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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Art of Repurposing

I recently posted this entry on my blog http://www.dandelionwishes-mimi.blogspot.com/ and I thought I would share it here with all of you as well......

What in the world is repurposing you ask?? Well I define it as taking an object with it's original purpose and using it for something entirely different giving it a new purpose. You may have repurposed items all around your home without even realizing it. The laundry basket used to store toys, a pretty mug used to hold pencils by the phone, or empty baby food jars used to organize nuts and bolts in the garage. All good examples of repurposed items. Items for repurposing can be found just about anywhere. They can be new items or previously used items. I must admit I have been known to rescue items from the certain demise of the garbage man. I call these items curb-side treasures :) To master the art of repurposing, you must "think outside the box". Well that's how my family refers to me anyway. When I look at an item I think about what it would look like with a fresh coat of white paint, or how I could use this item for unique storage or what would this item look like in the garden? It helps to give new purpose to things. Are you still confused? Let me show you a few examples from around my home......
First let's visit my garden

A bucket that once held coal now holds a pretty flower.

An old worn out shutter makes a nice background for a cheerful potted flower.

An old locker basket is now the home for a happy geranium.

I have lots of repurposed items throughout my home as well. Here are just a few of my favorites..

When I saw this old fan blade guard I just fell in love with it's charm. I wasn't sure what I would do with this little treasure but since it was only a quarter I scooped it right up. After I got it home I realized what a wonderful towel rack it would make hanging on my little red table in the kitchen.

This was a real find at a local flea market. It's original purpose was to display bags of chips for sale at at grocery store. I thought it would be perfect to display some of my favorite vintage photos of my family.
I love to repurpose items in my craft studio as well...

I have always loved the look of these old flower frogs. I have quite a collection of them. This one found it's way to my scrapbook table and is the perfect thing to hold all of my pens and pencils.

I just recently added this repurposed item.. When I came home with this my family just shook their heads. I told them not to worry I had the perfect plan for this treasure. What is it you ask...well it is the springs of a baby crib (painted that pretty shade of blue that I love) It is the perfect way to store all of my die-cuts. I purchased some little "S" hooks for them to hang on---now I can easily see what I have and it makes them so accessible.
I found this sweet little salt shaker at an estate sale recently. I really loved the way the glass was cut. I use salt skakers in my craft studio to store my glitter, but this one was so pretty I thought it would make the ideal vase for those dainty flowers growing in my garden right now.

As you can see it is so much fun to repurpose items. Just use your imagination and "think outside the box". You will be amazed how once that was headed for the trash will now become one of your prized treasures. Have fun and happy treasure hunting :)

If you would like to share some of your repurposed items with everyone, visit the etsy cottage forum "The art of repurposing" and join in the fun.


Cyndi said...

You are so clever! Everyone is talking about going "green" these days; what you do is a perfect example of that. You're not leaving a "carbon footprint" (am I the only one who hates that expression?). And, you have a house filled with your personality, not what Pottery Barn and all the other manufacturers think we should have in our houses. How boring would that be? It's funny that your family thinks you're a little kookoo; we think you're a genius!

Sherry/Cherie said...

Mimi, I love your "repurposing" -- being able to take an object and visualize it as something else. I'm totally taken with what you've done for your pretty plants -- it gives them a whole new, fresh look -- from the pages of a decor magazine!

The Rose Cottage said...

Great post Mimi, I love all the ways you find to repurpose, especially the bottom of that old baby crib :)

Debbi said...

Mimi I have one of those coal shuttle buckets too, and I have planted flowers in it ever year! I love how you can see the another use for so many things--I think the crib springs was the best yet!


Carriers*Cozy*Cottage said...

Oh what a wonderful idea !!

I love old salt & pepper shakers.


Cheryl @ Vintage Serenity said...

Love your repurposed baby bed! I linked to it from my blog:) Hugs and Blessings! ~Cheryl