wood, brass, copper, steel, foam, fabric, hot glue, spray paint
Last Christmas, a friend was over and sat in a metal and wood frame chair in our living room. The chair was old and our friend was heavy. The chair collapsed under him. He felt terrible, but we assured him that it was not a big deal. I almost disposed of the chair by the curb, but thought I might be able to salvage some materials from it. A couple of weeks later, I completely dismantled it. I pulled the faux leather and canvas cover off. I extracted all hardware. I separated the metal frame from the wood frame. I discovered a treasure trove of useful items.
The canvas has since been stretched over a frame and used for a painting project. The hardware, metal frame, and faux leather pad are still waiting to be resurrected, but I knew exactly how I would repurpose the wood.
My jewelry case had exploded into chaos. Necklaces were tangled together and chains were full of knots. Earrings were buried in piles. I had been wanting to make a hanging jewelry organizer for a while, but I wasn't sure how I would go about it. That is, until the gift of the broken chair was dropped in my lap. The remaining wood slats were the perfect size and shape.
I then scavenged in the garage for some chain. When my boyfriend's grandfather passed, my boyfriend inherited his entire workshop. They, like me, saw the value in keeping everything...just in case. It didn't take me long to locate the perfect length of chain. Not only did it have an interesting shape and some aging for character, but the openings would make perfect resting points for the screws in the sides of the slats. This helped to allow for the different elements to be organized in a multitude of arrangements.
I dug through my foam collection (yes, I have an entire shelf dedicated to foam) and rummaged through my bin of fabric. I knew that I had some crushed velvet in my favorite color that would be the perfect soft backer to protect my jewelry. I cut some foam to size and adhered the fabric with hot glue.
In the end, I did purchase some metallic spray paint and two sizes of small brass hooks. The rest of the piece is made from objects we had saved or salvaged. Even the copper ring at the top was a wire scrap from one of my boyfriend's old electrical projects. In today's world, we throw so many things away. It takes only a moment – and perhaps a little imagination – to recognize the value in the objects around us.