"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." ~Thomas Edison
I've been meaning to put a sign on the basement door that says "Dragon's Stash", but maybe "Edison's Heap" would make more sense. I mean, while there is a lot of jewel toned glass and several pounds of glitter neatly shelved down there, there's also one room devoted to salvaged furniture bits, old hardware, and scraps of trim, which I suppose no self-respecting dragon would be caught dead with, except as fire pit fodder. I've tried thinning it out over the years, but it seems for every piece I give away or use, some friend brings me a replacement. Sadly, I've never met an antique radio cabinet I didn't like, nor a vintage headboard that couldn't be repurposed.
|What do you do when you're not quite 13, and you can't just go buy the desk you want? You build it yourself, of course. ArtGirl is also ToolGirl.|
Sometimes I even threaten to haul the lot up and put it on the curb with a FREE sign, but my Saturdays (the friends who come once a month to eat soup and raid my stash to make projects) cry out in not-so-mock horror, and I am rather too easily convinced that my curating this collection is a valuable service. Hey, my favorite teenager thinks so. She loves my basement, and really, why wouldn't she? No matter what she wants to build, she always finds what she needs in my magic supply cupboard. Take this desk, for example:
|Everything is assembled with screws, and this photo, with the desk top and shelves removed for painting, pretty much shows everything you need to know for construction. Just remember to use a square and pre-drill your screw holes.|
Faithie picked out a desk from Ikea for her bedroom, but after waiting a year for her parents to purchase it, she gave up and asked if we could just build one. She drew a sketch of what she wanted, we talked about how it needed to function, revised the sketch, and raided the basement. We came up with a storm door missing the window panel (That's because she used that as a door on the fort she built the summer before, which you can see if you CLICK HERE), a headboard, two pre-cut shelves, a pair of brackets, a scrap of chicken wire, and a 2x2 fence picket.CLICK HERE for another example of that). Faithie's creation actually functions better than the Ikea desk would have, and fits into her bedroom better, and she especially likes the chicken wire bulletin board, as it doesn't block the mural she painted on her walls.
Working with salvaged materials is such a great celebration of abundance, and a fabulous way to create really personal and functional items. Even if you aren't 13, and can drive yourself to the mall, may I suggest you hit a few garage sales instead? ArtGirl and I absolutely promise you that building stuff is way more fun than buying it.
How to find me:
Need wonderful walls to go with your clever creations? Check out my portfolio at theartofthehome.com .
You can read my musings on spirituality and creativity on my other blog, Creative Soul.
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