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April 9, 2013

Repurposing can bring out the genius in creative people.
For example, this old jail became a glamorous hotel:

The Het Arresthuis jail in Roermond, the Netherlands, which dates back to 1863, was in use for nearly 150 years before finally closing its doors in 2007. After a makeover from the Dutch hotel group Van der Valk, a total of 105 prisoner cells were transformed into 40 rooms and suites that open out the old prison hallway.

On a much smaller scale, some of the most charming repurposing
can be accomplished with the simplest of everyday items:

Rustic and quaint, this old milk
can makes a unique light fixture.

How darling are these wine bottle cork stamps?!

A paper towel holder has an extended
life as a bracelet rack!
Have any drawer pulls lying around?
Take a hole punch and add them to a belt.
Want a trendy string cage light shade?  Start with a balloon!
Here's what you'll need:  balloons, string (preferably colored), PVA glue.
Here's what you'll need to do:  Blow up the balloon to the desired size and
knot it tightly;  coat the string with glue to hold in place and to cause stiffness
once dry; wind the string around the balloon, crisscrossing and overlapping to
cover most areas; once string is in place, allow it to dry.  NOTE:  if your string
isn't colored, you might want to spray paint it.  Allow it to dry.  Once the cage
is dry - pop and remove the balloon.
Here's another cute lighting idea:
Who knew tea cups were so versatile?

2nd Shot is a company that recycles used skate
boards and turns them into trendy sunglasses:
Do you know what is a lot of fun?  Browsing thrift shops and flea
markets for vintage clip-on earrings to dress up your shoes.

Stars for Streetlights
Click here for instructions on how to turn a suitcase into an end table.


When spray painted, Starbuck's Frappuccino bottles make darling little vases.

Paired together, Goodwill plates and vases
combine to make decorative cake plates.

What ingenious contemporary wine bottle vases.

Found Vintage Objects
These hand crocheted and tatted doilies were found at a
thrift shop as were the hoops in which they are mounted.

Silver plated serving pieces abound in thrift shops at affordable
prices.  This is a creative use of a silver plated warmer-thingy.

Speaking of silver plate . . . . . 
To Be a Virginian
. . . a tarnished old trophy makes a charming vase.

The Vintaquarian

The Fuller View
A silver plated relish dish works beautifully as a 'catch all' on a desk.

Share your repurposing ideas with others. 
The more we upcycle, the less goes to waste.


  1. These are such wonderful ideas. Thank you!!

  2. Wow, Jan! There are some WONDERFUL ideas here! WOW!!!!! xo Diana

  3. Oh I love the tea cup lights and the shoe clips. I'll definitely be looking out on my next vinatge shopping trip for something to jazz up my shoes :)

  4. We also have an old jail here turned into upmarket accommodation, I love how anything can be repurposed.

    I also make pin cushion tea cups and go totally overboard with the decoration. Love the suitcase table and never thought to use a paper towel holder as a bangle holder, now that's a good idea.

  5. Such great ideas in this post! What an idea for an old jail!