Furniture salvage tips from Valerie Cushman
Check with hotels or businesses redoing their decor for deals on furniture.
Even old TVs make a campy cabinet for your fish aquarium. Have someone handy with carpentry cut out a section of the top (or hinge the top) so the tank can be cleaned and the fish fed.
Old bricks make interesting bookends.
Wood crates make really great recycle bins for newspapers.
Shutters or doors can be hinged together to make perfect room dividers.
Ceiling fans can be taken apart and used to create dragonfly lawn art. Other materials needed: a fence post, heavy gauge wire for feet, green paint. You get the picture.
Create tealight holders from discarded bottles (glass cutter needed).
Door knockers can be mounted on the wall in a kitchen or bathroom to hold hand towels.
Pictures that didn’t make it can be utilized by saving the frames. Cover the picture insert with batting and fabric. Crisscross ribbons and hot-glue to the back. Makes really cute memo boards to pin notes to. If the frame is gouged, cover with silk flowers.
Broken china and pottery can be collected and turned over to a mosaic artist to be made into a tabletop, or if you’re handy with tile and grout, you can try doing it yourself.
Old toys can be salavaged. Clean well with soap and water and dry. Then spray them gold and glue to wreaths for a funky Christmas or Mardi Gras wreath.
Found objects such as old gas heaters make the most unusual towel racks for bathroom counters. Take out and use the guard rail to drape towels from. If rusted, used steel wool and spray paint a color or clear (if you prefer the antique look). This keeps rust from coming off on the towels.
Even limbs from small trees make great conversation pieces. Pot branches in an urn to display. Hang the branches with little bottles that can hold fresh flowers or greenery. Change with the seasons.
Valerie Cushman works with her mom, Linda, and aunt Vicki Henley reupholstering furniture at EJM Upholstery in Biloxi.
Tags: Antique, Bath, China, Christmas, Color, Crate, Furniture, gas heaters, Green, green paint, law, Linda, Mardi Gras Day, paint, Small, spray paint, steel, steel wool, Table, Valerie Cushman, Valerie Cushman Check, Vicki Henley, Works