Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trash to Treasure

Last year, while driving home from work, I spotted an interesting pile at the end of my neighor's driveway.  Yup, it was trash day.  I'm sorry, but I cannot resist turning a piece of trash into a usable treasure.  I called my hubs at work, described where the pile was, and begged asked him to pick it up for me in the van.  The pile included a metal table with a particle-board top and a metal bench with a particle board seat and backing.  It had been raining so the particle board was wet and stinky.  Because hubs really loves me, he ripped off the particle-board and hauled the metal framework home.  This week, because it was Spring break, I finally had the time to work on the bench.  Here's the almost final product: 

I need to find or make a cushion that fits this, but the one I borrowed from the porch swing works for now. 

Here's how it started out:

I found a piece of wood that was big enough in our barn and dragged hauled it to the garage.  Hubs is wondering what made the drag marks across our back yard.  What drag marks?

I took a piece of large paper and made a pattern from it.  I folded the paper in half and made a pattern from one side and then flipped it over to tweak the other side.  Then, I opened the pattern up and laid it on the wood, tracing around the pattern with a marker.   

I then got out the safety gear.  Ear protection and eye protection are very important.  I also don't work with power tools when I'm home by myself.  Just in case. 

I love power tools.

I cut out the wooden seat with a jigsaw, making sure to cut inside the marker line I made on the wood.

(I've had these paint shorts for over 20 years.  I'm sorry you had to see them)

I placed the seat onto the bench and of course it did not fit the first time. . . nor the second time.  Finally, after a bit more trimming, it fit perfectly.

With the help of my son, we flipped the whole thing over and up onto the saw horses so I could attach the seat to the bench.

I used a cordless screwdriver to attach screws through the tabs on the bench.  Finally, I painted the whole thing with Super Paint from Sherwin Williams in Jefferson Gray.

I didn't spend any money on the bench because the bench came from the trash, the wood came from the barn (it was in there when we bought the property), I used paint left over form painting the shutters, and I scavenged screws from our screw bucket in the garage.  We never throw away extra hardware from any project.  We sort them into recycled plastic containers and store them in an old file drawer.

This may not be the bench's permanent home; for now it works.  I borrowed a cushion form the porch swing and two pillow from the family room. 

I'm linking up to:

Frugal Friday Linky Party at The Shabby Nest
Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. You are too stinkin' cute. I love how you use EVERYTHING. You'd be horrified to see what I throw away. Seriously.

  2. WOW, that is such a score. You did a wonderful job making it new again.

  3. LOVE IT!!! Wonder how come my neighbors' trash never has anything this good...

  4. That bench is amazing! I love how you cut out the seat yourself. I haven't gotten into using power tools yet, but you have inspired me! And I think an old pair of shorts are a must for a crafty person! ;)

  5. What an awesome makeover! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Love the lines on that bench -- just beautiful. I also love the fact that you didn't feel the need to paint it. It's fabulous just the way it is. Your pillows are very cute too!

  7. VERY cute!
    My husband garbage picked a similar one. We spray painted it and my Dad made a cushion. It has had several homes, but now lives in the garage.

  8. Great project! I'm so glad to know there are other women who pick up their neighbors' trash :) AND: No woman should apologize for a pair of shorts that she can still wear after 20 years! Good for you :)

  9. That is such a cool bench. There's something very traditional, yet modern about it. I love how delicate it looks. You did a great job making a seat for it. Well done!


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