Search Results for: upcycling

Upcycling a Window from a Door

There’s one window in the old depot that we’ve had trouble finding a match for without having one made. We were going to patch something together eventually but then over the weekend our friend Marty texted Brett a picture of a door that was being thrown out. Lightbulb! By late afternoon Brett had picked it up and cut out the window to reuse for the depot. Installed on hinges it can swing open for a cross breeze. It worked out perfectly:

Fixing up the train depot: upcycling a window out of a door

When I was growing up the farmer who boarded my horses re-used everything. Everything. I remember a few of the gates to some of the pastures were old vintage metal bed frames with metal wire holding the hinges on. Old horseshoes were used for hooks, and sometimes hinges as well. So many of Mr. Rea’s re-use ideas that I used to laugh at are now on Pinterest as “rustic decor.” I think Mr. Rea would be proud of this upcycling, and if he were alive today he could have cared less about Pinterest:


(More on the old train depot here.)

Upcycling Broken China (A Tutorial)

How to make upcycled accessories from broken china via


Ever break a glass or dish you love? Happens here all the time…..and I can never bring myself to throw the pieces away. I always have big plans to one day make a big mosaic wall or table…..but in the meantime I’ve decided to use the pieces for some smaller projects. This jar holds every single piece of porcelain from a Tiffany vase I broke a few years ago:


How to make upcycled accessories from broken china via

[Read more…]

I-Beam Benches

I love these so much I just had to share. Brett’s project today was making these benches for Bryson City Outdoors. Each one is made from pieces of a large steel I-beam and a large salvaged barn timber:

reclaimed barn timber and i-beam project

The I-beam was cut at a local scrapyard with the perfect dimensions. Holes were added on one side to attach to the wood. One is about 6 feet long and the other one is super long at 18 feet:



To read more about all the salvaging and upcycling that was done at Bryson City Outdoors click here. And if you are in Bryson City this summer (which you should be…it’s beautiful) make sure to stop in and say hello to my hubby Brett. Or Ben. Or Mel. One of those three is usually in the retail space.

P.S. If you ARE planning a trip make sure to check out their blog too….it’s constantly being updated with printable maps and other guides to the outdoors!

DIY Upcycled Infinity T-Shirt Scarf

how to make a diy infinity scarf using t-shirts

Last April I taught a class on making t-shirt infinity scarves at the SNAP Conference in SLC.  I’m just now remembering that I hadn’t posted a tutorial for them…so better late than never!  The scarves were a hit…they are so easy to make that each person in the class made more than one.


I had precut all the squares for the class:

knit scarf instructions and tutorial - recycled t-shirt projects

Here’s Boo with infinity scarf samples I made and wearing the scarf she made: recycled and upcycled t-shirt projects - infinity scarf


Love all the colorful combinations:


To make your scarf, first you need to cut a bunch of 11″ squares from t-shirts, pajama pants, etc or just knit-by-the-yard:

upcycled t-shirt projects

For the adult sized scarf you need 8 squares per scarf and the child sized only needs 6 squares.  Lay them out in the pattern you want the finished scarf to be. 2 rows of 4:


Sew each row of 4 together first using a sewing machine or a serger, like you are making a quilt. So you will have 2 long rectangles: [Read more…]

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art via


There’s nothing I love more than scooping up something that someone else doesn’t want anymore….and making it my own.  My friend was selling this HUGE dinosaur at her yard sale and I couldn’t resist.  I knew I’d either paint over it to reuse the canvas….or maybe change it up a bit.  Mr. LBB loved the dino but Boo thought it was too scary.  So I changed him up a bit to be more of a pop art dino!

Here’s the before:

thrift store painting BEFORE via #upcycled


The first thing I did was use a pencil and some acrylic paint to add polka dots….or pixelate the dino: [Read more…]

DIY Suede Bookcovers and Handmade Journals

DIY Suede Covers and handmade journals via #journal #handmade #tutorial #diy #theliljournalproject


April is Earth Month and I’m taking part in Michaels RE-Love Challenge! The challenge was to take old items around our home that are maybe a little worn or have been sitting in the garage and with a little creativity turning them into something I love again….and save it from being thrown out. I had these old suede pants sitting around waiting to be remade into something (the last pair was made into a handbag!)  Since I love little moleskin notebooks I wanted to try and make some of my own….with suede covers.

Upcycled Suede Journals via #journal #handmade #tutorial #diy #theliljournalproject

To make the easy little journals I took 5 sheets of regular 8.5×11″ copy paper and printed out my PDF (see download below) on the printer.  Then I took the 5 sheets and turned them over and reprinted the same file onto the other side:

[Read more…]

Carving Rocks with a Dremel

How to carve and drill holes through rocks with a Dremel via

There is something very gratifying about carving into a rock.  This project was kind of therapeutic. I was thinking I’d carve some words into rocks and maybe start leaving them around Palm Desert to see if people find them…. [Read more…]