Copper Tones - Upcycling in the Kitchen

Posted on October 3, 2015 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Upon occasion I am called upon to help someone settle into a new flat or apartment. This time my friend Davide called for help. He's in his first year at uni and, like most students, low on decorating funds. However, he knows what he likes. Currently, he's enamoured with the copper trend that's appearing online and in print. However, the cost of the real thing is not in his budget. Like most student flats, his kitchen has very little cupboard space but as a real foodie and a not too bad a cook, he wanted his kitchen to be organized and look good as well.

So, of course, I turned to his (and my) recycling bin to see what we could find. Glass and plastic jars and tins seemed likely candidates for a copper makeover. I hate to admit it, but we used copper spray paint but I did place the items to be transformed inside a cardboard box and hopefully the impact on the environment was reduced. We looked for copper paint but that was not available. 

Despite the fact that most of the glass containers we found came in different sizes and shape, I knew that painting the lids all the same colour would give Davide the look he wanted. 

When I left him with the can of spray paint he was busy looking for more items to spray. Right now, he needs a few of those large pickle and pepper jars that you see in delicatessens and Italian restaurants for his baking ingredients.

By the way, in my next posts I hope to be focusing on Christmas - my most favourite time of year - and yes, I know it's early. But from what I gather, my visitors are clamouring for ideas and who am I to object.


Halloween Table Settings - Use What You Have

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

My Ottawa Citizen Halloween article came out this Saturday and in it I describe three Halloween table settings I created for guests who are coming over for a sitdown supper on Halloween night. For each guest, I designed a personalized table setting that matched their interests. I created one for a book lover, a movie goer, and a puzzle solver. Nothing too ghoulish or ghastly, since I don't want to frighten my guests. It would have been easier I know to go and buy stuff at the dollar store but I figured I'd use what I already had including old photocopies that I've used for other projects.

My friends tell me I'm not really a recycler - just too lazy to go shopping. True, my recycling bin is one of my BFFs. To read my Table Setting article, go here.

Fabulous ways to repurpose vintage house keys

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

It's Sunday morning and I'm up for something silly and frilly, so here it is. A wonderful, fun way to reuse/repurpose/recycle vintage house keys (and empty jam jars!!) from Style Me Pretty (via Bridal Musings). Fabulous idea for a little girl's birthday party - no? Or it can be adapted for a boy's party just by changing the decoration on the jar. You can get full instructions for this project over at Emmaline Bride. Gives a recipe for the soap bubbles, too.

I've started to collect vintage keys when lived in a 100-year old house that at one time had been a boarding house -  each bedroom could be locked by the boarder when he/she went out to work in the morning. So I was always on the lookout for keys that could maybe fit the door keyholes. And you know I did find a bunch. Some even fit the doors at my sister's old Victorian house in Toronto! I still have a horde of these keys somewhere in my storage boxes. Never thought to use it in this playful manner.

There are a lot more creative links for reusing those old house keys over at Bridal Musings. Even if you're not celebrating a wedding, any of these projects could be adapted for other festivities. Take a peek. 

Books recycling - router and device charger disguises

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)


If you think that ideas for book recycling is limited to making book safes, clocks, purses, etc and is exhausted, think again. Here are a couple of brilliant ideas I came across today.

Don't you just love it when you come across an idea that is so simple, so elegant, and so functional that you'll wonder why you didn't think of it? Well, Ana Maria Muñoz over at anamublog has a brilliant idea for disguising your wireless router - she hides it in plain sight in a vintage book. And she tells you how you can do it, too.

Oh, stop,  my beating heart! Here's yet another brilliant idea - how to hide your device chargers at Rich Neeley Designs Etsy store. 

Each device charger is made from actual vintage books and includes a power source for an iPhone or iPod. The USB-compatible hook-up tucks neatly inside a book's binding, and the dock itself is discreet enough to go almost unnoticed.

Both ideas would make great gifts. All it takes is a little imagination (and, oh, a book or two).