Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

DIY: You wood ... if you could ... right?





I think the smell of fresh sawdust is wonderful! ... (she ducks to avoid the virtual thwack).  But really ...  isn't it?  On the other hand, working with wood is intimidating, and N-O-T, not manicure-friendly.  I understand now that I was lucky to grow up surrounded by "woodshops" and wood "benches" - even at school!  My pre-school had a wood table - we used actual hammers and nails (can you imagine?!).  And I got to spend my 6th grade year working with wood as part of my actual curriculum.  We made clocks, tables ... even music stands.  (Also saw my very old, wiry-haired teacher/school principle electrocute himself one day in the workshop - not a sight you forget!)

For all that, I've done little more than sand and refinish in recent years.  Even though I know there are Park District woodshops across Chicago.  My excuses: well ... I live in an apartment ... I don't have a circular saw handy ... I have very little work space ... etc!  But there are things you can make indoors on a rainy/snowy day.  And if you smile nicely in the hardware store, those lovely people will happily cut pieces to exact size for you.  And the wonderful sawdust fragrance is free. 

Here's some inspiration to get you going:


You've seen the $1400 Anthro bookcase right?  OK ... so the price includes 6 vintage books.  But what if you just want the bookcase?  What if you want a version customized for books you've selected yourself? And, er ...what if you don't have $1400 to drop on a cute bookcase?

Head over to whollyKao (loving the name!) for what might be my favorite tutorial of the 2012 ... it's a cheap, easy make!!  The only thing that would make it better: using "found" wood or something other than particle/chip board (click "Read More" for six more doable projects)




First saw this on How About Orange ... a beautiful DIY art installation, care of Salvage Love



Simple and elegant, the appeal of this 2 x 4 table is (for me) all about the "unfinished" feel.  Considering how common this size cut is, you've got a good chance of finding it in salvage yard.  (First seen on Blue Velvet Chair)





Another WhollyKao cutie ... definitely do-able with "found" lumber...


Shrimp Salad Circus

Make your own twiggy buttons from fallen branches - three great blogs feature tutorials:



Knock together an adorable ironing board and iron for your wanna-be domestic god/goddess!


Or use found wood to make a clock ... one of the easiest DIYs out there. 

Are you a city dweller who manages to craft, make and do with wood?  Please share your projects and thoughts!