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Trash to Treasure - My Style

Updated on September 6, 2014

I Think My Style of Decorating is Comfortable and Cool :)

My style of trash to treasure decorating has developed over the years into what I consider to be a look that's comfortable, charming and a little bit funky. I refer to it as my kind of classic. :)

The vintage suitcase endtable in the picture is a prime example of my idea for upcycling flea market finds. A new luggage rack like the kind used in the hotel industry serves as support for my prized find. My trash to treasure table creates stylish storage too.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Luggage Racks

As I've shown in the picture above, you can easily pair a flat vintage suitcase and a luggage rack together to create a storage table with a lot of style..... and it's portable too.

Winsome Wood Luggage Rack, Espresso
Winsome Wood Luggage Rack, Espresso

Classic old fashioned look to this luggage rack in espresso.

Trash to Treasure Candleholders
Trash to Treasure Candleholders

From Trash.....Create Some Treasured Candleholders

These candleholders are an easy redo. Visit any salvage yard to discover all sorts of promising pieces of metal like these auto part gears. Here's how I did it.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Wooden Mallet Wallsaver Luggage Rack, Black Straps, Mahogany
Wooden Mallet Wallsaver Luggage Rack, Black Straps, Mahogany

This luggage rack has a back to protect the wall from suitcase smudges.


Trash to Treasure Wall Art - My Style

Trash to Treasure Wall Art
Trash to Treasure Wall Art

This wall art is an easy diy project. I used a staple gun to attach a section of wire grid to the back of a thrift shop frame. An "S" hook holds a vintage patent leather handbag on display. I can change handbags quickly to create a different look; It's my style.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Stanley Staple Gun

Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail Gun
Stanley TR250 SharpShooter Plus Heavy-Duty Staple/Brad Nail Gun

I use a staple gun in many different diy projects, to make the job faster and easier. This handy tool will help transfrom trash to treasure in record time.

Trash to Treasure Record Bowl
Trash to Treasure Record Bowl

Melted Vinyl Record Bowl

My recycled record bowl is perfect to keep our remote controls corraled in the living room. I have made record bowls as gifts and they never fail to make a fun presentation.

Making record bowls is so incredibly easy. I get better at manipulating the vinyl each time. There are many online tutorials available if you want to make one for yourself.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Wood Art Lamp Trash to Treasure
Wood Art Lamp Trash to Treasure

Decorating With Found Treasures

Our DIY Wood Art Lamp

A weathered log, worn smooth over the years was coated with several coats of polyurethane before we turned it into a functional and funky lamp. Use any lamp kit and a really long drill bit to make yours.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Lamp Socket with Pull Chain

I prefer the old fashion pull chain sockets for my trash to treasure lamps. This old style is my style and I think it gives a lamp just a little more character. (Besides, it's fun to pull the chain). :)

My Tree Stump Table
My Tree Stump Table

Tree Stump Table

This tree stump sat outside on my in laws front steps and served as a plant stand for many, many years. It got good and weathered and all the bark fell off in the interim.

My father in law passed away several years ago. Last summer my mother in law gave me the stump because she knew how much I enjoy salvaging things. I gladly took it.

I used a heavy duty sander on all surfaces of the stump including the top and bottom. After that I switched to hand sanding with fine steel wool. Once the surface was smooth to the touch, I quickly scrubbed it outside with the water hose and allowed it to dry in the hot sun for several days. Finally I applied several coats of water base polyurethane in a satin finish to create the matte look shown.

This tree stump now serves as a nice little side table inside our cottage. I think it's a great piece and every time I see it I remember my wonderful father in law who coveted "special" things as I do. :)

Get the Best Water Base Polycrylic Here!

I use this exact brand of polyurethane to protect the finish on so many of my DIY projects. It is super easy to work with, easy to clean the brushes after use and this water base has no offensive odor.

Minwax 233334444 Minwaxc Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finishes, 1/2 Pint, Satin
Minwax 233334444 Minwaxc Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finishes, 1/2 Pint, Satin

You work hard on your projects. This is the EASY way to finish and best protect them.


What is Your Style? - Do you have any trash to treasure in your home?

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      We don't acquire a lot of new things, or new-to-us-things to decorate our home, so most of what we have we have had a very long time. We especially like interesting rocks, twigs and leaves. We do enjoy original artwork, our own and others. Our only criteria is that we like it. Your ideas are fun

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      4 years ago from New York City

      Early whatever fits. Very eclectic, but I love what you have here. It's great.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      4 years ago from Colorado

      Love your style. I call my style "Rustication." I really like found objects and natural wood. Rustication is kind of a rustic lodge style that is wabi sabi (a beauty imperfect). I like things that have character. I also like whimsy. I can really appreciate your taste in decor.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Come cool ideas here!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      Yes, I am always searching for more.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Also love browsing the secondhand shops for unusual items!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I like the Wood Art Lamp.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      6 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I'm ok with this as long as I can make it more contemporary. I prefer clean lines.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is right up there with my style except you are handy and I'm not so much. I have the stuff, but it's not finished! Love all of your projects!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      I did pick up a varnished log some years ago that I use more as a foot rest than art, but... it just become a lamp after seeing this lens!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Sure son makes lamps with bottles and LED lights, and they're beautiful when he finishes them. Also he does some broken glass art that is spectacular. Of course, his Mama gets to pick and choose what she wants before he offers them for sale to others. You've just always been my favorite "crafty person," since eHow days. :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Amazing... I have no eye for seeing what things could be.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I remember those melted vinyl bowls made from old LPs, a favorite trash to treasure project that I haven't tried yet but is on my list, love that trash to treasure style.

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 

      6 years ago

      Love it... I wouldn't have come up with anything so cool. I like the framed vintage purse!

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @BarbRad: The record bowl is super easy. You should give it a go.

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @Brite-Ideas: Thank you so much! :) It's fun and challenging for me for sure.

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @knit1tat2: Thanks much! :)

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @DreamsBloom: I knew you were a trash to treasure gal. Love your vintage suitcase lens! Birds of a feather. ha

    • Pam Irie profile imageAUTHOR

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      @Joan Haines: Joan, it's in the works as we speak. :)

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Those are some clever conversions. I think I like the record bowl best.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      6 years ago

      Pam, I'd love to see a lens with your recommendations of "must-have" tools for the resourceful trash-to-treasurist!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      you have creative ideas, and seem to really enjoy coming up with new ideas, fantastic!

    • DreamsBloom profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't have it anymore, but I once pulled this bright, lime green lamp out of the dumpster located at my sister's apartment building and re-wired it with a kit like what you mentioned. Most of my decor is from thrift stores and some of it is re-purposed and used in ways other than its original intended use. In fact I love looking through decor magazines, and now Pinterest, to see the unique ways people re-purpose things. So I loved seeing your ideas here too.

    • knit1tat2 profile image


      6 years ago

      thrift store chic, and recycling, with a bit of trash to treasure too. Enjoyed seeing your ideas!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Very creative trash to treasure items and ideas!

    • ChrissLJ profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a really small livingroom. When a friend was tossing a large, antique looking dresser mirror, I took it. It's framed in white wood and fits nicely over a chair. Hung at eye level, it makes the room look twice as big.


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