Top 5 (actually 8) Favorite, Easy Re-Purposing Projects


DIY/Recipes / Thursday, January 4th, 2018

OK, take a deep breath…these are not time-consuming projects. Trust me! This Momma barely has time to shower and brush her teeth. So if you’re looking to re-purpose an old desk, you are in the wrong place.

However, if you are interested in using little things around your house that may no longer have a function, allow me to share my top 5 favorite projects. All of these projects only took maybe 15-30 minutes at a time, depending on how long it took for the paint or glue to dry. 

  1. Fancy Pants: My all time favorite (and the one I get the most compliments on) is a simple lace project.  It all started because I had a pair of pants that were a little too long. I rolled them once and decided to dress them up a bit. I went to my local craft store and bought some lace trim. In about 5-10 minutes, I loop-stitched the lace around both ankles on my jeans and viola! It was like I had a new pair of pants. I am still guaranteed a compliment every time I wear those jeans (PS you can still flip the hem under to wear the jeans plain and hide the lace trim). Here’s a bonus project that spun off of this one: lace earrings. I had some extra lace so I cut out two of the main patterns, then used thread to attach them to earring hooks and glue to secure them. This project took less than 5 minutes and I still receive compliments on them as well.
  2. Frame Fun: For these next ideas, we will talk about re-purposing picture frames. So look around your home and gather any picture frames you have tucked away because A. You’ve accumulated too many or B. The photos are way outdated but you don’t have anything to replace them with or C. All of the above. For most of the following ideas, I chose to paint the frame. When my husband and I first moved into the house, we decided to paint an accent wall. However, we couldn’t decide on which shade of green to paint it. As a result, I have six sample-sized paint containers, six different shades of green, that compliment the overall color scheme of my house. As luck would have it, I have used these sample paints for several DIY projects, including these. If you are not like me, and don’t have paint just lying around, any paint will do. Whether you choose to get a sample from Home Depot or steal some of your kids paint, it’s totally up to you. 
    • Accessory Organizer: Begin by removing the glass and painting the outside of the frame. Safely discard the glass or store somewhere safe (you won’t be needing it for this project). Cut the ribbon the width of the frame and hot glue it to the back, bridging the space between each edge (if you don’t have a hot glue gun, you’re missing out on life…go get one, they are cheap and you’ll use it…all. the. time). Once the glue is dry, adhere hooks to the bottom of the frame (I use command hooks for everything). Now you have an organizer to clip hair clips and hang headbands. Easy, right?
    • Decor: I came up with this piece because I loved the pattern on our shower curtain we received as a wedding present. It was a delicate weaving of coral that reminded me of peace and simplicity. However, it was a cloth, white shower curtain…get where I’m going with this? It turned yellow at the bottom and no amount of bleaching or cleaning could get rid of it. Not to mention, when we moved into our new house, we no longer needed a shower curtain in the master bath (nothing kinky! It had a glass, sliding door!). So if you have a fabric you can’t part with  (an old dress, shirt, baby blanket, etc), start by cutting some of it out. Take the glass out of your picture frame and wrap your chosen section of fabric around the glass, adhering it with your glue gun. Then pop it back into the frame. If the pattern of your cloth isn’t too busy, you can do like I did here and add something on top. I grabbed a big letter for our family name and painted it, once again, a different shade of green and then glued it on. Another super simple project that keeps a memory present and adds to the decor of your home.
    • Earring rack: This project was the simplest of the three. First of all, I did not paint the frame. Second, I did not remove the glass. Third, I did not crochet the doily. My mother-in-law blessed me with some beautiful crocheted doilies for our end tables. Unfortunately, doilies and babies don’t mix. It was a good way to clear off an end table, though! Since they were so beautiful, I had to find a purpose for them. Whether you’ve got doilies, crocheted blankets, lace, or basically any fabric with holes in it, you’ve got yourself the makings of an earring rack. Just drape it over the glass and reinsert the glass back into the frame, no gluing necessary. You can add paint if you’d like or even crochet your own piece, it’s entirely up to you.  But this was a K.I.S (“keep it simple”) project at its finest. I finished this item by hot-gluing (yep, there it is again) a ribbon to the back so I could hang it on my wall. 
  3. Hanging Hooks: You can’t get much easier than this next re-purposed organizer: simply attach command hooks to the bottom of any picture frame that has a flat edge. You can hang head bands, necklaces, bracelets or even ties. In this example, I tied some ribbons to attach clips, and then I either hang necklaces or headbands depending on what is littered all over my daughter’s floor.
  4. Tea Light: This next project is re-purposing an old tea cup and saucer into a candle. It may be the most involved to make, but it is the most beautiful (in my opinion). I actually made it as a gift for someone. You’ll need candle wicks, melting wax cubes, two pencils, hot glue, and a cup and saucer. I found this plain white one at Goodwill for a few cents and then traced the pattern in green (go figure) to help it stand out. Start by gluing the cup to the saucer for stability. Then tape the two pencils together with a small enough gap for the wick to pass through. Balance the wick in the center of the cup, secured by the pencils lying perpendicular across the top of the cup. In a glass container, heat up the wax so it melts completely. Quickly pour the melted wax in the cup and rinse the glass container with water. Wait several hours, or even an entire day to be safe. Once the wax re-hardens, you are good to go! It’s such a classy piece, you’ll be happy you attempted it.
  5. Drawing Desk: Finally, this last DIY re-purpose project is for a child. Whether it’s for your own or for a child within your inner circle, this is the perfect present because it has the right touch of personal and unique. All you’ll need is a child-sized lap desk, chalkboard paint, painters tape, chalk, eraser, paper, large chip clip, hot glue, and some fun art supplies. I purchased a plastic lap desk with side compartments to put art supplies like chalk, crayons and markers in. Then, I used painters tape to cover any immediate area I didn’t want sprayed with the chalkboard paint. I did two coats to make sure the area was covered sufficiently. Once it dried, I tested it out by drawing in chalk and erasing it. Then I hot-glued (told you it’d be your best friend) a large chip clip to the top in the middle so you can clip white paper on top to work on other projects, using it as a desk.

So there you have it! I love these creative projects because, not only are they giving purpose back to something that had lost it’s purpose, but they make great gifts and additions to any household. Which one will you be attempting first?

Lord, bless this busyness ~ Jenn

PS Many of the items listed above I purchased from Amazon… peruse the carousel below for any items you may need and GET CRAFTING! Happy DIY!

Tell me what you think!