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Re-Purposing Old Things Into New
November 9, 2010
6:45 pm
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NorthCountryGirl
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I was wondering if there are others out there who are interested in making new things out of old or discarded things.  This summer, I had hubby buy some dark green Krylon Spray paint for my repurposing large butter tubs into plant pots.  I cleaned the tubs and let them dry then sprayed them (outsides) with the Krylon paint.  Took about three applications but I ended up with a half dozen plant pots all color-coordinated.  I drilled holes in the bottoms and planted parsley and basil. Worked perfectly. I even painted the lids to match the tubs so I could use them to set the pots on.

Okay, that was just starters.  I had about half a dozen big blue plastic bins in the shed sitting around doing nothing. Hmmmm!  Why not paint those and make potato bins out of them?  More Krylon paint in dark green and a couple of drilled holes later and I now have six nice large potato planters that worked perfectly. Lots of potatoes, too!

Anyway, I had color-co-ordinated planters around my chicken fence which by the way is dark green, too. It looked really sharp…everything matching and pulled together.

That's one project. Anyone out there like to make new things out of old?  Hey, we can re-use something that would normally be thrown away and it helps our environment.

Here is your chance to speak up and give the rest of us ideas, too!  Let's hear from all those creative souls who like to re-cycle in creative ways!   happy-flower

November 10, 2010
8:02 am
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kellyb
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NorthCountryGirl,

 

Hey PA girl!! I love the plant tub idea.

 

I take 100% cotton men's shirts and cut them up and make them into quilts.  I love the fabric and since many men's shirts are plaid or stripped they give a great scrap quilt effect to the quilt.  I've made rag qults and then simple patterns using the fabric.  I've also used them to make string quilts, using up the tiny pieces that wouldn't work elsewhere.  I have a large fabric stash but I'm drawn to this material.  I figure my grandmother didn't go to a fabric store to make her quilts, I should use up what I have.

November 10, 2010
10:03 am
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NorthCountryGirl
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Cool idea, Kelly.  That would make a really soft, comfy quilt.  I used to take and cut up old shirts and pieces of material I had into 1 inch strips and weave rag rugs when I had my loom.   The old, washed out, faded out material made beautiful, subtle-colored rugs.

November 10, 2010
10:12 am
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hershiesgirl
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I am an addict. Ok, I admitted it.   I am constantly repurposing things…its an addiction I've had all my life– even before it was the cool thing to do.  I always look at things and think, “Hey, I could use that for *this* ….”

Last spring, I had to give up my old garden spot on the side of my house, because the Oak tree out front has gotten so big that my garden gets way too much shade to be productive. Since we are anticipating moving (any day now….but we have been saying that for over a year….) instead of doing the work of putting in a garden in a new spot– here in FL that requires incredible amounts of soil amendments– I decided to make “self watering pots” out of 5 gallon buckets.

Since my hubby is a painting contractor, the supply of buckets is easy. Making them was easy, too. I have tomatoes and peppers in them, and even grew a nice pumpkin in one! I have taken old rubbermaid containers and used them for greens, squash and lettuce.  

Another project was to crochet a market bag out of grocery store plastic bags. Not my favorite project only because it was a little difficult to work with and made my hands hurt…but loved the outcome. And it was FREE!!  Gave the bag to my BFF and she just loves it. She says she gets asked about it all the time when she uses it at the Farmers Markets and stuff.

Currently I am making quilt squares from worn out blue jeans, and anything flannel. When I have enough squares, I plan to make a throw sized quilt with ragged edges. Antoher FREE (or almost free) project.

November 10, 2010
10:24 am
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NorthCountryGirl
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Hershiesgirl,  you are a kindred spirit!  Everytime I use something up, I look at the jar or tub or bottle and say, “You know, I could make such and such out of that!”  My husband groans and is always telling me I wouldn't throw anything away if it was up to me.  He's probably right.  Unbeknownst to him, I am secretly collecting plastic containers with lids that have those “sifting holes” on them to store the mixes I plan to make off CITR. AND, yes it is VERY addictive.

November 10, 2010
11:41 am
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hershiesgirl
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YES addictive it is.

When my dad passed away, my husband and I got elected by default to clean out / manage his estate. We were cleaning out the kitchen pantry, and I found two small pieces of blue foam…about an inch square and about 4 inches long. They were sitting at the front of one of the shelves by themselves.

When I picked them up, I looked at my husband and said, “You know, I KNOW that Daddy knew exactly what little project he was going to use these for…..”  but of course, we will never know.  :)

I tell my kids all the time that when I die, they are getting exactly what I got….. A bunch of “stuff” to go through, wondering what in the world I had planned for each thing. LOL

November 10, 2010
12:33 pm
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Landodixy
DeWitt,VA
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I love this story that my dad tells about when he was a kid and they had farm (he was the yougest of 8). They had a contract with the school that they would pick up all the cafeteria leftovers for feeding the pigs.  In return they also had to carry off all of the trash which included the large tin vegetable cans.  Like most farm families, they found a use for just about everything.  After cutting the bottom end off the vegetable cans and then cutting straight up one side, they flattened the tin and used it as siding on one of the tobacco barns.  That barn is still standing and I think of that story everytime I see it! 

 

I, too, love to re-purpose used items.  In fact, the county just closed down our local un-manned dump sites and my SO asked me what I was going to do now that my source of 'great finds' was now gone!

November 10, 2010
1:48 pm
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NorthCountryGirl
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Hershiesgirl,

My dad was a “re-purposer” too so I get it honest.  Runs in the family.  My husband is the opposite:  If it hasn't been used in the last 5 minutes, out it goes!  You can imagine how that plays out!

PS:  I still have my stuff!  LOL

November 10, 2010
2:07 pm
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Helen
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Hi, NGG…that's how my parents are.  My dad is a “saver”, 'cause you never know.  My mother is a “pitcher outer”, 'cause she's sick of looking at all this stuff.  So round and round they go.  But it gives them a hobby, I guess laugh

 

p.s.  I love your signature line…Pennsy does indeed rock shimmy

George Orwell - 1984
- Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

November 10, 2010
2:54 pm
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NorthCountryGirl
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Okay, another idea.  I collect shoe boxes.  They are always a handy size and come complete with a lid that fits nicely.  What I do is this:  I take fabric in colors to match her bedroom and  cover  the boxes and lids with different co-ordinating fabrics. I now have a designer set of boxes to organize her personal items that are scattered about.  Boxes are then stacked on the dressers and the new boxes give her room an organized, designer look.  I use white glue to hold the fabric to the boxes. Really solves an organizational problem.

For my sewing room, I used fabric to cover boxes which I labeled by color and which now hold my fabric stash by colors.  Really pulls the sewing room together and the boxes are novel looking. 

Result:  Nicely organized bedroom and sewing room.  Boxes that would have been discarded are put to use as well as fabrics I found no use for before.  

November 10, 2010
3:04 pm
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lizzie
Grass Valley
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Great idea!!! love this, I will have try this, I have alot of fabric just taking up space since I don't really sew and thought I would, but um well thats another story.   Thanks!shimmy

November 11, 2010
6:23 pm
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Joelle
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happy-flowerHello everyone, some time back, I found a set of  wooden shutters (2) about 5 ft tall  connected with hinges, they had been set out for the trash man–My mind began to race and my heart pounded–decorator roadkill!!

       They had been painted an antique white-perfect color. I brought them home and washed them and set them in the sun to dry. Then I put them in a corner in my sitting room. I went to the dollar store and purchased several 5×7 frames and spray painted them an antique gold. I filled them with photos that I love and slid the part that hold the frames upright on the back, down between the rungs in the shutters, and if I may so my self, they looks beautiful.

                                         JOJO

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

November 11, 2010
8:23 pm
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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Decorator Road Kill!laugh I love it!!!  Very chic !french

November 11, 2010
8:33 pm
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Joelle
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happy-flowerThank you Judy wink  It always amazes me the nice things one can find on trash day. I have found beautiful pictures  frames the box! I don't go dumpster diving or anything like that, I just see it while en route to somewhere. I once found an entilre set of brass fireplace tools and the screen. We had a friend that had just purchased his first home with a fireplace–it was perfect.

 Always look for good  “roadkill”!

                                            Thank you.

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

November 12, 2010
8:39 am
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Paws_Bakery
Southern Ontario
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JOJO,

Your piece sounds beautiful.  And you can change up pictures if you want… great find!!!

Hugs Cheryl   pawprint

November 12, 2010
9:34 am
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NorthCountryGirl
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JoJo,  

Just tuned in and saw your “Decorator Roadkill” post!  I love it!  If there is a Decorator Roadkill location it is the end of our driveway on trash day!  My husband 'sneaks' all the stuff that hasn't been used in the last 5 minutes out to the end of the driveway for the garbageman to haul away.  Unfortunately for him, I have to walk by it to get the mail and darned if I don't find stuff I didn't know we had or had forgotten about. Hey, it's like Christmas morning…all those goodies that immediately inspire all kinds of projects.  SOOOOO, I do my “Christmas shopping” from the goodies pile, get the mail, and come back into the house with lots of “Decorator Roadkill” to inspire me for awhile.  Of course, I immediately hide it till I get to it. Don't want to have to go out to the end of the driveway again to fetch it back in.  It's a vicious cycle that I absolutely love.

PS:  He gets frustrated cause he was sure he had thrown that away some time ago! Ahh…ummmm, maybe?happy-flower

November 12, 2010
9:48 am
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Paws_Bakery
Southern Ontario
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NCG

What we'll do to keep our stuff…LOL.  How do you keep a straight face when he finds stuff he's sure he's thrown away.

Hugs Cheryl   pawprint

November 12, 2010
10:05 am
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kellyb
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Decorator Roadkill, my new term, I love it.  I always called it curbside treasures.  I knew DH was the man for me when we were coming back from a conference and I saw several boxes of canning jars on the curb.  I made him stop the van, filled with company employees while I grabbed the jars.  He got out to help me and helped himself to several 5 gallon buckets as well.  We've furnished several college apartments with our roadkill.  My favorite find was 4 pressed back, cane-seated oak chairs in perfect condition.  They're in my dining room now.

November 12, 2010
2:38 pm
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mommy2kai
Kansas
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LOL, I love the term 'decorator roadkill'!  I often tease my hubby that I'm going to make his ring-tone on my cell the theme song from 'Sanford & Son' because he's always dragging something home.  I don't complain too much, he's got a good eye! 

As for re-purposing, yesterday I took a sweater that quite frankly, wasn't doing me any favors, and re-made it in to a purse with wooden handles.  I lined it with some vintage chintz I had (another one of hubby's finds- a whole box of vintage fabric for $15 at an estate sale). Now I need to go through my closet and see what else I'm not wearing!

November 12, 2010
2:42 pm
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BunnyRuth
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I have always gotten a special thrill out of making something from recycled materials, stuff I had on hand.  Then I married a packrat of Olympic standards, but he does use his stash regularly. 

Most recently we collaborated on making decorative lamps out of the old style canning jars, the type with the glass lids and wire bail.  DH drills a hole in the side, near the bottom and I put on a rubber gasket.  The switch is dissassembled on a strig of fairy lights and the wire threaded through the hole and then I get to decorating.  I started filling them with potpourri, maiking sure that the lights were all around the potpourri and topping with a lace doily and ribbon.  Then I saw in a catalog and small electric candle in a jar.  So I picked up some electric candles wholesale and repeated the above steps except that candle base is hot glued to the bottom, dried rosehips poured in to cover the base a bit and the glass lid replaced.  A couple years ago I saw in another catalog (Gooseberry Patch) a glass jar with a little snow scene in it.  This one was a church in the snow with tree behind it a tiny little LED lights.  So after Chrsitmas, I bought the tiny lights and some little Victorian figures that go with those ceramic villages when they went on sale for 80% off.  DH got the light string into the jar first, then I cut up an old wreath to make the trees, recycled some styrofoam balls by cutting them in half and gluing to the bottom as a base, inserted the trees, glued on the people (carolers) and wove the tiny lights in the trees.  Then, I poured in some “snow” and they sold like hotcakes at our church craft fair.   

Ruth in NH

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