I am a fortunate woman. I have a husband who is willing to make items for me (usually…..after a space of time). He is even willing to use old things and help me repurpose them into something else. I think he might be willing to do this because he likes the thought of making things that are useful and don’t cost a bunch.
My recipe box is a case in point. It started out life as a baseboard in a home that was later abandoned. After getting permission from the owner, my husband and I removed some of the woodwork and hauled it home.
Some of the woodwork has been repurposed and used in our upstairs bedrooms. I love the old wood work. I love the wide old boards and the ornate corners and all the beautiful details those craftsmen of years past put into it.
Every so often I see a project on Pinterest or in a shop that I really really like. The price often deters me from purchasing. My brain, having a little conversation with itself, also deters me from purchasing.
Me: Wow! Isn’t that just so cool!
Me 2: Yeah that is cool…..what does it cost?
Me: (looking at price tag) Whoa!!! No wonder it is so cool.
Me 2: Hmmmmm…… I bet I have stuff to make that in the schoolhouse.
Me: Yeah, you might be right.
Me 2: Of course I’m right.
Me: Think the husband can be talked into making this?
Me 2: Maybe…… Get a picture or make a drawing.
At this point I am hoping there are more of you out there who hold conversation with yourself. It would be a comfort to know I am not alone in this!
Upon arriving home (full of enthusiasm); I show my idea to my husband. He gets a rather pained expression (sometimes) but is usually a pretty good sport about it. It is fun to venture to the schoolhouse that is on our place and dig through stacks of architectural salvage to see what I can use for that particular project. It kind of makes me feel like a cross between American Pickers and Indiana Jones.
My recipe box was quite simple to make. It only required a small amount of old baseboard. I looked for the painted ones that were beginning to peel and had the old green paint showing underneath. My husband cut it for me and assembled it and then I proceeded to paint the raw edges to match the peeling portions.
I painted the inside with leftover paint from other projects. I did seal it with some polyurethane varnish as I am not sure about that old paint. I put two layers of the varnish on to thoroughly seal it and keep it from peeling any further.
I then dug through my ribbon stash to dress up the outside. I also put little rubbery self adhesive things on the bottom corners. We made my Recipe box big enough to hold the 4×6 sized recipe cards and is a great replacement for the cardboard box I had been using to hold my recipes.
There is something quite satisfying about taking what others would toss and turning it into something useful again. It gives the joy of seeing something worn and used turned into something of value once again. It has the feel of redemption about it.
That recipe box is like a small life lesson just sitting on my countertop. Without using any words it is a reminder that there is value in a life that is worn, weary and seemingly at it’s end. There is a beauty in the life well-lived and repurposed. There is value and redemption when grace is extended.
“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
― Francis of Assisi