Upcycled {week 4}

Did you guys have a good weekend?  I had a good night on Saturday.  We had some friends over for dinner.  We stayed up way too late playing Ticket to Ride Europe.  Have you guys ever played that?  It’s pretty awesome. While we were busy playing and before we put them to bed, the kids enjoyed a viewing of Brave.  I love when little kids kick their legs up like that 🙂


But now it’s time to show you all the amazing Upcycle projects the crafters have come up with.  This is another favorite theme and they sure didn’t disappoint.  And you thought last week was a hard week to decide on a favorite 🙂

The poll, as always, is in the sidebar and will be open until Thursday night.  Get your vote in early and spread the word!

Craft #1 – Portable Picnic Table with Case – Christy @ Inklings & Yarns

I had a rough time with this week’s theme. I spent weeks scouring
thrift stores and racking my brain, and could not, for the life of me,
figure out what to make. By last Monday morning I was panicked, and
started mentally cataloging everything in my house for its craft
potential. Finally I remembered the old, ugly wooden blinds that came
with our house. Taking them down and shoving them into a back corner
of the garage was one of the first things we did. I started thinking
of all the ways I could use those wooden slats…doll bench, magazine
rack, table…and then it came to me.

Years ago I fell in love with a roll-up picnic table from Crate and
Barrel, but never could justify buying it. Now suddenly I had all the
materials to make it right there in the back corner of my garage! I
immediately tore the blinds apart and started constructing my table.
With some twine, a dowel cut into 4 pieces, a drill and 4 screws, I
had my little picnic table ready to go. It assembles in about 5
minutes, and rolls up smaller than a camping chair.

But wait, you can’t carry a rolled up table top and a bunch of loose
dowels on a picnic. This table needed a handy dandy carrying case.
Lucky for me, in another corner of the garage sat an old, beat up set
of luggage that even the garbage man wouldn’t take. I cut the canvas
off the backs of the two suitcases, and sewed a nice sturdy bag. I
even made a strap for it out of some extra webbing from the luggage

Unfortunately for me, the weather decided to turn extra cold and wet
the day I finished it and there are no signs of it letting up. Now I
have even more reason to look forward to warmer weather.

Craft #2 – Upcycled Wall Mounted TV Case – Catherine @ CathGrace

Up until a couple of years ago I never had a TV in my bedroom, (I was actually super anti having one in there, because I didn’t want to stay up later then I should, and I was sure I would get caught up watching something and lose hours of sleep over it, and I was ALREADY a terrible insomniac!) I have since discovered that I actually sleep better with a TV playing quietly in the background while I fall asleep, and so I caved and put one in our bedroom; the only trouble is, I don’t like how it looks on the wall, it’s not very pretty and it’s taking up valuable art space (we don’t have very much wall space in our current bedroom, it’s mostly a window, doors, and closet doors.) So when thinking of what to upcycle, I knew I wanted to make a cover for our bedroom TV!
(sorry, it was hard to get a picture that didn’t have my reflection in the glass! and I had to crop it close so the rest of my bedroom didn’t show and giveaway who I was!) I used 2 barn-wood frames from Hobby Lobby for the doors, and then I cut and soldered picture frame glass into leaded glass panels that I then silver leafed the back of, to make the door fronts. I made the box that holds everything together out of a pallet I was given by a friend.

The whole case is painted black, and then sanded back and stained in a walnut color for an antiqued finish. I painted the back of the glass black rather than adding panels behind the glass because I wanted to keep the doors as light weight as possible, but didn’t want the silver reflection on the TV at night. I love the texture that the barn wood frames, and the pallet add, it looks like a fantastic old piece with antique mirrors! I priced wall mounted TV covers from several of the nicer furniture stores (Pottery Barn, West Elm, etc.) and they were HUNDREDS of dollars! With all the things I needed to finish this TV cover, (the frames, hinges, silver leaf, magnetic door catches, the glass, etc.) I was at a little less then $105, which I thought was AWESOME!

I really hope you like my upcycled craft, and that I earned your vote because I am excited to share my tutorial!!!

Craft #3 – Lego/Car Table – Valerie @ Occasionally Crafty

Thanks for your votes, everyone!  I’m happy to be back for “Upcycle” week.

Several years ago, we bought the IKEA Latt Table/Chair set for our daughter.  Two more kids and a handful of years later,  it’s sure gotten its fair share of use and more!  This thing was in rough shape!  A lot of people would throw this to the curb.  After all, IKEA furniture isn’t exactly expensive or top-quality.  I think it cost us $20 and it’s been worth every penny.

But, I knew with a little love, I could take this table that looked ready for the trash and make it into something brand new.

I had to do some tightening of the bolts and a lot of cleaning.  It’s amazing how just that made a difference!  But I didn’t stop there.  A few coats of red spray paint made it ready for my boys’ vintage baseball room.

Now, my son is HUGE into Legos, so of course a Lego baseplate was a must.  But what to do with the rest of the table?  I didn’t want to mix and match plates, so my son and I decided to make the extra space into roadways for his cars.  Here’s his design, and I quote:  “Let’s put the Lego plate in the middle, and make some lanes over on the sides, but don’t do anything at the top and bottoms so the cars can do some tricks!”

It might not be the design I would’ve chosen, but I have to admit, it turned out looking pretty great!  The paint is a black enamel paint, and the lane dividers are permanent vinyl that I cut with my Silhouette.  I finished off by cutting out my oldest son’s name in Lego font for a fun personal touch.

My two Lego-loving, Hot Wheel-obsessed boys will love playing with this for (hopefully) many more years to come!

Craft #4 – Portable Paper Doll Palace – Amber @ Mule ‘n Nag Crafts

Anyone else have a daughter out there who absolutely adores princesses?  Like, has the songs memorized and replays the movie with her little dolls?  And… shes only three.  While out shopping and browsing the books section, my little princess was introduced to the wonderful world of Paper Dolls.

I remember playing with paper dolls as a little girl and I was so excited to start the same fun with my daughter.  I told her she could get them next time we went on a trip… and then I remembered she was three.  I had visions of paper doll massacres at the hand of my precocious girl and then the break-down that would ensue from the inability to repair the damage.

So, the paper dolls waited until a day I could figure out how to three-year-old proof them.  This is how my “Upcycle” idea was born.

Paper Dolls + Plastic School Folder + Cardboard + Felt/Fabric =

Okay, I know it’s not really a palace, but I like the alliteration. 🙂

I used my trusty glue gun to create the folder and playmat, then added an elastic around the outside to keep it closed.

And, how, do you ask, did I make the paper dolls durable?  One word:  Lamination.  I laminated all SIX princesses (and each of their little dresses and accessories).

Then, I added velcro to the back of each piece and on the princess, so they stay together without the pesky tabs.  The princess even has velcro on the back, so she stays on the play mat.

Now my princess can play with her paper dolls happily ever after. 😉

Craft #5 -Card Catalog Coffee Table with Printing Block Display Top and Bobbin Legs – Amelia @ The Night Garden

This particular upcycling project (a card catalog coffee table that
displays my collection of wooden type in the top) started with a row of
card catalog drawers I picked up at Goodwill awhile back. I like Goodwill.
Among thrift stores they’re organized, clean, and priced right (locally,
anyway). And once in awhile, they have things that jump out of nowhere and
surprise you, like a row of card catalog drawers hidden among busted
wicker furniture.

I spied the antique wooden bobbins (legs) at the Pendleton
Woolen Mill Store
in Portland. They’re retired from the mill and are
80+ years old, their solid wood soaked through with lanolin from the wool.
I didn’t bring home enough, so I phoned them up a few weeks back and asked
them to ship me some for this project, which they were sweet enough to do.
The shipping cost almost as much as the bobbins, but it was totally worth
The hardware for attaching the legs to the card catalog came from the
rebuilding store. Two were still in their ruined packages, missing only
the screws; two were dug out of a bin of other hardware bits, used but
useable, like everything there. I had to drill into the metal to attach
them to the bobbins, which I’d expected (the center of the bobbins being
hollow and all). Once those were sturdily attached, I propped the table
base upright and started trying to think of what to put on the top.
After considering several possibilities, I decided to use the table to
display my collection of vintage wooden type. The exposed drawer supports
allowed me to use some leftover tag board to create an inset space I
filled with part of my collection. To protect it, I covered the top with a
piece of plexiglass that was leftover from a store I ran for awhile. One
of the folks at my local builders’ supply store cut it down to size for me
when I brought it to them measured and marked. Thank you, guy at the cut
I used some old game pieces to support the edge and then rounded up some
trim pieces at the (other) rebuilding store (it was 25 cents for a 3-foot
length of mill seconds) to trim the edge and hold the plexiglass in place.
I attached the trim with silver wire nails and then stained it with a Tee Juice
to match.
The final step: I typed up some labels for the drawers on my vintage
I’ve seen some furniture made from card catalogs on Pinterest, and I’ve
seen a couple of coffee tables with wooden type collages set in the top.
Because I plan to actually use my wooden type for printing, I
notched the trim along the back of the table so that the plexiglass top
can be removed easily to access the wood blocks. The rest of the time,
this lovely stuff isn’t locked up in a bin anymore, and we get to enjoy
it! Woohoo!
(Bonus: my collection of old house numbers fits around the edge . . . with
room to keep adding.)
This is one of those projects that makes me happy just looking at it. I
hope you like it, too!

Craft #6 – Paper Towel Holder Turned Ribbon Holder – Kim @ Maiden D’Shade

About 7 years ago, I purchased a wooden paper towel holder from Target. I loved it. For awhile. It quickly became a thorn in my side. It was hard to clean and my family didn’t love it because it took “too many” steps to replace a roll so most of the time it just held an empty paper towel roll. We haven’t used it in (almost 7) years and I happened to come across it the other day in my basement while going through things. Why we kept it, I’m not sure.

See? Gross! And because it’s made of particle board, there’s some pretty good water damage. Anyway, it occurred to me that it would work nicely as ribbon storage! I removed the center pole and unscrewed the front pole and gave it as good of a cleaning as I could. I went to Michael’s and picked up some scrapbook paper and some paints that I could mix to try and match the color of the cool scroll work on the paper.

It took eleventy-hundred coats of paint before it looked good. Ugh! But so worth it! After the paint dried, I cut the scrapbook paper to fit the outsides and the top of the holder and decoupaged them on. Once it dried, I put the two poles back in, added some felt circles to the bottom, and it was done!

Yes, I painted the bottom. And the back. My daughter asked me why, and it’s because I am my father’s daughter!  🙂

I’m back to loving it! And I can still put a roll of paper towels in there if what I’m working on is something messy. Or it could hold bakers twine, washi tape… whatever I need for the project I’m working on! It’s a great looking and versatile unit to have on my desk! Don’t you think?

Craft #7 – Table Legs Turned Welcome – Camille @ Sugar Baby Boutique

The challenge this week is upcycle. I’ve had these table legs in my garage for months now, just waiting to be made into something beautiful. I fell in love with these curvy legs and knew they had some potential…I decided they were destined to be wreath/banner/welcome sign holders 😉 I had been wanting to make one for awhile since I have too many wreaths to count and 3 wreaths on the door doesn’t work out so well. Plus our porch is less than inviting and have been trying to figure out how to spruce it up. I first filled all of the holes in the table legs, bought wood pieces for the top & bottom. Then, I wood glued the wood pieces to each leg and let them dry. I spray painted the entire thing, sanded and antiqued them. Finally, I attached the hooks. I couldn’t decide which hook I liked best so I used one of each and figured I could change them out later. Which is your favorite? I love giving old unused items a new purpose and think these will be a fun new addition to our home!



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  1. Sheila says

    HMMMMMM between the paper doll case and the library table. I think my final vote will be for the coffee table.