I can’t say that junkin and repurposing came to me out of necessity. I was born into a family of junkers. My grandparents took me to auctions, garage sales and flea markets and most of the antiques in their house were found treasures. A lot of those were rebuilt by my Grandfather, who in my opinion, was a self taught master carpenter. This was a way that they made side money to pay their bills. So for me, it’s kind of a family tradition, but one I didn’t really appreciate until both of my grandparents were gone. I mean, I have always decorated my home using “second hand” items, but I didn’t move into the world of exploring my own potential in building, fixing or designing things myself until later. By that time, I wasn’t able to pick up the phone and ask my grandfather those important questions like, “where’s the darn on/off switch for the table saw????”.
Thank goodness for YouTube, friends and my amazing ability to tear things apart! One of the most important things that I have learned on my journey to repurposing and rebuilding is this…..You won’t ever know if you can unless you try. Especially when working with stuff you paid so little for, it’s the perfect time to test your unknown abilities.
Light Up Your Imagination!
Isn’t this chandelier gorgeous!! A fellow junker who has a booth at a large Antique Mall in the OKC Metro Area, negotiated an awesome deal for me! I learned to rewire by watching a YouTube video 20 billion times, then I jumped in and rewired a small desk lamp. The lamp cost me $1 at a garage sale, the light kit $5 and I thought if I screw this up, it will only cost me $6, so why not? Besides, I can return the light kit if I can’t figure this out. And guess what? I did it! I strutted around the house for about an hour and eyeballed all my light fixtures with new glee.
Finding out that rewiring wasn’t hard gave me the confidence to start designing and building my own lamps using different vintage pieces.
Along with mirrors and chairs, I have a bit of a lamp hoarding issue. But before I knew it, I was selling my redesigned lamps to make a little extra money to pay my bills. I now have 2 large tubs of lamp parts to play with.
I eventually got even more brave and converted other things into lamps. Candle stands became a desk lamp, and old globe hanging light fixture became a mini chandelier over my sink, just by adding a little paint and some bling.
And rewiring chandeliers just made sense since I bought so many of them. I do have to admit that I often use acrylic crystals when I can’t junk the real deal, but no one knows that except for me……and I guess you now.
But back to my latest chandelier. I loved this one so much and I just knew it would be perfect over the kitchen table. But, the gold had to go! I have so much sterling silver in my kitchen and dining area that the gold just looked out of place………so, here’s another lesson about being brave enough to try something different. Paint costs very little and you can always repaint it if you hate it. The gold was history.
I spray painted it with Krylon Sterling Silver and then added some Valspar Antiquing Glaze. I haven’t received the bling I had to order, but I’m putting French cut acrylic crystals in her for $24, and she will be a star!
And I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of this, well….not without spending more money than I needed to anyway, without first being willing to try my hand at it myself. What would it hurt to try? If you fail, you’ve learned something, but if you don’t? Well, you could be the next rewiring, painting, upholstery or furniture fixin queen! Come on, YOU CAN DO IT!