Found Object Restoration: From Trash To Treasure

Do you ever look at something and say, “That would look so great in my house, if only it was…a different color, covered in better fabric, etc.”?

Luckily, it’s usually pretty simple to take something that’s unattractive and turn it into the ideal accessory for your home. Often, it costs less than going out to buy a new one that matches perfectly to begin with. All it takes is a little time, a little research, and a little elbow grease.

Giving new life to old objects can be done in so many ways.

Just a few options include:

  • Upholstering chairs with new fabric
  • Painting metal objects
  • Sanding and refinishing wooden pieces
  • Turning old curtains into new pillows
  • Making a bookshelf out of a broken dresser

As always, Pinterest is one of the most valuable resources a person can use when it comes to anything DIY-related. Type the word “repurposed” into the search bar to get some brilliant inspiration.

If you want to try one of those ideas and don’t have any project subjects at home, don’t fret. Garage sales are great spots to pick up some outdated accessories and really make them work for you.

Thrift stores like Goodwill are also a gold mine of objects just waiting to be repurposed. You may not find anything you like the first time, but don’t give up. Thrift store stock is constantly changing, so your next trip may provide you with exactly what you’ve been looking for. You can begin your search by finding your local Goodwill store here.

Etsy shop owner Sheila Parks recently reupholstered a chair she found. The photo on the left is a picture of the chair when she picked it up. To some, it may have looked unsalvageable, but she knew all it needed was a little TLC. The photo on the right is the same chair after she was finished.

     CIMG5093  CIMG5110
Check out more of Sheila’s work on Etsy.

“I like using found objects to decorate my home because it’s cheaper than going out and buying things brand new. Older furniture is often sturdier, and this way, I get to choose the style of fabric that I want. I like not being limited by the selection at the furniture store,” she said.

You don’t have to have to be a seasoned crafter to repurpose old items. A lot can be done with a simple can of spray paint. This is where the research comes in, though. The trick to getting a perfectly-done final product is making sure you used the appropriate materials. To narrow your search, DIY network released a guide that covers which kind of paint to use on almost any surface you may need to spruce up in your home.

New homeowner Jerra Cottrill decided to make old lamps work for her by putting a new coat of paint on them. The photo on the left is how the lamps looked when they were given to her. The one on the right is the end product.

before  after

With new shades, nobody would ever know those lamps are over 40 years old! And, really, who has money to go buy the perfect lamp at Pier One when you could make a similar one yourself and pay less than a quarter of the price?

The next time you’re in search of a new home accessory, think about the option of creating it yourself first. Stop skipping those yard sales. Make special trips to thrift stores. Ask friends and relatives if they have anything similar lying around. Take advantage of the buy/sell Facebook groups.

Doing it yourself will not only make sure it’s done to match your specific taste, it will also give you a greater sense of pride each time someone tells you how perfectly it complements the rest of your decor.

What kinds of objects are sitting around your house just waiting to be given new life?

Tell me about them. I’m dying to know.

Until next time,

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