Question: How many other mothers have a garage full of everything EXCEPT a car? Our garage is our personal storage unit – everyone just dumps their junk in there and forgets about it! And god-forbid I ask them to clean it out and throw some away... they “NEEEED” it all. So what can you do to keep your family happy and keep your sanity? Turn all that junk in to gems! How, you ask? Simple: repurpose.
You can find hand-me-down uses for a lot of the stuff commonly found discarded in garages, and even some stuff that’s not so common! Below are some of my all-time favorite up-cycles!
• Old tires. Put this in the “not so common” tab. There are a couple ways to go about this, but first, give the tire a good scrub down no matter what, you don’t want grease and dirt anywhere near you or your family! The first use for an old tire is the cliché “tire swing”, if you have a strong, sturdy tree and adventurous kids, this is a great way to save money (instead of buying a swing set) and getting one thing out of your way! The second use I’ve come across for tires is to turn them in to chairs! All you need for this project is a tire; a wooden board cut in the shape and diameter of the tire; paint; and a cushion – genius!
• Skate boards/Surf boards. This is hit or miss, depending on your kids. If you have sporty children who buy these boards just to outgrow them and buy new ones, I’m sure you have more than a couple lying around. You can turn both in to shelves for your kids’ room or play room! This project requires the boards, L-brackets, screws and anchors (plus a drill, pencil and level) – so simple!
• Vases. Almost every flower delivery comes in a nice vase, and when those flowers die, the vase gets pushed to the side. Vases can be up-cycled in to lamps very easily, just choose a vase, purchase a non-drilling lamp kit from online, plaster (to hold the lamp kit in the vase), and a lamp shade – assemble and display!
• Cookie/Baking sheets. I use my cookie sheets for everything from cookies to chicken, and eventually they change colors and my kids will no longer eat anything cooked on them. My favorite rework for cookie sheets is turning them in to chore charts! Super simple and cheap, all you need is one cookie sheet per child, spray paint, washi tape, magnets and markers (and a ribbon to hang it, if desired) – design your chart and get them to work!
• Pillows. Do you ever have pillows that have been replaced but are still in too good of a condition to be considered garbage? I hate when my pillows lose their oomph and become “flat”, so I replace them, but I also hate throwing them out because they’re not “bad” yet. Years ago, I saw a life-hack that I fell in love with – and I’ve finally been able to use it. Turning pillows in to a “bed”! So obvious, yet over looked, these are great little “beds” for the kids to throw on the floor and lounge around on, or fold up against a wall and make a little chair. All you need for this project is 4 or 5 pillows, an equal number of pillow cases (or a sheet, if you’re extra crafty), a needle and thread, and Velcro (optional, for keeping the pillows in the cases). Stitch them up, insert the pillows and BOOM, comfy and functional!
(Feat. Home Dynamix: Splash Rug)
• Rugs. If you keep up with me, you know my passion for rugs, and so as you can imagine, I have PLENTY of rugs in my garage that I prematurely replaced. One way you can re-use a gently-used rug is to turn it in to a wall hanging! Full size or cut down, framed or left out, there are a bunch of ways to display your treasured rugs.
This is just a small sampling of my favorite up-cycles, but nowhere near ALL the possibilities! If you have something taking up space that you (or your family) can’t fathom throwing out, do some research and create some projects! Happy garage picking!