ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Re-purpose Items For Your Home And Open A Whole New World Of Possibilities!

Updated on January 23, 2014

Think and re-decorate! Beautifully!

My Home is a hodgepodge, very eclectic if you will, when it comes to decorating. I never liked themes and years ago, I decided that I preferred the random choosing of things that I like, things that have a history of sorts to me or someone else, or things that are simply beautiful in their own right as a means of decorating the place where I live.

I prefer to be surrounded by things that speak to me, remind me of an earlier time, or simply make me feel good. I have never been a matchie, matchie type, the kind of person who feels as if every fabric, every wood color or tone, even every picture has to match or at least be part of a grand design, a bigger plan. No, to the contrary, I long ago realized that those means of decorating left me feeling sterile as if I were in a doctors waiting room and for me, that look exudes pretty much anything except warmth, hominess and comfort.

If I had to describe my taste in a word again I guess the best would be "Eclectic" a myriad of styles, colors, wood types, leathers, old and new, books, pottery, drawings, paintings, etc. and lots of it. I prefer the comfortable style of a "New England" Bed and Breakfast with Windsor chairs, and blue dishes possibly mismatched, leather foot rests, and quilts made from scraps that were gathered up and saved over time.

My taste being what it is, I guess I am naturally drawn to the new and growing trend of re-purposing, taking old items and with a little effort, sometimes more than others making them new again and putting in a place of use and prominence in the home.

I don't know exactly when this idea started or how it took hold but it is literally sweeping the country and with good reason. It makes sense. For far too long, we as a nation, especially since the 1950s and 60's , have taken the misguided position that if an item was broken it should be thrown away and a new and better one bought to replace it. For years we did that as a society until one day we started to hear news of swelling landfills in big cities like New York and Chicago and trash barges afloat in the ocean with nowhere to empty and at some point someone really smart said "hey this has to stop" and the Re-fresh, Re-use, Re-cycle Movement was born!

Don't think of what it was meant to be. Think of what it can be!

An old stepladder (you may have one lying around in your garage or basement) can be easily converted into a great little bookcase!
An old stepladder (you may have one lying around in your garage or basement) can be easily converted into a great little bookcase!
Old mismatched suitcases stacked on end make the perfect end or bedside table.
Old mismatched suitcases stacked on end make the perfect end or bedside table.

Once the movement took shape it spun off in hundreds of directions. One of which, the idea of re-purposing, taking something old and maybe a little worn and finding a new and better use for it in order to extend it's life has quickly become my favorite!

I like it because it carries with it a realm of virtually endless possibilities. Candidly, you can look at almost anything and ask yourself the question "What else could this be used for?" Every day as I involve myself in the day to day activities of re-purposing, I am continually amazed at the creativity that exists inside the minds of some people and the ideas that they come up with that give an item or items new life.

Like converting an old set of law books into a light fixture or using wood from an old shipping pallet and old soft drink crates to fashion a cool, artsy looking chair. who'd a thunk it, right?
That's what I love about it and what keeps me coming back to it day after day. Every time I see a new idea more creative than the last it just lets me know that with the new day next there will be even more and better ways to put the practice into action.

Here's the really good part, people love the idea and even those who aren't necessarily the most creative or simply just don't have or don't want to take the time to do it themselves are still in favor of helping to save the environment and will often pay for an item that has been re-purposed creating the opportunity for cottage industries all over this country. Even professional decorators have gotten in on the game and are regularly recommending re-purposed items or at least a mix of them to their clients.

Tell us what you think about re-purposing

Do you like the idea of re-purposing and do you do it?

See results

Take or find and idea and turn it into profit

OK so maybe you are saying to yourself "this is all well and good" but I am just not the creative type. I go to Rooms to Go and let them match it all up for me." That's fine, you don't have to be. I can have times when my creative juices aren't flowing the best in the world either and it is in those times that I look elsewhere for inspiration. What do I do? I go to the internet!

Creative people don't generally have a patent on their DIY household projects. Many of them have blogs, Facebook pages and Pinterest boards where they happily and readily share ideas with others. Let's face it, you can patent taking an old shutter, turning it sideways, adding a top shelf and some side brackets and some heavy metal hook across the bottom to re-purpose it into a cool shabby chic bathroom piece, there are a thousand ways it could be done and yet if you have the necessary items required, can use a hammer and a screwdriver, you can make that shelf if not for you, for someone else and trust me, if you made one you could find someone pretty quickly ready to buy it.

So here's the deal, if you like the idea and you think you can do it, give it a try! What have you got to lose? Start looking and thinking about what you could re-purpose and how. The take a stab at it. Put your own spin on it, take a rusty children's red wagon that someone left at the curb, line the bottom with plastic and make it into a planter. Make a hanging light fixture using assorted clay pots as the globes for your kitchen, use a small section of ladder as a pot rack, or convert and old brass fire extinguisher into an umbrella stand. You can do it, the possibilities are literally without end.

When you come up with that idea, that great one that hasn't been done yet. Let me know I would love to hear about it. Who knows you might be that undiscovered talent out there just waiting in the wings and before you know it you might be the next re-purposing guru with your own show on HGTV, teaching us all make a great set of wind chimes from a random collection of spoons!

There is literally no limit to the things that can be done

This great rustic light fixture is made from old tin funnels
This great rustic light fixture is made from old tin funnels
This kitchen table was made using old sawhorses, scaffold boards and a ladder
This kitchen table was made using old sawhorses, scaffold boards and a ladder
This great collection was done using an old widow as the focal point and ceiling tiles, pictures, collectibles, etc.
This great collection was done using an old widow as the focal point and ceiling tiles, pictures, collectibles, etc.
This wonderful long coffee table was made from an old leaded glass window.
This wonderful long coffee table was made from an old leaded glass window.
This fabulous headboard was made from an old fireplace mantle!
This fabulous headboard was made from an old fireplace mantle!
This cute little bench was built using the sections of an old crib!
This cute little bench was built using the sections of an old crib!

Top tips to remember

Re-purposing is good for the environment

There is literally no limit to the possibilities

You can do it! Anyone can really.

You can turn your ideas into money

It is fun and easy

You can use the concept of re-purposing inside or out!

Got a chair with a broken leg. The top section makes a great outdoor swing
Got a chair with a broken leg. The top section makes a great outdoor swing
Make your garden beautiful and unusual! Re-purpose!
Make your garden beautiful and unusual! Re-purpose!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 

      4 years ago

      You have good examples of what to do about unwanted items. This re- purposing concept is the modern way to recycle and its so creative!

      I love the little colorful child's chairs on the fence to hold planters.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      We are in the process of decorating our home. I love all your ideas! These are great! Up+ and pinning! Thank you for sharing!

    • klw1157 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin Washburn 

      5 years ago from Macon, GA

      Good for you Creativenovella! I am glad you liked it! Thanks for the read and for you comments!

    • creativenovella profile image

      Naomi Novella 

      5 years ago from New York, New York

      I love recycling old and making new and useful things for the home. Great post and inspiration for me. I just bought some glossy bright colored spray paint today to refurbish some thrift store items I found. After seeing this post I'm going to spray some old suitcases too!

    • klw1157 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin Washburn 

      5 years ago from Macon, GA

      Thanks WicanSage! It is really amazing what we can do if we just think about it with stuff that is lying around in our attic, basement or garage. I get excited each time I have or see a new and original idea! I appreciate the read and the vote up. Thanks again!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      5 years ago

      wow, what beautiful and awesome ideas here. I've used a ladder as a shelf and have seen some of these types of ideas, but you've definitely collected and hit me with some new inspiration and food for thought about what I can do with the junk closet stuff. Nice work on this hub, voted up!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)