(Article today by Adria Saracino, a pretty sweet personal *fashion* blogger ;))
I used to buy a lot of $hit.
A self-proclaimed shopaholic, I was addicted to spending an insane amount of money. My poisons of choice? Fashion and home décor.
Budgets weren’t really an option in my mind. I’d look at my bank account, see it wasn’t negative, and say “let’s do this” to every piece of fashion and home accessory I saw. If I didn’t have the money I would put it on my credit card and vow to pay it off on my next paycheck.
That rarely happened. Rather, I’d pay some of the bills off just to justify buying even more the next time around. I rewarded my payments with buying more. It was an endless cycle I knew was destructive, but I couldn’t stop.
It wasn’t until I was thousands of dollars in the hole that it really hit me. I had the opportunity to go on a Vegas trip with my friends, but I had to sit out because I couldn’t afford it.
I’d never really been the type to hold myself back from fun, so when I had to out of necessity, I knew it was time to change. Especially because I was in the midst of moving to a new apartment, I knew there’d be a lot of temptations to buy new home décor items.
So I got my $hit together. However, I needed more than just a vow to spend less. I needed a way to fill that void of owning something new, or else I knew my new habits would never stick.
Thus, I turned to refurbishing things.
From creating new garments from thrift store finds to turning an old snowboard into a bench, I became addicted to refurbishing items into new and interesting ways. It did more than fill the void of owning more stuff, it made me feel better because I actually made this shiny new piece of wonderfulness.
Now, I create new pieces all the time. I’m constantly researching new ways to repurpose old items. It’s become somewhat of a new addiction. Since I think about it all the time, I thought I’d share some of the more interesting ways I’ve seen others repurpose pieces into new treasures. I’ll also share a few ideas of my own that I’ve either done already, or plan to do in the future.
Hopefully this will help all the other shopaholics out there buy less stuff and create a new item that you can proudly say is a one of a kind.
1. Create a new lamp out of anything
I am convinced you can create a new lamp out of just about any type of material, and when won’t you need more lighting? A room’s lighting can really set the tone of a space, and the possibilities are endless.
You can create a lamp out of an old washing machine drum and pulley wheels, an idea I saw over at PartSelect Appliances in this article, which also outlined other ways to reuse appliances. You can even make a lamp out of photo negatives, as seen in the photo above taken by Aleksi Pihkanen. Really, if you can think of a material, you can most likely use it in some way to create a new lamp.
2. Reupholster using old clothes
Clothes = fabric. Fabric + old piece of furniture = newly upholstered piece. Use an old piece of clothing you don’t like anymore to reupholster a piece of furniture, such as a bench cushion. Items that are flat and lack hardware are best, such as a women’s pencil skirt.
3. Utilize old wine corks
I currently save all my wine corks and put them into a large vase as a focal point for my mantel. Another great idea is to use corks as a rustic corkboard, as seen in the photo below taken by Andrew Smith.
4. Reuse old dryer sheets
After using a dryer sheet, toss them into your drawers to act as a just-out-of-the-wash air freshener.
5. Create mosaic tiles out of glass bottles
What else gives you an excuse to smash bottles without looking like you need anger management? Reuse glass bottles to create beautiful mosaic tiles for garden walkways or pieces of art, such as seen in the photo below taken by Bridgeman Pottery.
6. Turn an old circuit board into a coaster
You don’t have to stop at a coaster. Circuit boards are essentially a large piece of flat material, so you can make it into anything. I saw some really awesome ideas in this article by PC Mag, ranging from coasters to mouse pads.
There are many other ways to reuse common household items to create unique home and fashion accessories. For more ideas check out this article or this one. No matter what the item, always ask yourself if you could turn it into something else before throwing it away.
Adria Saracino is a food, fashion, and home décor enthusiast. You can see her blogging about Seattle style at her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.
(Hilarious photo by falling_james)
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