Trans­form ev­ery­day items into new decor

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

ILOVE us­ing things for pur­poses other than the in­tended or ob­vi­ous. To­day I thought I’d share some ideas on how to use ev­ery­day items to en­hance your dé­cor. Th­ese are items many of us have kick­ing around the house that can be mod­i­fied for dec­o­ra­tive pur­poses. Let’s get started. Shelv­ing for dis­play All kinds of neat items can be used as a shelf for dis­play pur­poses. An old skate­board can be mounted to the wall of a den or child’s room with L brack­ets to dis­play tro­phies or books. Not too long ago, I shared a book­shelf project wherein the shelf was made from an ac­tual hard­cover book. I still love this idea and will use my shelf at the cottage to dis­play a de­coy. At­tach a hockey stick to the wall (blade down) to use to dis­play hockey cards or small col­lectibles. Free stand­ing shelf cubes, for books, shoes and so on, can be made out of ev­ery­thing from old solid core doors to pal­lets. An old mul­ti­plepane win­dow with the glass re­moved can be dis­played draw­bridge-style us­ing a dec­o­ra­tive chain in the kitchen for use as a pot rack or to hold cook­books. Con­sider fun items like vin­tage hat­boxes to dis­play light­weight items or a small trunk to use as wall dis­play. Hat­boxes could house sewing no­tions or craft sup­plies in a craft room. We cov­ered the idea of us­ing an old trunk as a medicine chest in a past ar­ti­cle. This is a novel idea for the cottage or sec­ond bath­room. From the junk drawer I lit­er­ally went through my junk drawer to gar­ner some of th­ese ideas. A col­lec­tion of wine corks can be used to make a unique bul­letin board for the home of­fice or the kitchen. Use a wooden serv­ing tray or an empty photo frame as the base for added in­ter­est. A bit of hot glue and voila! I turned a left­over piece of scrap wood and some cord­ing from my junk drawer to cre­ate this lovely Paris sign for my home of­fice. A sten­cil and some paint is all you need. A small col­lec­tion of used pen­cils from the junk drawer could be glued to a pic­ture frame for school pho­tos. Ce­ramic egg cups (Why do I have so many egg cups?) can be used at the din­ner ta­ble to hold tea lights. Old fur­ni­ture An old wooden kitchen chair can be turned into an adorable cat ham­mock sim­ply by re­mov­ing the seat and back and at­tach­ing a piece of fab­ric on the re­main­ing base. This is a fun way of in­clud­ing your pet’s needs into your dé­cor. I ac­tu­ally tried out this project af­ter see­ing it in a book and it turned out quite nicely. I found an old wooden kitchen stool at a thrift store that was not sturdy enough to sit on as it was miss­ing a few rungs but used it for dis­play in the cor­ner of our kitchen. I love the vin­tage look of the worn white paint. From the work­shop A left­over kitchen door with a clear glass in­sert can be used to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing photo col­lage. Cre­ate a back­board from foam core or card­board, ad­here the pho­tos so they will fit into the win­dow of the door and hang in the kitchen or den. Leave the door­knob or han­dle on for a unique look. A rick­ety old wooden steplad­der is not safe to use as in­tended but can make a fan­tas­tic ver­ti­cal dis­play rack for pots, books, CDs, de­coys, plants, bath­room linens or what­ever suits your space. Put it onto the pa­tio or bal­cony in sum­mer to house pot­ted plants. I used such a dis­play in our rec room for de­coys and strung white mini lights through­out it for a warm glow in the evening. This was a re­ally fit­ting look for that par­tic­u­lar room. Small dec­o­ra­tive ce­ramic tiles that may be left­over from a ren­o­va­tion project can be turned into lovely coast­ers. Sim­ply ad­here felt tabs to the un­der­side of each tile to keep it from scratch­ing the fur­ni­ture. From the sports closet Hang old vin­tage skates as they are in a den or fam­ily room as a unique ac­ces­sory. Vin­tage snow­shoes can be dis­played in the same way. Hockey sticks can be used as cur­tain rods in a games room or child’s room. They work well with tab cur­tains, which al­lows the stick to show through. Make a head­board out of a col­lec­tion of hockey sticks. Cut an old bas­ket­ball in half to use as a planter. Free stuff from the earth Drift­wood can be used to cre­ate all sorts of unique dé­cor items, from in­tri­cate chan­de­liers to sim­ple painted and mounted dis­plays. Dried reeds are great when vis­ual height is needed in a room. Use a floor vase and long reeds to cre­ate in­stant drama. At the cottage, old bird nests add in­ter­est to the cottage dé­cor. If pos­si­ble, take them with a bit of the branch — af­ter the birds have va­cated, of course. Smooth stones can be sten­cilled with in­spi­ra­tional words and set around the house as ac­ces­sories. I love to col­lect beach glass and dis­play it in a clear con­tainer in a sunny win­dow.


At top, a book­shelf is cre­ated from hard­cover books. Above, a left­over piece of scrap wood and some cord­ing from a junk drawer are turned into a Paris sign. At left, an old globe is trans­formed into a lamp shade.

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