Best Reader Reuse Ideas 2010
With a little imagination and some basic building supplies these resourceful TOH readers turned trash into treasure
With a little imagination, some basic building supplies, and a bit of inspiration from salvage features like Garden Junk in This Old House, these resourceful TOH readers gave a cast-off end table, an old door, a vintage shutter, and an old wheelbarrow new life. Here, they share the steps to take for a repurposing project of your own.
Shown: This toy planter appeared in March 2010's "Garden Junk." Writer Lisa Selin Davis suggested, "Choose toys that'll weather well and ones with dirt-friendly containers, like this Tonka metal dump truck."
Who>Marie Michaud and Ron Scroggins
What>"To make this vintage-inspired vanity, we rescued a flea market end table that had sturdy turned legs. After painting the piece and coating it with polyurethane, we installed the sink basin and faucet. The plumbing and drain are hidden inside the vanity; to access them, we just have to open the door."
Who> Kodie Ketchbaw
Where>Old Hickory, Tenn.
What>"Building this porch perch was surprisingly simple! I just added a backrest and an armrest to my old front door and wrapped the edges with scrap-wood skirting. After painting and priming the door, I trimmed it with decorative metal stars. Then I suspended it from chains attached to the rafters and added plenty of pillows for comfy seating."
Who> Lynn Boughton
Where> Brooklyn, Mich.
What> "I love salvage, so I jumped at the chance to use this old 14-by-72-inch shutter for my linen closet. I trimmed it to fit, made mortises for the hinges, then sanded, primed, and painted the piece. Magnetic latches—one at the top and one at the bottom—keep the door shut, and a ceramic knob makes for easy opening."
Refresh worn-out garden equipment with this smart idea submitted by several TOH readers, including Elaine Vickers, whose before-and-after is shown here. In cleaning up her grounds, she came across this old thing. Come across a similar piece? Here's what you do: Paint the basin with a rust-preventive coating, then drill a few holes in it and fill with a layer of pebbles for drainage. Top with potting soil, and plant taller blooms in the center and ones that will trail over the basin's edges on the sides.
Who> Kelsey E.
Where> Dallas, OR
What> "Due to a growing family, it was time to move the office into the kitchen to allow the bedroom to be used as such. I wanted unique shelving above my new computer desk, and found two antique levels at a local store that I knew would be perfect. With the help of my husband, we mounted them right on the wall—level, of course!"
Who> Carol S.
Where> Ramsey, MN
What> "I used my husband's old work boots as planters, putting a plant in each boot. Since they were well-used, there was already plenty of holes in them for drainage!"
Who> Pat R.
Where> Hamburg, NY
What> "This is a kitchen island I made from an old dresser I bought at a yard sale for just $10. I also used some leftover table leaves, wainscoting, and "oops" paint from Home Depot. I left the top drawers out so I could use the space as shelves for large dishes and cookie sheets, and I used the other drawers for additional storage. All for $25! I love the new counter space!"
Who> Suzi B.
Where> Tallahassee, FL
What> "This kitchen is full of reused and repurposed items. An old screen door with a new coat of paint and copper screening hides the pantry. An old garden gate holds hanging pots. A cabinet door from the old kitchen was given new life with magnetic primer and chalkboard paint (shown)."