Recently at the Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market Blog, we discussed the antiques part of the shop's name. Today, we're going to explore the second part, the repurposed part!
Repurposed items are those which are now used in a manner unintended by the original maker. It could be as simple as where you position an item. For example, place an antique iron at the door and now the iron serves as a doorstop. It could be as easy as a new way to use the item. An example of this sort of repurposing would be placing a vintage wooden ironing board behind the sofa and, voila! you now have a "new" console table.
Repurposing can also involve altering the item somehow. It could be as fun as painting and stenciling that old wooden ironing board to create a rustic sign for the family's laundry room. Or, a bit more complicated, turning that boring old cocktail table into clever, eye-catching seating.
When things are creatively repurposed or reused, the process is often called "upcycling." Upcycling is a bit like recycling -- only instead of melting down things like glass and plastic to reproduce more of the same (more or less), upcycling transforms undesired objects into desired ones.
It could be as traditional as dying and embellishing clothing and textiles to hide spots. It could be as practical as repainting and reupholstering to freshen up the furniture. It could be as simple as using mismatched china cups, glassware, and ceramic bowls as planters.
It could be as crafty as converting balls of thread and old glass cigar holders into little vases, turning an old sewing drawer into a decorative wall-mounted version, or stitching those fabric scraps into whimsical decor items.
Repurposing and upcycling can also be a bit more challenging...
Rescued, reclaimed, and found pieces can be combined to make new creations. Glass and crystal pieces are refashioned into solar lights. Cast iron sewing machine legs proudly carry new shimmering tabletops. Those unplayable vintage vinyl records play a new tune when turned into clocks & coasters.
And then there are times when repurposing is taken to new levels.
Such as when old film cameras become lamps -- complete with lampshades made with vintage film slides. When this is done, the items are often considered to be altered artworks. Like folk art, altered art pieces are works which have value far beyond their components.
Whether you call it repurposed, upcycled, or altered art, the reuse of "junk" is not only better for our environment in terms of lessening the loads taken to landfills, but also reduces the consumption of fresh raw materials and therefore means reductions in energy usage and pollution. Just as it is with buying vintage, buying repurposed items made from the normally discarded bits and bobs of this world is good for the planet.
If you're the crafty sort who is inspired by the ideas you see at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market, in home decor magazines, on Pinterest, etc., F.A.R.M. has all sorts of supplies for you!
DIY fans will enjoy picking through salvaged architectural pieces, looking for just the right old door to turn into a headboard, the picture perfect window to frame family portraits, and the properly weathered boards and patina colored metal sheets to complete that project.
There are smaller finds too...
Vintage aprons and hankies just waiting to be sewn into sunny kitchen curtains. Vintage chenille bedspreads to turn into adorable stuffies and comfortable pillows. Vintage drawers and enamelware pieces for centerpieces and small garden planters. Old glass bottles ready to be vases... So many pieces to play with!
And, of course, F.A.R.M. carries Cottage Paint so you can refresh and rescue and refreshen your existing furniture, cabinets, frames, signs, and more!
Come on in F.A.R.M. -- find unique decor for you home and be inspired!