This is the question I get a lot. Let’s talk about the how’s and why’s of repurposing. I’m not the very best at explaining it, so I’m going to walk through my most recent repurpose project.
My dad wanted to get rid of his coffee and end tables. Of course, he offered them up to me. Yay!!! I love free furniture! It is kind of garish, early 90’s fake brass and light wood. Even better, it smells like my dad’s house and he’s been very bachelor like for a long time.
Just before pushing DH to pick up this furniture on his way home, I decided I would turn the coffee table into a tv console. We have a really active, poorly behaved 4 year old. A coffee table is really just a pending emergency room visit.
We get the furniture home and it looks like this.
I know I want to paint it, change the handles and put legs on the coffee table. Because I have been repurposing for a few years now, I can picture what it looks like done. It probably is the most key part of repurposing. My mom and DH can’t picture it. If you are like that but really want to repurpose your house or yard to gorgeous, I say, Pinterest and sketch. Maybe you are as fortunate as I am and have a friend or two with fabulous taste? Drag them along. I have spent many happy hours with my thrifting partner in crime picking up this and making it that. Listening to all her great advice about fashion both personal and home décor.
For me, the paint and the legs are very important. The finished piece should make you happy. I buy almost exclusively Rustoleum Painter’s Touch 2X.
It never lets me down, unlike some other brands that have been disappointing. For this project, I thought, maybe a gray. This turned out to be a good call since picking this random gray cemented the idea for my living room. Finally.
Repurposing is mostly forcing one thing to be another. It’s all about the problem solving. Problem one in this case, the legs I ended up buying are 6 inches. The bottom of the coffee table is not solid. It’s an edge about a 1/4 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches high. Problem two, I’m really not wanting to spend any more money on my free furniture. To solve these problems, I looked in the yard. We had some leftover joist wood from the deck we took apart. I got DH to cut one into blocks that we screwed into place where I wanted my six legs. Then we levelled the blocks with the edge as best we could.
Which leads me to problem number 3, power tools. I didn’t love the power saws before this project but I REALLY wanted to get my legs so I could finish painting. DH was fed up with the blocks and myriad of other problems from the day, so, I sucked it up. It took 3 cuts to get used to using the saws. Not terrible. Then it was time to get out the drill and get my legs on. I’m pretty comfortable with that. My lazy gal trick for putting on legs and various other one screw things is nail polish! Place nail polish on your screw, position the leg then press down. Drill where the nail polish left a mark.
Problem number 4 on this project ended up being another repurposing thing. My original vision had something like a glass door knob in front but I couldn’t find anything like that at Home Depot. Just this weekend I saw exactly what I was picturing at Hobby Lobby. Blah. They were $12 a piece anyway. When I don’t find what I’m looking for I wonder around for inspiration. I bought 4 feet of black chain for my handles. There is usually a way to force your idea to work. I kept at it and found a way. It looks good, right?
So the legs are on, everything is painted, handles are on and working! However, the tv console needs help. It’s not quite right.
I decide that baskets that fill the open spaces will make it look really complete. HAVE YOU SEEN THE PRICE OF BASKETS????? I could have crocheted them, but, you know, time and it’s warm, and I don’t want to sit. I look around to see what I have. I have chicken wire! I have a white sheet! I have macramé rope!
This is how it looked after it was all done. (The wall is not staying tan, btw!!!)
The vases were made as part of the final problem. A lot of times one project leads to several others. It’s a good problem to have.