Did you celebrate Father’s Day yesterday? I’m thinking there are probably a lot of special guys out there who got a shiny new toolbox as a gift, and if so, the old one may be hanging around, collecting dust. Before you ditch it, take a look at these clever ideas for repurposing old toolboxes. (Now who’s the handy one around the house?)
Old Toolbox —> New Grooming Kit
An old metal toolbox looks right at home in a teen boy’s bathroom as a grooming/toiletry kit. It adds just the right rugged edge to the space and keeps products neatly tucked away from prying eyes. Want to complete the look? Check out Laurie March’s gallery on DIYNetwork.com.
MORE IDEAS FOR OLD TOOLBOXES
Summer’s starting to bring the heat, so it’s no wonder ice cube trays (and fresh summer drinks!) are on my mind. But did you know that the humble ice cube tray can be used for so much more than just making frozen H2O? Take a look at some of these other genius DIY ideas for ice cube trays and get creative. Of course, if you want to kick back with an icy beverage after all your efforts, who can blame you?
Ice Cube Tray —> Snack Caddy
The classic ice cube tray format is perfect for those who like to keep their bite-sized snacks separate. The insanely-clever hack from Jennifer Bishop is a big hit with the toddler set, especially picky eaters! (They may even ask for seconds…)
MORE IDEAS FOR ICE CUBE TRAYS
Confession: There’s a dresser in my loft that I can’t seem to part with, even though it is totally old (not like valuable antique old, just like, old old), not in great shape and the drawers are barely deep enough to hold my unmentionables. Since we’ve established that I can’t (read: won’t) let it go, I figured I may as well solve my own dilemma and come up with some interesting new uses for it. Here are a few of my favorite ideas…
Photo: DK – Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Old Dresser —> New Planter
This dresser-as-planter notion tops my list because it’s so whimsical and unexpected in an outdoor setting. It’d be perfect in a cottage chic garden, no? I love the way the items on top of the dresser have been cleverly repurposed for potting plants, too. A double threat!
MORE DIY IDEAS FOR DRESSERS
When I was little, “You make a better door than a window” was a popular way to complain about someone blocking the TV in front of you. Turns out that sometimes even windows are better in other capacities! Take a look at these wonderfully crafty ideas for old windows to see what I mean…
Design by Mandy Stansberry
YOU MAKE A BETTER PIECE OF WALL ART THAN A WINDOW:
Hey, there’s no rule that window boxes need to stay outdoors! Attach a box to an old window frame, hang on a bare wall and change out the display to reflect the seasons.
MORE WONDERFUL WINDOW CRAFTS
A refreshing wall hue (like a blue or green) can make your home feel brand new, but it doesn’t take gallons of paint to spruce up the place. If you have a half-empty can or paint samples, you can still make colorful crafts designed to elevate the mood in just about every room. Check out these clever ways to make the most of your last painting project’s leftovers.
Photo: Alison Gootee
If you have paint samples or pints: Dress up a dresser
If you only have a small stash of paint, this idea from HGTV Magazine is for you. Just take the color you have (like this cool blue) and mix it with a bit of white paint for an eye-catching ombre effect on an old dresser.
MORE CRAFTY WAYS TO REFRESH WITH PAINT
You might not have giant wooden spools hanging around the house, but I found so many ingenious ways to upcycle them into furniture that I had to share. If you’re inspired by these projects, ask your local home improvement store if they’d be willing to give you a used spool for free. Still coming up empty-handed? Big spools are often used to hold heavy-duty wiring, so check out your local electric and cable companies. (I think nearly-free furniture is worth a little legwork, don’t you?)
Design: Randy Weinstein
Believe it or not, this wooden spool was salvaged from a junkyard. If you’re going for an industrial modern vibe, copy designer Randy Weinstein and top a spool with stainless steel for a DIY table. Eames chairs complete the look.
MORE SPOOL FURNITURE IDEAS
Antler decor makes any place feel a little more like home to me. (What can I say? I’m originally from Pennsylvania and my dad’s side of the family counts a long line of hunters and outdoorsmen.) If you live near a wooded area where deer, moose or elk roam, you can find shed antlers in the winter through the early spring. Urban dwellers, you may be able to pick them up at flea markets or online. But whether you spot a single “shed” or a few matched pairs, there are so many interesting ways to accent your home with antlers, as you can see below. (Not feeling real antlers? Go faux, like Erin Loechner did in her laundry room.)
We’ve basically exhausted the crafting possibilities around wine (see: corks, bottles, glasses, crates AND barrels), but this ingenious antler wine rack from Meg Caswell is a cool way to store and display your wine before you’re ready to sip it/craft with it.
UNUSUAL BUT ATTRACTIVE IDEAS FOR ANTLERS
Previously on Designer MacGyver…we’ve covered wrapping paper and newspaper, but surprisingly, wallpaper hasn’t made the list. I say “surprisingly” because I am a wallpaper fanatic and my bio won’t let you forget it. I don’t actually own the apartment I live in now, so I’ve had to resort to more temporary solutions there. Rest assured that once I own, I’ll be armed (with as many rolls as I can afford) and dangerous (with these genius uses for wallpaper other than on walls, obvs).
Sherry and John Petersik, excerpted from Young House Love (Artisan Books), copyright 2012
This idea from Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love is perfect for putting wallpaper samples to work. A thrift-store dresser makes a statement when it’s covered in a big, bold pattern. Get the DIY details here.
MORE WAYS TO DRESS UP YOUR HOME WITH WALLPAPER
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I tackle when I start spring cleaning is my closet. There’s something so satisfying about pulling my lightweight dresses out of storage (yay!) and clearing away pieces I just don’t find myself wearing anymore. I have a bag of old garments to donate, but this time around there were also a few neglected hats and hat boxes in the mix. If you’re in the same boat, check out these chic ideas for reviving old chapeaus and their containers.
Hats off to Nancy Ondra for this genius container garden idea. Old hats feel fresh when you upcycle them into hanging pot covers. Let leaves poke out of a baseball cap’s sizing tab or cut the top of a hat and feed stems through the hole.
MORE FASHIONABLE IDEAS FOR OLD HATS
I think the old saying that “when one door closes, another opens” is absolutely true. For example, when you’ve finished using a door as an entry or exit, a whole new world of decorating possibilities opens up before you! Check out our fave upcycled furniture ideas for old doors and get ready to fancy up your home with these former barriers.
If you liked the rustic appeal of the shutter headboards I featured last week, I’m thinking you’ll love this old door headboard from Dreamy Whites. Weathered wood + a chandelier = a bedroom combo with great high/low contrast.
MORE DECORATING WITH OLD DOORS