Before: Vintage ChandelierPenny Carlson, from Hendersonville, N.C., is a mosaic artist and vintage lamp refinisher, who refuses to pass up on the bent, broken and chipped.
After: Teapot LampShe transformed this unusable chandelier into a whimsical teapot lamp with paint and glass prisms.
- Visit thrift stores, flea markets, antique malls, estate sales and auctions for pieces to transform.
- The key to creating treasure from trash is to look at things in a different light and be open to possibilities.
- Remember, most wobbly furniture can be strengthened with glue, dings can be covered up and stains can be cut out.
Before: Old TV CabinetKC Gunn knew this 1948 Motorola television would never show reruns of I Love Lucy again, but instead of throwing it in the trash, she created an Aquarivision.
After: Fish AquariumWith working knobs that control daytime and nighttime lighting, as well as the alligator head, this unique fish tank adds a fun element to her home.
Before: Discarded PulpitBethany Reed, from Glendale, Ariz., loves turning trash into treasure, including creating something out of this old pulpit.
After: Sweet DollhouseBethany created a dollhouse out of the old pulpit found at a thrift store.
- Always look for the hidden potential in an unusual, quality piece.
- Find new ways to use old quality items.
- Add a personal touch and display the project as if it's a fine piece of art, not clutter.
Before: Broken ChairsThough Tammy Deller, from Lafayette, N.J., usually refinishes antique furniture, these two Victorian chairs she bought at an auction were beyond repair.
After: Victorian BenchTammy was able to salvage the pieces by creating a sophisticated bench out of the front rails and legs, as well as some decorative accents from the back of the chairs.
Before: Vintage ToasterGilbert Candelaria, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, creates nightlights out of old small appliances. This particular toaster was redesigned for a couple, who had received it for their wedding 45 years ago.
After: Unique ToasterGilbert uses the original form of the item, but changes the function to make it useful again.
- Don't be afraid to get dirty.
- Even if you don't have an artistic skill, you can still turn trash into art by simply cleaning the piece and spray painting it a solid color that will fit your decor.
- Have fun. With time and effort, you will create something really cool. Besides, if you like it, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.
Before: Unusable InstrumentsSometimes it's not cost effective to repair a broken instrument.
After: Rockin' LampsDan Leap transforms old musical instruments into unique lamps.