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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Guest Blog: Three Cheap-n-Easy Repurposing Projects

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Hi Everyone! Becky here! Please welcome Alex Levin, who is guest blogging for us today. Alex is a writer for Granite Transformations, agreen remodeling company that advances sustainable construction practices by finding new ways to reduce waste and recycle such as using broken Skyy vodka bottles to make countertops. Take it away, Alex…

Whether you are doing a complete re-vamp or just adding new elements to your home, there are endless possibilities for creating a unique and comfortable atmosphere for your living space. I try to be as green as possible, combining repurposed pieces with new ones in order to achieve a feeling of lived-in usability.  Here are a few tips for repurposing that will make you feel a bit like a Home Improvement MacGyver.


A Free Storage Solution For Mugs, Pots, and Pans: One of the biggest problems in kitchens is lack of storage space. I, for one, have more mugs than cabinet space. Some friends of mine found a great solution to this problem in their Brooklyn loft that will work almost anywhere: mounting a shipping pallet on the wall with hooks for hanging items. Pallets are available from trucking companies, warehouses and even home improvement centers, sometimes for free – keep your eyes open for them on the sidewalk, in the alleys, and leaning up against dumpster. Make sure the pallet you choose is clean and structurally sound. If you’re not feeling the natural wood, paint it or stain it.  Next, install hooks along the slats. The small, screw-in type of hook works well for mugs, but if you are planning on hanging larger items from your pallet, upgrade your hook quality accordingly.  You can also use “S” hooks is you don’t want to commit to your hook placement. Once you’ve got your hooks where you want them, mount the pallet on your wall, making sure to utilize the studs in the construction. Ask at your local home improvement store for advice on the hardware necessary for your type of wall. Voila! From beer steins to measuring cups, this is a great space saver.

Have an Old Door? Think Horizontal! Another resourceful idea is to use an old door as a table. With a repurposed piece like this, you can feel free to paint, stain or adjust whatever you want to work with your individual style. Scope out your local flea market or hit up an estate sale for pieces that will fit in your space. First, make sure your door is sanded and clean; this may require a wire brush.  Second, attach the legs. Home improvement and hardware stores sell table legs in various heights. Consult a pro when determining the best way to attach the legs. Before you know it, Knock, knock…who’s there?  Your dining room table!

If you’re still on a repurposing roll, an old ladder is a great piece for storage.  A short, fixed ladder can be suspended from the ceiling in the kitchen and used as a pot hanger. First, make sure you have a secure ceiling for this project as it will be quite heavy (in other words, don’t just screw it into a popcorn ceiling!) Simply grab some “S” hooks from a hardware store and hang pots and pans from them.  A ladder can also be used as a towel rack in the bathroom.  This is a great solution for a bathroom with tiled walls where installing a traditional towel rack is tricky.  Just lean the ladder against the wall at a suitable angle – no tile damage required!  If you have enough space in your bathroom, a step ladder can be a fun way to create even more storage.  Hang towels along the rounded rungs and place bath supplies, candles or houseplants on the steps.


Now that you’ve got a few ideas, head to your local flea market and go nuts! Look at things with new eyes and try to imagine how you could use it.  Repurposing projects aren’t just limited to large fixtures.  You’ll be amazed by what you can create from the most random of things – if you’ve ever used a coffee can for pens, you’ve already repurposed!

Images via Funky Junk Interiors

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