It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of HGTV. I love the creativity of the different designers, and I especially love Design Star, the competition where designers compete to win their own show. (I do however hate, hate, hate House Hunters, in which spoiled American couples look at gorgeous houses and complain about too small walk-in closets and kitchens not having granite countertops, all the while talking about how they don’t even cook!)
However, I am trying to put aside an extra $5000 over the coming school year, so that my sons can go on their class trips to Japan. Which leaves me with about, oh . . . negative $4500 for fun decorating projects. But that’s okay, since I seem to find all sorts of great projects that cost no more than time and imagination. Let me show you my most recent crafty projects.
First was converting a skateboard deck into a shelf for my son’s room. These skateboards were given out as freebies at a Portland Timbers soccer game a few weeks ago, and despite not being all that into skateboarding, my sons eagerly brought them home. Now, there was no way I was going to buy wheels to go with these super low quality decks, but it occurred to me they would make great shelves above their desks. Luckily, I remembered that my mother had a rotted out and rusty shelf sitting in her driveway, which I snagged for the project.
And then today I found a framed poster of a polar bear set out next to a neighbor’s trash can. It was kind of dirty looking and the lower corners were a bit mashed, but the glass was intact and the frame was actually wooden.
My husband and I were given a signed print of a painting from artist and family friend Elizabeth Harris when we married back in 1993. We framed it using glass, foam core and clips at the time, but time and a number of moves broke the glass and neglect was taking its toll. The poster itself was larger than standard size, so I knew I could cut away the wrinkled and ripped excess and still keep enough to be worth framing it.
I get so much satisfaction from creating something wonderful out of other people’s discards. And being on a super strict crap-my-kids-need-money-for-their-Japan-trips budget does not mean I have to give up having fun with my house. Those HGTV House Hunters can keep their walk-in closets and granite counter tops, I’m more than happy with my track-picked treasures.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
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