3 creative ways to repurpose the old into the new

geraniums in a repurposed wheelbarrow planterRepurposing is the latest green theme. It’s all about using something in a different way than it was initially intended. Making something old, new again.

From your grocery bags, to stale wheat bread and tin cans, you can repurpose. And, it doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is a little creativity and some imagination.

Repurposing can be fun, easy on the wallet and green too. Keep reading for a few ideas to get you started.


Whether it’s your grandfather’s pajamas or your old favorite pair of Levi’s, you can repurpose them. Make a flannel blanket, a pocketbook, or pillow coverings.Turn an old shower curtain or bed linens into window coverings. Take a baby blanket and turn it into a tablecloth. Use scraps of material to make a quilt or cloth napkins. Use your old prom dress and make sachets or take that too small sweater and make toys for your pets.

Furniture & Household Items

Most any type of furniture can be re purposed. With some elbow grease, spray paint, fabric, wallpaper, new knobs and handles, you can have a brand new looking piece. Or, if you chose, you can use items in a new and different way.

Turn a vintage suitcase into an end table. Or take your grandmother’s old trunk and use it as a coffee table. Take a beat up old bench and use it as plant stand. Convert an old picture frame and make it into a mirror. Use baskets or old watering cans as planters or storage too.

Wild Bamboo

Bamboo grows wild in many areas and can be used for various projects. Repurposing items that grow in the wild in place of where wood or plastic would be used is not only free, but environmentally friendly. Cut down a couple bamboo poles and use them as tomato stakes or build a small trestle for your garden. Bamboo can also be used to build a fence. If time is of the essence you can always purchase bamboo fence.

While these are just some ideas of items that can be repurposed, the options are endless. Most anything can be repurposed and given new life. So, the next time you or someone in your family is thinking about throwing something out, think first. And, ask yourself, can this be repurposed? Nine out of ten chances, it can!

[Photo: mikecogh/Flickr]

About this guest author: Jim Shanon owns Bamboo Habitatin Perkiomenville, PA. When Jim isn’t working in his bamboo grove he’s finding ways to repurpose old or broken items. One mans junk is another mans treasure!

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