Why Vespas Make the Best Repurposed Rocking Horses

Jan 10, 2010 by

One look at the final result has me searching high and low for a vintage Vespa beyond repair.  A very chic grandpa turned his old Vespa into a custom rocking scooter for his very lucky grandson Diego, as seen via Greenwala.  How happy does that little boy look?!

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Upwards to Upcycled Ladders: Edition 2

Apr 2, 2009 by

As I shall be a wannabe gypsy for the next few months, I will alas have limited repurposing projects from my own home to share with you.  However, this does not mean that the repurposing bug will not consistently bite me!  Thus, if you have any particular vintage object or common household object that you wish you could find a few other uses for, let me know, and I would love to hunt and brainstorm repurposing ideas to publish for you!

With that said, many of us loved the versatile uses of upcycled ladders from the first edition, and I have gathered together a few other repurposing ideas that can make a ladder work double-duty!   However, before I delve into the ideas, I suppose it is only fair and fitting that I explain why I am quite obsessed with ladders.  It all began when I lived here….

dutch loft

This is a view of my former living room in my “treehouse” cottage in Hollywood where I lived a few years ago.  To access the upper lofts and my writing nook, as well as the rooftop patio, I would climb up the 12′ ladder.  I developed great upper body strength living here, as I often carried my cocker spaniel up the ladder under one arm!   Let’s also just say that cocktail parties hosted on my roof were always an adventure.  Now you know where my obsession with ladders spawns from!


While this alternative bedside table would take me a few nights to grow accustomed to, I do like how streamlined the repurposed ladder looks, as seen via Living Etc.  This would be a great option for a small bedroom — or for someone (like myself) who simply cannot keep a nightstand organized.


Remember the horizontal bookshelf ladder from the last edition?  If you can’t mount a ladder horizontally to the wall, you can still use an upcycled ladder as a bookshelf and display, as Southern Living did.


Do you recall the beautiful repurposed ladder that maya*made and her mom created in their artistic barn?  I recently had the great pleasure of hearing from Nancy, the one and only mother of the talented maya*made — and the one who spends part of her year in the famously creative red barn.  She shared with me this lovely photo of how Anthropologie in Berkeley repurposed ladders to use as alternative clothing displays.


This one also comes from Nancy, who says, “I thought you might like to see how an artist used [ladders]. They were featured in a gallery in the East Village last summer.  I take my camera everywhere!” I’m so glad that Nancy takes her camera everywhere!   These look like salvaged ladders, and they make me wonder if I should have paid more attention in shop class in high school.


And of course, a ladder propped by the back door can work double-duty as a shoe rack, as photographed by Trine Thorsen.

Now pray tell, has the upcycled ladder bug bit you too? :)

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I Saw the Repurposed Sign!

Mar 25, 2009 by


If this Uncommon Goods chair was more affordable, I would not walk, but run, to pick it up for my home.  Who would have thought that New York pedestrian signs would make such fantastic repurposed chairs?

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From Wine to Divine: Repurposed Wine Crate Ideas

Mar 23, 2009 by

Rachel at Heart of Light recently shared with us her balcony’s lovely repurposed wine crate planter, and it reminded me of the wine crate entertainment system that I construted fresh out of college, without any furniture and a breadcrumb non-profit job salary.  Alas, I don’t have any photos to share, as I only picked up digital photography in the last few years, but here are some other repurposing wine crate ideas that will have you thinking twice about befriending your local wine shop’s owner.


Ciclismo Jewelry repurposes wine boxes, transforming their sizes and finishes into quite lovely bike trunks!


The Man of Steel, whose repurposed work I’ve featured before, shares a peek into his workshop, which is cleverly organized with upcycled wine crate shelves.  For directions on how to connect fruit crates or wine crates together to make a bookshelf, visit this tutorial.


In Tracy and Michelle’s home via The Selby, wooden fruit crates and wine crates turn into an efficient and lovely organizational vignette.


While this nifty storage solution by Living Etc. is made with an antique apple crate, you can easily attach cute little wheels on a vintage wine crate for the same type of portable appeal and convenience.

repurposed wine crate as bathroom organizer

No tools are necessary for this repurposed wine crate bathroom organization solution from Real Simple!


Whiner and Diner repurposes wine crates into pet beds and feeders.


While this unit costs $1,800 from Seletti, you can create this storage masterpiece with paint, wine crates, and a few heavy duty straps.

Have you perchance repurposed wooden crates in your home?

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Don’t Call Them Bookends…Try Book Beginnings

Feb 19, 2009 by

We all know that we should not judge a book by its cover, but what about bookends?  Don’t judge a bookend by the fact that it is marketed as one.  Looking around your home will present you with a medley of creative options that allow you to create repurposed bookends.  Here are two upcycled bookend ideas from yours truly, followed by inspiration from contributing creatives.


Architectural salvage places are the perfect place to start hunting for unique bookends.  I found this pair of brass flourishes from an architectural salvage yard, and their weight and shape made for perfect repurposed bookends.

Repurposed Typewriters as Bookends

For a literal interpretation of bookends, why not use vintage typewriters?  From my collection of antique typewriters, I borrowed two black Royals to make repurposed bookends.  I think the end result is quite inspirational for a writer or literary enthusiast.


Outdated (yet adorable) vintage cameras enjoy a new spotlight as bookends.  1453designs repurposed vintage Kodak Bakelight cameras, along with mah jong tiles and dominos, to create chic and stylish camera bookends.


While LPs still have a place in my home, there are some genres of music that simply need to be repurposed.    While we have all seen vinyl record bowls and coasters, this DIY tutorial shows you how to repurposed LPs into bookends.  Now that’s music to my eyes!

What do you use as bookends in your home?  I would love to hear about them and see photos!

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