cast offs…trash to treasure……..what to do with pesky junk that screams throw me away!


i must say that not only was the weather AMAZING today….wow…i also had a magnificent day at my booth!!! 1+1=2 baby. finally…some sales and a creative, hot day. i got completely inspired by cleaning out my junk pile on the side of the house. sometimes when i clear the clutter and refuse to go junking on a sat. morning, i can see what i actually have and what needs to become a cutie for the booth. well…i went thru those old pesky, cast offs that nobody knows what to do with and nobody wants hanging around anymore, and i painted, sanded, glued, beaded, hammered and glittered and came up with a few ideas for that cast off junk.

i don’t have an actualy workshop. i don’t have organizational skills. i don’t have a place for everything, and i don’t even have all the power tools i need to do the ‘big’ stuff. i just work with little cheap junk with my sandpaper, cheap oops paint, walmart glitter, old rusty nails i found for $5 a BIG basket and some cheap craft glue and $1 caulk. i keep it simple. i reuse…if i find old wire at a yardsale or trash…i get it. if i find cheap paint, i buy it. i altered everything. it is a little shameful. i had a friend in georgia that once painted a big, trashpicked fan pink. this was a working fan from the 1970s and it was amazing how darn cute it was when she was finished painting it. that was a summer that we painted EVERYTHING pink….old baby buggies we trashpicked….anything rusty and metal….bed posts, gates, even an old sink (that was a crazy trash day). we would paint trash pink and laugh until we peed because some of the stuff we painted was so rediculous, but it always turned out really cute.

i realized then that almost anything with potential can be altered and turned into something really fun. that was also the summer of like 25 old trashpicked heaters. there were a couple of us that summer that would put twinkle lights in the heater, a flower frog collection, a plant, books…whatever made a statement. these heaters were adorable. my husband would get so mad at me for dragging those damn things home. sometimes i would have those really big ones and i would stack the little ones on top to make an old heater pyramid. it was total nonsense, but i lived in an older neighborhood where nobody cared what i put in my yard or outdoor studio. it was fun.

well…i regress back to those times and remember that i can just cut loose and make stuff. i don’t have to worry about what is ‘in’ or how long i take to make a project or technique. i can just make stuff and see if it works or not. what do i have to loose? $1 worth of material and 30 minutes of trying?

onto what inspired today…..

tea stained doilies….i just put them in a tea bath and get these fab, old looking linens. they smell good and they look like they have been around since the dinosaurs. i also tea stain lace and wrap it around cast off plastic bangles…add some glue and an old button, junk jewel, wire, etc…and you have a neat vintage bangle.


tea stained flowers….for those of us that don’t want to pay $$$ for old mill flowers, there is always tea staining….i think they look so old and worn. i plan to spray them with glitter spray and use them for hats, collages, pillows, or even make some fun pins. who knows???



this project was made from a hanging brown candleholder painted blue, an upside down cast off avon bottle, and a bird i painted blue. i glued them all together, added a wire with pearls to hang and got this little, cute hanging bird cage. i sprayed it out with glitter spray. this will go to the booth monday.


what do you do with those pesky, PLASTIC gold home interiors sconces???? spray paint them blue, add some cups for tealights, add glitter, prisms, pearls and you have a shabby tea light sconce for not much money or time. i tied the prisms on with vintage ribbon. this will go to the booth monday. i have a assemblage candle holder that matches this going as well.


what do you do with a $4 table from goodwill with one side missing????? well…you paint it out creamy beige and add some cast off arch. piece…scrolly and cute. i just turned this piece upside down and nailed it to the front part of the table. i have a great big white framed mirror i plan to bring with it on monday.


here is my angel pan piece i am working on. it needs a lot more work. i need to put more pieces on it…add words and add some old baby shoes to the domino feet. my husband says this is tacky. he didn’t get it at all. i’m not sure i do either, but i’ll take a chance and see where this goes.


okay…cast off wooden salad bowls….how plentiful are these???? what to do? paint them out to hold cards, rag balls, potpourri, etc.


i also have a tip for those of you who love rust…

get mason jar

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup bleach

1 small piece steel wool

mix ingredients and add steel wool. liquid will bubble and toil and trouble. hee hee

add metal things you want to rust or paint onto large pieces. wait a day or so….INSTANT RUST!!

NOTE, NOTE, NOTE, NOTE…..WARNING….do this outside, as my friend michelled warned me, because it can create a harmful gas. i’ve only done this experiment outside. be safe.

this is a great way to rust out stuff that isn’t old yet. i have soooo many of those wooden candle sconces that i add tea cups to and make hat holders out of. i painted out one today that has a rust candle holder part. i plant to rust it out and then glue an old door knob to the candle stick part. INSTANT coat or hat holder. i will decoupage something vintage to the wooden sconce part. who knows….

i will take some photos this week of more trash to treasure projects

DON’T BE AFRAID, BUT HERE IS MY SCARY FACE. my goal is to have my skin firmer, clearer, and smoother by summer. ron touched this photo up, so you can imagine how scary it was before he did that. i had lots and lots of age spots and he made my hair NOT gray. thanks ron. i started my regime of more water, a vitamin with biotin and my friend michelle tells me to take fish oil. okay dude…you rock. i will!! my friend michelle has absolutely AMAZING skin. she still looks like she is 20 and she isn’t 20. haa haa. she looks great, so i will start taking that too. i also plan to use sunscreen and a night lotion. i plan to use petroleum jelly on my neck. it is cheap and makes my skin feel soft in the morning. i will take another photo is a week and see if we have any improvements. those extreme makeover folks would LOVE me. oh…the things they would change!!


this is what happens when i let zoey paint and she gets it ALL over her and then needs a bath with foam soap. she wanted to be santa. ho, ho, ho.





Filed under altered art, family news, project corner, Uncategorized, vintage finds

10 responses to “cast offs…trash to treasure……..what to do with pesky junk that screams throw me away!

  1. Renee

    You have great vision, i am taking the rust recipe, going to try it out. I have been painting for three days, i have more paint on me than the things i have been painting. Keep up the interesting posts, and great trash to treasure items.

  2. Michele

    Thanks for the shout out! You’re too good to me. I just turned 40 last week and I’m now on my first set of bifocals…..freaky. When you find the Omega-3 capsules, find a brand that lists on the label “No Fish Burps.” Nature Made (CVS, Publix) is a good brand. Also, I learned you can’t moisturize enough.

    Thanks for the rust recipe….rought iron is my new addiction. I’m collecting anything iron or metal.

  3. Thanks so much for the inspiration–the photos and projects, but also what you wrote–about just diving in and going for it and just working on stuff. You truly have motivated me and if it wasn’t 10:35 at night I would get to work. Tomorrow definitely. Thanks for the rust formula–I bet it stinks, huh?

    I hear you on the old skin thing, but I still break out. More now then when I was a teen :(. And if I moisturize my neck too much it gets zits. It’s a delicate balance for me.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Rachel Knoblich

    You know that white table is screaming my name. Just drive it on over now! Glad you got to do some fun and creative things. My skin sucks. I have acne worse now then I did in highschool. I had nice skin back then. Plus…my eyes always look old and tired. Maybe I should sleep? LOL

  5. Okay I love your blog, you are too funny and so darn talented!!!! I loved going through your older posts and seeing all of the wonderful stuff!!!You have some kind of talent with everything old and new, I love that you and your friend are trash pickers.. we are too… poeple throw away the best junque!!! Lucky for us!!!
    Here’s to a happy New Year and much JUNQUE in 2009.
    I am going to go and look at your flickr now.

  6. Sue

    Finally a face to the crazy junker! Your skin doesnt look too bad at all though Zoey’s is to die for!
    Great ideas, I have done similar with the sconces, yours look great! I have to agree totally with you, to just go for it, but dont invest too much time and money, and those ones are often the best…but I do have to wait for that inspiration to come over me, and then there is no stopping this junker!

  7. Cindy

    I lkike you better with the gray in your hair. The all black is too stark. Plus your gray matches mine! 🙂
    Your projects are fantastic. Thanks for the reminder about tea staining “new” silk flowers to look old. I “know” that but lately all my silks are too new looking for what I am making and I was too stupid to remember to tea stain them. DUH!
    Becky and Rachel, I too, at 45, have constant zits and wonder how a woman in the throws of menopause can still have this teen skin. No wrinkles but all those darn zits!
    Finally, the angel is great and I can’t wait to see how you finish her. PLEASE remember to post a photo of her for all of us!

  8. Great transformations!! And I am definitely trying out that rust recipe!!

  9. You are amazing… simply amazing.. I love your brain!!! I really do! LOL You are just amazing!

  10. Michele


    Mike is back home from Hawaii (long story, but good). I’ve got him reading your blog now.

    He wanted me to tell you (has BS in Chemistry), that if you do the rust recipe, it MUST be done outside with plenty of ventilation. Reason why: bleach & vinegar combined will create a chlorine gas which is toxic.

    Not to scare anyone, just a cautious heads-up.


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