Make Something New from Something Old

| 8/19/2010 4:38:11 PM

Tags: question to readers, DIY, recycling,

Yes — that means recycling. But it can be so much more! I spend a lot of time rummaging in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS archives looking for neat, unusual and unique projects built by our readers. What amazes me is how folks even imagine remaking a particular piece of “trash” into a usable product.

Check out this pet door — a little sheet metal, some canvas and magnetic ribbon, and your pet has a new door to use. Or this handy candle heater — can you envision a situation where you would need a little heat (in an ice-fishing house, a deer blind or maybe in a vacation cabin when a storm comes in and the temperature drops dramatically)? A few tin cans, a couple cups of sand and some candles. Voilà! You have a heater. This is why some folks have garages and basements that are filled with used, leftover and otherwise-useless stuff — so they have the raw materials for an urgent DIY project, without having to go to the store.

We’d love to know about the most inventive project you’ve made from repurposed materials. Tell us about it in the comments section below.
5/27/2018 7:29:59 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

8/26/2010 4:20:46 AM

I am making rabbit bags as gifts (For the men)for Christmas this year, I had the twine and the rings (used old key rings), but I needed a one inch netting needle and a two inch gauge, so I jumped on my bike looking for something to use to make this out of, low and behold I found a large flower pot floating in the stream, and with in a sort time I had my first rabbit bag. (rabbit bags is a hunting net that is placed over a rabbit hole to catch rabbits as they come out).

Vicki Mangum
8/25/2010 4:01:50 PM

We placed steel posts 2' in the ground and then lifted a pallet over them to hold the pallet in place for an instant fence. I have a friend who used this same concept and packed adobe mud in the pallets and built a comfortable chicken coop. Why not a house to live in? After the strong walls are up one can put some "skin" on the inside and outside walls. I have lost 127lbs. I am using my "fat clothes" for material to make my greatgrandson and granddaughter some clothes. I take a picture of me with these clothes hanging off of me and then a picture of the children's clothes. I put each set of pictures on the same page in a scrap book along with space for a picture of the child in each outfit. What a memory book? I am going to also make a few quilts out of the scraps of this material as well. I am saving old tuna fish cans to oil paint decorative scenes on and will fill the inside with candle wax and a wick. This is almost the same concept as taking an old gallon paint can and setting up a candle system in it for a "Stove in a Can" for camping or when the electricity goes out.

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