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Entries in Upcycling Blog (218)


Upcycled / Repurposed Pay Phone + Phone Charger + Bank + Accent Light Creation

Hey folks!  I'm opening the door to the GadgetSponge Garage and revealing something I'm very proud of...

The biggest question is, "What is it not!?"  I was lucky enough to run across a pay phone at a garage sale and then a few weeks later, I found the used metal casing/shell.  The shell was pretty beat up but still had a lot of character.

 The encasing that the shell provides drove me right to where I wanted to go with this piece.  I wanted to bring old technology together with new technology.  Although the enclosed strip outlet will charge most anything, I figured most would charge their phones, Kindles, or other small devices in the bottom basket area.

I custom cut and fitted the wooden structure to securely hold the strip outlet in place.  The top panel opens up and allows you to plug into up to 5 devices.  Vintage typewriter keys allow each person to see which charge cord is there's when the plugs are full.  You can see how the panel raises up below....

The hardwired lighting in the top "Phone" compartment was shot.  So I took it all apart and installed a new fixture with a nice LED bulb (to last a long, long time and to not get too hot) and drilled a hole in the acrylic panel so that a switch chain could drop down.  This will now allow the new owner to turn on and off the light as they choose.  

Next up is I had to find something to occupy the empty hole where the coin holder went.  I still wanted to use the coin slot as a means to collect money so I looked around and found this old maple syrup tin that fit just right.  I put a vintage handle on it and now it's fun to put the money into the coin slot and save it for a rainy day!

The whole inside and outside of the phone casing was a bright red/orange.  I wanted to liven it up some on the outside.  I laid down two different colors of chalk paint and distressed them to show through each other.  Then, I taped off section to paint on some metallic silver.  Then after some more distressing, I added in some dark wax.  I was chasing the distressed style of a phone that had been in place many years and with many paint layers that had chipped away and worn away with the seasons.  I think I didn pretty good!

The custom cut piece of wood on the back is what hold everything together.  I painted and distressed the edges and front with some chalk paint and dark wax.  On the back, I torched the wood to bring out the grain.  I cut out a large hole so that any future modifications could be made to the telephone wiring. NOW IT'S READY FOR A NEW OWNER!!!

Measurements: 30" tall; 15" wide; 10.5" deep.  Three-prong outlet cord.  Phone cord included.




Large Vintage Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Blueprint & Custom Color Board Wall Art

My oldest son actually did most of the leg work on this one since he did the first one that sold.  The new owner bought the smaller one and asked for a much larger one to compliment it.   Here's the first one...

And here's the larger one that was just finished and shipped....

We ran across some vintage blueprints from a friend of a 1930s Coca-Cola Bottling Plant.  I had them all digitally scanned so I could save them before we used some of the pieces.  The piece is about 46" wide by 24" tall.

Outside of the blueprint panels are custom painted, distressed and waxed pieces of wood.  

You can see the "Bottling Room" referenced in the piece above.

And below you can see the bottom blueprint information with reference to the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant...

This piece now resides on a campus in Talahassee, FL.


1940s Wooden Gameboard Repurposed Table

Hey folks!  I just finished a table that I really enjoyed putting together.  It started with a fantastic Carrom brand #95 wooden board game.  I removed the other side design to give myself a flat surface to build my table leg foundation.

All the netting in the corner pockets is intact and the table legs have a naturally-chipped patina that you just can't replicate without a lot of patience and torture!  Haha.


I did some custom wood work underneath to give the table legs strong support and I cut into the 2x4 framing pieces to offer more leg room height underneath.  I also reinforced the legs with some metal angle brass hardware.

This newly-created table is ready for a second life of more games or simple enjoyment as a side table or party table.  GAME ON!!!

Measurements:  28.5" wide;  28" tall.

FOR SALE!... This custom creation along with all of my others is available in the GADGETSPONGE ETSY SHOP or at Timeline Antiques & Collectibles Mall in Shreveport, LA.


Dominoes! Mexican Train and Chicken Foot Center Starter Hubs!

UPDATE:  The three I initially made have sold already.  I plan to make more very soon.  If interested, please contact me!

Hey folks!  It's gametime!  My family enjoys getting together as often as possible to play dominoes.  We always have a center starter piece to start out "trains" (of dominoes).  Instead of the plastic ones you get these days, I thought it would be fun to make some out of found items and scrap wood pieces.

This custom creation along with all of my others is available in the GADGETSPONGE ETSY SHOP or at Timeline Antiques & Collectibles Mall in Shreveport, LA.


GadgetSponge @ Home: Custom Bookcase with Vintage Lockers & Wire Baskets

Hello again folks!  It's time for an update on where one of my creations ended up going with its new owner.  You may remember the custom bookcase I made not too long ago that incorporated vintage lockers and wire baskets (HERE).  Well, now that fine piece belongs to Benjamin in San Francisco.  He was kind enough to send a picture of the bookcase in its new setting.  Thanks Benjamin and I hope you enjoy it for many, many years to come!

If you have a GadgetSponge creation and want to send a picture of it in its new home, please do and I'll feature it here on the blog!  Just contact me with the "Contact" button at the top of the page and I'll send my email address.