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 Repurposing...what have you done lately?
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4204 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4204 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2010 :  5:35:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love "repurposing" things, finding another use for something. Two of my favorites that I have repurposed are a crystal biscuit jar into a toothbrush holder (left the lid off), and an old but elegant glass decanter as a mouthwash holder. Recently, I reused an old teak and plexiglass breadbox into a "mini hothouse" for baby seedlings. What ideas have you come up with to reuse and repurpose?

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE

clothedinscarlet
True Blue Farmgirl

1333 Posts

Siobhan
Battle Creek MI
USA
1333 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2010 :  5:59:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've mainly been repurposing old clothes for me and my kiddos. I have a ton of glass baby food jars sitting in my kitchen that I am brainstorming about. I haven't decided what to do with them yet, but I can't bring myself to throw them away. My husband thinks I'm crazy. They're getting a little out of hand LOL! I keep thinking, there must be something brilliant to do with them. There just MUST be!

Farmgirl Sister #1110
Siobhan - AKA Liza-Jane (my farmgirl name), wife to my best friend, Trent, and mommy to Camden (11/28/05) and Bennett (7/11/07). and Truman (7/28/09)
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natesgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

1735 Posts

angela
martinsville indiana
USA
1735 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2010 :  8:07:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Siobhan, I have used those jars for storing home dried herbs, screws, jewlery, snacks for the kids while driving, jello servings for picnicing, sand art paper weights, coin sorting for the kids, money sorting for the bills, to teach the kids about how to make butter from milk, holding buttons, beads, sequins, loose ribbon, hair clips, sewing needles, straight pins, seeds, homemade ice cream toppings to take on picnics with the roll around ice cream maker, bugs, wood chips left behind by beavers, butterfly chrysalis, rpetty rocks, shells, and even made homemade snowglobes as gifts one year. Start looking around the house and you'll find lots of little piles of things in drawers everywhere that could use a container. Plus if the kids lose them or break them while playin in the dirt and collecting bugs, it's not a big loss. I love those things.

I love the really old or odd looking canning jars, but can't spare the space for any kind of displays. I use them for pencils, vases, cooking utensils, and canisters.

I am now using the childrens old easter and halloween buckets for berry picking buckets. They are the perfect size.

God - Gardening - Family - Is anything else important?
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clothedinscarlet
True Blue Farmgirl

1333 Posts

Siobhan
Battle Creek MI
USA
1333 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2010 :  9:21:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Angela, great ideas! Thanks!

Farmgirl Sister #1110
Siobhan - AKA Liza-Jane (my farmgirl name), wife to my best friend, Trent, and mommy to Camden (11/28/05) and Bennett (7/11/07). and Truman (7/28/09)
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4204 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4204 Posts

Posted - Apr 12 2010 :  6:16:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Angela,
Love those ideas. We use Mason Jars for drinking glasses, and we use old baby jars for many of the things you describe. I love jam jars with buttons in them, too. And, my daughter has one for a bug jar, too. :)

The berry picking bucket idea was a new one, very clever.

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
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farmmilkmama
True Blue Farmgirl

2027 Posts

Amy
Central MN
USA
2027 Posts

Posted - Apr 12 2010 :  6:57:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I don't know if you would call it "repurposing" but my dad did tear out a deck at someone's house the other day and brought home all the scrap wood...and from it in the past couple days we have built a new fence for our upper garden and also a deer feeder!!

I like all the ideas that have been posted here. I always want to save things because I know I will have a use for them, but we just don't have the room. We have about 400 square feet here that is "ours", so we're pretty picky about what we can save!

--* FarmMilkMama *--

Farmgirl Sister #1086

Be yourself.
Everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde

www.wakeupstartlearning.blogspot.com
www.farmfoodmama.blogspot.com
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Annika
True Blue Farmgirl

5602 Posts

Annika

USA
5602 Posts

Posted - Apr 12 2010 :  7:20:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I'm building my new coop out of salvaged goods. Free pallets for a lot of the floor etc...it's going to be fun designing this thing as I go, I've got an a-frame plan to work from, but I'm going to go with what I can scrounge. I HAS to have windows and curtains!

Annika
Farmgirl & sister #13
Palouse Prairie Girls Chapter
http://palouseprairiegirls.blogspot.com/
http://prairiegirlsjournal.blogspot.com/

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo DaVinci
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EastTXFarmgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

731 Posts

Victoria
Farmgirl #549 TX
USA
731 Posts

Posted - Apr 12 2010 :  7:33:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Siobhan my mom took the baby food jars and glued the tops to the underside of shelves in her sewing room. She keeps her pins, buttons, bobbins, and any other little what-nots that fit into the jars. She just unscrews the jar, uses what she wants, then screws it back. Keeps everything neat and tidy. The small jars allows her to seperate her buttons by style and color. I would think you could convert the idea into any hobby. Could come in handy in the kitchen too. Wow, now that you brought it up. I never realized what a neat idea my mom had.
I have been repurposing clothing. Large mens shirts make really cute aprons with a little alteration. I just made a tote out of a sun dress. I also made bird feeders out of old light fixtures. The kind that hang down under the light bulb.

Begin each morning with a song in your heart.

Edited by - EastTXFarmgirl on Apr 12 2010 7:39:43 PM
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farmmilkmama
True Blue Farmgirl

2027 Posts

Amy
Central MN
USA
2027 Posts

Posted - Apr 12 2010 :  7:44:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lovin' all these great ideas!

--* FarmMilkMama *--

Farmgirl Sister #1086

Be yourself.
Everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde

www.wakeupstartlearning.blogspot.com
www.farmfoodmama.blogspot.com
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JojoNH
True Blue Farmgirl

1963 Posts

Joanna
Dunbarton New Hampshire
USA
1963 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2010 :  04:42:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After burning a candle that came in a decorative glass container with a metal lid, I cleaned it out real well and now use it to hold Q-tips in the bathroom. Also, since I sew for a living, I end up with lots of left over fabrics. They range in size from a small patch to as much as a yard. I use these for tote bags, quilts, patchwork jackets and more.
Cannot stand the thought of throwing it all away!

Joanna #566
JojoNH
http://www.etsy.com/shop/CountryCents
www.CountryCents.com
http://CountryCents.Blogspot.com
http://Twitter.com/Eastwooddesigns
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natesgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

1735 Posts

angela
martinsville indiana
USA
1735 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2010 :  05:12:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's kinda more a re-repurposing that I did just this week. I am learning to sew and needed somewhere to put all the little things that go along with it. My mom had given me a sewing tote when my daughter was born to keep all her medical things in. She was a preemie and had lots of problems. I drug it out from under the bed and am using it for a sewing basket now. I know it's not such an original idea, but the fact that I remembered it was there is really something these days.

God - Gardening - Family - Is anything else important?
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vegetarian farmer
True Blue Farmgirl

249 Posts

Jane
Freedom pa
USA
249 Posts

Posted - Apr 13 2010 :  08:36:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just got a free farm house sink from Craigslist. I had been wanting one for a while. It is the kind with the sloped counter on both sides of the sink. I am going to make it into a potting table/sink for my outside area next to the garden I use for washing things from the garden and an outside kitchen area. I am putting the brick beehive oven close by. I hope to have the sink in by this weekend. Soon I won't need to go in the house at all!
Jane

http://hardworkhomestead.blogspot.com/
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phonelady
True Blue Farmgirl

323 Posts

Carla
Loveland Colorado
323 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2010 :  06:51:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like to reuse. Can't stand the idea of all the stuff that goes in the landfills.
Old canning jars are great to hold little things in my desk drawers [as a matter of fact my desk is a combination of furniture that was rescued from the thrift store and assembled].
Any old crates I can get ahold of have become bookshelves.
Any hardwood branches that blow down in the storms here are taken up sawed and made into little table legs and other bits of decoration.
I learned to weave old towels into rag rugs.
Any stuff like wire or good wood gets taken up.
Since I live on such a small property I have to have a game plan for the articles and have the job done in a few months or I can't take it in [my place would look like a junkyard otherwise].
Smiles!
Carla

It's not just life-
It's an adventure!
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SheilaC
True Blue Farmgirl

1947 Posts

Sheila
Vermont
USA
1947 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2010 :  06:54:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Someone gave us a dresser for my girls to share, so I re-made one of their old ones into something to hold dishes--it works GREAT! :) and looks nice in my dining room too.

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krissy
True Blue Farmgirl

263 Posts

Kristen
Snohomish WA
USA
263 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2010 :  07:38:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sheila, what a neat idea!

**************************************
~Farmgirl Sister #986~

http://lateinlifemommy.blogspot.com/
http://dinnertimetalk.blogspot.com/
http://www.youravon.com/kristenparkinson
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bboopster
True Blue Farmgirl

1140 Posts

Betty Jo
West Bend Wisconsin
USA
1140 Posts

Posted - Apr 14 2010 :  08:43:22 AM  Show Profile  Click to see bboopster's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
A couple of weeks ago I redid my old rocking chair from when I was a child. I used a piece of denim I had left over from making my chaps and an old quilted pillow sham I got from someone for free because they were throwing the set out. Now it is a beautiful back cushion for the rocker. Looks and is very comfy. My oldest grandbaby crawled right up in it. He loves to sit and read his book. The only problem with re-purposing is that I collect and bring home so much stuff. I looked at my attic the other day and went WOW!!!! I could be on that show Hoarders!!

http://www.bboopster.blogspot.com
Nana to 4 with 1 on the way.
3 Blue Star Mother and Proud of it!
Pray for our troops to come home safe and soon.
Enjoying the road to the simple life :>)
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texdane
Farmgirl Legend Chapter Leader Chapter Guru

4204 Posts

Nicole
Sandy Hook CT
USA
4204 Posts

Posted - Apr 15 2010 :  05:34:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Love all the great ideas.

Nicole

Farmgirl Sister #1155
KNITTER, JAM-MAKER AND MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE
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dandelionhouse
True Blue Farmgirl

205 Posts

Debbie
Plymouth Mass
USA
205 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  5:25:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just seeing this for the first time today! What clever ideas you all have!
We love to re-purpose too. My favorite thing is to hand paint re-claimed furniture...( PAINTED lADIES ) was my topic a few days ago here! The last piece I did was a vintage china cabinet from the 1930's. I painted it with metalic lavender and sage green paint...I use it to hold books and other treasures instead of china!

Can't wait to see more ideas here!



Deb~ www.deborahjeansdandelionhouse.com


" home is where we all craft the life of our dreams."
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peafarm
True Blue Farmgirl

182 Posts

Penny
South Dakota
182 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  7:42:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This morning we took a decrepit trellis (one of those "V" shaped ones) that had seen it's better days and took it all apart and put it back together again to make a 2 ft x 6 ft grid and became my guide for planting by the square. Worked pretty awesome!

Penny
www.peafarm.weebly.com
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natesgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

1735 Posts

angela
martinsville indiana
USA
1735 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  8:54:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We just took 2 old toilets out of the basement and making them planters! We took them apart and put the tops back to back and are placing the bowls opposite each other with the backs in the middle. One is blue and one is white, so blue back will face white bowl and vice versa. My DH is on the hunt for 2 nesting chicken statues to cover the water holes on the back of the bowls where the tank is supposed to set and my girls are geode hunting to cover the bottom of the bowls with. It will be sparkly and gaudy and tacky...Perfect for our strange little house. Oh and we're looking for 2 little birdy statues to stick out of the handle holes on the tanks! It's gonna look ridiculous but will match my flamingo statues that we like to dress for the holidays, and we live in Indiana so they really stick out!

God - Gardening - Family - Is anything else important?
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Sourceress
True Blue Farmgirl

76 Posts

Elisabeth
Thurmont MD
76 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2010 :  01:15:09 AM  Show Profile  Send Sourceress an AOL message  Send Sourceress a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I drive my husband up the wall because I am always saving stuff because "it might be useful for something". The truth is, I really hate to throw out stuff that's still in perfectly good shape. I keep feeling like somebody ought to be doing something with it. And then every so often I have one of those moments where I can just go "Ha! I told you so!" This is my latest "Aha!" moment:

I just joined the Sisterhood, and am plunging into the merit badges (I love merit badges!) with enthusiasm. For the Shopping Green one, the beginner level is to collect at least 8 shopping bags and commit to always taking them with you when you shop. I've been doing that for years. Decades, even. So I felt like I needed to do *something* to actually earn the badge, so I decided to repair my very first canvas shopping bag, which had been temporarily retired because the handles were shredded and it had a hole. One of my other canvas bags had had a hole (although that hole was caused by getting caught on something and ripped), and I cut a patch out of a pair of my husband's old jeans and blanket stitched it over the hole with embroidery floss in a rainbow of colours left over from various cross stitch kits I had done. I sewed down the ragged edges of the tear to the denim with a dark navy thread that didn't show up on the patch, just to keep it from getting caught on stuff and ripping more. Then I "monogrammed" it by embroidering an 'R' on it in purple thread. Anyway, it ended up looking really good, so I was inspired to try to fix my first bag, which I had always been fond of, and which I had recently uncovered in a box I was unpacking.

Patching the hole was the easy part. I decided to make my patch hexagonal, in honor of Mary Jane and the Sisterhood. Just as I did with the first bag I patched, I cut my patch out of a pair of my husband's old jeans. When jeans get to the point where nothing you can do will make them wearable (cut-offs are great if you just ripped out the knees, not so much when you ripped out the butt, kwim?) I save them to use for patches, or for anything else I need a really sturdy piece of fabric for. I just can't see just sending all that perfectly good fabric to the landfill. This way I get to re-use the denim, plus I save money by not having to go to the store and buy pre-made patches. I also decided to embellish my patch with embroidery before I sewed it to the bag, so that most of the back of the embroidery would be protected by the bag from getting caught on stuff. I wanted to do something relatively quick that would still look pretty, so I made 3 lazy daisies using various shades of purple and magenta floss left over from kits. I did 3 or 4 French knots in the center of each daisy with an orangey-yellow floss, and then I did random French knots and asterisks in the space around the daisies with a pale blue floss just to add a little more colour and make it a little more fancy. I blanket stitched the patch to the bag so it was covering the hole using 5 pastel rainbow colours of floss (I couldn't find any orange). It looks really good. If you didn't know there'd been a hole there, you might almost think I put the patch on it for decoration. Like I said, though - that was the easy part.

The problem with trying to repair the handles is that they're made of some kind of cotton webbing. The webbing had worn away to the point where the handles were little more than a handful of string in some places. That's the main reason I'd retired the bag in the first place, always planning to fix it someday. Because of the way the handles are made, I couldn't just cut a patch out of denim. I needed something to replace them with. I had been wracking my brain off and on for days, trying to come up with something. Finally, in the middle of the night as I was officially getting in bed after falling asleep sitting up writing in my journal, I remembered a child-sized belt my husband had found the other day in a box of his stuff, and sent off to the boy's room. I had been dubious about whether either of them could still wear it, as it was pretty small, and they've been growing a lot lately. It was one of those canvas webbing belts, so it was just perfect to replace the handles on my bag. I wasn't sure if there was enough of it though (it was a *really* small belt), plus I really hated to destroy something that could still be useful to someone, even if my boys had outgrown it. Even to do something else useful with it. I decided to keep working on it, and keep the belt in the back of my mind as a reserve solution.

Then, while taking the dog out in the wee hours of the morning (there's a reason they're called the "wee" hours, I think.. :P ) I suddenly remembered a strap that had come off one of the boys' booster seats some time ago. It'd been floating around in my van for quite a while, and my husband had found it the other day when we were all going somewhere and growled at me about it and said I needed to throw it away because it wasn't useful for anything, since the carseat it had belonged to was no longer in use. I muttered something like "yeah, yeah, I'll get to it later" and shoved it back under the seat. I didn't want to throw it away because, well..it wasn't broken. There was nothing wrong with it except that its original function was now obsolete. I was sure it was useful for *something*. It occurred to me now that all of that really sturdy strapping material would be perfect for replacing the handles on my shopping bag. I get my bag back in use, my husband gets the strap out from underfoot in the van, and I get to say "I told you it would be useful for something!" Anyway, now that I've realized how useful old straps can be, I am planning to cannibalize all the straps and seat belts and anything else that looks like it might be salvageable or reuseable off the old carseat before it goes to the landfill.

I still need to take all the metal and plastic bits off the strap and wash it before I can cut it into handles and sew it to the bag, but I am really psyched about finding the straps for the handles, and I've been wanting to share it with someone who would understand my excitement. This seems like the perfect place. (I'll try to post a picture of it when I get it all done.)

Lis
*the Sourceress*
Farmgirl Sister #1384
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KathyC
True Blue Farmgirl

583 Posts

Kathy
Gastonia NC
USA
583 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2010 :  07:45:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand Elisabeth, I also have lots of useful stuff. My husband says what you gonna do with that and I say I don't know yet! Love it when I find a use for it and can show him.

Kathy
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natesgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

1735 Posts

angela
martinsville indiana
USA
1735 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2010 :  10:42:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am blessed with a husband who understands and enables, even helps add to, my keeps piles. He is a wiz at repurposing! He came up to the house proudly displaying his recent repurpose today. He took our old grocery cart, the one that folds up to go in the trunk of a car or a closet, and made it a laundry cart. He stuck a 13 gallon trash can in it, hooked my clothes pin bags on the front and back, and used the wire hanger from the front basket to wrap around and hold the broken spot of the cart straight. The broken spot catches my grocery totes and rips them, so we stopped using it. I thought he had gotten rid of it, but he had tucked it in the barn, just in case. He was so proud of himself and so was I!

God - Gardening - Family - Is anything else important?
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Rxgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

216 Posts

Dana
Id
USA
216 Posts

Posted - Apr 22 2010 :  9:38:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I cut the tops off of the plastic pre-mixed formula jugs and use them to file my seed packets. Ever since stopping breast-feeding and switching over to formula, it has really bugged me how much I'm wasting with throwing away all that plastic. I realized they are the perfect size to hold my packets of seeds! I'm going to decorate them with a little fabric at some point and divide them into seed types eventually, but I'm just happy to have found a use for at least part of them. Now just to find a use for the top half...
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karla
True Blue Farmgirl

1308 Posts

karla
Pella Iowa
USA
1308 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2010 :  06:39:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I brought up a washing machine tub to my milk house & set it outside the door & now I am going to plant flowers in it! It is just the right size for the side of the door. I am hoping to find another one to match the other side!.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
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FebruaryViolet
True Blue Farmgirl

4810 Posts

Jonni
Elsmere Kentucky
USA
4810 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2010 :  06:49:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is going to seem silly, but because my daughter is more long than she is "weighty" she was growing out of her 12 month onsies in the crotch. But, she's petite through the shoulder, so wears 12 months undershirts. Because I always like for her to wear something underneath her clothing, I used my pinking shears and cut the 12 month onsies to make t-shirts :)


Musings from our family in the Bluegrass http://sweetvioletmae.blogspot.com/
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