Best Reader Reuse Ideas 2013
By reimagining discarded and undistinguished materials, these thrifty readers created projects that look far richer than their price tags
Who: Steve Ashby
Where: Mount Pleasant, North Carolina
Steve snagged 56—yes, 56—divided-light wood windows for free when the church he attends was remodeled. He used 11 of them to make this greenhouse for his wife, Cara, to start seedlings in, finishing it off with leftover wire shelving and a piece of metal cap from his porch's old roof.
Who: Samantha Miller
Where: Huntington, New York
A first-time upholsterer, Samantha wasn't sure if the headboard she envisioned making from a canvas drop cloth would "turn out great or be a disaster." We think the rough-hewn fabric strikes a nice, casual note, with the help of a scalloped plywood back, an extra-thick layer of batting, and fabric-covered buttons she made herself.
Who: Blake Edwards
Where: Purcellville, Virginia
After moving into their 1880s farmhouse, Blake and his wife, Rebecca, found a dozen old wood doors stowed in the barn. Blake has been turning them into home decor, including this kitchen shelf, ever since. To make the shelf, he sawed the door in two and fastened the halves together with L-brackets before mounting it to the wall. "I left one doorknob on to recall the piece's history," he says.