When most of us go shopping, we usually have something in mind. In my last post (Method to my madness) I noted that I often have a list in my purse to help me remember what it is I’m looking for – because as you know, you may not find it on your first try. Currently, I’m looking to replace my black purse but I haven’t found the perfect one yet at a price I’m willing to pay.
But sometimes, when you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you have to get creative and start looking at things differently. For example, I wanted to put something in my garden that would create visual interest. Gardening magazines are filled with all kinds of ideas, most at exorbitant prices. I ended up “planting” a bicycle that a friend picked up for my son for $2 at a thrift shop. Unfortunately, my son outgrew it before he learned how to ride it and the bike languished in our shed until I came up with this creative use for it. Some people call this “repurposing” – using an item for something other than its intended purpose.
One of the best repurposed items I recently bought was a computer bag for my niece’s
birthday. The bag is made of from a leather jacket and lined with men’s dress pants, which gives it its interior pockets. The bag wasn’t a thrift purchase, although the materials for it were originally thrifted. I bought it at the MCC Material Resource Centre in Abbotsford (which is where I happen to work) where a talented seamstress named Sara creates all kinds of cool bags and other items out of used, donated clothing.
My son, Aaron, works at the MCC Furniture and More Shop in Abbotsford. The other day he mentioned that his boss wanted to create a way to ask shoppers what they might do
with an entertainment unit. With so many people now converting to flat screen TVs, traditional entertainment units no longer work – the space for the TV is too small and square shaped. They’re ending up at thrift shops but unless someone comes up with a really great alternate use for them, they may just end up in a landfill. As you can see from this photo, they’ve got quite a few.
One idea I had would be to convert the TV space into a book/curio shelf. Taller ones might be converted into a computer desk, if you could insert a slide-out work surface. What would you do with an old entertainment unit? Post your ideas here and I’ll pass them on to the MCC Furniture and More manager. And as an incentive, I’ll put all the ideas in a hat and draw one for a gift certificate to your nearest MCC Thrift Shop. Send your ideas in by February 28th!