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Three DIY Ideas for Spring Cleaning Repurposing

By Amanda Clara Snow

This time of year people de-clutter and re-organize their homes, cars, offices, and lives in an attempt to get out of the old and in with the new. It’s a yearly ritual known as Spring Cleaning.

This past weekend, instead of throwing everything in a trash can, I thought of ways that it could be renewed into something useful. I found some old silverware, a picture frame, and some outdated lamps. Sounds like a pile of junk right? I managed to turn each of these things into something amazing, and had fun doing it.

A New Use for Old Frames
Difficulty: Easiest of the 3

Used picture frames, of all shapes and sizes, have amazing potential to be turned into something else. Here’s how you can make wall mounted jewellery holder:

Requires: Old photo frame, 2 matching colours of paint, cork board, and a staple gun. Optional: wallpaper or mesh.

1.) Paint the frame with your paint, let it dry.

2.) Rough up the finish on the frame a little bit to give it an antique look. This is a personal preference and is not a necessary step.

3.) Paint your corkboard with the second colour of paint. You could also use wallpaper on your corkboard, or substitute mesh for corkboard.

4.) Use the staple gun to staple your cork board to the back of the frame. You can use a hammer to bump the staples further into the back of the frame to ensure they’re secure. If your frame doesn’t already have a hanger on the back, staple on some wire.

5.) Use nice pins in your corkboard to hang your jewellery, or string some wire.

With very little effort and money you now have a beautiful jewellery holder.

frame (1) frame lace_after_3_small frame

Brighten Up Old Lamps
Difficulty: Second easiest of the 3

Body of the Lamp(s):

Requires: Old and outdated lamps, 2 colours of spray paint, painter’s tape.

1.) Paint your lamps a solid colour of your choosing. Allow the paint to fully dry.

2.) Use the painter’s tape to tape on any design, such as rings or vertical lines.

3.) Spray paint the whole lamp again with a second colour spray paint.

4.) When the paint is just about dry, remove the tape and check out your new designer lamps.

Lamp Shade(s):

Requires: Burlap or another fabric of your choosing, hot glue

Leave the old fabric on them, and cover it in burlap, using hot glue to hold it in place. You can substitute the burlap with any fabric of your choosing.

The only hard part with this project is applying the tape to any part of the lamp that won’t let you put it on straight. Consider painting these portions of the lamp a solid colour.

lamps gingerjarlampbefore lamps gingerjarlampduring3 lamps gingerjarlampafter3

Bend Your Silverware into Bangles!
Difficult: Hardest of the three

Requires: A rubber mallet, two pairs of pliers, one pair of “chain nose” pliers, a round piece of wood, and an old butter knife (or if you’re good at metalwork you can also use a fork and bend the prongs into different shapes to give it a fancier look).

1.) Use your two pliers to grip either side of the knife/fork, and bend it around the piece of wood.

2.)  Once you’ve have bent it all you can, use the mallet to get your desired shape. Don’t hit the silverware too hard, otherwise you will wind up with dents in your finish.

3.) if you used a fork: use chain nose pliers to twist the prongs of the fork into circular patterns.

4.) Once the shape is exactly the way you want it you can either paint it with enamel jewelry paint, or you can try to polish it wish some silverware polish and give it a nice beautiful shine.

This project takes a great deal of patience and it is very tedious. Despite my having some experience,  I had a hard time getting the shape of the bangle just right and had to use the mallet more often than I cared to because I was afraid of denting. If you have the patience for it I strongly recommend this project because it truly makes a beautiful and unique bracelet, and cost wise it is very cheap, especially if you already have the old silverware just lying around your house. If, however, you are looking for something quick and easy to do, this is not the project for you.

FORK 118-212-large KNIFE 2d_large

When I am running low on material to re-purpose into something else, I take a trip to any thrift store and start looking around to see if something catches my eye. My Favorite thrift stores are Value Village and Previously Loved Clothes and Things on Kenmount road, or Frenchy’s in the Torbay Road Mall. If, however, you are in need of some new ideas, try Google or Pinterest. There is no shortage of ideas for the DIYer on the internet!