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Topic: Major Attic Cleanup… Please help me recycle this stuff!  (Read 2703 times)
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« on: November 03, 2014 04:10:58 PM »

We are cleaning out the attic, because we'll be moving to a new house next year. The garage is slowly filling up with items awaiting the junk pickup… and I just can't help myself from "saving" things for crafting purposes.
So far I reclaimed an adorable little side table that belonged to my grandmother (mod podge project waiting to happen!) and two empty canvases (no idea why they would want to throw out perfectly good supplies, but there you have it), but there is so much more and I wondered what else I might be missing out on.

Some of the other items on the heap so far are

- mattresses (every attic has them, no?)

- An old-school wooden puzzle map of Europe (dates from when yugoslavia was still a country!)

- A box of old fimo polymer clay. Most packages are unopened but seem to have hardened anyway from what I can tell… (is there a chance this is still useful?)

- A kit to make fake seashell ornaments from sand, seemingly unused. (I have no clue where this comes from, why anyone wanted it or if it's still useful, but it contains a couple plastic shell molds, a couple containers of sand, and a bottle of something resin-like that apparently hardens out in the microwave.)

- Cracked plates. I know as a matter of fact that they would be quite valuable if they hadn't been damaged and then sloppily glued together again. Also, they are pretty. (But what to do with them?)

- Old blankets (another attic staple…)

- A cork board

- A wooden display case for tiny knickknacks (I think)

- A marble chessboard and chess pieces (I didn't check if it was complete, but since it's in the trash it probably isn't… yet it's so pretty!)

- Old gourmet pans (from a set that isn't functional anymore)

- Wooden clothes hangers

- A piece from an Alphabet Art project at the local library that I helped set up (C is for Cupcake)

- Old picture frames, ranging from thick dark wooden ones to relatively new plastic ones.

- A whole box of weirdly shaped polystyrene chunks from packaging

- A wicker laundry basket with a cracked handle

- …

Does anyone have an idea of what to do with any of this stuff? If not, all of it will be doomed to the junkyard…
If you want photos of anything, just ask! (They're on my profile, but I didn't want to make this post super mega pic-heavy...)

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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014 01:15:54 AM »

This is what i would be tempted to do but it won't help you to destash.  :-)

Wrap the fimo in some wax paper and tuck into your bra.  The warmth from your body should soften it.  The wooden jigsaw pieces are great as bases for decoupage/paint projects and make quirky jewellery.  The cracked plates might make great  mosaic projects.... save the prettiest bits.  Paint then decoupage the picture frames.  Use the the polystyrene chunks to make bodies for little santa ornaments (i have one on my blog somewhere that I made last year). Old blankets make great wadding for quilts  (the middle layer).  Pad out the wooden coat hangers and cover them in pretty fabric

« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014 09:58:21 AM »

is there a box spring?  I've seen the springs reused as bodies for crazy critters.

I think you can get diluent for polymer clay.  run the clay and a few drops of diluent through a crafts-only food processor and see if it turns into something useful.  You may have to let it sit for a bit.

seashell molds, cool!  use for candles or soap, or even plaster

I've used old blankets for black-out curtains.  sandwich the blanket between the pretty fabric inside and a simple lining fabric that faces outside.  helps insulate the windows, too, and make the room warmer in winter/cooler in summer.

use the old plates to mosaic on the frames

ALSO, check online for your local Freecycle.  People will want a lot of this stuff, especially mattresses and blankets.  You can even say, "take it all" and someone will.

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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014 07:47:11 PM »

Oh boy - that is quite the list....

Old mattress - depends on how big and how stained it is (and if it is the home of unwanted critters)- if very stained and gross, get rid of it.  Not bad, then perhaps it could be covered and used as a bed for the wanted furry creatures, or lounging space in a play room or something.  If in good condition, then it depends on what your community allows (ours doesn't allow the resale of mattresses, but good ones can be donated to shelters or the like).

How big is the puzzle and the pieces - the pieces could be great for bases or components for mixed media art, ornaments, jewelry.  If it is quite colourful, graphic, and fun, you could take all or part of it and make it the focal point for a tray bottom, or table top, or something like that.  If there is enough space, you could do things to it to personalize it too - like pictures or names on some of the places of friends and family, or whatever, or use the components to do the same with a scrapbook.

I would use the cracked plates for jewelry, or mosaics.  If there are cups or bowls, they could be repurposed for small plants, candles, making pin cushions.

Old blankets - they could be donated to a shelter or animal shelter/rescue.  If they are wool, you could make fulled wool felt, and then projects from the felted wool, or use them as a base for something needle felted - bags, journal covers, device covers, mitts, hand warmers, slippers, etc

A corkboard - I would decorate it with fabric or paint and use it as a cork/message/idea board.  If it is the unrimmed pieces of cork, they could also be cut up and used as coaster or trivet bases.

Marble chessboard and pieces - the board could be reused as a serving board or in the kitchen as a trivet or something.  Or use it as the surface for a small occasional table perhaps.  For the pieces, if the marble is a serving board, it would be tempting to bore the bottoms out and add serving picks or a spreader to the base.

Old gourmet pans - what material are they?  Could they be repurposed in some way for plants/planters, or to make into a tiered water feature, or bird feeder or something like that?  If they are copper, they could be etched or stamped to decorate them further.

Wooden clothes hangers - well, clothes hangers can be used for craft room storage - such as hanging ribbons off of them; making a cloth organizer the hang off of them.  They could be decorated with paint, etching, decoupage, and be the base for a mobile or some other hanging art/item - perhaps like the occasional calender that Sweets4ever made last year.

Wicker basket - I am thinking to partially bury it in the garden and have plants growing out of it.


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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014 09:32:26 PM »

If the chess pieces aren't too big,they'd make great pendants!

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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014 02:19:04 PM »

If nothing else, you could see if there is a creative reuse center near you. When I clean my stashes out, it all gets donated to the one by me. They work on donations and they always have a bunch of quirky stuff.

This is the site for the one by me, but they have a directory of centers in the US.

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