Create great new uses for things you already own
Reinvent a desk
With a few style tricks, give an old, scuffed, and tarnished desk a colorful reboot.
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Turn a deep photo frame and similar-sized side table into a venue for celebrating treasured keepsakes.
More: How to make this memory box table
Turn a scavenged piece of driftwood found shore-side into an organic modern entryway rack.
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With a little creativity, turn an old artwork frame and drawer organizer into a family message center.
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Make your literature work for your aesthetic. Try taking the sleeves off hard cover books and arranging the spines by color.
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Romantic outdoor lighting: With a wire basket, a few jars, and some tea lights and adornment, add a little handmade glow to
See how to make this outdoor chandelier
Before you recycle it, reuse it! Fabric scraps, magazine ads, and even brown paper bags can look beautiful as gift wrapping.
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Arrange small light weight mirrors grid-style for a glamorous regency-style look in the bedroom.
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Have a few blooms from your garden and no traditional clear glass vase handy? Consider other unique vessels from around the
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Turn salvaged materials into veggie garden containers with industrial-modern style.
See how we did it
Make display frames out of wood remnants and celebrate small plants as living art.
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Any drinking glass can become a botanical vessel.
Champagne flutes and evergreen sprigs form a centerpiece when interspersed with forest green tea lights in clear votive holders.
Prunings from some junipers stay fresh for a month or more in water. Other short-needled conifers for this use include Arizona cypress Atlas cedar Douglas fir and noble fir.
At month’s end, clip away dates from your calendar art and frame it. Repeat every month for a collection.
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No room for workspace? Convert a closet into a home office―complete with hide-the-clutter doors.
How to do it: Empty a closet and remove the closet pole. Move a desk, or thin table into the space, allowing enough room to close the doors. Use a dining chair as a desk chair.
Willing to invest? Install a custom built desk surface and floating shelves.
Castoff CD cases are the perfect size for creating a quilt-like grid collection of landscape photos.
From the book Photocraft: Cool Things to Do with the Pictures You Love: Scan or crop your images to the size of a CD case (5 3/8 in. wide by 4 5/8 in. high) then print on good photopaper and trim. We recommend using standard (not slim) cases. Discard plastic inserts.
Back each photo with cardboard or foam board and snap the cases shut. Attach them to the wall with 3-inch strips of sticky-back hood-and-loop fasteners (such as Velcro).
Often think wrapping paper is too beautiful to recycle? It’s easy to turn the prints into placemats (or desk blotters!) with
a copy shop laminating machine.
How-to: At a copy shop, use a paper cutter to trim paper to 10 ½ by 16 ½ inches for each placemat. Laminate each piece, leaving 1/2 inch or more of plastic laminate on each side. Using a paper cutter, trim each side of the placemat, keeping ¼ inch of plastic laminate as a border. With an edge trimmer or scissors, round each corner.
Tuck a drawer organizer into a storage tote with some thoughtful amenities to make your houseguests feel like royalty. (Be
forewarned: They’ll be eager for a return invite.)
How-to: Slip a drawer organizer into a fabric-covered box or other storage tote and stock it with a few travel-size essentials in coordinating materials and hues. Tie a washcloth with colorful string; wrap a bar of soap with wide ribbon; use letter stamps and a label sticker to personalize a scented candle.
Turn your wood burning fireplace into a decor statement―and trade air-polluting wood smoke for a little ambiance.
Get more reusable ideas from this home
A collection of found objects become a museum-quality vignette in a tray nostalgic of elementary school years.
Celebrate a mismatched but beloved collection by arranging them in an asymmetrical wavelike pattern on a plain white wall.
Unwanted light fixtures (and other vessels) can become plant vessels with a contemporary edge.
Be sure your object can sit upright (flat bottom). Because there’s no drainage hole, we recommend using plants that don’t demand much water.
No such containers around your house? Try salvage yards for your own vessel to repurpose.