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GadgetSponge Serves Up Q&A in Reloved Magazine - Round #2!

I'm a big fan of Reloved Magazine and it's an honor to get to blab about a few things I've got experience in.  My second contribution in Reloved Magazine is on the racks this month for the December issue.  In this month, I serve up some insight on using old copper pieces for use as an outdoor garden feature.  Click the image or check it out (HERE).

You can subscribe to this great magazine from the UK here:  



2014 Christmas Junkers United Repurposed Yardstick & Sewing Machine Drawer Christmas Card Organizer

Hey folks!  Have I got a surprise for you!  You're about to begin a journey through 15 different, amazing blogs celebrating repurposed Christmas-themed creations!  If you're new to GadgetSponge, you can sign your email up on the lefthand side over there or you can follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

First, I'll give you a tease about my particular project right.....about.....NOW!...

I decided, as my part in the presentation, to create a repurposed Christmas card holder using vintage yardsticks, old keys, and an antique sewing machine drawer.  I'll show you my progress pictures in just a second so you'll see how I did it step by step!

So, you are in for a treat with all 15 of the awesome blogs participating bringing you original, repurposed and/or upcycled creations just in time for the holidays.  And each one showing you how to reproduce it for your own household.  After my tutorial, I'll present you a list of the other contributors so you can hop over to their blogs and see what they produced.  So one with the DIY!  Let's Go!....

 Here's the final creation.  Now let's go through it step by step.

I first measured up my plywood piece and cut it out.  I've made a few of these and I've found that 15" wide by 22" tall works great for this design.  You can also sometimes use the wood board off of the top of an antique sewing machine that covers the sewing machine.   It's just about the same size in most cases.  Just another way to repurpose parts from the sewing machine structure!

After cutting the wood and sanding the edges, I grabbed my preferred paint by General Finishes.  It's a milk paint and I really enjoy using it.  I gave the sides and front two coats.

I did some distressing of the wood after the paint dried.  The next step is to either seal it with clear coat or some aging wax.  I prefer Annie Sloan's dark wax to really get into the pits and bring out the warm tones of the wood and paint.

I wanted the nice detail work on the front of the antique sewing machine drawer to really stand out so I decided to use some Modern Masters metallic silver paint.   I dabbed it on lightly with a shop rag so it would only touch the top of the relief work and not the surface of the drawer.

The drawer needs to have a good bond with the back board piece so I lined them up together and pre-drilled holes and screwed them together for a solid connection.

The vintage yardstick and key Christmas tree is the next step.  Find your center and make a faint line up the middle as your guide for lining up the alphabet blocks, the yardsticks, and the keys at the top.

I decided to have some fun and play off the "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" reference.  The vintage designs on these blocks are unrivaled.  

I wanted the thickness of the blocks to match that of the yardsticks.  So I used a scroll saw to carefully cut the tops off.

It's time to put glue to the board!  Carefully apply just enough glue to squish under the blocks.  Remember to line up with your center mark.

For the yardstick Christmas tree, you'll want to use as good of a variety as you can to build the diversity in tones of the wood.  You can also use colored/painted yardsticks.  Cut your yardsticks in a repeated shortening distance to give the staggered triangle shape of a tree.

Grab about five keys to create the star pattern.  I find it best to use whatever has the most contrast against your wood backboard.  I decided to use bright, silver keys to really pop.  The easiest way to start the pattern is to align the bottom two keys on both sides of your center line.  Then you can align the other three and space them for a great star pattern.

The final step is to decide how you want have your Christmas card organizer mount to a wall.  I like to allow the hinge(s) to show which also allows a more flush mounting to the wall.  Others might prefer to mount the organizer much like a framed painting or photo with wire or a nail mount with teeth.

And lastly I decided to torch the back of the piece to give it some more character.  I sanded it afterwards so that there was no burnt residue left.


NOW --- Let's see the finished project!...

Now, how about checking out the other great bloggers that are participating in this great, holiday promotion!?! Click on any and all of the links below to visit their blogs and see what they are up to:


Now, get out there and make sure to check out everyone's great creations and see if any fit your style that you can create for your own home or as a gift.  You can also search Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and such with "#christmasjunkersunited".   Good luck!

Round #2 of Repurposed Wall Hangers --- Continued!

I recently finished up No. 26 & 27 of my repurposed wall hangers from some old door plinths.  You can see the previous ones (HERE) and (HERE) and (HERE).  You can see all the ones available in person at The Agora Borealis.


New Booth Design for GadgetSponge

On Sunday I finished up getting the new booth set up at Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale Blvd (HERE).

Here's the pics of the final design...


Pickin' at the Scrap Yard

(Sniiiiifffff!)  Breathe in those metallic, oil, and mud smells you can only reap at the scrap yard.  My buddy, Justin (Muddy Water Resurrections) and I took off to the scrap yard a few morning ago.  As usual, the rain preceeded us leaving us with mounds of fresh (deep) mud and plenty of slippery surfaces.

For those that have never been, the draw of the scrap yard is never knowing what you will run across. Granted, 80% of it is already bent, crushed or broken by the time the heavy machines have moved and run over everything.  But there's still great things to be had.  You never know what company has just left there dumping their discarded wares.  It's just the beginning for these items with pickers and repurposers like us.

That day there was a heap of railroad car wheels (way tooooo heavy to fool with), an office furniture truck that dumped some metal shelving and filing cabinets, mounds of heavy wound cable, and a mountain of engine blocks.  Among the tons of other random items.  And in the back was another mountain of discarded (and new it appeared) barbecue smokers in assorted pieces.  Must have been a recall or something.  

You have to keep your wits about you as you jump around (carefully in slippery weather) and dodging the heavy magnetic cranes, the dozers, and "claws".  Don't forget to park where your truck will have the least chance of getting run over by something much bigger.  But they are a very kind and welcoming crowd.  

It's sad in a one way of all the items we discard, and this was all just the metal objects.  But the good news it is all going to be recycled and made anew again.  Justin and I are just the flies and fleas running through grabbing small items, limited by what we can physically left.  If I was The Hulk, there would have been several pieces I would have thrown in the truck!

Here's a few of the gems I found this trip around.  A few pieces for maybe some future lamps and a control box for who knows what.  

So, don't be afraid to head to your local scrap yard.  Just stop in at the office and tell them your intentions and I'm sure they won't mind a bit.  Just remember to WATCH YOUR STEP!  You're very prone to twisting an ankle, falling onto something very sharp or slipping a falling in mud (I've partially done that before).   Oh, and HAVE FUN!