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Trash Diet: Buying Used, Repurposing, and Going Handmade

 It’s week 4 of our trash diet and so far it’s going great.  I’m really proud of the changes we’ve made in our kitchen.  Our garbage pile is shrinking, our recycling pile is growing, and we’re officially a family that composts.  


Now that our kitchen’s looking trim, it’s time to look around the rest of the house for ways to reduce our waste.  One of the things Tom emphasized when he was here was the value of reusing, repurposing, and refurbishing.  With the way kids burn through clothes, toys, and sometimes even furniture, this is a concept any parent of young children should run with.


When looking around my house for a few things to illustrate this point, I realized that S’s nursery is made up ENTIRELY of hand-me-down and refurbished items.  So today I’m going to give you a little tour.  Click through for the goods.


First up is the most essential item in any nursery – the crib.  The thing about cribs is they have a shelf life of two to three years tops.  In my book, that’s way too short to spend a chunk of change on.


We were fortunate enough to inherit this one from my husband’s colleague.  If you’re in the market for a crib, be sure to hit up anyone you know with preschool aged kids.  Odds are they’ll be as excited to get rid of the thing as you are to get a hold of it.

I also made the skirt instead of buying.  I used this no-sew tutorial.  The skirt is great because it easily converts to the right length when baby gets a little older and you lower the mattress.


Next up we have window treatments.  S’s room is fairly small so I decided to replace her standard closet doors with curtains to make it feel a little more spacious.  Instead of buying new, I decided to jazz up a pair of white Pottery Barn curtains that had been packed away since we moved to this house.  This was the very first sewing project I’ve ever tackled and it was as simple as picking out some fabric and sewing it straight onto the curtains.


I really wanted a roman shade in the room for good light control (a must at nap time) and was thrilled to find this super clever DIY.  Can you believe I repurposed a standard blind to make this baby?



A glider is another must in any nursery.  Not only is it perfect for late-night feedings, it also serves as a great place for older kiddos to snuggle up with a book – be it on your lap or all by themselves.  Unfortunately they can also be on the pricey side.  Craig’s List is an excellent source for these guys and you can read all about my adventures buying and recovering mine to match the crib skirt here.


The changing table is a particularly special piece in S’s room.  Not only was it my husband’s changing table as a child, my mother-in-law also painstakingly refinished it for her.  It went from a wood finish with dated hardware to a creamy white beauty.


And last but not least is the ultimate used accessory – a vintage photograph.  It wasn’t until after S was born that we found out she has a great-great(-great?) aunt of the same name.  This photo of her hangs on the wall as a lovely memento of S’s ancestry.


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