Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

In honor of Earth day 2009, I thought I'd finally make the effort to blog about and post pics of some projects I've done in which I've used upcycled materials. Okay, granted everything I do involves some sort of reusing or recycling. This is because:

1. I love the thrill and challenge of finding a new use for something other than it's original purpose. I think it's so boring to use something exactly for what it was intended for, so I always find a new life for something, after the original owner decides that its life is over. Even if when I'm using something for its intended purpose, I still love creative reuse. I was never into shopping the malls and department stores, just for this reason.

2. It is a bargain to do it this way. Let's face it, I L-O-V-E a bargain. I have come to the realization that even if I were to someday strike it rich, would still bargain hunt. It is my hobby, my raison d'etre, if you will. I especially love thrift store shopping. For me it is a high unlike anything else...uncovering that diamond in the rough, that needle in the haystack of discards. More about my favorite haunts, in a minute.

Anywhoo... Here is how I built myself a very nice pantry. My very old home came with a pantry that had seen better days. The floor leaned a little, the walls were horrendous, and the shelves were a disgrace. I wish I had a before pic of the pantry as it was (I took some, but they must've gotten deleted.) It took us months to get the pantry together.

We had to re-drywall and paint...then came the question of shelving. The previous shelves were in pretty bad shape, so reusing them was out of the question. I had originally thought I'd buy some cheap IKEA bookshelves (Flarke, anyone?) and use those, but an even better (and cheaper) alternative fell in my lap. See, this is where it pays to troll Craigslist for bargains. I saw a post for shelves for $2 a piece (???!!!) and immediately jumped on it. The seller was a bookstore owner who was clearing out their warehouse to cut costs. These shelves were over 20 years old and made of plywood. They were bookshelves, but they were built shelf by shelf, meaning that each shelf was a box, and stacked on top of each other. They were about a foot deep, a foot tall and 4 ft wide. I spent a total of $18 for 24 shelves (long story). 2 coats of primer, 1 coat of paint, some moulding to pretty up the edges and sides, and here's what I got in return:

Shelves: Before (this is how they looked at the warehouse, dingy, dusty and full of splinters)

Shelves After:

Total Cost:
Shelves: $18
Paint/Primer: $35 (1 Gal each)
Moulding: $30 (Moulding is expensive, yikes!)
Total: $83
Having the pantry of your dreams: Priceless

I also tricked out my pantry with some thrift store baskets (about .75cents - $1.00 a piece) to store produce. Here are more pics:

Baskets to hold the produce (courtesy of my favorite thrift store) :

My old wire rack to hold my large collection of spices (rolls from side to side for access to the shelves it covers) :


Kristin said...

Love what you did with the Pantry. Girl you really have a gift. I"m just going to give you my keys and let you have at it over here. Just send me the bill :)