How To

10 Clever Questions To Ask Before Repurposing An Item

June 18th, 2018

If you have ever been thrifting before, you probably found a lot of things you liked but didn’t need.

Have you ever thought about repurposing those items to make something else? You may love the color or design of an item but not necessarily need it.

With a few changes, you can justify buying it and put something you love in your home. You can even gift your creations to others. Before you pass up a good thrift buy, ask yourself these questions.

1. What Does This Item Look Like?

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Home Talk Source: Home Talk

Sometimes, you can get inspiration by looking at the item and determining what else it looks like. Maybe a jar looks like a vase or a dresser looks like a bookcase. Take some time to see the item for what it is and what it could be. You may even want to walk away from it and then come back to it again.

2. Can I Add Something To It?

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Womenosophy Source: Womenosophy

Sometimes, something doesn’t work how it is, but with a few things added to it, it can be something else. Look around for inspiration and see what you can do from one piece to another. You may even have something at home that you can add to the piece you want to repurpose. Something little can go a long way.

3. Can I Take Something Away?

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Just Another Hangup Source: Just Another Hangup

You might look at something and think that it’s a little too over the top or a little too much for what you need. Don’t be afraid to take something away from it. You can take off handles and knobs or peel off paint. When you take things away, you can see an item for what it really is, and you may become more inspired to change it.

4. What If I Turn It Upside Down Or Sideways?

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Gone Thrifting Source: Gone Thrifting

You may not like something the way it looks normally, but what if you can flip it upside down to make it something different? A toddler bed could become a planting station. An old rake could become a utensil holder in the kitchen. Move the item around, flip it over, and think of all the ways you can make it something else.

5. Can I Borrow Or Reuse Pieces Of It?

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Gone Thrifting Source: Gone Thrifting

Maybe you don’t have a use for an entire item but can use some piece from it. Save knobs to use as coat hangers; save the drawers of an old dresser to use them as shelves. The possibilities are endless, and you may find the perfect piece you need to complete a project you already have at home.

6. Can It Carry Or Support Items?

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Gone Thrifting Source: Gone Thrifting

One of the best ways to repurpose items is to turn them into things that can hold other things. Maybe you need a new box to hold photos or you want to turn an old coffee can into a vase. Anything that can hold things can be painted and changed to be made into something else.

7. What If I Made It Taller?

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Stephanie K. Miller Source: Stephanie K. Miller

You can always stack things to make them taller. It could be as simple as taking a dresser apart and stacking each side or adding the components of two different items to make one that is taller. Sometimes, taller items pull attention better and can fit in different places.

8. What If I Made It Shorter?

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Debra Lee Baldwin Source: Debra Lee Baldwin

You don’t always have room for tall items, so remember that you can cut them down and change their shape. Take something tall and cut it in half to make it wider or to make two different items that you can put in different rooms.

9. Can I Hang This On The Wall?

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Love My DIY Home Source: Love My DIY Home

Sometimes, things that aren’t meant to be hung on the wall still look good. Don’t be afraid to hang bigger items or even outdoors items on the walls indoors. You can make some small changes to various pieces and turn them into decorative items that are also useful.

10. What Tools Do I Need To Make This?

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Dr. Dewett Source: Dr. Dewett

Before you get too excited about a project, make sure you have all the tools to do it. When an idea pops into your mind, ask yourself if you have the skillset and tools needed to do the job right. You don’t want to start something and not be able to finish it.

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Source: Thrift Diving