Posts Tagged Diy

Many salvage details make a home

An office building originally built in 1912 for the Gooding Shingle and Saw Mill has slowly been made into a home since 2006 by its current owners — with a lot of patience and many trips over the years for parts and materials at The RE Store. Salvage items from The RE Store listed below:

 

A) Storm sash in place for old double hung window—enough for all the windows collected from the store over the years.
B) Computer work station. 1″ CVG fir top, solid oak cabinet, refinished.
C) Workshop storage cabinet, from WWU chemistry labs. 1 3/4″ maple bench top rescued from dumpster at Whatcom Middle School when they converted the wood shop to a computer room.
D) Double swinging doors.
E) Claw foot tub, refinished along with beveled tongue & groove red cedar paneling.
F) Light duty Dayton table saw.
G) Hemlock ceiling—beveled and tongue & groove milled on table saw.
H) Slate blackboard and CVG fir frame and chalk rail.
I) Stairway with 1″ CVG fir treads came in two pieces from a South Hill home. Oak hand rail also salvaged. Balustrade from re-used straight grained old growth fir. Cedar stanchion, 45 rings per inch, beach-combed from Cherry Point.

Do you have similar projects that use salvage materials?  From the big gestures to the small details – we love to see them all and see the new chapters of our materials’ lives. Send us your pics — and inspire others!  bray [at] re-store.org

 

 

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Shine Brite – the lite brite of reclaimed materials

By Rose Lathrop, Green Building & Smart Growth Manager with Sustainable Connections

For the last few years I have picked one project that I think is ridiculous and fun and try to make it happen. I focus on interactive and sustainable projects. Last year it was an Advice Booth made from recycled pallets and doors from The RE Store. I have dreamed of building this giant lite brite for years. The key was figuring out what the pegs would be made of. I was brainstorming at the Sustainable Connections office and someone suggested plastic water bottles. That was the ‘ah-ha’ moment.

shine brite

The 8’ x 8’ giant lite brite was constructed out of nearly all reclaimed and recycled materials (lights excluded). Using three hollow core doors, door jams and other odds and ends found at The RE Store, I constructed the light box and used over 350 500ml water bottles filled with colored water to create the pegs. Instead of a static white light, I used RGB LED light strips that change color, fade, flash, and is reactive to music. This adds a new dimension to the 1980’s tiny version.

I am happy to report finding that many water bottles wasn’t super easy. I found a couple of good sources and now that I am mostly done collecting them, I can go back to those places and suggest alternatives to those DAMN WATER BOTTLES! Hotels, sporting events/workout gyms, and construction sites were the biggest offenders and contributors.

Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project, Stories about people, Stories about stuff

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“I like to make things from old stuff, the crustier the better.”

Regular shopping at The RE Store, Laurel Hair’s life-long love of salvage began with her dad taking her and her sister to garage sales when she was a kid. She loves to browse salvage stores for treasures and making new things out of old things – a few of which she is sharing with us below (in Laurel’s words): 

Laurel Hair projects

1) Fireplace gate hanging — the gate with original hinges is from my fiancés’ parents’ old house. He grew up in the house in Kirkland, and I took some items before it was sold and torn down, not knowing what I was going to do with them. Once we moved into our new house, I saw on a TV show the idea of using a piece of gate as a wall hanging, and spiffed it up, mainly wire brushed it. My son had given me the rusty sign as a gift a while ago, which I thought was a good compliment.

2) Wall hangings for the bedroom (one shown here) — I had found the turquoise old gate pieces at a garage sale a couple of years earlier. I decided to hang them on our wall, cut one down to size so they matched, and left the old hinges on them. I found some old farm pictures that I framed with old looking frames at Michaels that happened to have a great turquoise rim, and attached those to the gate.

3) Map wall hanging – my fiancé likes maps. We had one of the San Juans, so I stained it to make it look old, pieced together some old cedar fence pieces, and then added some old hinges and a few other rusty items. The ring was a piece from my fiancé’s cabin in Cle Elum off an old post. The metal piece I bought at a salvage store, and the other pieces were found at a junk fair in Ellensburg. I then cut the map into pieces and decoupaged to the wood.

4)  Christmas trees – again, I saw a different version of this idea somewhere as a wall hanging, and for Christmas gifts I decided to make smaller ones on stands out of old molding we had, old wooden rulers I found at garage sales, and pieces of driftwood. I cut the stars out of a piece of galvanized metal HVAC piping that I had lying around.

5) Christmas balls – I saw this idea at an antique store, and made my own frame out of old cedar I had collected, then added some old screen, and the balls. I can put other things on it for other holidays.

Thanks to Laurel for sharing her projects! Have your own before & after projects you’d like to show off?  Send us your pics!  bray [at] re-store.org

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Customer before & after: display case to wine rack

Customer Dale McMurtrey bought this display case recently with visions of a new wine rack. All the various pieces were purchased at The RE Store (with the exception of the legs), which Dale then finished with chalk paint and sanded for a distressed look.  Great DIY job, Dale!

dale wine bar

Have your own before & after project you’d like to show off?  Send us your pics!  bray [at] re-store.org

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An “Art Gallery” of Salvage at the Flower & Garden Show

flower & garden show display 2014

Once again, we’ve had a great time designing and building our booth for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show (February 5th – 9th at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle).  This year our booth’s theme is an “Art Gallery” in line with the larger show’s theme of “Art in Bloom”.  Our linear booth is filled with salvage garden and furniture ‘art’ pieces and random reclaimed rummagings used for planters.  Our window wall, ‘lean-to’ drawers and gutters as planters, and wall of doors fill out the vignette.  Thanks so much to our friends at Seattle Urban Farm Company for teaming up with us on our booth and plant wrangling – and thanks to Sky Nursery for loaning us some plants too.

The Flower & Garden Show seminars bring experts on a wide variety of experts on gardening, plants, garden design, food and more.  Our REvision Division designer/builders, Eberhard Eichner and James Taylor were chosen to do a demonstration today (Wednesday, February 5th, 6:15p at the DIY stage):  High Art From the Junk Pile, Inspiration for Using Just About Anything.  

Come check out the demo, and see us and the booth for inspiring salvage ideas or to discuss your projects –  it is always great to meet new folks and catch up up with old friends at the Flower & Garden Show!

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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas…

Tips for a more sustainable holiday season from our  intern extraordinaire, Diane Lawrence

The holidays are a wonderful time centered around family, cheer, and the idea of giving. Moving away from our consumerist mentality and focusing on these key values, we can also be more conscious of the holidays’ effect on the environment. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve? That’s a lot of excess waste! To help eliminate this waste and to conserve our natural resources, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to keep in mind during all the festivities this holiday season:

snow_trees_and_barn

DECORATING

  • Decorate with LED string lights – they save 90% more energy than incandescent lights and will last up to 100,000 hours
  • Set your lights on a timer – turning on the lights only once it’s dark will avoid unnecessary energy use
  • Use bows and garlands instead – replacing lights with this energy-free option will cut back on your electricity bill and the planet will thank you


CHRISTMAS TREES

  • Use a real tree – artificial trees consume energy and petroleum based materials during production, plus real trees have that authentic pine smell!
  • Compost your tree – they are a great source as mulch after the holidays


ENTERTAINING

  • Donate excess food to the food bank (if possible) – the holidays tend to mean lots of leftovers, help someone in need instead of throwing that extra food away
  • Send invitations and holiday letters via email  – save a tree by sending your holiday mail digitally this year
  • Use your finest tableware – instead of disposable plates and utensils, which will reduce waste and make your table look festive
  • Lower the thermostat during a party – the body heat should be enough to keep you warm!


GIFT GIVING

  • Do a Secret Santa exchange – reducing your gift giving to one person saves you money and allows you to focus more on one special gift while also reducing the total consumption of your family
  • Give battery free gifts – the EPA estimates that 40% of all battery sales occur during the holidays, keep these hazardous materials out of the landfill by giving a gift that doesn’t require batteries
  • (and our favorite) Give a gift made from reused or recycled materials – or make one yourself! Look for materials down at The RE Store to create a thoughtful homemade gift – or give a gift certificate to The RE Store for that person on your list in need of home project materials.  

Thanks to Diane for all her work with us this semester!

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4 Easy DIY projects for Anyone to Try!

Are you interested in creating a project made from recycled materials but don’t know where to start? Do you feel you lack the “handyman” skills necessary to revamp salvaged items? Some larger projects can definitely feel a bit daunting, but there are plenty of small scale DIY items that do not require any construction experience.   Here at The RE Store, we know it can be intimidating to scour our store searching for inspiration and it can be difficult to visualize a finished product from the vast selection of materials, so here is a list of simple projects to get your creativity bubbling.

collage of easy DIY projects

1. Ceramic Tile Coaster

The RE Store’s tile section is overflowing with various sizes and colors of tile. Pick some up to turn into coasters or hot plates. Use your imagination to decorate the tiles to spice up your decor; I like the idea of mod-podging a map onto the tile, as seen above. Purchase some felt adhesives at your nearest craft shop, and you’ve got some unique coasters to show off on your coffee table. (PS-tiles similar to the ones shown above are on sale at Etsy for $18 dollars. You can make the exact same thing at the RE Store for under $5!)

2.  Repurposed Picture Frame

Use a cabinet door or window trim to create your own custom picture frame. All you need is a saw to cut the frame pieces and some wood glue to put the frame together. Use all the same materials like the one pictured above, or mix and match different trims for a funky, vintage vibe.

3. Cabinet Door Turned Chalkboard

The RE Store has a number of cabinet doors waiting to be recycled into a new product. One of the easiest re-vamping projects is to select a cabinet door you find appealing and simply paint it’s face with chalkboard paint. Tape off the outer border of the cabinet door before painting to maintain a frame for the chalkboard. You can purchase chalkboard paint at most hardware or craft stores, and keep an eye out for chalkboard paint offered in colors other than black as well!

4. Salvaged Window Coffee Table

For a more involved idea, you can tackle this project to build your own piece of furniture. It might be easier to modify the picture shown above and create a box as the base of the table, as seen here on the Oh! Glory Vintage blog. The RE Store has tons of awesome salvaged windows that have an antique feel to them. Find one you like and purchase some wood and a few hinges to complete the project.  Build a box to fit the dimensions of the window and search for some furniture legs in our cabinet hardware department.  Attach the legs to the bottom of the box and attach the window with the hinges, place a few of your favorite books and knick knacks on display and voila! You have created a custom coffee table that fits your personal style.

As you can see, DIY projects don’t have to be intimidating or labor-intensive! Use these project ideas to channel your creativity and add your own personal touch to each of your creations. Using salvaged materials in your DIY projects is doubly rewarding because you exercise your right brain-creativity and feel accomplished about your finished product, while also feeling good about reducing unnecessary waste and lowering your ecological impact on the planet. So head down to The RE Store to find the supplies you’ll need, and perhaps you’ll find your own source of inspiration there as well.

Special thanks to Diane Lawrence for authoring this article. Diane is an intern at The RE Store in Bellingham, and a senior at WWU, graduating with a Marketing degree in the spring. 

 

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Gary Richardson, Retired Woodshop Teacher – Natural Re-purposer

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Gary Richardson, a twice-retired woodshop teacher, rebuilt an old fire hall using almost all recycled materials. In fact, he says, “You can start with the building itself! It was abandoned, and we repurposed it to begin with.”

Gary’s enthusiasm for his hobby is so engaging that I drove one afternoon from Seattle to a charming little wayside dominated by a classic white church east of Bellingham to see his fire hall in person. The front of the old fire hall, on Mount Baker Highway, houses a Subway sandwich shop, and the back of the hall houses a recycler’s dream woodshop.

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Gary’s thoughtful use of recycled materials is truly astonishing. If he hadn’t told me that some of the materials in his shop were pre-used, I never would have guessed it. Some people have a gift for using recycled or repurposed materials in a way that allows their original form to shine through; others have a gift for seeing something brand new in the old. Gary has done both. There are several woodworking tool displays in Gary’s shop that look custom made—and, of course, they are: custom made by Gary himself, out of repurposed materials. The flooring was taken from GarfieldHigh School in Seattle, and some of the cabinets are from the University of Washington. Those, among myriad other items in the shop, all came to Gary by way of The RE Store, while most of the woodworking equipment was purchased at public auctions and rebuilt for a new life in his shop.

“My intended purpose for the shop is to help young people start new businesses,” says Gary. Recently, he finished some cabinetry and a new coffee bar for the Wake-n-Bakery in Glacier, Washington. “The project was built from materials found at The RE Store in Bellingham. The cost to the owners was only for the hinges and drawer slides, which were purchased new!”

He’s always looking for ways to repurpose. “Shop teachers are naturally re-purposers,” he told me with more than a little pride. “And we teach that to our students.”

He has a long history in the Bellingham area. “As a child growing up poor in the Happy Valley neighborhood of South Bellingham, to re-purpose and re-use other people’s ‘throw-aways’ was a way of life,” he says. “My favorite class was woodshop, taught by Mr. Calhoun at Fairhaven Junior High. He taught me to use woodworking tools and build small projects. I guess I never stopped building!”

Gary and his shop

Gary and his wife, Janet, just celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary. With the help of friends, they built their first home in Bellevue in the 1970s, and they still reside in the same home today. A testament to his lifelong pursuit, it too, was built with many re-purposed materials.  Gary agreed to do this article with the hopes of inspiring others to be creative and use other peoples ‘throw-aways’ in new ways.  In other words, he is still a teacher!

If Gary has inspired you to make something of your own – check out our DIY tips on our REvision Division page of our website!

Special thanks to Christine Clifton-Thornton for authoring this article.

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2013 Trash Fashion Show at WWU

5 Trash Fashion Designs on the runwayQuestion: What do you get when you mix a bunch of junk with Western Washington University Industrial Design program students, professional event production staff from the College of Fine & Performing Arts? Answer: The 2013 Trash Fashion Show at W.W.U..

View our photos from the trash fashion show with behind-the-scenes dressing room shots as well on Flickr.

Trash Fashion designs: Black and White Swan

Designs included gowns and bodices made from discarded rubber, plastic, paper and metal materials. Bicycle and computer parts, electrical conduit, and old VCR tape were turned into skirts, pants. Caution tape and vinyl upholstery became haute couture. All of these designs were created in two short weeks as an assignment from Arunas Oslapas. Arunas is the lead faculty member of W.W.U.’s Industrial Design program and  long-time proponent of reclaimed materials .

Trash fashion design - Analog by Jolee Nebert He has been assigning trash fashion design projects to his students since 2010. Those designs have been strutted on the fashion runway as a part of The RE Store’s Trash Fashion Show in 2010 and 2011. Arunas continues to innovate with reused materials. He is taking a sabbatical from teaching this spring to work with a Mexican village on developing products with reclaimed materials, designed by his students. We hope to get more of the story.

We applaud WWU’s efforts to carry the torch of the Trash Fashion Show. The RE Store partnered on the event for many years, with Robin Worley, Ballard’s New York Fashion Academy, WWU and others until our final curtain in 2011. But the show has gone on, coordinated by Arunas and event production master Courtney Hiatt, the Marketing and Special Projects Manager for W.W.U.’s College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Trash Fashions - Aluminum Fox and the Hipster

Posted in: Recycled art and trash fashion, Stories about people, Stories about stuff

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A Young RE Store Rockstar builds her own Tiny House of Salvage

Celina's tiny house under constructionThis RE Store Rockstar is one industrious young lady.  Celina Dill, 17, is building her 10’ x 18’ x 14’ high tiny house, on wheels, entirely out of reused and repurposed materials. Inspired by the Tiny House Movement she is ‘unschooling’ herself by diving into all the trades it takes to make a project like this come to life.

She is an obsessed builder right now, with the goal of moving into her cottage in August. Items acquired from The RE Store include: “The Toilet of her Dreams” (really!), which has a 3/4″ tilt on the lid area; her ‘really cool’ front door, which is being refinished as we speak; a window or two, and the latest purchase: French doors. Since Celina’s walls are thinner than the walls the door set came from, they needed to do some tricky Skilsawing of the frame, reducing their width by 1 1/2″. She has also acquired items from Second Use, Earthwise, and Skagit Building Salvage.

I’ll let her words tell the rest of the story, since among her many talents are great story telling and photography.  More about Celina’s Tiny Abode can be found at http://mytinyabode.blogspot.com/. Many pictures of her project can be seen on these pages.

It seems Celina comes from a long line of industrious folks.  Her dad, Walter Dill, also has a ‘home on wheels’ project in the works – a 1956 Airfloat Land Yacht.  He uses reclaimed materials as well, and found lights for the interior at The RE Store that have yet to found their actual location.

Thanks to both Celina and Walter for inspiring us with their Rockstar Projects!  Do you have a RE Store-inspired project to be proud of?  Please, show off & share your story!

Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project, Stories about people, Stories about stuff, Transforming the building industry, You can do it yourself

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