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A Fresh Beginning: The new year brings opportunities to turn something old into something new

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(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)
(Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

BY DAVID WALLACE | PHOTOS BY SARAH A. MILLER | Jan/Feb 2017

Five years ago, IN Magazine’s story “Subterranean Style” featured four pages of beautiful photos of art and furniture made from repurposed items in my basement home.

I love giving people a tour of my home. I point out the pot rack over the kitchen island that started out as a fluorescent light fixture and the huge 8-foot dining table that was created from a small computer desk and is topped with a piece of plywood and painted to resemble marble.

I created the French provincial desk in my office from two small end tables and a hollow-core door. I created the curio cabinet from another discarded end table, a wooden box and two old cabinet doors.

The list of remakes goes on and on. I love it.

The magazine feature was the beginning of my pursuit of happiness: showing others how to easily give old and discarded items a fresh start. Repurposing items never gets old.

Someday, I’m going to compile the projects I have done for IN into a book and call it “In Another Life.” I will show the finished piece and ask readers to guess what it started as.

THE PROJECT

In this issue, I’m repurposing a tall director’s chair into a really nice tray stand and creating a serving tray to go with it. Given to me by a friend, the chair originally was a cheap promotional item from a brewery.

The chair stands about 30 inches tall, which is the perfect height for a table. All I really had to do was remove the hardware that held the arms to the seat. It also was easy to remove the canvas seat.

For the tray, you can use a large tray that you already have or make one. To create my tray, I took a large picture frame and removed the glass that was in the frame. Using the glass as a template, I cut a thin piece of wood to the exact size I needed and slid the wood back into the frame. I applied glue to firmly hold the wood and frame together.

To create handles, I cut a wooden closet rod into two 18-inch pieces and, using wood glue, positioned them on the shorter sides of the frame. To securely attach the handles, I inserted two screws on each side. I went through the frame and into the handles.

You can paint the tray any color. This is an opportunity to be creative. Apply an acrylic sealer to protect the tray from spills.

Now, really, wasn’t that easy?

The tray stand is similar to the type used by servers in restaurants when delivering food to diners. It is very strong, lightweight and folds shut.

Topped with the tray, it becomes a side table or television tray table.

Repurpose, remake, recycle and reuse. It’s kind of like reinvention or reincarnation — or like the fresh beginning of a new year.

About Haley Holcomb

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