Up-Cycling on Op-Shop Week

Last week was National Op-Shop week, founded by the charity Do Something. The aim of the week was to help stock up charity shops with quality donations from those of us who enjoy a great op-shop bargain. We were asked to spring clean our wardrobes and donate those items that we haven’t worn or used for a year or two but to make sure those items were good condition. I know I have been guilty of donating some dodgy stuff in the past, especially with some of the children’s ‘worn out’ clothes. I am now determined to mend my ways (and perhaps some of the clothes!). From now on I will make sure my clothes’ donations are clean, and good enough to wear ‘off the peg’. That’s the standard I expect when buying something at a charity shop, so that’s how I should donate.

With Op-Shop Week in mind, I felt inspired to have a Spring Clean and get rid of some more ‘stuff’. Unfortunately, with the amount of rain that fell in Sydney last week (I don’t know how much, but it was ‘a lot’) it wasn’t the best week for the task. I did wash some of the clothes that I had found for donating (including a couple of rain coats) but the gap between rain showers was short and not much dried on the washing line. I have, however, made a start and will continue to sort and get some clothes ready for donation this week.

But then comes the question of what to do with the stuff that I shouldn’t donate. I don’t think anyone will want Junior Rambles’ old underpants and Mr Rambles’ worn-out black jeans can’t be donated because they have a big rip in them.

I don’t want to chuck them in the bin, adding to landfill, so my mission is to ‘reuse’ them. The underpants have gone into a rag-bag and will be used for cleaning/polishing. The jeans material, where there are no rips, is really good quality. Last year I covered an old office chair, whose seat was worn out, with an old pair of Mr Rambles’ jeans and it looks great. So I decided on a similar project.

Our piano stool has had a rip and cut in it for many years now. After its journey from England the removal men unpacked it with a sharp knife which went through the packaging and the seat cover. I have been meaning to repair it for years, and this weekend I found the inspiration and the material to do it.

A quick unpick, some sharp scissors and a staple gun was all it took. It’s not perfect, but it looks a lot better than it was. I am not sure of the correct terms, but I feel I have ‘reused’ the jeans and ‘up-cycled’ the stool. Junior Rambles has given the new seat cover his seal of approval!


Pallets to Potting Table

I had seen some great images of garden potting tables made from old pallets on various web sites, so when I found these pallets sitting at the side of the road around the corner from my house, during the last council clean up, I grabbed (literally!) the opportunity to try this reuse project.

I’m not very experienced with carpentry, but, with the help of Mr Rambles, some extra found wood which we used for the legs and a few screws, the pallets soon resembled something like a potting table. It was a little wobbly and wonky, but that gave it character!

I have now painted it white to blend in with the ‘beachy’ style of my kitchen garden. I might need to fill in some of the gaps with wood in the near future, as things do tend to fall through! As well as using it for ‘potting’, it seems to be collecting some of my beachcombing finds and the north facing site makes it a great place for growing seedlings in the winter. I have tried planting seeds in old (reused!) loo rolls for the first time, so far the spinach seems to be happy in them.