Candlesticks from Repurposed Lamp Parts

I have one board on Pinterest for ideas for items created from lamp parts. It has hundreds!

One of my personal favorites is candlesticks (maybe “candlestands” because I don’t limit myself to posts or “sticks”)

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For example, this pair of Art Deco-style light shades make great candle holders and would look fabulous on a dinner table dressed to create a certain sleek look like a New Year’s Eve Buffet

This rustic-looking candlestick came from a lamp I bought at a Thrift Store for the shade. The stand was a hideous (IMHO) colour so I grabbed a cloth I had used to wipe up a paint spill and invented a new (to me, at least) paint technique – the swipe.

I got distracted when I went to get a clean paint brush and when I got back it had dried like this. A kind of self-distressed thing. I liked it.

And since I’ve started this candlestick pairing thing (whole new line of interior décor), I would use this when serving hearty Irish Stew and rustic, whole grain loaf.

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The oldest  and my favorite of these candlesticks is this gorgeous metal pillar. I bought the lamp for $8 at a thrift store with this result in mind. It was the first time I single-handedly dismantled anything electric and it took a long time.

But you learn with experience – and in addition to still having parts available to use on other projects, I have used this candlestick on indoor and outdoor tables and in the garden (and it doubles beautifully as support for a fruit basket or cutting board with cloche). But most of the time it lives on my bedroom nightstand.

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And, of course, to really appreciate a candlestand, the candles should be lit, right?

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Glass Lightshade Planter

The City of Delta in British Columbia was the first community in North America to provide residents with curbside recycling. The province continues to be fairly progressive and a couple of years ago offered a red box companion to its blue box collection program for recycling glass. (see collection excerpt below).

Glass had to be separated out for safety, environmental and economic reasons. It breaks – some types easier than others. That makes it a danger in a multi-material collection box. It makes separation of multi-materials (much of which is done by hand) dangerous and prevents separation and recycling of the materials contaminated by broken glass, making them difficult to recycle.

It takes time to educate people about what can and cannot be included in a curbside program. Although the table below shows that light fixtures cannot be included in the red box, I have found a few in my neighbours’ redboxes walking down the street on collection day.

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When I found this lovely art deco style lightshade my initial plan was to make a tiered stand, inspired by the fabulous tiered stands made by Angie over at Knick of Time…

Lightshadeplanter2  But then I found a couple of these smaller fixtures that also have a deco flavor.

I was fooling around with them – you know, how we do when we’re starting the creative process. They clicked together as if that was the intention of their design.

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I put some screening over hole at the bottom of the shade to retain the soil. Then I filled it with colourful annuals and my favorite soil (I use the same soil in the garden as I do in potting house plants.

And voila!

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Glass Containers
(Depot or Collected Separately at Curbside – check with your collector)

MMBC Materials List

Material Description Do not include
Non-deposit glass bottles and jars
  • Clear or coloured
  • Consult with your recycling collector for instructions.
  • Empty and rinse bottles and jars. Labels OK.
  • Include lids with container recycling
  • Drinking glasses or dishes, cookware, whole or broken window glass or mirrors
  • Ceramic mugs or other ceramic products
  • Light bulbs or light fixtures
  • Beverage containers (return to depot for refund)

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Altered Card Canada’s Parliament Building

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I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to use this gold maple leaf lapel pin that I got at an estate sale.

An old friend I lost touch with – crazily because it is someone who was precious to me – just got a major career promotion within the Canadian government.

As AiJ readers may know, I love making altered cards. But I’m nervous about sending this one. Not everyone shares the same artistic taste.

My favorite feature is the piece of rust I used as a harvest moon behind the corrugated cardboard hand torn silhouette of the center block of Canada’s Parliament Buildings.

Would you feel really special if someone sent you a hunk of rust and fabric fragments?

Fingers crossed!

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For the first time I also altered the envelope. The base of the card was fabric from a pillow sham that came with a Movie blanket (one I bought specifically for the sofa) and never had use for the pillow sham. I cut a piece of the edging and attached it to the envelope with a vintage button.

It can’t go in the mail like this: Canada Post sorting machines rip embellished envelopes. But I will be sending this expedited mail, so Canada Post will put it into one of their expedited mail cardboard envelopes.

Flower Tins

Confession: when I go with my uncle to take consignments for the auction I have to leave my wallet at home.  I have an addiction. I’m a junk junky. o

Sometimes, even without my wallet I frequently come home to my bursting apartment (I’m not quite being scouted for the tv show “Hoarders” but it gets close sometimes).  Occasionally I use the Wimpy (the Popeye cartoon character) approach “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”.  If it’s a really special item – and I’ll share a hilarious story in an upcoming post – my darling uncle buys it for me.

In this case, our friend John, who buys and sells out of a commercial storage locker, as well as an antique mall booth and a portion of a new antique store, gave me a handful of leftover tins. I wouldn’t have bought them all – there are some American tins and I only collect Canadian and Irish-theme tins.

This blog is as much about landfill reduction as demonstrating value (historic or commercial) in items that some people would throw away, so John’s gift was a challenge.

This random collection of antique and vintage tins contains a couple of Canadian tins that will join my collection and the rest I’m going to use for gift-giving.

Mid-summer gardens are flower-filled and blogland is full of posts of unconventional items to use as vases.  Second nature to this junkaholic.

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A “welcome to the neighbourhood” gift for a new neighbor who has a potted garden, a few thank yous for dinners and drinks and garden plants, and in no time I’ve checked off a number of names on that perpetual gift list I keep in my head.

I’ll be honest. A couple I’m going to de-plant and send off to friends and contacts who might enjoy additions to their own collections.  Thoughtfulness, ingenuity or collect-it-forward sooo  outrank a price tag when it comes to gift-giving.

 

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Butter Churn Planter

The delicate, translucent trumpet-shaped flowers of the perennial morning glory (aka bindweed or creeping jenny) are deceptive. This non-native plant is considered an extremely hardy scourge here in the Fraser Valley, where aggressive root systems can crisscross a farm field in the blink of an eye and reach depths of 15-20 feet.

A former neighbor used to turn over his lawn, pour gasoline on the roots and try to kill the roots by burning them. (In areas with cold winters they aren’t a problem – the deep cold kills them off).

Knowing this, I still love having them in the garden. Love seeing the flowers close at dusk and burst open with first sun.

So I do the same thing with these that I do with other aggressive self-propagating plants like Feverfew, Mint and Lemon Balm. I grow them in containers and try to cut back before they seed.

When my uncle bought this reproduction butter churn, its depth had promise as a home for a deep-rooted plant. So I planted it up for him and it now provides a cheerful greeting at the entrance to his antique warehouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More than Sew Sew

Antique sewing machine doorstop

A local sewing shop has a brilliant repurpose – an antique sewing machine as a doorstop.  Although it’s old, it’s probably not working and even if it is, functionally isn’t as convenient as today’s fancy, light model machines. So if not for this business’ creativity, it would likely end up in the landfill.

Those things weigh a ton – it’s a genius repurpose!

Laura's Fashion Fabrics antique doorstop

I’ve walked by it for years and love that this little shop has this clever repurpose right out front where everyone in the community can see it.

And propping the door open all day (spring through fall in our mild climate) is a big, friendly White Rock-style “come on in”.

If you’ve ever in White Rock, BC give a thumbs up to the girls at Laura’s Fashion Fabrics on Johnston Road  (http://laurasfashionfabrics.com/)

 

 

Graniteware Garden

A few months ago I got a phone call from my antique auctioneer uncle. A friend of his was moving from a house to an apartment and wanted to consign some items to his auction. When he arrived at her house to discuss the consignment he saw a large pile of items destined for the dump.

He asked her if she would be willing to give the items away instead of sending them to the dump, then called me as soon as he got her approval.  That represents a bit of a shift for him. While I learned my love of primitive antiques from him, I think he frequently despairs that my appetites have gone a bit far.

But this load goes straight to the heart of why I created Adventures in Junking: reducing landfill contributions through creative reuse or repurpose.

I suspect my fellow junkers will see it as a great score!

The graniteware canning pot is full of smaller graniteware items, and these were the inspiration for a Graniteware Garden.

People who follow Adventures in Junking may remember these wicker chairs were a roadside rescue from last summer, as were the graniteware bundt pan and it’s support (which was the base of a coatstand). But the lovely little graniteware pot stuffed with spring blossoms is part of the haul from Herda.

The lid for the canning pot gets in on the act, repurposed as a welcome with the help of a piece of chalk.

The choice to use the canning pot in the garden instead of the kitchen is made for me.

My lovely antique Red Rose tin had already been rusted through when I rescued it. I had no reservations about using it as a cover or sleeve for plant pots, but its condition limits its function (and value!)

 

 

Even though my pots and tins are rusty and rustic, I want them to last.

So I put plant pots inside the decorative tins or pots and pull the plant pots out for watering and put them back after they have stopped dripping.

A lovely rusted antique milk pitcher houses a hosta

 

Hard to believe someone was going to throw away this lovely old bread basket

The brass mid-century ashtray was another curbside rescue.  I immediately saw a good prospective repurpose, but was surprised to find it. There are many  collectors – hobbyists and professionals – who drive up and down streets looking for scrap metal .. And brass brings a good price.  Recently at one of his antique auctions a brass bed that wasn’t very attractive sold for $50 to a fellow who turned around and sold it to a metal recycler for $150.

From an environmental perspective, seeing antique or vintage brass go to a metal recycler is certainly preferable than seeing it end up in a landfill, the antique lover in me worries that the strong price of scrap metal will greatly diminish the amount of metal antiques we leave future generations.

I am also a container gardener, and as I said, I immediately saw a repurpose in the ashtray. The little ashtray comes off for emptying. I took out  a metal bundt pan that I hung from a tree as a bird feeder last year and popped it onto the ashtray stand, then replaced the ashtray to hold the bundt pan in place.

I filled it with seed and added a metal jar lid filled with water

A little friend shares my love of critters.

 

A little seed in antique graniteware bowl which will hopefully keep the squirrels away from the feeder intended for birds.

 

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Valentine’s Junk Arrows

 Just two weeks until Valentine’s Day and department stores and home décor are doing a roaring business in  all things of any reddish hue or shaped like hearts and arrows.

But decorating for the annual celebration of love needn’t be costly.  In fact, your garage and attic (and the waste bin) probably have the raw materials for a unique and charming Valentine’s decorations.

Above is a photo of a handful of junk that I gathered to make a number of junky cupid’s arrows.

fireplace brush and rusty cookie cutter

A vintage and very worn fireplace brush topped a with a rusty antique cookie cutter are a good start.

Added to a painted grapevine wreath made seasonal with some cuttings of Heather from the garden and I have a Valentine’s wreath that is unlike any other.

An antique garden  edger topped with a wicker heart=shaped basket

A very old paintbrush dressed up with vintage pearls and a vintage pie server.

An antique potato masher and pie server adorn a kitchen sign.

an arrow from vintage yardstick, two vintage schoolroom rulers and an antique coathanger.

In 2015 I made this arrow from scrap wood, a rusty cookie cutter and antique forks

 

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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

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Spring blues

It is only January, but here in the temperate rainforest of southwestern British Columbia, the garden is full of buds and one little e winter pansy has lifted its face to the sun.

This first spring blossom holds the promise of the warmer days to come and the opportunity to have my morning tea outdoors.

It’s been a crazy winter. I didn’t get around to potting up my geraniums and bringing them inside, but they didn’t die.  We have had several days of good frost and even a couple of snow, but not enough to kill the geraniums.

This is an actual bird nest which I found on the walkway outside the house. The eggs are little plastic easter eggs that I painted, first with a couple of coats of gesso and then a couple of coats of pastel blue-mint homemade chalk paint.

 

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