husband’s idea.  It was in an uncomfortably dodgy part of West LA. We had to circle the place several times in order to get the parking space in front because we thought it’d be the “safest” place to park. Intrigued by the giant rusty metal star light and massive pirate head displayed at the entrance I was willing to circle a few more times if I had to. Each time I caught glimpses of the treasures behind the enormous front doors.

Finally, my husband decided to just let me out while he patiently waited for a guy in a prime spot to get off of his cell phone.  Clutching my cell phone in my hand, I eagerly jumped out of the car to further explore what was inside.  The wave of heat, the sound car horns, and the thuds of traffic speeding down the freeway above us, was all quickly forgotten the second I stepped inside.

The first thing I noticed was how vast the store was…it was huge! I was overwhelmed with junk (I mean that in a good way).  To my left was an airplane propeller, three times my size.  I was surrounded by ornate iron gates, industrial lamps, and old machines I’ve never seen before.  There were statues, antique windows and doors, furniture, and lighting.  I tried to take a few pictures but I got completely lost in each piece wondering where they came from and how they got there.

This place was filled with history and fit the old adage, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” I have to admit, it was ALL treasure to me. I could have spent hours in there. Old Good Things definitely got my creative juices flowing.  I made mental notes as to what I wanted to come back for, or what pieces I want to repurpose. I will definitely be back soon, this time I won’t leave empty handed.

Old Good Things is located at 1800 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90015They are open from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends.

 

 

16th Sep2011

6 Ways to Repurpose Suitcases

by Dinah Wulf

6 Ways to Repurpose Suitcases

I love the look of vintage suitcases.  There are so many beautiful styles and colors.  Made of many different materials, vintage suitcases are perfect for repurposing and adding some character and style to your home decor.

Vintage suitcases can be purchased at any thrift shop, flea market, or antique store. Don’t forget to check the basement or attic of your parents or grandparents house!

Here are six ways to repurpose suitcases.

This Craft Storage Case (source unknown) is a great repurposing idea.  Line the inside with pages of books or decorative paper or newspaper.  Add elastic and or pockets to hold items. Small boxes for additional storage and organization are perfect for a snug fit.

Have an entire luggage set?  Make a matching Luggage Case Table Set by adding legs in a fun color.

Check out this dog pet bed and cat bunk bed.  Just remove the top of the case, screw in wooden legs, and insert a pillow or existing bed.  Legs like these are inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store.  I am definitely going to make this one!

This suitcase vanity chest I found on Etsy in brilliant!  I would have never thought of it.  I love how the interior is lined with maps and a world atlas.  The mirror, drawers and lighting adds to the use and function.

I saved the best for last.  This luggage chair is gorgeous.  I love the colors and the white tufted fabric that was chosen.  The curvy shape of the legs and the original brass fixtures complete the look and style.


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12th Sep2011

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}

 

 

09th Sep2011

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.

 

 

02nd Sep2011

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:

 

 

24th Aug2011

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

23rd Aug2011

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!

18th Aug2011

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:

 

 

17th Aug2011

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:

 

 

 

09th Aug2011

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!

 

 

05th Aug2011

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:

 

 

04th Aug2011

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:

 

27th Jul2011

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: