All throughout my college years, if I needed something for my apartment, I would run to Target and purchase it. Before you give me a stern, disapproving look, I will say that every piece of furniture/decor item purchased there is still holding up nicely. My tall, cheap, book shelves that I purchased at $33 a piece, still standing (maybe a bit lopsided but still standing). The mission style desk and hutch I used for ages was sold for a nice price at last year’s garage sale. The TV cart was used not only for a TV, but also a printer, and later a craft room storage area, and eventually a plant stand also sold for a fair price at last year’s garage sale. The candle sticks, the boxes, the baskets, the crap – all still good and most still in use.
However, as I’ve grown into my adult years and adult style, my eye has grown tired of what fills the shelves of Target (the only thing I still buy there is House and Dexter when new seasons come out on DVD as their new release season prices always beat Walmart and Best Buy). I’ve found myself wanting to find new uses for old things. There are flea markets, junk shops, barn sales and dumpsters just FULL of useful objects – why on earth are we letting these items go to waste in landfills and back rooms? Let’s all breathe new life into these old treasures.
A year ago I found an old farm/utility/wooden basket thingy at a local junk shop. It caught my eye not for the structure so much but rather what was in it. It was full of old, wooden produce baskets that were perfect for displaying my handspun yarn at the local farmers market. $15 later, the small baskets and large wooden one were mine. I happened to stumble across another one out at the family farm as my sister and I were getting ready to put it on the market (that’s another story all together). I rescued that one from going back to the land and brought it home with me.Now I had two of these wooden utility basket thingies (anyone know what they are actually called?). I never ended up using the small produce baskets and everything sat in my living room, looking sad and unused. I eventually sold the produce baskets at the Junque Rethunque flea market booth and priced the 2 wooden utility basket thingies to sell as well.
And then they haunted me. For 3 weeks I thought about using those baskets in a creative way to solve 2 problems. 1 – a lack of shelf and display space in my condo and 2 – a lack of pretty things in my bedroom. When the thought of those wooden utility basket thingies selling to someone else was too much to bare, I went up to the booth, rescued them and brought them home with me.
Then they sat in my living room, once again, sad and unloved for almost 2 months (I’m great with coming up with uses for things, but not great on actually putting things to use).
One day during the Christmas break, I decided enough was enough. My bedroom was ugly and I needed something to anchor all of the lovely, vintage touches I had throughout (and old wire book stand, a cute Samsonite train case to old bulky jewelry in, a small wooden stool my grandpa made, a small wire vanity seat, a large Samsonite suitcase that adds the perfect height to our clothes hamper, an antique dresser… you get the idea, I love old). All of my vintage touches sat strewn about with no real purpose. Those wooden utility basket thingies were going to be the anchor.
2 hours, lots of drilling and rearranging, and a bit of sweat later, I had finished the project. 2 wooden utility basket thingies, 4 shelf supports from Hobby Lobby (get them when they are on sale, I think I paid $30 for all four and they make the project) and viola! A lovely new room.
On a side note, I made this necklace hanger before I even moved into this condo but of course, it was never hung until I moved (the story of my life). I found an akwardly wide and short antique frame at the family farm painted silver. A few coats of cream spray paint, some quilt batting and a fat quarter of fabric produced the perfect necklace hanger. My sister gave me some old t-pins and I was set. It looked weird hanging alone, so I painted some other interesting frames the same color and showcased a few, small prints also saved from the family farm. It’s a nice collection and doesn’t look out of place now that my room makes more sense.