Dumpster Diving- Patio Chairs From Trash to Treasure

Tonite I’m writing this post from the comfort of my “new” patio. Decorated courtesy of yet another quasi-dumpster diving adventure. You don’t always have to jump in the dumpster to find the good stuff. My patio chairs were found outside the trash bin which is much easier for me to navigate given that I’m 5 ft 4 inches on a good day.

My two chairs started off a rusty, metal mess. I initially wondered if they might be better off just staying in the trash?

I busted out some sandpaper and sanded off the worst of the rust. Then I whipped out the spray paint and voila– in a hot minute I was finished. Two perfectly fabulous chairs. Side note– this sounds like an easy project but I did experience a few minor mishaps painting due to semi-windy conditions and blowing newspapers. Thankfully there’s not a noticeable amount of paint specks on the patio though the floor is now a much deeper shade of gray in certain spots. Shshsh… don’t tell my apartment complex…

To complete the project I found a cheery red pillow at WalMart for $7 and a small table at Target for $15. Right now I’m using two rugs that are rejects from the kitchen years ago. I’m still in the market for a like-new rug and maybe a few more plants and candles. I’m determined to have a low cost and semi- upcycled/recycled/repurposed patio area. So far, so good. (Let the dumpster diving adventure continue!)

Cost of Project:

  • 2 Metal Chairs– FREE
  • 2 cans black satin spray paint (WalMart)– $5.00
  • 1 red pillow (WalMart)– $7.00
  • 1 small table (Target)– $15.00
  • Plants– FREE





Recycled Fashion: How to make a necktie headband

“Upcycling” clothing is  a fun way to re-purpose old fabrics into new clothes for children and adults.  Upcycling involves incorporating the materials from old clothes, changing the style and turning it into something different.  Upcycled clothing is usually less expensive than new.

You can find lots of old neckties in the thrift store or your closet. Neckties are a  long strip of fabric that would be perfect for a hairband.

Use your sewing tape measure to measure from the chin, around the ears, and back  to the chin again. Measure and mark the fabric  elastic and cut it. Place the fabric elastic from the top of the head, around  the bottom of the chin and up to the top of the head again. Stretch the fabric  elastic. Determine whether you want to cut off more elastic to make a tighter  fit.

  • Find a tie that is longer than the head measurement that you made with the  tape measure. Cut off at least an inch of the tie on either end. Keep the center  of the tie because that’s the part that’s approximately the same width all the  way down. Measure the tie according to the head measurement on the tape measure.  Leave approximately half an inch of extra fabric on the tie on either end for a  hem.

  • Pin the fabric elastic in the center of the necktie. There will likely be an  inch or half an inch of fabric on the end of the necktie that won’t have fabric  elastic. It will be used for the hem, and the fabric elastic needs  to be shorter than the fabric so that it will pull tight to the head. Choose a  thread that complements the tie fabric. Begin sewing the fabric elastic in the  middle of the tie. Sew all the way to the end of the fabric elastic. Begin in  the middle again and sew all the way to the other end. Do the same thing on both  sides of the fabric elastic until it’s well-anchored to the  necktie.

If you want a smaller hairband, fold in the edges of the necktie until they meet  in the middle and overlap them slightly. Sew the edges together in the middle of  the headband. If you want a wider necktie, you may want to sew a separate piece  of fabric underneath the necktie so that it will disguise the fabric elastic.

Finally, take the necktie fabric that extends beyond the elastic and pin it  together. Sew a seam through the half-inch of fabric so that the necktie makes a  full circle. Fold over the excess fabric and hem it neatly or cut it away. Put  the hairband onto your head and make sure that it fits. If it’s too loose, you  can always hem it again and make it a little tighter