Friday, June 13, 2008
Repurposing- The Fourth "R"
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose. The last one's the most fun, isn't it? I didn't exactly repurpose old cork like I should have for this project, though I am repurposing old hoops. I know if I was patient I surely would have run across a corkboard someone was selling for next to nothing, however at Smith & Hawkins, they were having a sidewalk sale yesterday and, on clearance, they had these circular cork mats to put your plants on for $1.39 each. They were perfect (or so I thought), so I grabbed three; one for each of the hand-me-down embroidery hoops I had in mind for the project.
After I got home, I traced around the hoop onto the cork just like this tutorial says, http://www.sweetjessie.com/2008/03/put-cork-in-it.html , but ran into some problems because the back is lined with plastic. I thought I would be able to gently peel off the plastic backing however the cork breaks when I try to separate the cork from the plastic. So there it sits, awaiting for me to come up with a solution, and also awaiting for me to decide which fabric I want to use. Too many fabrics, so little time.
In this photo, look at what the vintage fan is sitting on, and there you will find another artfully repurposed craft that is fun and simple to make. I found some shutters at a garage sale (I found some in three different sizes, and so I made three, though the other two can't be seen in this photo). With these shutters, I screwed them together to form a rectangular box, topped it with a piece of scrap wood, and paint as you see fit. Voila, a nice little place to set your beverage, book, clock, or whatever else doesn't take up too much surface area!
Here you kind of see more of the shutters that I repurposed. On top is an antique shoe-form, into which I popped an old dowel rod (which had been a paint stirrer in its recent past), and there you have a paper towel holder.
Next is a birdhouse-trio wall-hanging necklace-holder I made. At the flea market in Shipshewanna, Indiana, I found someone who was selling those adorable little birdhouses for something like fifty cents to a dollar, depending on the size. Surely he was using reclaimed wood, which makes this all the more eco-friendly. I glued and nailed the trio together, placed eye hooks in the side and attached with a ribbon I got at a garage sale years ago. Then I screwed three cup hooks onto the front, and there you have it. I originally made it for keys, but after I amassed all those necklaces at a garage sale for ten cents apiece, I needed a place to put them.
Next up is one of my personal favs. Here we have a few feedsacks that I've sewn to fit a body pillow. Did you know that back in the olden days, people would use their feed sacks just like regular fabric, and many of their garments would get lined with this feedsack material. Companies actually started making the lettering wash out so that it was all the more easier to repurpose the material. Anyway, I love the way they look, and they're comfy too!
Along the same lines as the Feed sack body pillows, here we have three pillows. One is made from ladies' handkerchiefs, one from fabric napkins, and the third from a vintage bag of flour.
Last up for now is a wine crate ottoman, complete with free casters that my friend gave me after she took them off something of hers. The wine crate was given to me a long time ago by an ex's mother. I simply placed some foam on top, covered it with fabric, and stapled the fabric to the underside of the lid. Inside I store linens. In this house, almost everything needs to double as storage because I have so much STUFF!
Here is a mug tree I got awhile ago at a garage sale. I liked it because it was metal and shabby chic, not like the 70s wooden one we all grew up with. I did have mugs on it until I came into a ton of jewelry at a garage sale, all ten cents per piece, and now I am having to find creative ways to store it all. I told myself I wouldn't buy anything to put the jewelry on and would instead just use found objects around the house. This seems to do the trick, however, I think it works best with bracelets because it doesn't have much height.
This is a cat house I made in college for Lily, our then-cat. She was a stray who just walked into the house one day, literally, and then never left. A roommate of mine kept her after college. To make this house, I used leftover wood that I had. No new wood was purchased. I painted it to look cute, and there you have it. It no longer houses any animals, but it sits out in front of our house just for show.
Wow, am I tan in this photo.