Posts tagged "household"

How can I reuse or recycle a decorative coloured glass window?

We’re in the middle of having our bathroom replaced. It’s been a nightmare, never again etc etc – but it has had some upsides. For example, after I mentioned to the main plumber that I’d reuse the side of the old shower enclosure to make a cold frame or something, he brought me six old wooden-framed windows from the house he’s renovating. (He only lives down the road and I’m hoping he’ll remember us whenever he has further juicy “rubbish” or scrap wood.)

The windows are each about 1ft/30cm wide by 3ft/90cm tall, and will make cloches or a better cold frame (since the shower enclosure was opaque plastic and would be a pain to resize/frame). Well, the four clear glass ones will be good for that, this question is about the other two:

They’re rather pretty, don’t you think? As you’d probably expect, the colours are a lot brighter when there is light coming through them rather than when they’re on the ground – the flowers are deep pinky-red and the darker band is a lovely purple.

It seems a shame to just use them to shelter veg seedlings but I can’t think what else to use them for. They’re only a single glaze and we’ve got relatively new double glazed windows in the house so we won’t want to use it as a window in here. I’m not against passing it on again to someone who would use it for it’s original purpose but I’m wondering if you lovely people have any other suggestions for things I could use it for instead.

Restore the frame and hang one on the wall as a strange but fun decoration? Or hinge one on the front of a made-to-measure 15cm/6ins deep box to use as a wall-mounted part-display/part-storage cupboard?

Any other ideas?

What can I reuse or recycle to make a large wine rack?

Long-time Recycle This friend Alice has emailed to ask about making a large wine rack:

I make loads of home brew wine and beer, and I could really do with a very big wine rack. Any ideas on how I could make one out of recycled stuff?

It’d need to hold at least 36 wine bottles, and/or a similar number of beer bottles. Doesn’t need to look especially pretty though ‘cos I store it all in the shed until it’s drinkable. All that liquid and glass is very heavy though, so it’d need to be very strong and stable.

I found this great page with lots of wine rack designs – and it might be possible to make some of those from recycled/reclaimed materials — for example, the pipe one near the bottom of the page.

Has anyone made any wine racks by reusing or recycling stuff? What did you use? Anyone got any suggestions of things that could be upcycled/reclaimed?

How can I reuse or recycle old glazed doors?

We’ve had an email from Sandra:

We’ve replaced some old fashioned doors with glass in them. What can we do with them now?

I’ve got an eBay saved search which looks for cheap big used home/garden stuff in my local area – and there are always doors on there. Most don’t sell for a lot of money but at least they’ll be reused. There is, of course, Freecycle/Freegle too.

I’ve seen old doors – glazed or not – used creatively around gardens and allotments — properly weather-protected, they can be used as fencing and old panelled doors are a lot prettier than garden gates in a shabby chic/secret garden style. There is a path through some allotments near where we walk the dog sometimes; tall box hedging on each side but every now and then there is a fancy old door leading into a plot – very fun.

Depending on the extent/position of the glazing, it may be worth using them for other purposes in the garden too – for example, quite woody doors can be sliced in half lengthways to make planking for raised beds or the like, but doors including more, particularly clear, glass could be incorporated into a greenhouse or used to make a cold frame.

Any other ideas? Particularly any non-garden ideas? I think I’m a bit obsessed with gardens at the moment!

(Photo by clshearin)

How can I reuse or recycle an MDF radiator cover?

We’ve had an email from Andi:

The last people who lived in our house installed MDF (i think) radiator covers everywhere which we don’t want any more. Do you have any idea what we can do with them? They’ve been painted and have cute cut out panels but block all the heat!

There still seem to be plenty of dedicated companies selling them so some people must still want them – perhaps offer yours on your local Freecycle/Freegle, to see if anyone wants them?

Both the MDF and paint mean that the wood can’t be burned or composted and is very hard to recycle, so aside from passing them on, we’re looking for reuses.

After realising how many types of vegetables I want to grow this year, my first thought would be to reuse the wood to make trough planters – the cut out bits could be used to make pretty fronts. Or similarly, they could be used to make blanket/storage boxes – the cuts outs would let the contents breath.

Any other suggestions?

Seven fantastic ways to transform rubbish into storage

I don’t know about you but I’m itching to get a start on spring cleaning this year – or rather spring decluttering – and as well as getting rid of a whole bunch of stuff, I’d like to have better, neater storage for the stuff I have.

Here are some of the ways I’ll be making recycled storage solutions from rubbish around our home:

Cereal boxes (or scrap cardboard) into magazine files

We have approximately eleventy-hundred tons of paper in the house at the moment – even if half can be thrown away, that’s a whole lot of stuff that needs filing.

Cereal boxes make quick and easy magazine holders – for magazines, notebooks or just papers. Paint them or cover them with pretty paper (or newspaper for a more modern look) to coordinate with your decor/hide your addiction to Coco Puffs.

If you need them to be a bit sturdier, it’s also easy to make your own magazine files from scratch from any scrap cardboard.

Wall mounted storage cans

Lee Meredith turned some coffee cans into fun wall mounted yarn storage – and the same principle can be applied to any cans. They can also attached in the same way but mounted vertically to store other things – like pens, paintbrushes or kitchen utensils.

(I just showed my boyfriend John’s Lee’s yarn pics and he said “phwarr!” and pointed out that if you attached the cans to the walls with stronger screws, you could use them as fun and functional brackets for shelves.)

Storage boxes made from old magazines or newspaper

Old magazines or newspaper can be transformed into storage in a number of different ways – layered up to make mini-hat boxes, coiled into open bowls, or woven into a useful open box for storing … more newspapers.
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