Adventures in Garbage

Posts in category Restoration Projects

Outdoor Rocking Chair

Last week I found the frame of an outdoor rocking chair perched precariously on an overloaded trashcan in an alley.

I'm guessing it used to be cushioned.

I’m guessing it used to be cushioned.

But with a solid wood frame, weathered as it is, I knew it could be salvaged

First I removed all of the old springs and links. And tightened the existing bolts.

First I removed all of the old springs and links. And tightened the existing bolts.

Then I added one 2x4 for secure the frame.

Then I added one 2×4 for secure the frame.

Trusty old pallet wood to the rescue, yet again. My air compressor is out of commission at the moment, so I had to use screws instead of the nail gun. In general, I try not to use screws with pallet wood because it is so likely to split.

Trusty old pallet wood to the rescue, yet again.

My air compressor is out of commission at the moment, so I had to use screws instead of the nail gun. In general, I try not to use screws with pallet wood because it is so likely to split.

I sanded everything down and gave it all a coat of PolyShades.

I sanded everything down and gave it all a coat of PolyShades.

I really liked how the red of the original frame cleaned up when I sanded it, so I didn’t bother changing it

A splash of hospitality and it's all set!

A splash of hospitality and it’s all set!

total cost: about $2 in stain.

Total cost: about $2 in stain.

Dresser redone

I found this dresser in an alley with the garbage last Monday.

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Having sat through the rain and missing several drawers just means a little extra work.

Thankfully it’s solid wood, so the water damage was minimal and nothing a little sanding wouldn’t fix. But first I had to rethink the structure because of the missing pieces. I caught a break being able to just move the one drawer down since they are the same size.

First I knocked out old drawer supports, leaving the ones I wanted to turn into shelves.

First I knocked out the old drawer supports, leaving the ones where I would want to add shelves.

Next I dropped in some plywood onto the drawer supports and tacked it down.

Next, I removed the hardware and gave everything a good sanding.

Next, I removed the hardware and gave everything a good sanding.

Then stained inside and out. I used PolyShades Antique Walnut - because that's what I had on hand.  :)

Then stained inside and out. I used PolyShades Antique Walnut – because that’s what I had on hand. :)

A little upgrade in hardware.

A little upgrade in hardware.

Last, drop in a couple of baskets to prove its new functionality!

And last, drop in a couple of baskets to prove its new functionality!

Dressers that are missing drawers are a common occurence in the trash game. Much of the time, metal scrappers will take them if they have steel tracks or drawer pulls. But with a little extra time and some reimagining, even just the frame can still be quite useful!

(total reno cost about $6 for hardware and stain – the plywood was free)

Creating organization

Phew! Took a nice little break for a couple of weeks and only did a couple of projects as time allowed. More trips to the park with the kids and fewer hours painting and sanding while the weather still allows us to do those things :)

I did manage to find this excellent piece a couple of weeks ago.

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Church pews are such unique pieces and this one is no exception. It didn’t take me long to realize I might be keeping this one for myself.

One of the first things parents of young children realize is how much crap they, the kids, seem to have and how all of it is everywhere all of the time. And how, some days, outfitting your kids with shoes in order to leave the house feels as daunting as climbing Mt Everest, with 2 kids who inexplicably have lost their shoes and have jelly on their socks. Who knew that my solution to jellysocks would be a free church pew on craigslist.

Once I started sanding, I realized the base was completely hollow. That, to me, seems like a waste of space.

Once I started sanding, I realized the base was completely hollow. That, to me, seems like a waste of space.

So I pried the front off. It was surprisingly easy!

So I pried the front off. It was surprisingly easy!

I finished the sanding and did 2 coats of Polyshades and then a spray coat of poly.

I finished the sanding and did 2 coats of Polyshades and then a spray coat of poly.

I gathered up some storage baskets- large enough that each kid has space for their backpack, jacket, shoes, hat and gloves.

I gathered up some storage baskets- large enough that each kid has space for their backpack, jacket, shoes, hat and gloves.

AND WHALLA! This freebie successfully delayed my desire to tear out the wall dividing our kitchen and dining room (for now 😉 ) and keeps me from tripping all over the shoes, socks, jackets and bags that were continually jammed behind the door. Plus, I’ve got more space to put holiday pillows!  New organizational systems and repurposing garbage — these are a few of my favorite things!

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Upcycling a stereo cabinet.

I hauled in this excellent cabinet piece 2 weeks ago. Seasonal tip: this time of year, thrift stores need to shovel everything non-halloween and then non Christmas related out of their stores to make room for their busiest time of year. Almost all the furniture was marked down to $10 or less. This (as well as that bench I shared on Facebook) were selling for $5. And I got that piano for free! So, if you’re in the market for anything second hand, check your local shops now!

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So, this is what I brought home.

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It had a sweet old record player in the center console. Unfortunately it was not in proper working order. That would have been awesome.

But, I WAS able to pull it out in one piece and the kids love playing with the switches and spinning some turn table beats. *wikka-wikka-wikka-whaaa!*

But, I WAS able to pull it out in one piece and the kids love playing with the switches and spinning some turn table beats. *wikka-wikka-wikka-whaaa!*

So first I removed all of the internal components.

So first I removed all of the internal components.

Only the center portion was built to open. So I pried off the ends and fitted them with hinges.

Only the center portion was built to open. So I pried off the ends and fitted them with hinges as well.

Then I spray painted everything with a thick almond white gloss paint.

Then I spray painted everything with a thick almond white gloss paint.

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Next, I closed up the back with a piece of lauan.

Lastly I painted and reattached the hardware, adding the formerly brass knobs I removed from my kitchen last year.

Lastly I painted and reattached the hardware, adding the formerly brass knobs I removed from my kitchen last year.

And there it sits. For a renovation total of roughly $16.

Farm Style Pallet Table

In the garbage business, pallets really are a dime a dozen. Except cheaper. They are also so versatile that they frequently masquerade in all kinds of other designs. One difficult thing about pallet furniture, or any rough wood for that matter, is that can be difficult to clean. That’s why sanding, resanding, and thick sealant is always important.  So, when I had a giant piece of glass left over from a different piece, I knew I wanted to build a pallet table for it.

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I had this partially cut pallet left from an old project.

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I added a simple frame to bring the surface area to match the glass.

I had taken these old spindles from my parent's shed earlier this summer, and they worked out great here.

I had taken these old spindles from my parent’s shed earlier this summer, and they worked out great here.

Next I added some more framing. Some for strength, some for decoration.

Next I added some more framing. Some for strength, some for decoration.

And a coat of paint.

And a coat of paint.

Lastly I added that piece of glass. And here it is in the outdoor display at Dover Antique Mall.

Lastly I added that piece of glass. And here it is in the outdoor display at Dover Antique Mall.

The Latest

Phew! I feel like August just flew by! (except it forgot to take it’s humidity when it left). I have been super busy around here the last few weeks, so pardon my lack of projects and postings.

I moved my shop into a larger space in a prime location at the Antique Mall. Things have been going really well! For the first time I have ZERO finished projects waiting around the house/garage and nothing pending in classified adds. That means items have actually been selling items faster than I can make them! I am feeling very blessed and so encouraged.

Here is a simple piece I cleaned up this week after picking it up off of Rt 74 on Monday.

Definitely in better shape than a lot of the stuff I pick up.

Definitely in better shape than a lot of the stuff I pick up.

And super unique. believe it was an old radio cabinet.

And super unique. I believe it was an old radio cabinet.

Since it was just missing a back and had some blistering from years of sun damage, this upgrade is really straight forward. Discounting dry-time, I finished it in about 90 minutes.

First step was to just clean it. Years and years of that thick dust, and a tiny stash of squirelly walnuts in the lower left corner later and I was feeling even more confident that this would be an easy job.

Plus ripping out the old radio components and the speaker from the drawer.

I ripped out the old radio components and the speaker from the drawer.

I did a very light sanding on the top and then a coat of Polyshades to bring it back to match the tone and shine of the sides.

I did a very light sanding on the top and then a coat of Polyshades to bring it back to match the tone and shine of the sides.

Next I tacked on a new back and dropped in a new shelf.

Next I tacked on a new back and dropped in a new shelf.

That speaker drawer was so awkward with a  hole cut in the bottom and no sides, so I added a craft crate so it can actually hold things.

That speaker drawer was so awkward with a hole cut in the bottom and no sides, so I added a craft crate so it can actually hold things. I totally lucked out that I had one laying around and that it was the PERFECT size. (I don’t do much “pre-planning” if you you haven’t noticed.)

And I moved it into the shop this morning, just in time for the big sale this weekend :)

And I moved it into the shop this morning, just in time for the big sale this weekend :)

Not one of my most drastic upgrades, but I really love classic pieces like this. And when fine wood is salvageable, it’s kind of a shame to spray paint it aqua 😉

Creativity Block

I’m not sure what the “writers block” word equivalent is when it comes to design. But, man oh man did I have it bad when it came to this piece. I spotted this more then a month ago in an alley around the corner from my sister’s house.

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my ideas for it were all over the board: pantry cabinet, toy storage, mini bar, entertainment center- But nothing inspired me enough to actually get started on it. For weeks!

This poor guy sat in my garage watching many pieces come in and go out before he got any attention. I was on the point of just stripping it down for re-usable parts when, upon closer examination, inspiration finally hit me! So I grabbed a hammer and pry bar and got to work.

With shockingly little  effort and no additional damage, I separated the 2 halves.

With shockingly little effort and no additional damage, I separated the 2 halves.

A little more prying and off came the top.

A little more prying and off came the top.

Next I removed the drawer bases to hollow it out.

Next I removed the drawer bases to hollow it out.

Then added a little additional framing to  secure the doors and back.

Then added a little additional framing to secure the doors and back.

Replace the top- now  connected with hinges

Replaced the top- now connected with hinges

Then Prime. Paint. — Perfect.

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Old Tire = New Ottoman

 A few people have asked about the recycled tire ottoman I have featured in the gallery. It is one of my favorite projects because tires are EVERYWHERE and because it is a GREAT beginner project. So, here is a step by step approach to making your own tire ottoman. A note before we begin- the burlap ribbon that I use is generally $6 per roll. I used 2.5. I recently discovered my craft store began selling used coffee bean sacks for $3 a piece. I have not done it yet, but I would like to redo this project again using of of those since it would cut the materials cost.

First, get a tire.
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Begin by wrapping the tire tightly with ribbon. Securing it with staples. I am using black burlap ribbon, the widest I could find.20150725_082619

Next, for the top, you will need a 24″ square of plywood (or similar) at least half inch thick. Trace a large circle on your board. Then cut it out with a jig saw. (If you would like to add a base with legs or casters, do this twice)20150726_162154

Next, wrap your cut circle in quilt batting and secure with staples.20150726_163426

Now, cover the batting with your choice of fabric. Again securing with staples.20150726_165150

Flip your covered circle upside down and place the tire on top of it, centered. Now using a drill and screws, separate the folds in your ribbon and drill through the tire into your board. Do your best not to sink the head of the screw into the tire or to drill all the way through your plywood.20150726_165609

If you don’t wish to add a base, your job is done :)

To add a base, you will use an identical circle to what you cut for the top. For splintery reasons, I wrapped the edge in leftover fabric. It will be barely visible.20150726_172233

Next fasten casters or legs, if you choose, to the base20150726_172754

Finally screw your base onto the tire.20150726_173438

And Enjoy DSC02711

Hockey Stick Table

Quack. Quack. QUACK. QUACK! QUACK!!!

Here’s a fun project for the hockey fan in your life. Personally, I’ve never really cared about the NHL. But I love The Mighty Ducks Trilogy and my Dad recently had an abundance of old hockey sticks he was trying to unload.

So naturally I took them.

So naturally I took them. ( It’s like my own team of middle school misfits who I’ve to whip into shape before we face The Hawks! )

First I used a chop saw to cut them into sections.

Caution for anyone who actually plans to do this: Many hockey sticks contain fiber glass. Fiberglass can easily irritate your skin. The Dust that will fly up from the saw can make your skin feel like you just rolled around in a squirrel's nest of insulation. Trust me.

Caution for anyone who actually plans to do this: Many hockey sticks contain fiber glass. Fiberglass can easily irritate your skin. The Dust that will fly up from the saw can make your skin feel like you just rolled around in a squirrel’s nest of insulation. So, cover up. Trust me.

Next, I leveled out the larger lable portions of the sticks and fastened them together.

Next, I leveled out the larger lable portions of the sticks and fastened them together with screws.

Using a nail gun, I attached others around the edges as trim pieces.

Using a nail gun, I attached others around the edges as trim pieces.

Using the handle portions of the sticks, I doubled them up, fastened them to blocks and attached the blocks to make legs. I also used left over stick portions for the cross pieces.

Using the handle portions of the sticks, I doubled them up, fastened them to blocks and attached the blocks to make legs. I also used left over stick portions for the cross pieces.

And there you have it.

And there you have it!

Ducks never say die!

Yet Another Pallet Table

So, Sunday night I was putting the trash out and noticed this pristine beauty sitting out with my neighbor’s garbage cans. Of course I snatched it out of there.

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It has such nice grain and a number stamp on the side! I love that detail.

Quick little addition.

Quick little addition.

Fashion some legs.

Fashion some legs.

And paint them since they had a different stain on them.

And paint them since they had a different stain on them.

Then sand, seal, and we’re done!

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Rustic little coffee table in under an hour for about $3.