Repurposing: The Marvels of Junkdom

Surely you have all noticed the trend over the past several years toward changing words….verbs become nouns and vice versa, ing is added to almost anything, adjectives and adverbs battle each other, and brand new words pop up regularly. REPURPOSING is a new one on me…just learned it recently, but it does cover a multitude of situations and is quite good, as new words go.

The man, who could have invented such a word and its meaning, happens to be married to me. A charming, funny, clever, innovative fellow, who won’t eat vegetables but is pretty good in all other departments…he is also cheap. No, thrifty. Not a penny-pincher, but perhaps frugal? Maybe economical is the best word. Combine them all and you see a person who loves to get something for nothing…and he has trained his eyes and brain to recognize all sorts of treasures, most of them on roadsides with a “free” sign posted in a conspicuous spot. The recipient of these marvels of junkdom is…ME. (And please notice, I just made up a new word myself.) So repurposing is a big part of my life.

Here are a few of my acquisitions over a period of nine years or so…a couple of medicine cabinets, almost identical, but found far from each other. They replaced the dinky little ones set into the bathroom walls, and are the perfect example of how really good his eye is. One of them was paired with an extremely functional and attractive cabinet, which I so wanted for my sewing room but it wouldn’t fit and now lives in the garage and houses watering cans and the like. What a waste!

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There’s also a steel desk that weighs a ton, but it’s tucked into a space in said sewing room and topped by a curved, carved hutch which fits perfectly on it!


This last was designated by Rick as a gift for the granddaughters…silly man…they never got near it.


Then there is the whole ensemble of white cubes, stacked drawers and un-stacked drawers from some child’s outgrown bedroom, which found homes in desk kneeholes and under the bed, which has been raised eight inches to form a good work surface. He built the risers too. And the imprint of an iron, you ask? A little granddaughter lost her grip!

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A steel file cabinet, filled with all sorts of sewing supplies and gadgets, and a greeting card holder from a drug store….perfect for patterns. Above those, a rack from a dishwasher hung on the wall as a ribbon spool holder and a place to hang other awkward things.


A pair of small, oak library card file drawers…I love them! Fat quarters reside in them as well as die cut fabric pieces. A storage unit for audio tapes….holding rotary cutters and blades handily.


 Someone’s kitchen cabinets….not even grimy! They sit at the head of the bed and embrace my collection of red and blue fabrics, and provide an area above to stand my beloved American Girls dolls, who fondly gaze down on me as I work.


An old blue painted mahogany dresser under the window, with roomy drawers and a good place for some of my many acrylic rulers in their racks, on top.

A plain old bookcase, but bigger than the one I had before, is positioned neatly against a short wall. My larger pieces of fabric are bolted and stand upright, making them very visible.

Hanging on the closet door, a pocketed jewelry roll…..look at all the adorable doll shoes which nestle in the cozy niches.

I love my sewing room, a haven from any storm of any type.

All these free finds have been employed differently from their original intents….repurposing at its best, with Good King Rick as the ruler of Junkdom.

And he’s cute, too.

2 Responses to “Repurposing: The Marvels of Junkdom”

  1. Judi says:

    Absolutely love this. I’m a repurposing person myself. Hurrah for we ‘don’t waste anything souls”. Learned this from my mother who lived thru the Depression, etc.


  2. Kirsten says:

    I just repurposed grandpas old VHS shelves he built himself years ago.  I couldn’t throw them out.  They work great for all my sewing books, with a few adjustments, and little supplies.