Ideas for Repurposing Estate Sale Goodies

Have you ever gone to a garage sale or a thrift shop and seen something that looks cool or different but have no idea what to do with it?  Not me!  I can always come up with some sort if an idea.  It could be a crazy-not-going-to-happen idea, but an idea.  Last weekend the Mister and I went to the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill, TX.  The town is quaint with rolling hills, large trees, wonderful old houses and wow do they know how to put on a festival.  There were bands, vendor booths, a bake sale, bounce houses, clothes galore, a food court and fun for everyone – all benefiting the Chappell Hill Historical Society.

My favorite part though happened to be right in the middle of it all – an estate sale.  Go figure.  It was held in an old house right on the main street.  I found a few things I really liked.  Some in my budget and some not so much but decided to share with you what goes through my head and why I get so excited about repurposing such goodies.

Ideas for Repurposing Estate Sale Goodies:

Antique fencing found at an estate sale can be repurposed into a fireplace screen or wall art

 

These antique fence parts were way out of my budget.  Honestly, they were asking 100 times more than I’ve found before but they are nice.  I was thinking they could be made into a headboard, a beautiful bench, a gate that welcomes me into the pasture or just garden decor.  What about a fireplace screen or even as a statement piece hung on the wall or over the mantel?  Yes please!

 

antique plate holder can be repurposed into a gift wrapping station or hold a collection of baseballs or wine bottles

 

This piece has great detail and of course it could be painted and used as a plate holder but how about using it instead to hold a collection of baseballs?  If you used it as a plate rack, add tea cups by screwing in hooks underneath.  You could also display tea towels by hanging them on the rods.   What about using it to hold wine bottles on one row and glasses on the bottom?  All you’d have to do is cut notches out to slide in the glasses.  Ooh, how about using it as a wrapping paper station?!  The shelves are perfect for holding rolls of ribbon and string.  And you could add a dowel rod to the bottom and hang your favorite wrapping paper for convenience.

 

Repurpose an old shelf into a pencil holder, plate rack or candle holder

 

Look at the wonderful chippy paint on this old shelf.  I immediately thought, nope, not a shelf.  I’d turn it flat on it’s back and add it to a desk to hold mail, a stapler, paper clips, etc.  Definitely organization at it’s farmhouse finest.  It could also be hung on the wall horizontally.  If you moved the dividers over a little it could hold paper plates or a display for a collection of dessert plates.  How about placing mason jars in it to hold candles or flowers inside for a unique table centerpiece?  So fun!

 

Vintage hair dryer would make cute wall art. Found at the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill TX

I wish I had purchased this vintage hair dryer!  About 30 minutes after we left I wanted it.  If it were mine I would cut or shorten the cord and hang it inside an empty frame. Viola, instant vintage adorable wall art.  Everyone that walked into the bathroom would have loved it!



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Antique Hutch will find new purpose

This is the cabinet I could not leave behind.  It may have been used to hold pies or tools for all I know but I wasn’t about to leave it there!  I love the wood color, the worn edges and the size.  It must have been sitting on a porch or in a garage somewhere and each bird that flew by yelled “bombs away” and fired at will.  Cleaning it will be a job but I’m totally smitten and it’s totally worth it.  I will most likely remove the screens and either replace it with more screen, leave it empty or add cute little curtains.  Wouldn’t it be cute if the curtains were vintage tea towels?  I haven’t figured that part out yet but when I do you’ll be the first to see it!

Our home is filled with old stuff that’s been repurposed.  You can see some of that here and here and here.  My hope is when you go to an estate sale and see something old and worn out that you don’t just pass it up.  Instead of thinking you don’t need another plate rack, consider repurposing it into something wonderful and unintended.  Add pieces to your home that tell a story.  Re-purposing is seriously gratifying.  Think of it as recycling.  Oh wait, you’ll be an Upcycler!  Ha – I’m an Upcycler!

Now go forth and hunt.  Hunt for the good stuff and send me a picture when you do something super cool!

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Decorating at age 25 when you first get married is sooo way different than when you’re 50 don’t you think?  My first attempt at decorating was when the style was… well, I don’t really think it had a name.  I’ll call it The Era of the Cave.  We had it decked out in burgundy, navy and teal green; teal carpet, teal and white checked linoleum floors, teal striped floral wall paper that covered every wall in our small bedroom and teal laminate counter tops with teal painted walls in our kitchen.  Goodness me, even as I type that out I’m thinking – what was I thinking?!  Well I know what I was saying – “Mhmm, this place looks fabulous.  It all matches”.

Antique Column repurposed into coat rack by countyroad407.com

Most of the decorating back then was determined by 3 kids and 2 dogs.  I think if I could have gotten away with plastic furniture and rubber walls and not been mocked as a horrible wife and mother, I would have done it.  Wouldn’t that have been a statement?  Maybe a better statement than the accuracy of a dirty brown streak that ran the length of the walls in the hallway where the kids rubbed their hands every time they walked through or when they smudged their feet on it from deciding that was the perfect place for a camp out.

repurposed bird feeder into kitchen sponge holder by countyroad407.com

After being there 13 years, we needed to move.  The Mister drove an hour and a half one way every day to his new job and he thought that 3 hours in the car would be better spent with his family.  No one can argue that so we built a house.  I decided that since the kids were older, we were going fresh and new.  The burgundy plaid sofa we’d found at a garage sale and the coordinating floral chairs we found on the side of the road (all recovered of course) and that burgundy sponge painted cabinet were not coming with us.  The Cave Era was out.

Mercury door knob in Navasota, TX by countyroad407.com

Sad thing was, it had been “out” for like 5 years.  But with small kids and a busy life, my days were spent raising kids, not keeping up with the Joneses.

Collection of white dishes and silverware by countyroad407.com

This new house was neutral in color because it would be easier to decorate while living life.  Furthermore when the moms came over they wouldn’t judge me for being 5 years behind in decorating.   It had taupe walls, taupe counter tops and taupe floors.  So much brown it was like living inside a Little Debbie snack cake.  But after 5 years, we finally painted something.  It was a wine colored accent wall in the breakfast room.  I know what you’re thinking – Oh my golly she did it again.  She went with burgundy!  But I didn’t.  It was wine colored.  It coordinated with the grape window treatments and the wallpaper border which of course matched the seat cushions on the chairs to the dining table.  Are you thinking I was crazy?  I’m sort of thinking I was.  But everyone liked it.  They thought I had it goin’ on – I was rockin’ it.  Uh yeah, no.  I was rockin’ it like puffy high top tennis shoes with high wasted mom jeans and little did I know the wine style was going out in a year.

Chicken wire cloche made from an old lampshade by Countyroad407.com



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But as luck would have it, I didn’t have to live with the wine theme after it was out of style.  We were moving again.  Not because the hubby got a new job but because we were tired of the kids being right there with us; right there under our feet, right there when it was time to get ready for school and they shared a bathroom or right there when I was trying to pluck my eyebrows and they came barging in asking if they could use our bathroom.  Yeah, because of that.  When we built the house the kids were so precious we thought they’d love to be with us and we’d be one happy family for decades.  Nope.  They didn’t want to be around us and we didn’t want to listen to every My Little Pony, Littlest Petshop or Pokemon conversation they ever had.

Vignette of antique box with hydrangeas by Countyroad407.com

The move this time was only 5 houses down on the same street and is the house we live in now.  It didn’t take much to talk the Mister into buying it.  All I had to say was “It has a game room with a door so when extra kids are over we can shut them in and not hear the commotion and each kid will have their own bathroom”.  But you’ve heard me say it before, I should have negotiated better when it came to the decorating.  The Mister told me we could paint the ugly gold walls when we moved in.  8 long years I’ve hated the paint on these walls.  Woe is me – late to the party again.

French lavender in vintage pitcher by Countyroad407.com

You’ve also heard me say 2018 is going to be my year or maybe that was 2017.  Either way, I’m painting these walls even if I have to hire a graffiti artist to do a walk through railcar touch up.  Question is, will I be 5 years late to the prom with my color choice?  Last week I saw Benjamin Moore Paints announced their new color of the year as “Caliente”.  I literally burst out laughing.  It’s red!  And what did they pair it with besides gray and blue – gold!  Oh My Word , gold! Hahahaha.

Hang a chandelier from the trees outdoors for a fun farmhouse look. Countyroad407.com

Now that I’m 51, I finally know what I like and can decorate for myself.  I don’t have to worry about kids etc.  And my new choices?  Well, I can say this about my them; the color will be neutral and the decor will be me.  I want a mix of farmhouse charm, a little vintage with repurposed items thrown in everywhere.  And it will for sure scream – Cindy, you are the bomb.com!  You are going to be in style forever!  Or at least 5 more years.

  I hope you find your style way before I did!

I’m part of a blog hop called the Fantastic Fifties!  You should check them out below.  You might find someone else you’d like to follow!  Just click on the links to go to their blogs.  Thanks for stopping by today!

 

 


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Repurpose a Vintage Milk Can

A couple of weeks ago, the Mister and I thought we’d head to Gainesville, TX to check out Lavender Ridge Farms.  By the time we got there, we sat on the road to enter about 20 minutes just barely inching up.  We finally rolled down the window and asked someone going the opposite direction what the hold up was ahead.  She told us that from the point we were sitting on the road we’d have about another hour of waiting before we got to the gate!  What the monkey man.  No lavender farm is worth an hour and a half wait on a dusty road.  We hadn’t had lunch yet and we had no provisions!

So we turned around and decided to check out the local square instead.  Walking thru we heard lots of people saying they turned around too.  This made lunch options dismal.  We finally found a place that could seat us called The Main Street Pub.  Even though it wasn’t my first or fifth choice, I was glad to see it.  The air conditioning was working, they had empty tables, sweet tea and the food and service were great.  You could tell they had been swamped and a little overwhelmed by the crowds but I give them a 2 thumbs up rating for sure.

Now that our bellies were full, we checked out a few antique stores and came across one that was closing down.  The only thing I found I really wanted was a vintage milk can.  It didn’t have a tag on it so I was going to pass.  I totally hate having to ask for a price on things.  If you don’t know this about me, here it is, I hate disappointing people.  If the price is too high I’ll have to say no which I feel disappoints them because they want a sale.  I know, it sounds ridiculous but I cannot help it.

   Rusty vintage milk can before painting

vintage milk can handle with rust before painting

Anyway, Mr. Wonderful swayed me into asking.  It took about 5 minutes to get up the courage but I did.  She walked outside to see what I was talking about and said it’s $20.00 so you can have it for $10.00.  I said with a big cheeky grin – I’ll take it!  The rest of the day, the Mister kept saying – aren’t you glad you asked?  Yeah yeah, enough already.  I’m glad, I’m glad.



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It had several dents and a ton of rust but it had potential. After a good cleaning I used a Rustoelum spray paint to act as a primer.  Then after drying I used the left over Fat Paint in Mountain Haze.  Same paint I used on the DIY galvanized table in this post.  That stuff really goes a long way!

Vintage Milk can after primer paint

Here is what the vintage milk can looks like now.  I could have sanded it or used a steel bristle brush to clean it but I like the added texture.

Vintage milk can after using Fat Paint

The mouth on the can is large so adding a tray and using it as a side table was ideal.  It holds my magazine, popcorn and lemonade perfectly.

tray used for a side table on vintage milk can

There are so many ideas for using a vintage milk can.  I’ve listed several below and hope you can find inspiration on repurposing one for yourself!

Ideas for repurposed vintage milk cans:

Hope you can find a vintage milk can one day and turn it into something fabulous!

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Super cute DIY chicken wire cloche!

Have you heard of a Cloche?  It has a few different meanings but I’m going to talk about the one Merriam-Webster defines as – a bell shaped dome cover made of glass or plastic used to display or protect ornamental objects.

I have a glass cloche but really use it more for highlighting things rather than protecting them.   This weekend I decided to make one out of an old lamp shade and chicken wire.  I know what you’re thinking – that’s going to be wacky and you hesitate to look.  Almost like the person in the circus with two heads.  So weird yet intriguing that you can’t help yourself.  I understand.  I had a similar reaction when I thought of it.

But it turned out so cute y’all!  I think you’re going to want to make one for yourself.  So here’s the 411 on the DIY.

Supplies for a Chicken Wire Cloche:

  • Old Lampshade
  • Chicken wire
  • Drawer pull of knob
  • Zip ties
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters

Start with buying or using an old lampshade.  This one was $2.49 from the thrift store.  I thought it had a nice shape and was the right size for what I needed.  Cut off the entire fabric cover.  Hopefully you’ll get one that has the attachment at the top.  If it is separate, it’s okay, you can still use the chicken wire to secure it together.

Step 1 for making a chicken wire cloche out of a lampshade

We started with a 40 inch square piece of chicken wire.  Place the shade on its side along the edge towards the middle of the 40″ piece.  Roll it into a cone shape.  You’ll have extra but this seemed to be the easiest way to cover the shade with minimal zip ties and pulling.  Once it’s rolled, use the zip ties to secure it in several places.

step 2 of making a chicken wire cloche

Cut the excess off of the bottom leaving plenty to wrap around the bottom of the base to secure it together.  Do the same to the top.  Be careful not to cut too much off.

The chicken wire is wrapped around the lamp shade ready for trimming

You’ll want to cut 18 – 20 small pieces from the excess chicken wire.  We used the pieces like clips to curl around and secure together the lampshade base and chicken wire.  They are barely noticeable.

Cut extra pieces from chicken wire to use for securing the cloche

Attach extra pieces of chicken wire for clips to secure wire to lampshade

Excess chicken wire was used like clips to attach chicken wire to lampshade base for cloche

When you have everything attached, you’ll start shaping and bending the chicken wire around to mold it to the lampshade.  It’s really easy.  Once you like what you’ve done, cut the zip ties off and curl the base under.  We used the needle-nose pliers for the bending and saved our fingers.

I had left over drawer pulls from other projects so I chose one to use as a handle for the cloche.  I got all of these from Hobby Lobby (50% off of course).

extra drawer pulls can be used to make the knob on the chicken wire cloche

Different ideas to decorate a cloche

There are so many things you can do to decorate your chicken wire cloche.  I intertwined a black silk ribbon for this look and sat the cloche on a silver tray to make it a little more elegant.

silk ribbon wrapped around a chicken wire cloche



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This has a more rustic look with four layers of twine wrapped through the top.

Twine is used for a rustic look in this chicken wire cloche

You can also wrap strips of old fabric around it for a shabby chic look!

Strips of fabric used to make this chicken wire cloce have a shabby chic look

And anything goes when it comes to putting things under a cloche.  I think items seem to be emphasized or look a little more special.

Iron finial under a chicken wire cloche seems a little more special

clay pot with moss ball can easily look more important under a chicken wire cloche

It took us about an hour and a half to put this cloche together.   I love it and will put it to good use.   Let me know if you plan to make one and what you think you’ll do with yours?  I bet you have great ideas!

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An afternoon spent in Bryan, Texas

My daughter and I decided to spend an afternoon in Bryan, Texas and get a little shopping done.  First of all, don’t go on a Monday.  Most of the antique stores were closed but we enjoyed it anyway.

I think the Bird’s Nest Gifts and Antiques was my favorite.   They have old stuff, new stuff, great stuff made from vintage stuff, rusty, chipped and galvanized stuff.  It was a virtual Disney World of fabulous finds.

Interior view of The Bird's Nest Antique shop in Bryan, Texas

 

Look at this revamped lamp made with a vintage hat!  I can totally see that in a little girls room or on top of a bookshelf or vanity.  Those crocheted cups and saucers would give a different look to a retro Christmas tree, don’t you think?

Vintage lamp made from vintage hat found at the Bird's Nest Shop in Bryan, Texas

 

Something else that spoke to me was this kitchen towel… You can see why for yourselves and I think it makes a perfect birthday gift.  😉

Kitchen towel found at the Bird's Nest Antique Shop in Bryan, Texas

 

We could have stayed for hours and not seen everything.  One of my purchases was a large galvanized bell.  There’s one hanging on the left side of the super cute mantel below.

Interior glance of the Bird's Nest Store in Downtown Bryan, Texas

After leaving there we wandered over to Market 1023.  They also had unique finds.  Like circa whenever-the-first-computer-came-out computers, perfect condition retro dresses, lamps made from vintage fans, handmade wood and pipe tables, and repurposed items like this bed spring which I can see hanging over a bed like a canopy.  So fun.

Repurposed bedspring made into bed canopy found at The Market 1023 in Bryan, Texas



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Look at these frames hanging from the ceiling like artwork.  Wouldn’t that be a distinctive idea in your home?  All you need is an old frame, a bottle, string and chain to make this awesome statement.  I actually think this would make a cool room divider!

Frames with bottles found at the Market 1023 in Bryan, Texas

All this shopping made us hungry so we moseyed over to Caffe’ Capri for some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had.  I’m not one to take pictures of my food- sorry.  You’ll have to trust me – it was delicious.

Extras:

I hope you get down south to Bryan/College Station sometime.  It isn’t just filled with college students, Aggie fans and people that seriously bleed maroon.  The Downtown area has history, culture and beautiful architecture like the Carnegie Public Library .  When was the last time you’ve been in one of those? There’s the Lasalle Hotel built in 1928 where you can stay with your pet, an open air theater called The Palace with live concerts, several antique/gift stores, a theater called The Grand Stafford or one identified as The Queen  and more places than you can eat at in a week’s time.

After all of that gallivanting, contact me and I’ll direct you to Navasota, TX  so you can visit us.  But give us a couple of hours to fancy up the place, make a new batch of sweet tea and bake a pie (a la mode with Blue Bell Ice Cream of course)!

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