John and I spent last Saturday stomping around one of the nation's largest outdoor antique fairs again, and our sinuses still haven't recovered. Something between the dust and the trees and the 85 degrees (if you please, mon amis) has our allergies intent on destroying both us and everything within sneeze-blast-radius. Bleh.
Still, it was super fun. I've mentioned Renninger's Antique show before, because with over a hundred acres of the best junk ever, it's like shopping in a giant interactive museum. Plus there's live music and bad-for-you food and old toys and stuff, so do your worst, allergies. (Oh wait, you did.) (ACHOO!)
Blurry aerial view of Renninger's. It's massive, and extends way out into the trees on the right.
We had a relatively small haul this round:
That's a $3 toy blimp I hope to clean up (wouldn't it be a cute Christmas ornament?), and the most ridiculously fancy candy dish I've ever seen. It's heavy and the glass is cool and it cost $10, though, so yeah, no-brainer.
You're going to judge me for these next two, but I'm OK with that:
I can't help it, you guys: I LOVE THIS CHEESY OWL ART. We'll hang it next Christmas for our Potter party. The seller threw in the little statue for free (we paid $15), which'll get a painted makeover later.
Anyhoo (get it? HOO?), getting to the actual point of this post, I spotted some nifty upcycling ideas out at Renninger's. Check this out:
John and I both went moon-eyed over this metal-and-glass cloche. It's massive, and was in one of the nicer tents, so we were sure it would be hundreds of dollars. Turned out, less than 50. Why? Because it wasn't originally a cloche; it was a hanging light fixture the seller just turned upside down.
Tell me you're not going to look at light fixtures in a whole new light from now on. Pun intended.
(We didn't buy it because we have nowhere to display it - remember my clutter-management rules? Broke our hearts a bit, I'll be honest.)
Next, you've probably seen wind chimes made with old silverware, but this seller took the idea a step further, and incorporated silver teapots:
Hard to see, but there are crystal drops leading from the spot to a lily made of spoons, with the chimes (which are more spoons and forks) hanging from the flower's stem.
I love the crystal water stream - so clever! - and the cutlery chimes sound surprisingly sweet.
These things are impossible to photograph, but here are two more designs:
No one uses fancy silver pitchers and sugar bowls anymore, so I am LOVING this idea! It takes something out from the cabinet and gets it out in the open where you can appreciate it.
This last upcycle idea is all me, so lemme see what you guys think:
These metal clock cases are somewhat common, and also seem to be pretty cheap (I paid less than $10 for this one), so I started brainstorming ways to use them.
At first I figured pocket watch display - which you could still do - but it's a very deep case, so it's dark inside. So then I started thinking about ways to light it up.
After some scrounging and experimenting with things I already had around the house, I ended up with this:
An illuminated display for tiny treasures!
This is ridiculously easy, too: all I did was wind a battery operated LED string light into a circle and arrange it inside. There are two inner rims where the clock used to be, and those help keep the wires in place:
The case has a removable metal plate on the bottom, so I had John cut a notch on the edge for the wire to feed through.
My LED battery pack is too big to fit inside the clock base, but just barely, so I bet another strand might fit. Still, it's nice having the pack outside, so you can turn it on and off easier.
Next I found that long brass piece (I think it was part of a candlestick) in my junk bin to use as a display stand. I stuck it down inside the case with poster tack, so nothing is permanently attached.
The crystal seahorse was actually a gift from one of you readers (Hi, Hannah!), and look how sparkly with all these lights on it! (The seahorse is also stuck down with a little glob of poster tack, though I really should buy some Museum Putty instead.)
These LEDs are almost too bright in the dark, but that just adds to the drama, right?
I kind of like the exposed wires, too; it adds to the steampunk/industrial vibe, and keeps it from being TOO fussy. Right? I think? Maybe?
At this point I'm just adding pictures because I think they're pretty.
I'll stop now.
Have you guys ever tried upcycling old junk or antiques? Share your wisdom in the comments!
Also, I'm still waiting to hear from 2 of the 3 winners I announced last week, so if you entered the art drawing, be sure to check to see if you won!