Posts tagged "chair"

What can I reuse or recycle to make a chair?

We’ve had an email from Adele:

For my Product Design A2 level I am aiming to create a chair made from recycled materials. I’ve got to be able to collect them in a fairly short time, and of course it would be very helpful if the items were free…I’ve got an open mind about it, and I need some inspiration fairly quick.

Cardboard chairs are the first thing to spring to mind – designers have made them in all sorts of shapes and styles and there are a number of how-tos around the internet, and people talking about the theory of making them too.

If it doesn’t have to be a formal chair, it might be worth exploring upcycling old clothes or bedding to make a bean bag. (I’ve also used old clothes to repair broken chairs on a number of occasions – an opened out jean leg is about the right width for a director’s chair seat – but those projects did start with a real chair frame.)

Getting a bit more involved than just cardboard or fabric, you can make chairs from old oil drums/barrels – for example, these basic chairs or a more flamboyant rocker. Plastic barrels might be slightly easier to work with but still transformable (these chairs aren’t made from old barrels but give an idea of possible shape).

Any other suggestions for Adele?

(Photo by Jascha400d)

How can I reuse or recycle metal tubing?

fold up camping chairWe’ve had an email from Greg:

I’ve got some of those fold-up chairs for camping but the metal tubing on one of the legs has snapped. I’m going to keep the seat fabric as a spare but what can I do with the rest of the tubing?

I’m sure a scrap metal dealer would take it in a flash – we have them patrolling our street every few minutes, I’d just have to think about taking it into the garden and they’d appear to take it off me – but obviously reuses are more fun :)

As straight lengths, they’d be great for supporting growing stems in the garden and cut into shorter lengths, you could make a wind-chime thing out of them (I wonder if they’re a wide enough diameter for the wind to whistle through them as well as clanging them together).

Depending how flexible they are/how strong you are, you could also bend them into a spiral to use it as a trivet under pans/hot dishes.

Any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle broken office/desk chairs?

Office chairWe’ve had an email from Victoria:

Just found your site and love it. Anyway, I saw your story on broken chairs and it reminded me how my company always throws out office chairs instead of fixing them when something breaks – so annoying! I know it’s probably a health and safety thing but it seems so wasteful. As a minimum, can they be recycled?

I’m not sure – but when our (home) office chair dies, I’ll certainly strip it for parts — it’s a silly big “executive” leather one so I’d salvage that for craft projects, the foam cushions for the stray cat’s house, the wheels for the “random parts” box that always comes in handy and the metal frame could go to one of the many, many scrap collectors who visit our street each week — But I realise that’s not necessarily a workable strategy for workplaces.

So anyone else know about recycling them through established schemes? Or can suggest any other reuses?

(Photo by designkryt)

How can I reuse or recycle broken chairs?

Dining chairWe’ve had an email from Dom, saying:

I just rescued a set of dining room chairs from a skip. With a bit of a sand and coat of paint, two of them will be fine for use in my kitchen but the other two are broken. The supports under the seat have broken on one and the frame of the back on the other. Any suggestions?

Like with broken electronics and the like, I’d suggest giving fixing them a go because, at the end of the day, you’re not unlikely to break them any further and if you do, you won’t really have lost much (start with a broken chair, end with a broken chair) but might have learnt something along the way which will help you next time. (Or, if you know someone who likes fixing stuff, see if they’ll do it since they might be able to get them as good as new.)

We have a rickety old chair in the bathroom for throwing our clothes on – broken ones might be sufficient for that type of job – and we have a bizarre, stylised metal-frame one (which we inherited when we bought the house) in the garden and put plants on the seat: they’ve got room to trail and to climb and are out of the evil clutches of slugs too.

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by _H_)

How can I reuse or recycle old mattresses?

Old mattresses in a yellow skipA suggestion from the skip down the road:

“Hi, I’m the big yellow skip down the road that you keep eyeing up every time you walk past me. The people at the house next to me must be having a clear out or something but no, sorry, that cool chair that’s been in the garden for a couple of weeks isn’t in here: they must have taken it back into the house. You should so get the broken standing fan out though – the white metal bits that cover the blades will make good hanging baskets: come and see me tomorrow and I’ll make sure they’re waiting for you.

Anyway, the reason I’ve acquired an email address and developed some sort of fingerish appendages so I can type said email, is to check if you, or any of your dear readers, know what can be done with the two mattresses that are now nestled inside of me. You see, they’re quite knackered and a little manky so I doubt they’d be good enough to give away to actually sleep on but if anyone has any other suggestions, that would be great.

Thanks, love and hugs,
Skippy the Skip

PS. Call me!
PPS. Also, no asbestos.