Do-it-yourselfers are enjoying the process of reclaiming, recycling and repurposing worn out, vintage and antique objects. I have seen my fair share of vintage tea cups turned into candlesticks or lamps, reclaimed headboards repurposed into benches and drainage gutters reused for strawberry planters. While not everything should be repurposed, some junk can be reconsidered and made into some cool contemporary stuff.
Here are some vintage and antique pieces that have been re-done which may provide a few ideas for those of you who like Dumpster diving, yard-sale hunting and rehabbing old treasures:
• Library card catalog cabinet repurposed into a wine rack
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• Armoire gutted and turned into a liquor cabinet
• Clarinets and trumpets made into garden fountains
• Clean fishing creel recycled into a pocketbook
• Wicker hamper reclaimed into an oversized garden planter
• Vintage suitcases reused as coffee table with glass top
• Casement window as garden table top
• Feed bag material re-sewn as throw pillows
• Ball jars as miniature plant terrariums for kitchen shelf
• Clean Victorian chamber pot as magazine rack
My favorite repurposing idea has to do with jewelry. Take the faces from 1950s-era wristwatches and link them together with a single metal loop. Link each loop to another wrist watch until you have linked enough to reach around your wrist. This continuous chain-link of wrist watches makes a cute bracelet.
For those of you who are ready to recycle that old piece of furniture, be sure you know the origin of what you are re-purposing and its value before you undertake your DIY project. It’s no fun if you find out that you used Rustoleum to repaint an antique library chair worth $50,000 that once belonged to Noah Webster .