A Time to Toss, a Time to Repurpose
April 18, 2012 by Nicolette
Around this time of year, I feel a buzz starting in my toes and traveling to my fingertips, magnetizing me to that can of Lysol and sending me searching out the dingiest nook or cranny. The trash bags bulge with satisfaction and my thrift store donation should earn me a sizeable tax write-off. Now, my usual mantra is “when in doubt, toss it out!” I can’t even watch an entire episode of Hoarders without getting nauseous. But I also love repurposing items that may have the potential for something fresh and unique.
I love to take Spring as a chance not only to “spruce up”, but also re-decorate and refresh my home decor. So this year while spring cleaning, I winnowed through my thrift store pile and started generating some ideas. Here’s what I came away with: a set of white dishes, three flower vases, a candle holder, and random plates that had no matches (their counterparts either lost or broken). Next it was off to the craft store for supplies.
Project #1: Repurpose your dishes
I had a whole set of plain white dishes given to us for our wedding six years ago that had more than earned an honorable discharge. I love the idea of hanging plates on the wall for decor (examples here), or painting a dish to use as a focal point. I also adore the children’s face plates here and decided to DIY it.
Supplies needed: plates, stencils of your choice, Pebeo porcelaine marker, Pebeo porcelaine paint, foam brushes or paint brushes, an oven. *Note: after baking the dish, Pebeo is safe to eat on and dishwasher safe. Other acrylic or enamel paints ARE NOT.
Directions for face plate: (You will need the Pebeo marker and a homemade face stencil of your choice)
First I found a face template on the internet that I liked and printed it to the size of the plate. Next, I used an Xacto knife to trace/cut the outline of the face.
Then I used a pencil to trace my homemade stencil onto the plate.
Next I used the Pebeo paint marker to trace over my pencil face. I let the plate dry for 24 hours and then baked it in the oven, following the directions on the marker, at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.
And that’s it! Super easy and the kids loved decorating the plates with their food. (This one happens to be dubbed Mr. Pickle by my 3 year old!)
Directions for decorative plate: (You will need the Pebeo paint, stencils of your choice, and brushes.)
Taking the Pebeo paint and stencils, I simply painted right onto the plate in the design I wanted. I unknowingly bought adhesive stencils, which I wouldn’t recommend for this project. It was too hard to position and move them and I also had to wash the stencil after every use, so the paint wouldn’t bleed to the next space. I think the hard, plastic stencils would’ve been easier. Given that, this project was incredibly simple.
After painting, I let the plate dry for 24 hours and then followed the baking directions on the paint, which again was bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. I propped my plate up with a small easel and gave this drab cupboard some new life.
Project #2: Repurpose your glassware
I had so many jars, vases, and other dilinquent glasses stored away that needed a new look and a new home.
Supplies needed: glassware, acrylic paint clear medium, acrylic paint/enamels for glass and ceramics (located next to the regular acrylic paint in a craft store–so many fun colors available!), foam brushes, an oven. *Note: these are NOT SAFE to contain food or water or to use for eating from.
Directions: First take the clear medium and paint the inside of the glassware. I ended up using a foam brush because it was easier and covered more area. This only needs to dry for one hour before you bake it. Follow the directions on the container (place in cool oven, heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes. Cool oven and remove). The clear medium is important because it gives the painted glass a nice shiny sheen.
Next paint the inside of the glassware with the acrylic enamel paint of your choice. Follow the same drying and baking directions as above.
Directions for DIY dessert stand: (Need painted glass, small painted candle holder, two plates–one large, one small, a cement adhesive meant to bond glass and dries clear.)
I took the glass and candle holder that I’d painted and baked and then using the glass adhesive, I simply glued the bottom of the glass to the bottom of the plate, right in the center. I let it dry for a few hours. I then turned it right-side up to create the first level of the stand and then glued the bottom of the glass candle holder to the top of the large plate. Finally, glue the bottom of the small plate to the bottom of the candle holder. I’m sure this sounds much more confusing than it actually is!
The end result looks like this and I have had soooo many compliments and guests asking where I bought it!
This entry way coat room has been on my Spring Cleaning to-do list for months! I would’ve taken a “before” picture, but it was much to revealing and embarassingly cluttered. All I need to say is that every time I cleaned out the car, the contents ended up here. After an intensive de-cluttering, I added my new glassware to give this coat rack a more modern and clean look.
So when you’re in that spring cleaning frenzy, stop before you toss and give your home a flare of freshness by repurposing a few fun items. But by all means, if you wore it in 9th grade and “just may wear it again…someday”, if insects or small rodents have been using it as a home or a feast, or if you wouldn’t even let your sweet grandmother showcase it in her home, do yourself a favor and throw it out!