While thinking about how to be sustainable, save $$$ and also be creative I began looking around my house for repurposed items, hoping for a bit of inspiration. It turns out many of the things in my home are not being used for their original purpose.
It seems I may be averse to using items for their intended purpose. Quite the rebel! Taking something beautiful, interesting or merely useful and re-working or re-using it in a new or unusual way is a great way to exercise your imagination and creativity and often save a bit of $$$.
From where I am sitting in my home I can see several items that I've re-purposed. There's a lovely gold and black ying/yang Chinese umbrella that I've hung over the TV as piece of art. The same with a vintage floral kimono that years ago I used as a beach cover-up. And, now, as I never go out in public in "beachwear" it hangs on a dowel over my couch, filling up a large space with another piece of three dimensional art.
In the above photo is a piece I picked up for $1.50 at a thrift store, gave it a coat of black paint, found the letters at a retail display store and continue to have fun with friends and family making up crazy menus based on famous people's names. It hangs in my kitchen.
Another piece in my kitchen is a retro Gourmet magazine from the month and year of my birth. I also made one for each of my sisters birthdays. In the bargain basement of a large old book store I found stacks of vintage magazines in amazing condition. I picked up several with dates that corresponded to the birth dates of friends and family. For the magazines that became gifts I found clear frames that encase them between two layers of lucite held together with magnets. They make thoughtful birthday gifts that are also beautiful conversation pieces for very little $$$.
Several years ago I found a very large and beautifully simple picture frame in a thrift store that was under $10. My brother is a master carpenter so I commissioned him to fill the frame with magnetized chalk board paint. He did a beautiful job and actually gave it back to me as a gift (no charge...Yay!). Now I can put all that "stuff" that clutters the refrigerator....photos, cards, invitations and reminders inside that frame and keep it under some semblance of control and have space to write notes. (It not a great idea to write on the refrigerator.)
While we're waiting for Spring to arrive, here are just a few ideas to brighten up your space with re-purposed items that are easy on the budget. Art is whatever we find interesting, entertaining or beautiful and we need not follow any rules in our own home. Go nuts!