It’s that time of year again, when I like to raise awareness of America Recycles Day and share the small part I play to make the earth a better place to live. Last year I introduced you to “upcycling” and highlighted the creative reuse furniture projects my son, Ben, completed. This year, I am happy to say the entire family has been busy in the workshop repurposing and upcycling furniture and more. So this blog is sort of a Creative Reuse – Part II.
The spirit of upcycling is to not waste that which has, or could have, useful life. It focuses on reusing or repurposing materials and has the overall environmental benefit of reducing your carbon footprint. It so happens that bulk trash pickup in my neighborhood falls in October. And as I walk my dog around the neighborhood I find valuable treasures in other people’s junk piles…items that definitely still have a useful life. So just last week we picked up an old BBQ grill and restored it with some elbow grease, paint and a few replacement parts and it works like new! We also found a huge tree stump that will soon become the base for a new coffee table! We will save that for another blog, but my blog today focuses more on restoring items we already had around the house.
We honor America Recycles Day, November 15th, with a blog featuring our latest creative reuse projects.
Creative Reuse – 100 year old Door transformed into a Shabby/Chic Headboard
The feature project is the upcycling of this old door found at a scrap yard. Ben knew immediately upon seeing it that this would become the headboard for his girlfriend’s new bed. It started with removing the old hardware and scraping and sanding off all of the old paint. The porcelain door knob was a gem, so he cleaned and polished it like new. He then created his own “stain” by soaking steel wool in vinegar for a few days. The longer the steel wool soaks, the darker the stain becomes. He applied the stain and then put a matte polyurethane finish over it. He padded the headboard by cutting plywood to fit the panels in the door, covering them with batting and a soft flannel material, and gluing them to the door headboard.
Creative Reuse – Furniture from the past Reimagined with Chalk Paint
My husband inherited his baby dresser years ago, which is now over 50 years old. In its day it had a beautiful walnut veneer but over the years it lost its appeal and was relegated to a closet to be used for storage. But now that my eldest son is moving into his own home, we had the perfect opportunity to do what all empty nesters do…turn his bedroom into a guest bedroom! So out of the closet came the baby dresser, and with a coat of lovely red chalk paint, this forgotten dresser has now become the focal point of the guest room!
Earlier this year we went to the local “Junk in the Trunk” vintage market and discovered a 100 year old desk top which happened to be missing its legs. It had no useful purpose, as is, so we purchased unfinished legs and again used our red chalk paint to upcycle this unwanted piece of furniture into a beautiful desk to match the dresser.
Our final project was repurposing an old file cabinet. Straight out of the 80’s, this file cabinet was golden oak in color and definitely did not “fit” in my antique gray furnished office. It was in the garage collecting dust when I had an epiphany that it would be a great nightstand for our new guest room. I love red, so yep, red it is. The guest room is done in charcoal gray and black so the red accent pieces are not as overpowering as you might think.
Creative Reuse – Recycling old blogs for America Recycles Day
Finally, I thought, why not “recycle” our blog from a couple years ago, in the true spirit of America Recycles Day. Read more helpful tips on how you can “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Every Day”.
Look around your house. What do you have that could be repurposed or upcycled into something useful and beautiful? Creative reuse is good for the earth and good for your soul.