Halloween Table Settings - Use What You Have

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

My Ottawa Citizen Halloween article came out this Saturday and in it I describe three Halloween table settings I created for guests who are coming over for a sitdown supper on Halloween night. For each guest, I designed a personalized table setting that matched their interests. I created one for a book lover, a movie goer, and a puzzle solver. Nothing too ghoulish or ghastly, since I don't want to frighten my guests. It would have been easier I know to go and buy stuff at the dollar store but I figured I'd use what I already had including old photocopies that I've used for other projects.

My friends tell me I'm not really a recycler - just too lazy to go shopping. True, my recycling bin is one of my BFFs. To read my Table Setting article, go here.

Fabulous ways to repurpose vintage house keys

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

It's Sunday morning and I'm up for something silly and frilly, so here it is. A wonderful, fun way to reuse/repurpose/recycle vintage house keys (and empty jam jars!!) from Style Me Pretty (via Bridal Musings). Fabulous idea for a little girl's birthday party - no? Or it can be adapted for a boy's party just by changing the decoration on the jar. You can get full instructions for this project over at Emmaline Bride. Gives a recipe for the soap bubbles, too.

I've started to collect vintage keys when lived in a 100-year old house that at one time had been a boarding house -  each bedroom could be locked by the boarder when he/she went out to work in the morning. So I was always on the lookout for keys that could maybe fit the door keyholes. And you know I did find a bunch. Some even fit the doors at my sister's old Victorian house in Toronto! I still have a horde of these keys somewhere in my storage boxes. Never thought to use it in this playful manner.

There are a lot more creative links for reusing those old house keys over at Bridal Musings. Even if you're not celebrating a wedding, any of these projects could be adapted for other festivities. Take a peek. 

Books recycling - router and device charger disguises

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)


If you think that ideas for book recycling is limited to making book safes, clocks, purses, etc and is exhausted, think again. Here are a couple of brilliant ideas I came across today.

Don't you just love it when you come across an idea that is so simple, so elegant, and so functional that you'll wonder why you didn't think of it? Well, Ana Maria Muñoz over at anamublog has a brilliant idea for disguising your wireless router - she hides it in plain sight in a vintage book. And she tells you how you can do it, too.

Oh, stop,  my beating heart! Here's yet another brilliant idea - how to hide your device chargers at Rich Neeley Designs Etsy store. 

Each device charger is made from actual vintage books and includes a power source for an iPhone or iPod. The USB-compatible hook-up tucks neatly inside a book's binding, and the dock itself is discreet enough to go almost unnoticed.

Both ideas would make great gifts. All it takes is a little imagination (and, oh, a book or two).

Repurposing old maps

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (2)

I still have blank walls at my new flat and decided today's the day to do something with at least one wall. I didn't have any paint but I did have a stack of old maps, so, here's what I did.

I went through my collection and selected a few to 'paper' the wall. Okay, I didn't really paper the wall, instead I stapled the maps to the wall. It will be easier to remove them should I want a change of scenery or use the maps for something else. 

Repurposing old dressers and TV cabinet

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (2)

The folks over at Bliss Ranch have some amazing furniture conversions that you simply have to go and see. Read about how they did it and about all their other neat recycled and repurposed furniture projects. Here are some samples of their work.

Libation Station

Here’s an old dresser they picked up for free (always the best price) turned it into a fabulous portable bar. If I ever come across an old affordable dresser (or free one in someone's tip), this will be a project I'll definitely attempt. Not as a bar maybe, but as a place to store my odds and bobs.

Guy Stuff

Here's what they created from an old dresser for their boys' room. Notice their repurposing of old belts to decorate the drawers and use as drawer pulls. Neat!

TV Cabinet Rehab

When a new television replaced an old TV, the ol’ dinosaur was converted into a new cabinet.

They reuse everything they can from the original pieces for their conversions, adding a few emblishments such as cage wire (left over from their chicken coop) and a new concrete top to the former TV console.

Now that's what I call creative and useful!!

More belt recycling

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Okay, elegant, simple, and useful - that's what I want to feature on my blog. None of this macaroni on cardboard stuff. That's NOT what recycling is about - might be easy and fun but can it be recycled again and again? That's my criteria!

For example belts can be recycled in dozens of ways. Here are some more belt repurposing ideas that you might find useful (and I hope, beautiful). Over at briggslekehus, my friend, Brigitta, has more than a few amazing things with belts like this little bed for Fido. 

In addition to repurposing a couple of old belts, it's nice way to recycle an old rug and mattress (both cleaned, of course).

Or how about this neat wall clock. Brigitta purchased her clock at guess where (Ikea, of course) and her belt at H&M, but if you got these on hand already why not just use that or grab it at a garage sale or a charity shop. I recently spotted an 80 cent clock just like the one pictured for 80¢ at the Sally Ann. Belts were $1.

Check out these over at Brigitta's site

Meanwhile, another Norwegian blogger, Ana Maria over at, uses the same belt idea, but to hold up a round mirror.  

Another idea from Ana Maria is to repurpose belts to hold piles of magazines together. 

Or how about holding up a curtain? This idea is from the Skonahem magazine blog. An easy-peasy project if you need to put up a curtain quickly. To make, hem the top and bottom of the fabric (they used coarse linen) leaving side openings at the top to slip in a curtain rod. For a vintage look, you can leave the edges frayed. And the best part: the curtain are kept rolled up and secured with old leather belts.

Like I said, simple, elegant, and useful. 'nough said.