Friday, June 19, 2009

Studio Recycling or Saved from the Dumpster!!!

My dad was a recycler before it became the popular thing to do, so I've been exposed to the premise since I was small that you don't throw anything away if there is any possibility of it being useful! My late husband was just as bad! I have a storage building stuffed to the rafters to prove it. And that's after several huge garage sales and giving a lot of it away when we moved into the motorhome back in 1997.

But I digress... back to my display unit. I wish that I had thought to take a picture of this unit before I went to work on it.

As preparation for the move to our new building, the law firm I work for started a "clean up – clear out" process. One of the items that they were getting rid of was an old white board. You know, the kind that you have to use special markers to write on or it won't come off. Yep, you guessed it, somebody wrote on it with regular magic markers. So this white board was sitting out in the hall waiting for one of the runners to take it to the trash.

But this wasn't just a plain old whiteboard. This one was in a very nice wooden frame (that matched the conference room furniture) with piano hinged doors that closed it up. Inset into the outer doors was cork so that you could use pushpins to stick papers on it. I figured if nothing else, the piano hinges might come in handy so I had one of the runners put it in my car. They know me here... nothing surprises them!

It was still in the storage building when I started my first studio remodel – it's been an ongoing process for a while now. I love butterflies and have acquired quite a collection of butterfly pins over the years and was looking for a way to display them. My first thought was to get a picture frame and fill it with fiberfill, fabric and criss-crossed ribbons like I've seen done elsewhere. Then it hit me that this would be a perfect use for the doors on that old whiteboard. Plus I could get double duty for the same amount of wall space!

I scavenged some crushed taffeta in a deep burgundy from my sister and glued it to the magic marker ruined whiteboard. I then added several wooden pieces about ¾ inch high (recycled from old bunk bed rails) all the way across, then screwed in small cup hooks about every two inches, alternating from one row to the next to hang jewelry items on.

For the front of the doors (where the cork inserts were) I used the same crushed taffeta along with just enough fiberfill to make it "puffy". Color coordinated ribbon criss-crossed diagonally with thumbtacks where the ribbons crossed gave it more character. The final touch was to add decorative trim along the outside, let it all dry and hang it.

Open, I can display jewelry, earrings, whatever can hang on the little cup hooks. Closed, I can use straight pins display some of the butterfly pins that are in my collection along with polymer clay items that I've made in classes or purchased as inspiration. It's a win-win situation!

What have you recycled or repurposed lately? I think I've about got my studio the way I want it so maybe I can get back to claying...

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