Something Old, Something New: Upcycling down Memory Lane

Loosely based on my Pinterest board upCycle. rePurpose. reDesign, here are twelve innovative ideas that transform salvaged materials into beautiful objects on either a personal or commercial scale. I hope this will inspire you to find new ways to give old discards a second life and keep them out of landfills. What’s your fav? I’d love to hear from you!

Old iMac G3 repurposed into a cat bed

One of the many uses for an old iMac G3.

If cats have 9 lives, then Macs have at least 2 – dead Macs can be repurposed into fashionable cat beds. There’s enough room for small pets to chill comfortably and the translucent sides add panache.

Jerry can recycled into a portable bar

Here’s a portable bar to serve Sundowners on your next African Safari!

Jerry cans were invented by the Germans during World War II to carry fuel. The enterprising company Danish Fuel transformed these old relics by refinishing them with new powder coat colors and adding wood shelves for  drinks and bar ware. Very clever indeed!

Lamborghini car front recycled into a bar counter

Lamborghini designed to turn heads even in the After Life…

Not ready to consign your favorite sports car to the junk yard? Try recycling it into a bar counter. This will definitely be a hot pit stop during Happy Hour!

Wall tiles from recycled skateboard decks

Tiles from discarded wood skateboard decks give a playful ambiance to the space. As part of the manufacturing process each tile is unique.

Working to reduce the tons of skateboards going to landfill, Art of Board recycles broken skateboards to create tiles for commercial and residential interiors. They are available in rectangular and square formats.

Pillows made from reclaimed fabrics and belt

Pillows made from reclaimed fabrics. One is embellished with a cherished time worn belt.

Create furnishings that are more meaningful and personal to clients by repurposing their own materials or mementoes into decorative pillows and you’ll gain an appreciative friend. Here’s another example of using custom pillows to preserve a family’s history.

Dining table base from repurposed sewing machine treadle

If you managed to salvage your grandma’s sewing machine, here’s a great use for the treadle.

Although I can’t sew straight, I’ve always been fascinated by sewing machines, first as a well embellished symbol of the Industrial Revolution and then as a rich source for upcycling into contemporary furnishings. The raw urban look of this dining nook says it all!

Baseboard from reclaimed fencing

At first blush, reclaimed fencing is not what one would expect for use as base moulding, but this is one of my more popular pins!

Love this nifty idea – find old fencing that was chewed up by horses and repurpose it as baseboard for a perfect Wild West look. But of course, Step #1 is to get a horse, then plop it in my postage stamp sized yard so it can start chewing on my fences…

Desk with wall shelving made from salvaged coffee tables

This purple desk-cum-wall unit makes a bold statement.

Looks like someone had field day in a junk yard! This shows furniture can be recycled from the most unlikely material if you think outside the box!

Chair with used books in the frame

Sit in this chair and you’ll always have a book at your fingertips.

This does not look like the most comfortable of club chairs as the arms are affected by book height and arrangement, but for book lovers this is perfect antidote to the ebook culture.

Table lamp from recycled plumbing parts

Very cool lamp made from plumbing parts.

A wonderful way to reuse the plethora of pipes, elbows and fittings after a plumbing project. Given the hollow nature of the pipes, I’m surprised there aren’t more creative plumbing inspired lighting fixtures around.

Salvaged antique doors

Tired of seeing old barn doors? Try old antique doors instead…

Salvaged doors are usually pretty beaten up, but if you’re after a shabby chic look, it will entail a minimal amount of work for the doors to fit right in!

Wine cooler from repurposed tires

You’ll never see your tires the same way again!

Time to teach your old tires new tricks – homely tires are transformed into eye catching champagne buckets on casters. With capacity to chill 6 or 7 bottles at a time, Let the Party Begin!

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