People who made cool stuff out of other stuff.

Morgan's bench

I almost died when I saw this. Why is Morgan at The Brick House such a genius?? She’s been blogging about fixing up her raggedy old fence, and instead of throwing away the rotted posts that weren’t fence-worthy any longer, she cut off the ends, bolted them to a couple of Eames LTR bases scavenged from a banged-up surfboard table, gave the wood a healthy dose of teak oil, and…HELLO! Is this not the most beautiful bench you’ve ever seen?

What’s really killing me right now is that about a month ago, we came across an Eames surfboard table at the DWR Annex that looked like it had been chewed on by rabid Chihuahuas and then thrown off a cliff, but it was marked down to $99. We passed it by, but we probably could have talked it down to way cheaper and then used the bases to make something awesome like this. Something we could actually use. But I’m not as smart as Morgan.

Matt's curtain

Next up is this blanket-turned-window shade from Matt at Wood&Faulk. It’s so awesome it landed him a feature in the Dec/Jan issue ReadyMade magazine! I was agog over this project when Matt first posted photos on Flickr back in April, so I’m really happy to see it (and his great blog) getting some well-deserved attention. I can’t wait to get a full set of instructions on how to make my own shade! I have the exact same door in my kitchen…

(Is there anything wool blankets can’t do, by the way?)

Suki's magazine table

This is the simplest project ever, but I’d never have thought of it. Sure, we’ve all stacked up our magazines, but Suki at Varpunen went one step further and created a strap out of ribbon and D-rings to hold them all in place. The result is much more finished-looking than a wobbly stack, and it really does create a functional bedside table. I’m not yet at a point where I can get rid of all of my magazines without having a nervous breakdown, so this is making me rethink keeping a decade’s worth of copies of Dwell (those colorful spines!!) hidden away in a cabinet.

+ See also: People who made cool stuff out of other stuff, Part 1.

27 comments
  1. meganNov 24, 201011:50 am

    Wow, super inspirational stuff. Thanks so much for sharing! I need to make a shade like that too, for a window right between two desks…I’ve been looking for something tailored. Keep us posted on instructions :-)

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    There’s a schematic on Matt’s blog right now (see link in post), but the full set of instructions will be in the Dec/Jan issue of ReadyMade. :)

  2. MarthaNov 24, 201012:30 pm

    just FYI, images in your RSS feed are currently broken… not sure if it’s just me or a general issue.

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    It’s probably just a caching issue since I had to edit the post. Try refreshing, and they should show up! (It’s just this post you’re not seeing them on right?)

  3. JillNov 24, 20101:12 pm

    Oooh — love the ribbon/d-ring idea. And that would work with awesome vintage leather belts, too! (I feel a thrift store shopping spree coming on?)

    [Reply]

  4. the brick houseNov 24, 20101:21 pm

    Thanks Anna! I’m loving how it turned out – and it’s also helping Iggy jump on the bed.

    Love that window shade, leather and felty wool always a great combo.

    [Reply]

  5. DanNov 24, 20102:03 pm

    That bench makes me weep, it’s stunning! I’ve seen these bases floating around ebay for decent prices every now and again, in case you need one too. Great projects!

    [Reply]

  6. MeghanNov 24, 20102:18 pm

    That Morgan and her fantastic stuff (you too Anna!). I love that bench and am bookmarking it (along with her plumbing pipe shelving)!

    [Reply]

  7. EsalennaNov 24, 20104:24 pm

    The blanket shade is tight.Could i do the blanket-turned-window shade thing on sliding door thats 3mX2m???would it be practical….

    [Reply]

  8. EsalennaNov 24, 20104:27 pm

    Gonna work on a bench this weekend…..

    [Reply]

  9. MariaNov 24, 20104:39 pm

    I love that bench!!! And Varpunens magazine table is great as well! Love it!

    [Reply]

  10. MattNov 24, 20105:44 pm

    Anna, you are the kindest gal ever for posting me up again! Thanks so much! By the way – Morgan has her pipe-shelf project in the new ReadyMade too. We share the page, actually!

    [Reply]

    the brick house /

    do we??? I didn’t know when that was coming out.

    I never got an issue. Well poop, now I have to find one. Pretty please scan it for me?

    Anna @ D16 /

    I don’t think you missed it, because I’m still seeing November on the stands in NYC!

    It’s super cute that you guys are sharing a page. Congratulations to you both!

  11. GeorgiaNov 24, 20106:30 pm

    Oh my! That bench is just perfect! It may actually be the most beautiful thing ever!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    [Reply]

  12. BrigidanneNov 24, 20107:27 pm

    I use the d ring ribbon/belts to keep things like spare blankets rolled up. Makes it easier in storing them.

    [Reply]

  13. ehalveyNov 24, 201010:40 pm

    Where do you buy teak oil? That might just be what my tv table needs.

    [Reply]

    Anna @ D16 /

    Any hardware store or home center should sell it!

    ehalvey /

    Thanks!

  14. AgnieszkaNov 25, 20103:13 pm

    It’s almost funny but I was just debating what possibly I could do with a pesky window leading onto the patio door. This post is so timely it’s ridiculous. Thanks, Anna!

    Where do you get a woolen blanket like this? I’m interested in detailed instructions on how to make it work, including sourcing the materials.

    [Reply]

    Agnieszka /

    Replying to myself with an additional idea for the window shade.
    I thought that maybe a sized piece of felt instead of a woolen blanket could work as well or better for the window shade, as it is sturdier and thicker.

    –And of course I meant: “a pesky window on a patio door leading outdoors”, not a window leading onto the patio door.

    Anna @ D16 /

    There are instructions in ReadyMade (Dec/Jan issue).

    I don’t know where Matt got his blanket, but if you read Dan’s post about reupholstering a bed with a wool blanket, you can get some insight into the sourcing process.

    Agnieszka /

    Thanks, Anna.

  15. GEMNov 26, 201010:16 am

    So I’m not the only one in the world who has saved all her copies of Dwell? I just can’t bear to part with them.

    [Reply]

  16. MelindaNov 27, 20107:33 pm

    Thanks Anna for sharing these three awesome and inspiring projects. I adore that bench!

    [Reply]

  17. amelcaNov 29, 20109:05 am

    wow! that’s a great job :)

    [Reply]

  18. teresaDec 5, 201010:05 am

    People are so freakin’ creative and resourceful! I can’t get over it!
    The most I’ve ever done is make a rug out of old shirts or remake clothing.
    And the internet is so inspiring for these types of projects. I’ll have to check out their sites.

    [Reply]

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