Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-234-3368 or by email. Stay safe!

Create Upcycled Furniture With This DIY Shopping Cart Project

| 3/14/2013 9:26:04 AM

This article was originally posted in Instructables and is reposted with permission from Janell Fabor. Shopping cart furniture complete 

Living in the city has its ups and downs. One perk is that there is a plethora of abandoned materials hanging about just waiting to be taken home to be upcycled!  For those of you living in an urban setting, you're no stranger to seeing these urban eyesores hanging out in alleys and abandoned lots. I'm talking about shopping carts. It's time to turn those bits of rusting metro trash into something super funky, functional, and fun — furniture! In this post I will guide you through the basics of making your very own shopping cart furniture to be used indoors or out.

Step 1: Find an Abandoned Shopping Cart

Shopping carts are easy to find here in the mighty metropolis of Houston. They seem to be birthed out of thin air and then abandoned and forgotten in every corner of every neighborhood. If you live in a similar setting, scope out parking lots, alleys, and abandoned lots. You're sure to find one or two. If you live in an area that is relatively clean and/or limited on resources you can always check with garbage dumps, recycling facilities, or even contact stores directly to see if they have some carts that are broken or no longer in use. 

(It is never OK to steal and it is not OK to take shopping carts from stores. It is against the law to drive into a store parking lot, load up a cart, and take it home. You will probably end up in some sort of trouble, or even in jail. Remember to use good judgment and remain lawful in the collecting of your materials.)

Step 2: Gather Materials

You'll need a few simple tools, some creativity and a whole lot of elbow grease.

An idea!
Shopping cart
Socket wrench, standard wrench, or 4-way lug wrench sized to the wheel bolts
Heavy duty bolt cutters
Dremel tool*
Dremel attachments (reinforced cutting wheels, grinding wheels, sanding wheels and wire polishing brush)
2-inch PVC pipe or other sturdy tubing
At least 2 clamps
Crow bar or other sturdy tool strong enough to be used as a steel bending lever
Safety goggles
Protective gloves
Dust mask

*If you do not own a Dremel you can use a hacksaw, angle grinder or any other tool strong enough to cut through steel.

Scott Haas
3/23/2013 3:03:00 PM

Seriously? So if someone else steals it then abandons it in your neighborhood it is fair game? It is only theft if you are personally the one that liberates it from it's rightful owner? If you lost your wallet...or purse...or car...or any other piece of property you would want it back. I had to look at the date to see if this was actually an April Fools joke but it appears not. Taking what someone else stole is acceptance of stolen property and is still a crime against the rightful owner. This is not upcycling. This sounds pretty low to me.

Tom Bergstrand
3/21/2013 12:59:59 AM

It's funny that you mentioned Houston. I lived there for quite a while and might have a bit of insight as to why they seem to be "everywhere". When I lived there the economy was rather good which brought MANY illegal Mexicans there. Being illegal they could not get a drivers license. So one of the things that I noticed was that the wives would "appropriate" a shopping cart in order to bring a ton of laundry to the laundermat. I thought at the time that they wouldn't just "abandon" them in alleys and such. It turns out that the carts were built for relatively smooth store floors and not sidewalks with cracks, holes and the like. When the wheels were worn out, crooked or otherwise useless they were abandoned and another one got "liberated" from a store.Now you know "the rest of the story".

Talia Cadabona
3/20/2013 9:22:55 PM

Upcycling is taking an object that can no longer preform it original task and converting/changing it to do another task. Take an old suitcase with a broken hinge. You can take one half and turn it in to a pet bed!

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me