I’m obsessed with finding clever ways to repurpose what I may have, at one time, considered trash. I’d like to flatter myself and pretend my recent obsession with turning the ugly and useless into something pretty and functional is solely rooted in a deep desire to save the planet and eliminate waste, but honestly, it’s mostly about saving a buck (sorry, Captain Planet). Minimizing the amount of junk I contribute to the landfill is just a great ego-boosting bonus.

We done good so far. Our chicken coop was made using materials we salvaged from the old one in the move, and I saved up my wine bottles over the past few months to create a garden border, but there is still so much to do and not a lot of money to do it with.

Fortunately, I have picked up some recent gems online that I’m 90 percent sure I can emulate.

Stumbling across this hanging shoe rack-turned-vegetable garden on Instructables set my heart in a tizzy. For starters, it’s amazingly cute and I can picture it hanging it from the side of our lackluster metal shed. The space gets ample sun and could undoubtedly benefit from the addition of some gorgeous greenery. Secondly, I have one of these bad boys just sitting in a bag in my closet! The new casa has sliding closet doors that don’t do well with hanging intrusions (like this shoe rack), but I couldn’t bring myself to toss a perfectly well-functioning storage device. Now that I’ve discovered this precious number, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a funky new yard piece I can show off to friends whether they want to see it or not.

I feel likewise about this pallet herb garden from Apartment Therapy. Our fridge was delivered on a similar pallet that we kept because, you know, free wood, but haven’t found a use for yet. Finding this pretty much solved that problem.

Since visiting the Habitat for Humanity ReStore a month ago, we knew we wanted to incorporate old windows into the garden somehow. At $5 a pop, how could we not?  Using them in a green house capacity was always in the cards but this design was quite inspiring, and I feel falls well within the skill level of Handyman Heath. With freezing temps still very much in our future, getting one of these up and running may happen sooner rather than later.

We have an unofficial wine bottle theme happening in the yard now, so this torch idea from Design Sponge is practically inevitable.  The only hiccup is waiting for the privacy fence to go up before something like this could be installed. That probably won’t happen until spring, but the bright side is it gives me time to collect more bottles (aka drink lots and lots of wine).

Since moving, we’ve acquired about a dozen paint cans that are nearly empty but not quite. I’ve been saving them with the idea that I might need to touch up a wall or two over time, but seeing this creative use of old paint cans on Best Green Home Tips makes me want to attack them right away and use them to spice up a drab section of fence. The only problem is, I’m not sure how advisable it is to dump paint down the drain. Something tells me The Lorax wouldn’t be too happy about that one.

I found this side table made from old shutters on Good Housekeeping. Writing that sentence makes me a little scared of my own domesticity (Stepford much?), but come on, that’s cute.

Wine bottles, paint cans, shoe racks…nothing is off limits. I don’t know that I will make a habit of rummaging through my neighbors’ garbage for salvageable material, but it’s nice to know that when it comes to creating art from junk, virtually anything is possible.

14 Comments on “Repurpose”

  1. Joy Stateson says:

    Is there no limit to your cleverness? I love all these ideas and I will gladly contribute to your wine bottle collection. Love you guys. Mom

  2. kmom says:

    Nice ideas. Do look into proper paint disposal, basically leaving the top off and letting it dry.
    All you need now is LOTS of plants.

  3. Morning Bridget … good ideas! I love the windows. And the wine bottles! About the paint, we have lots too and I was going to wash them out to use for storing garden items … but love the idea of using them for planters! I’ve heard of people pouring all the (same type) leftover paint into one container and the result is usually an interesting colour. A.M.

  4. boodlesmom says:

    I love it and you’re right! Better Homes and Gardens could do a photo shoot. I think I’m gonna copycat you on some of them. Great ideas!

  5. fabulously clever ideas. It’s the direction I’m moving in out here so it’s neat to see these gorgeous pics.

  6. Wow, love all of your ideas!

  7. Wow. Everything is amazingly beautiful in its simplicity. Is there no way to tweet this out?

  8. KL says:

    All fantastic ideas. I am going to try them, especially the greenhouse :-).

  9. Niki says:

    I am all about the re-purposing! We have a glass shower door, should you want a large piece of glass for any of your projects. I just can’t bring myself to throw it away, and no one on freecycle has been looking for one (yes, I posted it as an offer too). I’m sure you could find (clear out) and use so many multi-purpose things from Gramps and Elouise’s backyard. 🙂

  10. […] space to keep what looks like a shanty town at bay. Pallet Planter–Some time ago, I blogged here about wanting to create a planter out of the pallet my fridge was delivered with. We’ve […]

  11. Fabulous ideas! I love the window shutters turned into a side table…Brilliant.

  12. Allison says:

    Wow! There are some really cute ideas here! I especially like all the creative planters.

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