Via Hipcycle (yeah, another Pinterest rip). Now I know that very few people have old-style auto mirrors laying around that they’re hoping to keep out of the trash, but this is cool enough that it might merit a trip to your local you-pull-it junk yard. A lot of them charge for entry, but then a lot of them have one day a week (or a month) that it’s free. Since you’re going in anyway, definitely keep your eyes to the ground for small bits that have been dropped (or fell off)–they tend to be great for building little things out of.
I’m afraid I’m not going to post a picture of this, for the (I hope) very sensible reason that I’m not actually doing it: not only do I already own a regular fruit bowl, it is usually empty because it’s silly to keep Mountain Dews and chocolate-chip granola bars in them. (The bars are kept in a ceramic candy-dish shaped like a smiling blue bulldog.) But if something happens to that fruit bowl, and then I suddenly need to keep a bunch of oranges and kiwis sitting on my kitchen counter, I’m totally going out and getting myself one of these:
They seem to be variously known as a bingo roller, a bingo cage, a bingo roller cage, or a number-sphere, which sounds more like a prototype computer from that really snazzy, futuristic part of the 60’s that the Jetsons live in.
The photo comes from eBay, where they have lots of them from plastic ones for fifteen bucks to vintage metal ones for hundreds, depending on how much you want to pay for your weird hipster kitchen decor.
Now I think this is the manger from a nativity set, and I totally don’t want to offend anybody. So if you’re offended, well…I dunno what to tell you. Sorry. A regular dollhouse would work exactly the same way, but that’s not what I found for four bucks–this is. All my little seasonings hanging out in there together. Yet again, makes me wish it was Christmas, so I could make some sort of awful “seasonings’ greetings” pun, and don’t think I won’t when the time comes.
As much as I like this, though, the spices you see here are just what I use to cook; my girlfriend uses a completely different set of spices, and this thing’s already at capacity. So the thing we usually use–which has been in use for a few years now, and it totally didn’t occur to me that it belongs in this blog–was originally, I think, a shoe rack or…something. I don’t know, it was just a couple of bucks at a thrift store.
I think this is what’s called a mail sorter, or a paper holder, or a mail holder, or a paper sorter, or anything like that. You hang it on eye level, and if you’ve got a paper you need to be remember to deal with, like a bill that needs to be paid really soon, you stick it in there so you see it constantly and remember it, instead of putting it that pile of loose junk mail, comic pages, books you were looking at earlier, an old dead laptop, a blank journal you were thinking about giving to Karen next time you see her, an extra paper napkin…you know the pile I’m talking about. This project is designed to kill that pile, or at least keep important things from getting sucked into its event horizon. Here’s a picture of it being used (with the first few bits of paper I could find–an old power bill and a pocket edition of “Bartleby the Scrivener”, because that’s the kind of house I live in).
If you can’t tell, this is just an old industrial stove element, scrubbed clean, and stretched over with rubber bands. Simple but effective for holding your bits of paper, and frankly I think this curls of metal are a cool shape; I saw it in the Habitat for Humanity store and tried to think of something to do with it, and remembered how popular these mail sorters are on upcycling blogs.
Speaking of which, you can recycle pretty much anything rectangular into a paper holder, and if you can figure out how to keep the rubber bands from slipping off it can be any other shape as well. I’ve seen empty antique picture frames, antique picture frames with the pictures still in them, mirrors, VHS tapes, record album sleeves, cardboard boxes, books you don’t want to read, Betta tanks…okay, I haven’t actually seen that, but it would work, I think, provided you didn’t care to look at the fish all the time. Maybe you could just grow some pretty aquatic plant in there; that sounds like the sort of thing people do.
I know I said my next post would be about uses for VHS tapes, but I thought I’d go ahead and share this. You know how sometimes you’ll be working on something (say, hand-drawing a web-comic) and you need to have a bunch of different pens out where you can get them, but maybe you don’t want them just rolling around loose?
Much nicer-looking than those plastic pencil-cups, right? It’s also great for Chelsea, I’ve decided, when she’s studying and has a bunch of different color highlighters. I got these from a thrift store for, like, a buck apiece. I got stemware instead of regular cups because of this other idea involving hanging them together from something, but that hasn’t happened yet, and for now, they just sit around classin’ up the joint.