the ReFab Diaries: upcycled decor
Showing posts with label upcycled decor

Here's the third installment in my furniture-rescue series (click through to see the Gang-tagged dresser and the Blue Mirror).

Last week I showed you what I did with my gang-tagged alley dresser ... here's the next project. A mirror I spotted in the basement "office" of my building's maintenance guy. I said, "wow, that's really interesting - what's it from?." The lovely Macedonian man said "eh, that thing? You want it? It's yours!" I said ... er... um ... well, I wasn't really ... umm... yeah, ok. Thanks. I think?? The thing was a mess. Apparently I'm attracted to messes. 

I recently moved into a new place and have had a lot of opportunity to upcycle, makeover and refab old furniture. Mostly stuff abandoned in the alley behind my building! Somehow, Chicago provided what I needed when I needed it. And this is the first makeover in a series ... very excited to show you!

The Anthropologie store I frequent most is on Southport Ave (Chicago). By "most" I mean I get myself there once every six months, if I'm lucky. And even if their sale section doesn't deliver, some in-store display will make it worth my while. This wonderful version of a bookish headboard was on show a couple of weeks ago and even made my three-year-old stare. 

If you'd like to create some version of this for yourself, I have two older posts dedicated to a book headboard DIYs:  Here and here.  

Ugh... those nasty light fixtures that developers use when they literally refuse to spend more than 25c on lighting. I'm not a fan. Nor do I love the ugly wire planters that come out in the spring ... but at least they get covered up with whatever is planted in them!

But somehow these two things are combined into something I love. It's clever, simple and the color choice is perfect. Complete Cage Light tutorial at Rook No 17.

Really simple idea from the Ambitious Procrastinator ... but effective!  Check out the tutorial and all her other lighting DIYs.

And this?  Click through to see more images and get the full effect. This is such a high-impact refab and I can imagine that the actual light it gives off is really warm. Rock on Cleverly Inspired.

Repurpose: Tape Tables

in , by ReFab Diaries

A while back, I dedicated a whole week to repurposing negatives and film. The actual film ... not the containers.

If you were given a big box of betamax/VHS tapes, what would you do with them? How about these amazing tables?? I love the irony (so to speak) built into the bottom table .... :)  Get all the details at Casa de Colorir. Top table here, bottom table here.

Yes. Loving this. Stunning upcycled installations by Edmond van der Bijl (aka akamundo). More of the same at akamundo.  (via)

It's been a bit quiet around here lately ... my apologies. I got a new (full-time) job and writing new posts (or making anything myself) has had to take a back seat. But check this out! Remember my book vase/planter? I entered it into a Woman's Day DIY challenge and it won!

They've tweaked my idea pretty significantly and ultimately gutted more books than I'd like... but hey, I'm happy for the nod. Click here to see my original, much simpler Book Vase.

Old strainers (sieves, sifters) are oddly compelling. If you're me. Or the people who created all these fun goodies using them!

This post is mostly quirk. But old sewing machines - well, what can you do with them? Their little engines do burn out. And what about those that are old but work great ... but are really, truly ugly?! Who wants to create beautiful things on an ugly old machine? So, ideas ....

1. Cover a stained, plastic cover with mod podge and old book or magazine pages. Full tutorial at Cynthia Shaffer

2. The machine is vintage and you actually love the body. But how to make it useful? Turn it into a lamp! Via

3. The whole thing is trashed. Perhaps you can salvage the parts but otherwise, it's a gonner. Grow something in it! Machine planter tutorial at Trash N2 Tees

My grandmother loved the word "tizzy" ... so do I! And there's something wonderful about having it on a clock. Tick, tock tizzy!  Last week I turned a couple of '45s into clocks and posted a complete tutorial (Click through to see lots more images).  And for more fun ways to repurpose old LPs/records/vinyl, take a look at this post.

Today, I'm giving the Tizzy away. :)  It's a purple '45. The cover has been hand-painted ... seriously. Those polka dots were done one at a time! And I'll send it along with the clock because they belong together. 

Giveaway details:  Giveaway opens 12:01am EST Tuesday, 6/25 and ends Sat, 6/29 at midnight. Winner announced Mon 7/1. It's easy to score multiple entries and increase your chances of winning - see below for details... (Open to US residents, 18 and older.)  

Note: the clock mechanism requires one AA battery, not included

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When the whisk flies away with the spoon ... you get this! No actual instructions for this little whisk fly, but head to Cuartoderecha for more detailed images that give you a pretty good idea of how to start. 

A while ago I compiled a post dedicated to repurposing vinyl and, ever since, I wanted to find some '45s in great colors to play with myself. And here they are! Since I'm drowning in clock-making hardware (all those book-clocks I once made to sell!) I turned them into clocks. Here's the tutorial ... giveaway to come! 

Love this summertime, fish-tale inspired upcycle. Complete instruction at DS* ... be sure to skim the comments - some helpful extra info there about the where to source the paper etc.

Bev at Flamingo Toes calls this project "Simple Spring Framed Vases".  I see a whole lot more than that! I can imagine an entire wall of old frames, mesh and bottles - it's beautiful! Head over to FT for a great, detailed tutorial.

This post has been removed at the request of the owner. Apologies for the inconvenience. If you're linking through from Pinterest, see the complete project at  Petticoat Junktion.

Now you can give your kids permission to draw on the doors! Jessie, at Simple Dimples, found not one, but two really fun ways to refab old cabinet doors. She used to to create permanent display spots for her kids' "art" and then constructed the ingenious, hinged art desks. Click through for lots more pics and the how-to.

When my grandmother moved from her little flat into a care facility, I remember looking at the things in her kitchen and thinking "why did you have to buy everything new in 1985?" Where were all the awesome "vintage" things that grannies are supposed to hoard? The treasures??? I remember the teacups in particular - a version of the cheap, mass produced "wheat" design pictured above. Not so desirable. 

So imagine my delight when I saw this project! Not only is the end-product useful and contemporary, it's easy to make! The tutorial in two parts: here and here. Review both parts before you do anything - she has some great advice re. supplies! 

I was in IKEA recently and saw a lot basket-style lighting - pendant and table lamps (pictured above). Wicker or basketry like this always makes me think of home (South Africa) and the hack seems pretty obvious - turn an old basket into a new shade. Then I saw this project (coincidently by a fellow South African) and I got a little giddy! 

I remember the wicker paper-plate holders very clearly ... do you? I remember trying to balance them on my bare legs (scenario: sunny Sunday "braai" around the pool) and getting scratched - a lot. I believe they were a fad ... or are people still using them? If not, I imagine thousands of them languishing, unused, in storage all over the world. So what a perfect thing to upcycle! This idea by Alet (of My Pondokkie) is ingenius. And really simple. 

Visit her blog for the full tutorial and many other fabulous refabs ... (and to find out what a "pondokkie" is!) 

Grandfather clocks. Is it possible to feel "neutral" about them I wonder? Personally, I hate them. So much so that my mother has willed my grandfather's grandfather clock (!) to my cousin (whose grandfather this man was not). Because my cousin loves the clock. Perhaps my dear mom knows that if I were ever forced to bring it into my home, I'd rip out its insomnia-inducing, gonging guts and turn it into something else. (Bit harsh?)

Like a shelf, perhaps? I saw this Booth 121 idea and immediately went looking for DIYs ... my kind of shabby chic! (image via)