360 degrees of fun…

360 degrees of fun...

With my daughter fresh out of college and starting her new career as an elementary school teacher or is it educator? I don’t know, either way, you had to know it was only a matter of time before we tackled a bookshelf project. Right?! And, that we did!

360 degrees of fun...

This weekend while shopping at our local Habitat for Humanity we picked up an old wooden electric spool for $10. It was a smaller spool and perfect for our bookshelf project. (Side note: Never miss an opportunity to grab an old wooden spool. No matter the size, these things can be used to make coffee tables, end tables, any tables really, wall art, clocks, just about anything.) We paid for this one in order to have ours immediately and the money goes to a good cause at HFH, but as I’ve mentioned before, you can often get spools for free at electric companies, hardware stores, etc. Lowe’s in fact has them for free, but you sometimes have to put your name on a list and wait for your turn and availability. Still worth it!

360 degrees of fun...

Now, back to the project… We started by removing any loose staples and sanding down rough edges. We sanded a little more than normal sense this was going to be used by children and we wanted to avoid splinter issues. For this we used an electric palm sander.

The most difficult part of this project was adding a shelf. It wasn’t necessary, but we felt it was too large without one and would leave too much wasted space if we didn’t opt for the shelf. You may not find this necessary if you have a smaller spool or larger books!

To add the shelf, we set the spool on top of some scrap 1/2 inch plywood, traced a circle around the outer edge and then used a jigsaw to cut it out. For the inner circle, we took the largest distance from the center to the outer edge of the spool (nothing is ever even on these things) and using a marker held at that distance on the tape measure and the other end hooked to the outer edge of the spool as a guide drew our circle, which was also cut out by the jigsaw. The shelf board was later cut in half to avoid taking the spool apart to attach.

360 degrees of fun...360 degrees of fun...

Next, we took a rope and ran it around the outer edge of the spool and then measured the length of the rope to determine the circumference of the spool, we subtracted 2″ and divided by 10; the number of dividers we wanted. (We bought 5 dowel rods for $2.28 each at Lowe’s and cut them in half.) OUR number came out to 11.25″. So, every 11.25″ we marked a spot 2″ from the edge of the spool, yours will be different (A tape measure works great for this, as it’s flexible enough to curve around the edge.) Then we drilled 5/8″ holes at every mark, the size of the dowel rods we were using. We started with the shelf first, because we later used the shelf piece as a template to mark the holes on the top and the bottom of the spool. (Note: The bottom holes were only drilled halfway down, just enough to hold the rods in place.)

360 degrees of fun...

After all the holes were drilled, we made sure all the dowels fit. Then we removed the rods to attach the shelf. To attach the shelf we used 6X10″ L-brackets (We found these at Walmart for .84 cents each.)These will add extra support for your books later. Be careful to keep your holes aligned when attaching the shelf. We then ran the dowels through the top and the middle shelf, and anchored them into the bottom holes, all the way around. We applied wood glue, to the top, middle and bottom of the dowels. We also applied a wood glue and saw dust mixture (You could also use wood filler.) to the areas where the shelf was cut and put back together, to keep these areas as seamless as possible.

360 degrees of fun...

After the glue dried, we used the palm sander again to smooth down the entire surface. At this point we added four 4″ heavy duty casters (Purchased from O’Reilly’s). Weight-wise each caster could probably hold 250 lbs., this size was not needed for weight, we wanted the larger chunky wheels purely for looks.

When the bookshelf was complete we painted it with white chalk paint (See our recipe for homemade chalk paint here!) After the paint dried we used the palm sander once more to heavily distress the piece, used a damp cloth to wipe off all the dust and sealed with a clear varnish.

The casters were the most expensive part of this project. They can range anywhere from $5-15 each depending on size and where you get them (Lowe’s, Walmart, online, etc.). So, if you have an old unused shelf or tool box sitting around with wheels I would suggest you reuse them and save the $. Casters are another thing you should always grab at auctions or garage sales if you see them!

Now go make yourself a cute little 360 degree bookshelf for your class, your child’s room or heck this would even be fun to have in your living room as an end table or coffee table. The possibilities are endless.

Happy repurposing people!

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Repurposing ’round the clock…

Repurposing 'round the clock Repurposing 'round the clock
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for junk or the otherwise discarded. I just can’t stand to see things thrown away, especially if you can repurpose them in to some creative goodness.

Not sure how this idea popped into my head. I suppose like most ideas these days you think, “Eureka! I’m so darn creative!” then after a little research on Pinterest you find out a hundred other people have already thought of that idea, lol. Well, never-the-less, my mother has an old electrical spool out by her garage that she uses as an outdoor table and every time I’ve seen that thing my mind wonders with ideas. Most recently, the idea of creating another clock came to mind. (Been there, done that, see… “Refurbing ’round the clock“.)

So, the hunt was on for a spool. Oddly enough, they’re not that hard to find if you know your resources. My mom got hers for free at our local Lowe’s. Sometimes you have to put your name on a list and wait your turn, but worth it for FREE. Also, about a month ago I had seen that Habitat for Humanity had several dropped off for resale. I never mind buying discarded items there as the profits go to help give homes to those in need. And, lastly, check with your local electrical departments, often times you’ll find that City and private companies usually toss these.
Repurposing 'round the clock

Once we acquired the spool the work began. My daughter and I, both with wrenches in hand, tackled the demolition. The rods; although, they run all the way through the spool are actually only threaded about 3 inches. With her on one side (wrench in hand) and I on the other (wrench in hand) we started… I would hold my end tight while she spun off the bolts on the other. This took a lot of elbow-grease and sometimes we both had to apply torque in different directions as the bolts were very rusty, but eventually we removed them all. At this point the wooden spool just fell apart.

We did little prep work to the piece we had removed. I literally just took a broom to sweep off all the dirt and used a damp wash cloth to wipe it down. Next, we dry brushed it with white paint and used some homemade stencils and black paint pens to create the look we wanted. (Just look at our shabby homemade, FREE stencil, lol.)

Repurposing 'round the clock

After the paint dried I used a palm sander to age the look of the fresh paint and remove any splinter hazards, wiped clean again with a damp cloth and sealed with some paste wax.

Lastly, I had my son cut the rods down with a chop saw so we could return the rusty parts that make old pieces so fabulous. To do this we just hot-glued the pieces back in the holes.

Viola’ shabby chic’ art. Not for everyone, but perfect for me!

These spools come in all sorts of sizes, but if you decide to go with the mack-daddy one like I did (Quite frankly, I think the size makes it awesome.) make sure to use heavy duty brackets and lag bolts and attach directly to your wall-studs. This one weighs a whopping 133 lbs., and you don’t want that falling on anyone or anything!

A nod to the Junk Gypsies (whom I love) as I used one of their quotes “Home is wherever I roam” for this not so little project.

Refurb, repurpose, reuse… ALWAYS! Happy creating!

Bibbidi bobbidi that’s not a pumpkin…

Bibbidi bobbidi that's not a pumpkin...I don’t know if it’s because the new “Cinderella” movie is coming out or if it’s my life long obsession with Disney, but for several days now all I’ve done is sang “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and created all things princess-like, lol.

This last weekend’s project is case in point! Who says you need a Fairy Godmother? We created our makeshift carriage out of found and discarded items. A coffee table, broken mirror frame, vintage bicycle, old prom dress and some scrap wood and… “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!”

I guess you can say, just about anything can be repurposed and it’s one of my favorite things to do. We took the coffee table (which was missing the glass from the top) and added some 1/2 inch plywood for stability for a base and then built a 3 sided box on top using scrap wood. Then we removed the rims from an old bicycle and attached to the table legs by drilling holes large enough to fit the hub hardware already on the bike. At this point we spray painted the base gold.

When the paint was dry, we took an old prom dress, cut it in sections and used a staple gun to attach the lace and fabric to the inside of the box. We also, draped the fabric across the front and sides and used the ties to make little bows for extra accents. Next we used the preexisting holes to screw the mirror to the front of the box.

Some anchors were created for extra support and extra fabric was used to line the box. We tossed in throw pillows to cozy the piece up and now it’s perfect for a princess photo-shoot.

This was a fun and inexpensive repurposing project. We were able to make use of several; otherwise, trashed items.

Now get to repurposing your pumpkins people!

A whimsical headboard turned into funky repurposed goodness…

A whimsical headboard turned into funky repurposed goodness...
A whimsical headboard turned into funky repurposed goodness...
A whimsical headboard turned into funky repurposed goodness...
I can’t express how fantabulous this bench is, lol. Me and my daughter finished it up this past Sunday. It has so many repurposed materials it just makes me happy! The back is a queen-size headboard (Don’t you just love it’s whimsy?), the seating is made from old pallets, old table extensions and old bed slats, and the legs were all cut from a vintage house column. I also used some spare indoor house trim around the base of the seating. I was going to paint it some awesome color, then decided I liked the white, yellow and brown hues and the aged chippy paint; they all just work together in a mismatched way.

This is a project I think everyone should try. A simple wooden frame was made with 2X4’s and 2 1/2″ wood screws and attached directly to the headboard. I added cross boards about every 2′ under the seating for extra support. I used a chop saw to cut the planks for the seating and a pneumatic nailer to attach them. I pretty much took an average measurement from seating around my house to figure out how high and deep I wanted the seat to be.

Reuse Repurpose Always! The headboard was purchased at a garage sale this summer, a friend from Texas salvaged the house column and besides the purchase of a box of screws and a 2X4, the rest of the materials were found scrap pieces from around my garage.

[This item may be for sale on our Facebook page!]

A great second use for a child’s first bed…

Repurpose an old Headboard into a Bench...I found this old headboard while doing the “yard-sale-thing” with my mom and sister, last summer; I’d always wanted to try and make one of these benches. So, this is what my daughter and I came up with.

First, we chipped off all the loose paint, sanded down the shiny spots and wiped the surface clean with some Windex.  (Windex or a grease cutter is always a good idea to make sure nothing sticky has been left behind from the previous owner.) Next, we took some scrap 1X2’s and nailed a ledge directly on to the headboard to attach our seat. To create the seat we used salvaged 2X4’s to make a box and the legs, used 1X6 inch refurbished cedar bed slats for the top and finished by tacking on some leftover house trim around the seat to give it some extra character. Lastly, we painted, let dry, sanded (for an aged look) and applied a light coat of stain, paying special attention to the areas we just sanded. And, there you have it!

Note: We used a nail gun for the trim, but used a drill and 1 1/2″ screws for the base in a #5 domino pattern; since this is being used as a seat, we wanted it to be stable and not shift.

Also, Notable: 1. I don’t paint everything this color; I’ve just been obsessed with turquoise the past two years. 2. Moms should think about repurposing their child’s old beds to keep them around. My daughter had a great 4-poster bed and if I had seen this back then I would of salvaged the bed. 3. I hope you all don’t get bored with me sharing projects, lol.

[This item may be for sale on our Facebook page!]

Who doesn’t want a life-size doodle pad…

Make a life-size doodle pad out an old window...We have a dry erase board on our icebox; it’s original purpose was a calendar, but in the last year it’s been mostly used to showcase drawings from just about everyone in the house. The other day I remembered having a Doodle Pad with a blank character face when I was little and it clicked… “Life-size Doodle Pad!”

So, I went to my local Habitat for Humanity store and picked up an old window for $4.00. I used a glass scraper and cleaned off all the old dirt and yuck, and removed all the loose old caulking and paint. If you can find windows with panels, great! This particular window didn’t have any sections; therefore, I took some old trim I had in the garage, cut to size and then hot glued them directly to the glass (let the glue cool just a bit to avoid cracking your glass). I brushed over the trim with some white paint to match the wood frame. Next, I cleaned the glass and added pictures I had Photoshop’d of the kids. These were just printed on plain copy paper. I finished off with some foam-board and tape on the back (this will make it easy to change out photos).

This is how it turned out, and it’s already being put to use, lol. I plan on hanging it up somewhere for all to see and use.

Note: Make sure to use Dry Erase markers in order to easily remove between drawings.

A whimsical and functional duo…

Headboard repurposed as a chalkboard for old desk...When I go to a furniture store most salesmen won’t even waste their time on me, lol, probably because I immediately make a mad-dash back to the “clearance” section of the store. Nope, sorry boys, no commission here! Even when I plan on buying something new, it’s worth a trip to the back just to see what ding and dint, or broken item they’re still trying to get a few dollars for.

A few months ago I picked up this full-size headboard; my initial thought was… Bench. I paid a whopping $9.99 (it was originally priced $250), not sure why it was marked so cheap, it didn’t have the footboard, rails or legs for that matter… Oh wait, that’s why.  Anyway, for that price, something could be made out of it, it’s solid wood and has nice lines.

Simply by accident it’s repurpose took a sudden change. When moving things in the garage around, my daughter and I realized the width matched-up perfectly with our recently refurbished desk, and the styles seems to compliment each other. So, we had that light-bulb moment and went to work; although already white, we painted the headboard with a layer of our homemade “chalk paint” to soften it’s original bright white; distressed it to match the finish on the desk and applied a layer of paste wax. When the wax dried we painted the inset with chalkboard paint and there you have it!

All in all, it was a really simple project. It may not make since to everybody, but I find it whimsical and functional. And, no one else will have one like it!

[This item may be for sale on our Facebook page!]