When you think of ‘trash to treasure’, what comes to mind? What comes to my mind are visions of “furniture collected from the sidewalk” turned “fit to sell on eBay” items….lovely vintage-style items that anyone would love to have in their homes. But to some, trash to treasure means something else. It could mean collecting someone else’s trash and turning it into yours (or someone else’s) treasure, but it could also mean dumpster diving for food.
No matter what it means to you, it is good for the earth because it keeps things out of the landfill, and for me and my family, that’s important. We believe that God gave man dominion over the earth, and dominion (to us) means that we take care of what was given to us. It means that we do what is within our power to harm the earth the least we can. We are still learning, but we do have some habits in place like using cloth napkins at meals, collecting rain water, composting, recycling, purchasing items that will last (within our budget, of course), staying mindful about our energy consumption, garden, and probably a few other things.
While I’m not comfortable with dumpster diving myself, the art of seeing potential in trash is one that I truly covet. Sometimes I can do it, and other times the possibilities just escape me. It’s such a blessing that there are creative souls out there that can inspire us with their wonderful ideas, don’t you think? Here are a few really wonderful projects that were submitted for this blog post by some really imaginative people:
Bridgett shares: “We wanted another shower in the downstairs for our teenage boys. We live on a ranch and they come in covered with everything under the sun. New special designed showers are so expensive tho! My husband took a stock tank and we put slate tile around it and made the guys a bathroom. Now it’s a favorite room in the house!”
Koreelah Farm has lots of old cast iron bath tubs. Seven of them are now herb garden beds, and work well.
To Koreelah Farm, they are treasures. This one is filled with chilies and chives. Lovely!
(Click on the photo to go to Koreelah Farm’s Facebook page)
Sherry says: “This is my favorite recycled thing EVER. I needed a buffet in my dining room so I asked my husband to keep any “upper” cabinets he could salvage from work or found on the side of the road or wherever. He certainly did. The whole bottom 12 cubby unit he had the whole time and was going to use for nesting boxes.”Thats CRAZY talk!!” I said. We need that for the buffet! So I showed him my drawing, he scrounged up 2 cabinet units to put on top, salvaged some old barn wood for the buffet shelf and top. Still looking for doors and I have to paint it, sand and stain the top but I LOVE IT!!!” (Click the photo to go to Sherry’s The Egg Plant Facebook page)
Aren’t those lovely projects? Their creativity and originality just energizes my mind and puts me in the mood to walk around my property to see what trash we have to transform into a treasure!
My husband bought me this adorable little metal windmill a few years ago, which I couldn’t wait to deposit into my garden–which I did. Then I pretty much forgot it was there. I gardened around it for years, and every now and then I would put a plant or two on it….which would inevitably die because–you guessed it–I would forget about it!
When I was thinking about the subject of ‘trash to treasure’, I was wondering when I would get the time to get a hold of something to make into a treasure–then I remembered my sweet little [formerly cute and now terribly rusty] windmill. I proceeded to pull it out of my garden, sand the rust off (as much as I could in a few minutes) with some coarse sandpaper, primer and give it a new shiny coat with a simple spray paint job. I probably spent about $9 on the primer and the red spray paint, and I already had the gold spray paint and sandpaper in my craft stash.
NOTE: Todd wanted me to make sure to let you know to be very careful when sanding any items that might make dust, as (depending on the item’s age) there is some danger of ingesting small particles of asbestos, which can lead to mesothelioma. What a good guy, watching out for you all, yes?
Anyway, since I’m not great at spray painting AT ALL, I decided that a tutorial would be a ridiculous prospect. Besides–who else will be repainting an old rusty windmill, anyway?
So to the right, you can see the first few steps that I took. I failed to get a photo of the sanding part, but I did that before I sprayed the primer coat. My sanding and spray painting skills are pretty poor, but I’m ok with a few extra ‘bubbly’ areas on my windmill, and Todd is ok with all the tiny dots on the concrete. We are confident that the sun will bleach them all to a fine shade of pink. *smile*
So are you ready to see the final project?
What do you think?
Have you ever turned anything from trash to treasure? I’d really love to see your projects, so feel free to post links to them in the comments!
Click to go to the next activity in the series, February Week 1 Activity: Planting Berries, Part 1 – Blueberries
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