What's the best thing you re-purposed rather than buying new? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-04-2010, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What items have you re-purposed to avoid buying something new?

I had my eye on a travel bag specifically made for our stroller to gate check. Then DH had this awesome idea to get one of our old Army duffels out of the attic and use that...heavy canvas, backpack straps...perfect!

Anyone else thrifty like me?

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Old 02-04-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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I really wanted a changing table for my LO because I was having trouble with my knees and the floor wasn't working. going upstairs was tough. I ended up using a dry sink with a few layers of waterproof pads to cushion it. There is a cabinet and a drawer that's great for keeping supplies in.

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Old 02-04-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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We turned the long dresser with mirror from the bedroom set my parents received as a wedding gift into our bathroom vanity. I painted the whole thing glossy white. Mounted the mirror onto the wall. We cut a hole in the top of the dresser for the sink & replaced the middle three drawers with a door so there was room for the plumbing. It looks great & has more storage than most vanities we could have purchased.

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Old 02-04-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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We turned the long dresser with mirror from the bedroom set my parents received as a wedding gift into our bathroom vanity. I painted the whole thing glossy white. Mounted the mirror onto the wall. We cut a hole in the top of the dresser for the sink & replaced the middle three drawers with a door so there was room for the plumbing. It looks great & has more storage than most vanities we could have purchased.
I would love to see pics of this!

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Dh used the slats from our old futon frame to make wall shelves.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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Wow!Great ideas!

Most of the things in my house came from someone else but nothing super creative.My sister's dresser is a "buffet" in our dining room...my grandpa's dining table is our computer "desk"...my mom's law book cases are our glass storage...a sewing cabinet from my MIL is a night stand...a pic nic basket is the hats and gloves storage...my daughter was using a chamber pot cabinet as storage in her room but now it's a night stand.

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Old 02-05-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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I was thinking about buying some plastic storage containers from the dollar store to organize my kids craft stuff, but I hate plastic and I'm trying to purchase it less. I was decluttering my photographs and a bunch of the storage boxes had ripped lids so I was going to throw them away. And then I realized I could use the storage box minus the lid to store the craft stuff! I didn't buy anything new and nothing went to the landfill

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Old 02-05-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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I repurposed clementine boxes as craft storage "shelves". Since they're wood and stackable, they work great w/ small felted baskets holding smaller objects inside.

When we bought our house the previous owners left a CD storage tower in the basement, minus the shelves. I cut scrap pieces of wood down, put them where the shelves were supposed to be, and use the tower as a play "pantry" for the kids' wooden kitchen.

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Old 02-05-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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I love this concept!

Follow the bouncing ball..... ....... My dad purchased a home in Arizona (rental unit) and brought back a small desk from that place. (This retirement area sells units fully furnished because they are most commonly used as rental units for snow birds.) DH & I had slowly been downsizing and replacing our combination his/hers/ours bedroom furniture. DD was slowly getting my childhood furniture. We were finally down to the last piece. DD really wanted the vanity from my/her set. I still needed a vanity. She asked grandpa if I could have the small desk to use as a vanity, so she could have the final piece of her furniture. He agreed and we had all the transfers done within an hour! I removed the icky old hardware and replaced them with a style that goes in our bedroom. I also found very inexpensive glass for the top to protect it from my essential oils, carrier oils, and makeup.

DH & I met when we were 30 and had both been living on our own for years. Combining two households was interesting. We both had dining room tables. Mine fit the space in our apartment best, so we used his as a desk there and ate at mine. When we purchased our home, neither of them worked well in the eating area. We used mine as an eating table until we had enough cash to buy what we really wanted, then we donated mine. We have used his as all sorts of things over the years: changing table, project table, sewing table, etc. It is a tad too big for the room it is in, but we just make do anyway because the chairs that came with his table also match the table we purchased together and our house is small. This way, we have 4-6 chairs in the kitchen at the eating table and 1-2 chairs in the room with the multi-purpose table and 1-2 chairs upstairs. They float around wherever needed and all fit nicely around the eating table, when we need all 8.

Over a year ago (maybe two now?), I took just about everything out of our family office and evaluated its usefulness/purpose and joy-factor. The corner TV unit was not fulfilling any needs except holding a TV and taking up a whole lotta space in the process. We gave it to a friend who needed something just like that. We couldn't really rearrange the room much to make up for that weird hole created. I moved a rolling craft cart to the corner to hold the TV temporarily while I let the "challenge" simmer a bit. We had the perfect cabinet for the office downstairs in the project room, but I never realized it before. I swapped the cabinet for the craft cart and reorganized the contents of each to best match the function of each room. We purchased a very inexpensive shelving unit ($20 for solid wood) for the TV and the printer and other items that had previously been in awkward spots. The net result was the room has better function and looks well balanced now.

In November, we reorganized the project room again. (We had a major flood in May 2009 and this room served as our mini garage while we got the house back to order.) We decided to change the configuration of our shelving unit in order to free up some more space. We had previously stored our bicycles on top of the wide unit since we didn't ride often while I was pregnant and with our young child. Since our DD has been riding bikes, though, we have been keeping the bicycles outside under the front eaves. They are locked together (3 different style/sizes bikes) and are protected fairly well from the elements. We decided to convert the shelving unit from wide (6-8 feet?) and four-feet tall to narrow (3-4 feet?) and seven feet tall. All I had to do was buy two new supports ($5 each). We had everything else already. The room flows much better now!

When we moved items out of our bedroom into DD's bedroom (my childhood furniture), we ended up with a bookcase from DD's bedroom that didn't fit anywhere upstairs. I moved it to the project room temporarily. When we made the above changes in that room, I found a great home for it.

When we put together the wood shelving unit for the TV and printer (etc) in the office, we had two extra shelves. We decided to cut down the supports and created a whole other [short] shelving unit for our storage closet in the project room. In the end, we got two solid wood shelving units for $20 total!

On a much smaller scale, whenever a lid to a container goes wonky or breaks, I use the container to hold small items in the pantry or another area of the house. On vacation one year, we got a foot-shaped tin full of salt water taffy. It is a colorful and pretty tin. I gathered all my shoelaces (crafty ones and "real" ones) and put them in there. DD this! I have a close friend who works for Brighton and I have quite a few of their pretty heart-shaped tins. I use the largest one to hold my magnetic pin "cushion". When I travel to classes or craft time with friends, the pins stay in the tin instead of falling all over. When I am home, the tin sits out in the project room and looks like a piece of pretty decor. I use the smaller tins to hold a variety of items around the house. When Brighton switched to drawstring cloth bags, I wasn't disappointed! I used the first bag/pouch as a cell phone holder for a long time. DD used the others for various things.

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Old 02-08-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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Our local bowling alley burned down a few years ago, and we were able to salvage a few 4 x 8 pieces of the wooden lanes. DP is sanding/refinishing one of them to replace the old hard vinyl/plastic bar we have. It's a work in progress, but I can't wait to see it finished!

 Married to my sweetie and enjoying life with our fabulous dog.  Expecting #1 in August 2012!!!!

 

 
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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Well mine are pretty simple. When our dinning room from the backdoor got too ratty I moved it to my laundry area in the garage (concrete floors).

A little, clear pastic bag with zipper that had a 3-pk of undies for my DD from Gap became my purse makeup bag. I removed the adhesive from the stickers that were on it with Goo Gone.

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I went the opposite direction of PP...my dresser is a buffet from my old house. (Seriously can't tell the difference!) And this might not count since I did buy them new...but it might spark an idea for someone to use something they already have...I needed nightstands when I moved out. But for me anyway, nightstands are wasted space except to hold a lamp. I also needed some book storage. 2 short bookshelves, later, I have lamps for my bed and book storage! And I have waaaaaaaay fewer books than in the past after hardcore decluttering so these may actually be all of the storage I need at the moment! They're a little taller than typical nightstands, but I really like them!! With a couple of fun lamps, it's very me, very functional, and multi-tasking furniture which makes me happy. I may never have a nightstand again. They're just dust-bunny farms.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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I went the opposite direction of PP...my dresser is a buffet from my old house. (Seriously can't tell the difference!) And this might not count since I did buy them new...but it might spark an idea for someone to use something they already have...I needed nightstands when I moved out. But for me anyway, nightstands are wasted space except to hold a lamp. I also needed some book storage. 2 short bookshelves, later, I have lamps for my bed and book storage! And I have waaaaaaaay fewer books than in the past after hardcore decluttering so these may actually be all of the storage I need at the moment! They're a little taller than typical nightstands, but I really like them!! With a couple of fun lamps, it's very me, very functional, and multi-tasking furniture which makes me happy. I may never have a nightstand again. They're just dust-bunny farms.
My husband's night stand is a repurposed closet shelf.

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:56 PM
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just old suitcases. i got them off craig's list and a thrift store. we needed them to move. is that not repurposing? i don't know. LOL i used them for their purpose. heh. i spent $60 to get two large trunks (footlockers) for DS's instruments and toys, and then the suitcases that we had and such.

oh, i love those zippered plastic bags that linens come in. i save those little clear bags whenever i can. i use them for all sorts of things. i use one as a wet bag for dirty dipes. i use them to organize my drawers (eg, i have one with undies, socks, bras and mamacloth; one for tanks and t-shirts; one for yoga duds, etc. i have been keeping everything in one drawer and so i found that this helped me keep everything organized.

now that's reuse!
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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just old suitcases. i got them off craig's list and a thrift store. we needed them to move. is that not repurposing? i don't know. LOL i used them for their purpose. heh. i spent $60 to get two large trunks (footlockers) for DS's instruments and toys, and then the suitcases that we had and such.

Oh yeah old suitcases are great!I used them more in the past than I do now but I love them.I use a big old makeup case to hold our swimsuits.I have a suit case in my bedroom that holds the books I'm going to read.I have another big makeup case that I use to hold the project I'm working on.And I have a foot locker that was the toy box and lately has been holding finished projects(very handy at Christmas present making time).

Oh I thought of more...My daughter's craft table is a table top that my mother and I pulled out of the alley that I put on a low shelf.My craft table is our old dining room table and my fabric storage is a shelving unit that folks left behind.

In my tool room there is a awesome shelf that is about 4 feet tall and maybe 2 feet wide.It has a bunch of small cubbies.It must have been used to sort mail.Any ideas for using it?

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Old 02-09-2010, 03:27 AM
 
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My bedside table is a old piano bench, We have a china hutch in the bedroom that DS and I share as a dresser. My DD has a old cabinet (tallish with 2 doors that open and shelves) that we use as her dresser. I love finding stuff that can be reused for something you need. I need a computer desk and have been looking at craigslist trying to find something that will work.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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