Adventures in Garbage

Posts tagged upcycle

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 ūüėČ ) 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.

Building a Pallet Table

As I’ve said before, if you can successfully dismantle a pallet, you basically win a free stack of lumber. Which means, anything you can build with 1×4’s and 2×4’s ¬†you can build with the pieces of a pallet. If you already know that you will not be needing the pallet shape for your build, and if you don’t need the full length of the planks, a (sometimes) simpler way to remove them is to just cut them free with a saw.

Simply run your saw along the  cross pieces. Depending on the lengths you need, you still may need to pry off one or more.

Simply run your saw along the cross pieces. Depending on the lengths you need, you still may need to pry off one or more.

After  freeing everything up, select what you need for your piece. (Not pictured: 2x4's removed from a different pallet, split into  2x2's to become the legs)

After freeing everything up, select what you need for your piece. (Not pictured: 2×4 cross pieces removed from a different pallet, split into 2×2’s to become the legs)

I begin with a basic frame.

I begin with a basic frame.

Then lay out  and square up the top.

Then lay out and square up the top.

Using what's left, I beefed up the frame to secure the legs a bit more.

Using what’s left, I beefed up the frame to secure the legs a bit more.

Now, sand EVERYTHING.

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Then we can add a bit of color. Stain, or paint, or both.

 

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Lastly, place your top planks, and tack them down (I use a nail gun).

Add a sealer coat – And we’re done!

Cute little accent table- built for about $6.

Cute little accent table- built for about $6.

Pallet Kitchen Rack

I’m going to be adding a few posts into a series about the versatility of shipping pallets. There is no shortage of pallet projects on the internet, but I hope to go a little more step by step in case you’re actually wondering how to create some of these simple projects on your own. — Firstly, a PSA, if you have not looked into it before, please do a Google¬†search about identifying pallets that have been chemically treated. Please do not use them. Without knowing what a pallet may have been used for, even untreated ones, you should always wear a mask when sanding.

OK- I’ll start off with my most recent- this Kitchen Wall Rack. First find a pallet.

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Decide how tall you would like the back of your rack to be. Then cut through the pallet.

Decide how tall you would like the back of your rack to be. Then cut through the pallet.

Carefully remove 2 of the planks on one side, trying not to split them. I prefer to use a hammer and pry bar.

Carefully remove all but 1 of the planks on one side, trying not to split them. I prefer to use a hammer and pry bar.

Reattach one of the planks onto the open bottom of the pallet. And pound in or remove any stray nails.

Reattach one of the planks onto the open bottom of the pallet. And pound in or remove any stray nails.

Meanwhile. :)

Meanwhile. :)

Sand and stain (or paint)

Sand and stain (or paint)

Add some hardware- I did 2 screw hooks into the base and 3 standard coat hooks on the front. I added brackets and a shelf on the top as well.

Add some hardware- I did 4 screw hooks into the base and 3 standard coat hooks on the front. I added brackets and a shelf on the top as well.

There you have it. Turn empty wall space into functional storage and organization for any cramped kitchen.

There you have it. Turn empty wall space into functional storage and organization for any cramped kitchen.

Ghosts of Projects Past #3

Here is the last handful of some old projects I wanted to add to the list.

Up first is this little farm themed cabinet thing.

When we were getting ready to move into our current house.  I new we would need a few more furniture pieces than what we had in our old house.  But we were also on a super budget leading up to our closing. Thus, my quest for free furniture began!

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I couldn’t just leave it there in the rain, Ma. Can’t we keep him? Pleeeaase?

I had been looking for some small storage piece for a bathroom for a while. I found this sitting in the rain one day and decided to make it work. First I sanded off the farm birds and got rid of the egg handles. It was easy —over easy. I’m sorry you had to hear that…¬†Anyway, I used the unhinged door to patch the one with the hole. Then painted and updated the hardware.

And now here it sits in my bathroom.

And now here it sits in my bathroom.

The next one is another piece that I created when preparing for our move last year. However,  this was not taken from the street. It had been down in my parents basement for years. 

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The picture doesn’t show that the center of one of the doors is cracked in half.

The typical sand,  paint,  distress job ensued. But I also used a plastic backsplash sheet to replace the center of the doors.  A bit of a gamble,  but it really paid off.

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It’s now full of kids instruments. I also swiped those closet doors from my parents shed. And that chair was a street freebie.

 

This last one was a bit of an experiment.

I’d been wanting to try converting an old console tv into a furniture piece. But had heard that the parts removal process could be difficult because of the glass and electronics. I was thrilled when this shell of a tv was just hanging out on the corner!

Yes, my kids and I did our own "tv shows" while it remained hollow. I may have been a little to into it.

Yes, my kids and I did our own “tv shows” while it was hollow. I may have been a little too into it…

A surprisingly simple conversion consisting of a new base shelf, a center shelf and paneling to close it up. Then paint and cleaning up the hardware. And now, you can use your old tv to hold your new one.

Which is what it is doing these days in my brother's basement.

Which is exactly what it is doing these days in my brother’s basement.

 

So yes, for the dozen or so Facebook friends who tagged me in this meme. You are quite right. I do this all the time. Except I’m usually in the drivers seat and then quickly pulling a u-turn :)

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