Posts from the ‘repurpose’ Category

Homemade Garden Bench

Here’s another easy to do project using recycled wood from pallets.  It is a patio bench that can sit two.  It took close to three hours from beginning to end including building, sanding, and painting. Painted with outdoor paint in hunter green.  Here are some pictures of the project from start to finish.

Raw material
Half way there.
Almost finished.

Final product – Garden Bench

If you like the natural color of the wood, you don’t have to paint it, only protect it with a poly clear coat.  This bench is also perfect for putting plants on top or just as garden decor.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s project; until next one!

Recycled Mural

I had a mural in my bedroom that I loved.  It is a picture of the shore as viewed thru a window.  When we added a second level to our current home, I was sad to know that I would lose the mural when the paneling in the walls came down.  Eddie had a great idea.  He cut the paneling where the mural was glued on and used the plastic framing of one of the doors that was discarded (reused on another project)to create a framed picture. 

After all, I did not lose the mural I love so much, and now it hangs proudly in the bathroom.  Thanks to Eddie’s recycling project and vision, I can enjoy it for many years to come.  Here is a picture of it, in case one day you face the same dilemma of how to save a glued-on mural from being discarded if you are redoing paneling walls.

Framed with a metal door’s plastic center frame.
The lovely mural is now a piece of paneling that got framed.

Crafty Fall Centerpiece

I love homemade things.  I prefer homemade gifts as well.  My sister made a beautiful fall centerpiece for her Fall wedding.  It is very attractive and easy to do.  You can use real flowers and pine cones or silk ones.  The stand and vase can be adapted for any season or holiday, just by changing the flowers and ribbon.  This is a very nice project and practical as well.  Materials you will need include an empty crystal vase, ribbon,flowers and other items that you might like to include in the arrangement, and a piece of natural wood as a stand, which you can cut from a down tree.  The vase can be any type of clear glass, even recycled for an environmentally friendly fall arrangement. You will need glue to secure the ribbon and any other embellishments.  Here is a picture of the gorgeous centerpiece for Autumn.

wood base
Hope you enjoyed this project.

Sustainability – Reduce – Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle

We are making a conscientious attempt to become greener and utilize the planet’s resources responsibly.  Each individual is responsible for doing his/her part as best he/she can to help save and preserve this beautiful planet.  Every little counts, from buying products in environmentally friendly packaging to growing some veggies in your backyard.  By reducing our daily waste we contribute a lot to being responsible Earth citizens and become an important part in sustainability efforts.  Reducing waste should be our primary goal, followed by reusing items as best as we can.  We can give a second life to objects, we can think twice before putting something in the trash in order to use it in a different way or alter it on another form and for another purpose.  This takes us to the issue of repurposing.  When we repurpose items we help the environment as well.  We reduce our waste and we give a second chance to items which would end up in a landfill somewhere.  when we want to dispose of items we should recycle them as well as we can, by following our city’s recycling programs and doing as best as we can to keep these things out of a landfill.

Many items such as plastic items, glass items will end up as new products, companies will save money in the manufacturing process, and the economy will benefit from it as well.  This is how we affect a cycle, we are an important part in every sense of our existence in this planet.

A great example to illustrate this method is buying eggs.  Depending on where you live, you can either:

  • get your own eggs by raising chickens,
  • buy your eggs from a farm, reducing packaging waste,
  • buy the eggs at a grocery store, but choosing eggs in a cardboard container instead of the Styrofoam containers,
  • reusing the cardboard container to grow seeds for your vegetables,
  • last, recycle the cardboard container in the garbage, as appropriate in your town.

By using our imagination, we can turn used items into something else.  We can be innovative in our everyday living by following this method – reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle.

Recycled Cat Litter Box

We have five felines and they can make a mess when they use their litter boxes.  I use Feline Pine cat litter because it controls the odors very well and since it is compacted pine and other organic materials, it is safe for them to use, as cats tend to lick themselves constantly.  Since it is made of compacted pellets they do not track it much compared to other litters.  It is expensive but it is well worth it in my case.  I used to have four litter pans, but my cats only used two or three.  Eddie came with the idea of using the bottoms of two large round plastic containers as litter pans and eliminate the four small litter boxes.  Since they are large and round the cats can maneuver better and when they cover their mess they have more room.  The result is that they love it.  And the cleanup is so much easier since they hardly make a mess.  The plastic is sturdy and much stronger than a regular litter box, and it will last for a long time.  It is plastic made for commercial liquids.  We cut them the same height as the litter pans we had.  Here is a picture of each one.  I will never go back to square litter boxes.

The homemade litter boxes
The new and improved model with handle for easy cleaning.
The Felines


Restoring an Old Farmhouse on a Budget

We are planning our next trip to Virginia in a couple of weeks.  This time we will work on the outside of the house to complete some minor things that need to be addressed.  This is perfect for just two to three days and does not require much money in the budget.  We have set aside a budget of $550.00 which includes materials, food and gas and pet sitting fees. The items in the agenda include:

  • painting the old shed
  • cement the sides of the farmhouse and paint it.
  • caulking around certain areas of the siding
  • nail some parts of the siding
  • fix the porch posts
  • Set up a garden
  • install motion light (solar)

We think we can tackle most items on the list, if not all.  We have decided to leave the old shed’s roof the way it is, since we like the patina and it is in good condition. We are installing a motion solar light that will save us energy and money.  We are recycling some garden planters and stuff from our current home in Jersey and will transport those there.  We are reusing some solar patio lights too.  We will take some of our patio furniture there as well since we have extras.  The idea is to recycle and reuse what we can.  I will post pictures of this project and disclose the budget as well. 

Getting Up to Speed

It has been a couple of months since we closed on the farmhouse.  We have not been able to do anything with it, yet.  Right now, we are up to 0 on the speed dial, and I would like to see some progress soon – I am getting a bit edgy.  We will be taking a trip soon to do as much as we can in just a couple of days.  I realize that this will take long, possibly a year – counting from the day of closing.  Mainly, because we will do most of the job ourselves, and it will have to be done with no credit cards involved, no credit or extra debt – only cash.  Most likely, we will think of a project, save for it, travel, and do it.  So I expect to have months of waiting period in between projects.

However, in the meantime we have been looking for some materials, and thinking of ways to reuse others.  The materials for the entire bathroom are already taken care off and so is most of the kitchen – the cost so far is under $1,000 – and that is including all the valances for the windows in the entire house.  Not bad in my opinion.
Because gas is going up again, the gas expenses for the trip will be a bit costly.  I expect them to be around $500.00 or so – but we do not have much control over that area.

I will continue to share our progress, and will post pictures of the jobs done.  Even that for now it seems that our speed is at 0, in reality, we are getting up to speed.