Upcycling: Transforming that hunk of junk into something beautiful.

I don’t have my own amazon account, but my husband sure does, with the fancy prime shipping and everything… and his account is always logged in on my computer.

It’s easier than one click ordering, it’s like half a click and he gets notified by e-mail that his card has been charged. I know, I’m living the dream, like actually.

“Berenstain Bears 7 in 1 storybook? Um, I’m assuming YOU bought that?”

I didn’t have a chance, it was an obvious deviation from his usual purchases of supersized diaper boxes and earplugs.

I don’t even have to leave my house anymore to buy a new blender when my old one breaks. I love it, but it also makes me very aware of the fact that I’m raising my kids in a time when things can be discarded and replaced SO easily.

So here I am, trying to upcycle the broken junk around our house into art projects or re-purposed somethings, hoping to challenge the new generation beside me, to do the same.

But you need to understand, this DIY stuff doesn’t come naturally to me like it does for the authentic DIY soul.

But that’s the great thing about kids. Just like how they think your stick man drawings are pure art, they also find your DIY projects to be magnificent.

Our library book box sits at the end our couch. It used to be a toy box with a lid attached to it, until one fateful day when one of the boys ninja kicked it off for the last time.

But… I took the top from that toy box and screwed old table legs into the bottom of it. That box top now offers overflow seating for our apartment sized “dining space.”

It’s also where the grumpy kid goes to eat his lunch in peace.

“It’s like we’re eating at a bakery mom!”

“Good. That’ll be $4.25 for your toast and milk then…”

The other day we picked up vintage school desk bookends second hand. They were a little run down, but there was potential written all over them.

That’s the sweet spot, seeing stuff for what it could be, rather than what it is.

Some days I feel like a junk magician.

I just want my kids to learn that they don’t always need the very best, because in all likelihood they won’t always have the very best. And I think they’ll be better for it.

They need to learn to appreciate what they do have, and the importance of taking care of it.

They need to learn to value the creative process of restoration, and that it’s kind of fun to own something that has some sort of history attached to it.

Re-purposing old broken things is actually a brilliant opportunity to teach your kids about work ethic and good quality character traits. Who knew. (Except all of the generations before us, ever…)

So we’ll keep sewing on buttons to the pants with the broken snaps. We’ll keep cutting off the knees of our holey jeans to use them as shorts, and we’ll use the broken shelf as an art project.

And we’ll keep searching through the thrift store to find replacement cereal bowls for the ones we’ve shattered. And we’ll keep finding them and having conversations of “Ew… who do you think ate out of this bowl?”

Followed by, “Let’s talk about who you share spoons with at a restaurant, and don’t even get me started about who sleeps in that hotel bed before you do….”

Followed by discussions and appreciation of hot water sanitation processes.

Busted junk transformed into useful treasure.
It’s my favourite.
And since I love it, that rubs off on my kids and they end up loving it too.

And the great news is, the phrase “Mom, let’s just buy another one…” has slowly changed over the last few years to, “Hey, what do you think we could make out of this broken thing?”





2 thoughts on “Upcycling: Transforming that hunk of junk into something beautiful.

Add yours

  1. A very refreshing post Rebecca. We live in such a throw away, go buy another one society. And great lessons for your children. That little table from the toy box looks amazing.


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