Duo Repurpose for Binocular Case

Does watching the Hoarders tv show make you nervous? Me, too.

So, I’m resolved to selling or consigning or donating all of the projects I’ve completed that are crowding my life a bit uncomfortably before doing any more junking.

Last night I did a curbside pickup of a seatless, bashed up but cute adult bicycle. It would have been a cute garden planter, but for a couple of years on Car Free Day and Bike to Work Week I have fantasized about creating a refreshment station: baskets  filled with fresh fruit and granola bars (donated, of course) on the handlebars and where the seat would otherwise be. Paniers filled with cold drinks.

You get where I’m going…environmental benefits on so many levels. The bike I picked up last night would have been perfect, BUT I would have been tripping over it for the next 6 months. I’m proud to say I took it back this morning.

This binocular case is an example of the slippery slope to hoarding. I’ve had it for years. When it came to me it no strap and my original plan was to get a new, longer than normal strap and use it as a purse.


Never happened. And over time it got too bashed up to use for that particular purpose. But leather items like this are not recyclable, so the kindest waste management method is reuse or repurpose.

It could have been used for a funky storage container… anything that you can put stuff in can be used for storage.

But in these last days of Indian summer my thoughts turned outdoors.

Surrounded as I am by my hydrangea haul, I saw cute autumn wreath potential. I used a length of jute to replace the leather strap and stuffed it full of Hydrangeas and end-of-season Lavender.


The wreath was short-lived.

Fall weather means it is time to get out our birdfeeders and help our migrating birds fatten up a bit for their long flights, and let our feathered friends who will winter with us know where the cafeteria is going to be.


Now that the lid is down you can see what I mean about this case being a little the worse for wear…

I drilled a hole near the bottom of the case.  I don’t always like to have a catch basin for seed that falls out. There are a lot of ground feeding birds, and I’m fine with squirrels and the occasional raccoon helping themselves to some nuts and seeds. They’re all God’s creatures.


This feeder is going to a seniors’ housing complex. This particular complex doesn’t permit pets, but most of the residents love critters. There are three “stray” cats that have patrolled the grounds for a year or more, and many of the residents have some kind of bird feeding, even if it is just scattering seed on the ground.

I think they are going to love the idea of spoon feeding the birds


The clasped lid keeps the seed inside clean and dry, and it seeps out as the spoon empties.



Autumn Teacup Wreath

I just couldn’t stand to see these antique Royal Albert Crown China (Devonshire Lace pattern – 1930s) teacups thrown away – even though they had cracks on their insides.



They were a Craigslist freebie – the ad said if no one replied by that evening they were going in the trash. I couldn’t bear the thought.

Among other considerations, these types of dishes cannot go in our recycling bins. They go to landfill.  No way!


So I gathered some autumn rust coloured hydrangeas (yes – I cheated and added a couple of Dahlias for filler because I temporarily ran out of hydrangeas and have to wait for more to start to dry – too hard to handle when they are fresh fresh) from the garden and made a teacup wreath.

But you get the idea.  Not including the harvest and drying of hydrangeas, this project took a whopping 15 minutes to make and cost nothing (I used a grapevine wreath that I had on hand. I bought 3 for 75 cents at a yard sale a year and a half ago but I have used them several times already).


vintage charm button 2

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Fencing on Fence Valentine Wreath

We’ve all seen it sticking out of trash cans or recycling bins: that plastic coated wire  garden edging fence. For the first time, I stopped and picked up several panels from a neighbour’s curbside.


I quickly started listing potential uses I could put this to, especially after accompanying a friend to a local dollar store and noting that they charge $2 per  panel.

Because it is multi-material and there is such a small amount of metal, it won’t be easily recycled. Those qualities also make a great candidate for reuse or repurposing.

With Valentine’s Day on my mind I spent  2 minutes separating two of the panels and turning them into a very simple but pretty heart gate wreath.


It is as simple as laying one straight up and down and lay the second panel on top of the first sideways. Turn them on a slight angle and they make a perfect heart. Two acutally, the interior panels form a 2nd heart. I think you could use any kind of lightweight wire, thread or exterior glue to hold them. I used two tiny pieces of white medical tape (commonly found in first aid kits), which I had readily at hand and which is almost invisible on the white plastic coating

Sharing this project at these cool link parties:




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Peace of Junk

It may be the biggest shopping season of the year, but the junk material repurposed into these Christmas vignettes didn’t cost a cent.


The salvaged wood that the Peace sign is made from was the bannister of the outside of a commercial building that was demolished.

The star at the top of the sign is made from a collection of antique schoolroom rulers: a couple of which I’ve had since childhood.

The candle stand is a vintage lawn sprinkler that I rescued from the top of a garbage pile at a local residential demolition site.

Candle Holder from Vintage Lawn Sprinkler

The greenery and candle holder is an antique colander that I have had for years but stopped cooking with because it was getting chipped.

antique colander

The lantern was a garden lantern, but I rescued it from a neighbour’s curb.

A bundle of wire sitting in my storage area for ages (origin unknown) inspired this simple wreath.

Candle holder from repurposed rusty lamp base

I just wrapped a scrap of burlap around the light socket, strung some pine cones into a wreath with lightweight wire and dropped it over the burlap, then hot glued the bottom of a red candle to hold it in place.

The wreath is simply some greenery and dried rosehips from the garden tied to a coil of rusty wire.

Simple but Christmassy


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Creating Christmas

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Horn & Hydrangea

So… I  found this tire rim by the side of the road, and it’s being round and too small for a hoolahoop I started planning a Christmas wreath.


Initially I painted it red and made the very simple rakehead wreath on Reddy for Christmas.  But I wanted something with a bit more depth, so I painted it with  homemade white chalkpaint. Chalkpaint is amazing both for its coverage (one coat) and it’s ability to cling to even smooth surfaces like this. And it, in turn, has a chalky texture that makes it easier to adhere other material.

After the white paint had dried I hauled out the green and white shelving paper I used on the Thanksgiving Sign from Repurposed Antique Mirror and used the same technique to add a bit of depth and texture to this simple metal circle.

Then I pulled together an assortment of items on hand, including the trumpet I used as a garden planter in the summer, the last dried hydrangea blossom and some garden greens. And I  added some roughly painted peat pots that I think look like bells.


Then the vintage trumpet and voila!



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