Category

Recycling

Beer Bottle Cap Patio Table

Easy Pub-style Beer Bottle Cap Mosaic Patio Table

By | Home, Recycling | No Comments

In most regions, you can recycle or return glass bottles, but you need to toss out the bottle caps. That seems like a waste, which is probably a good reason alone to find ways of incorporating them into future DIY projects. For this Imgur user, the bottle cap table top and her favorite pub inspired this beer bottle mosaic patio table.

Using a combination of bottle caps, grout, and an old patio table, you can easily put this project together in an afternoon. Though, it may take longer than an afternoon to collect the bottle caps.

Tile patio table

Imgur

The user chose a table that already had a tile surface. The existing tile and grout were removed using a rubber hammer. The result is an empty table with a lip around the edges.

Remove tile with a rubber hammer.

Imgur

You could essentially use any table, but it needs a lip for a clean edge. Though, you could use a trowel to even out the edges if you use a table without a lip.

Once the table is ready, you can begin arranging your bottle caps. Lay them out on the table to create your design. After you decide how to arrange your bottle caps, take a picture that you can use for reference.

Arrange the bottle caps on the table surface

Imgur

Next, clear off the table and apply a thick layer of grout. Make sure you follow the instructions to mix the grout properly. Spread the grout across the table. You just need enough to secure the bottle caps in place.

Place the bottle caps on the table, following the design that you chose. Allow the grout to dry overnight.

Arrange beer caps on grout and let dry overnight

Imgur

The next day, apply a thick layer of grout, covering the bottle caps. As you spread the grout, the tops of the bottle caps should slowly begin to appear. You want to add enough grout that the grout reaches the top of the bottle caps without covering them.

Spread grout over bottle caps

Imgur

You can use a sponge to smooth the grout and wipe the tops of the bottle caps clean. Throughout the day, as the grout dries in the sun, use the sponge to keep it smooth and clean off the bottle caps.

Also, when you first place your bottle caps, you should occasionally take a step back from the table to ensure they are evenly spaced. When you are close to an object, it is hard to get a good perspective.

This is a fun and easy project that most people should have no problem completing. It is a two-day project, but you may need to start planning now.

The original poster did not mention how many bottle caps were used, but it would appear to be more than 120 caps. That’s 20 6-packs. One way to get collect caps quickly is to have a cookout and invite a lot of guests. Make sure you let people know that you’re saving their caps.

Use this project to give new life to an old table. If you want an example of how to arrange your bottle caps for your own beer bottle cap mosaic table, you could take a look at the original post on Imgur.

Turn an old entertainment center into a cat hotel!

Keep Shop Cats Safe and Cozy in this DIY Cat Hotel

By | Pets, Recycling | No Comments

No shop team is complete without a few furry helpers! Whether they wander in as strays or follow you to the garage from your house, they like to hang out with you as you tinker away on your projects. So why not create a cozy and safe place for them to enjoy your companionship!

The idea for a cat hotel came from a mother of two young girls after spending their summer volunteering at a local animal shelter. The bond they formed with their new feline friends inspired them to do something special for them to make their time at the shelter feel more like home until the day comes to be adopted into a fur-ever family.

Old, bulky entertainment center from a thrift store.

Photo: Handmade Pretties

With flat screen TVs now hanging on walls, there’s not much need for bulky entertainment centers so they’re easy to find either for free online or inexpensively at a thrift store.

Modifying the entertainment center

Photo: Handmade Pretties

The goal was to create a structure that the cats could sleep and play on so they cut some fun peek-a-boo holes on the sides of the unit with a hand jigjaw and removed one of the bottom doors to open up the small side nooks.

In the large TV area, rather than just add some shelves they decided to give the area more functionality with two posts that not only served as attachment points for cat hammocks but also as scratching posts once wrapped in rope.

Making the scratching posts and cat hammocks

Photo: Handmade Pretties

You can either sew together your own hammocks with fun prints or simply use an old pillow case folded in half. Eye hooks and carabiner clips secure the hammocks against the posts and side walls.

From there you can get as creative as you want with paint and carpet patches to line each cubby. The girls chose a bright lime green color scheme and stenciled fun playroom-themed designs along each surface. The hotel was an instant hit at the shelter the the cats immediately checked-in to their new home and tried out all the play areas!

For more details on building your own cat hotel, check out the write up on Handmade Pretties!

Grill made from an old oil barrel.

This Old Oil Barrel Now Serves Up Some Delicious Grillables

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Every single day millions of oil barrels are produced and disposed of across the planet, most of which end up in landfills where they live the rest of their days contributing to global pollution and posing a serious hazard to our health and the environment. It’s no wonder when you think of oil barrels, it’s the last thing you’d want anywhere near your home. But luckily there’s DIYers like us and njoyard at Imgur who believe even the biggest eye sore can become something blindingly beautiful.

It all started with a red 200L motor oil barrel he found that was obviously used to store fuel from the smell of it. Although it was in great condition, it would need a lot of work before it was ready for a cookout. The first order of business was getting it clean!

He started by pouring sand into the barrel to soak up any remaining fuel and then washed it out with dish soap and water while shaking it vigorously quite a few times. After rinsing it out and letting it dry overnight there was no more traces of fuel.

Cleaning up and stripping the old oil barrel.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Two passes with an orbital sander got most of the red paint off and he finished the entire surface with a steel brush on a drill. Although it made a huge mess and left red dust everywhere, the barrel emerged shiny and ready for the next step: cutting it open.

Cutting out the lid on the oil barrel.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Making straight lines with a marker on a curved surface is not very easy so njoyard found it better to use painter’s tape instead. The hole he cut on the side was 5/16ths (1/4th + 1/16th) of the circumference of the barrel and he left about 2″ of steel on the right and left. Using a jigsaw with lots of lubricant on the slowest speed and lowest pendular setting gave him smooth cuts with barely any force.

Building the table for the grill.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

The grill and lid piece then got two coats of heat-resistant paint. While the paint dried, njoyard began to assemble the wooden frame out of douglas fir and wood screws. Once the frame was complete along with wheels on the legs, it was sanded and stained to bring out the wood’s rich color. The barrel grill laid inside the frame perfectly.

Attaching the hinges and handle for the grill door.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

He then attached the lid piece to the grill with hinges using rivets and added a steel handle to make it easy to open and close.

Completing the inside of the grill.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

For a cooking surface, he used two rectangular grids he found online and secured them side-by-side with 1-inch steel shelf supports.

Adding vent holes to the grill body.

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

He was now in the home stretch with only a few details left before the much anticipated taste test! Air intake holes were drilled on the bottom surface of the barrel so the flame gets oxygen. The lid also wobbled a bit when open so njoyard added some reinforcement strips to give it more rigidity as well as bumper stops so the lid had a resting position when closed instead of collapsing inside the grill. With the thermometer as the finishing touch, this old barrel was now ready to start its new life by churning out some carnivorous delights!

Grilling up some chicken on the new completed grill!

Photo: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Check out more photos and get extra details: njoyard | Barrel Grill | Imgur

Turn hub caps into garden decor.

Blooming Hubcaps Garden Art

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Ugh, hubcaps! Not even your car likes them. Much like those smokin’ hot but uncomfortable stiletto shoes that have no function other than to look good, cars can’t wait to kick them off their feet after being in them for a while. They end up discarded on the side of the road like heels piling up against a wall towards the end of a party.

When Reeves at The Weathered Door kept seeing them along her commute she took up a new sport: hubcapping! To play, keep your eyes peeled while driving and when you see a hubcap, pull over, jump out of the car and grab it. Transforming these abandoned hubcaps into desirable garden art is a great recycling project and displaying them out front is a clever way to say “hey, a car guy/gal lives here so you know we’re awesome.”

How to clean and paint the hub caps.

Photo: Reeves | Hubcapping | The Weathered Door

Having battled the outdoor elements, your hubcaps will probably be covered in dirt and grime so give them a good wash. Sand down the entire surface to smooth down any scratches and to create mechanical adhesion for your paint. Reeves chose really bright colors so they’d stand out against her bushes and mixing up different hubcap shapes will give you some stunning results. You can even add embellishments like gems, beads and other craft store decorations to bring the more plain hubcaps to life.

The stems were just some broken shovel handles she already had and the leaves were made out of wood or foam to make the hubcap flowers look more realistic. Reeves attached the leaves to paint stirring sticks that were then screwed to the stem for extra support.

I could only imagine using some of the more ornate vintage hubcaps for this project, back when they were still made of metal. Time to start my own hubcapping league!

For more details on starting your own hubcap garden: Reeves | Hubcapping | The Weathered Door

DIY tree swing from an old chair.

Turn an Old Chair into a Beautiful Swing

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Like most DIYers, I hate wasting good things. When a piece of furniture breaks, like this dinner chair, it’s often tempting to just throw it out. Instead, Amy at This DIY Life knew it would make the perfect backyard attraction to hang from their old maple tree and be a hit with her nieces and nephews.

Removing the legs and painting the chair was the easy part but hanging it securely from the tree took a little trial and error. It turns out that simply throwing some rope over a tree branch can seriously damage the tree. Luckily, one of the experts at This Old House had helped another reader with this same dilemma.

How to hang a swing from a tree.

Amy | Just-a-Swingin’ | This DIY Life

The first step is to find a strong branch at least 8 inches in diameter where the swing can hang at least 3 feet from the trunk. But hanging your swing too far out overstresses the branch and it could eventually snap off so keep it closer to the base. Use 5/8-inch or larger stainless steel eye bolts and drill holes through the limb to install them. Secure your eye bolts with a large washer and 2 nuts. The second nut locks the first one into place. You’ll need a thimble to tie a “bowline” knot to the eye bolt.

Modifying the chair to hang from the tree.

Amy | Just-a-Swingin’ | This DIY Life

The next step is securing the rope to the chair so it swings in a stable manner. Amy’s husband drilled 2 holes through the top of the chair’s back, 2 on the back of the seat that matched the ones on the chair back and 2 on the front of the seat. Pull the rope through the holes until the chair is 1-2 feet off the ground and tilt the chair back so it is reclined a bit. Amy discovered that without a bit of a recline the chair tips forward and you slide right off. Tie a large knot on each rope under the chair and cut off the excess.

For less than $30, Amy and her husband created a one-of-a-kind piece for their backyard and share fond memories every summer. The adults even manage to get their turn on the swing too!

For more details and photos: Amy | Just-a-Swingin’ | This DIY Life

Grill made out of car wheels.

Redneck Car Rim BBQ

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

If you have an impressive junk pile …err …treasure pile, chances are there’s a spare set of wheels buried somewhere inside that trove. Why spend beaucoup bucks on a grill or fire pit when you have everything you need to build your own and wow your friends with a one-of-a-kind piece.

Cut off matching rectangles on the backside of each wheel so that when you join them together it creates a hole where you can put your logs or charcoal. Put the wheels on top of each other back-to-back and weld the back sides together and you’re ready to use it as a fire pit or stove! To unlock its full grilling potential cut a circular piece of metal mesh to lay on top to hold your delicious steaks, hot dogs and other carnivorous delights.

Redneck BBQ grill

thumb nail ranch | Youtube

Teeter totter made from an old tire.

Smiley-Face Tire Totter

By | Outdoor, Play, Recycling | No Comments

You know, like a teeter totter only with a tire! This lovable playground toy is easy to make with just a tire, wood board, handles and fasteners but decorating and painting it becomes fun for the whole family.

If you don’t have a tire lying around you can get one from your local service shop (most likely for free). The larger the diameter of the tire, the more range of motion you’ll get. For the totter board, Mark at My Fix it Up Life used a 2″x6″x8″ length of Western Red Cedar available at his local home improvement store along with the other items you’ll need.

Be extremely careful when cutting your tire in half. Wear safety glasses and heavy gloves because there are steel belts that run inside the rubber that can cut you. Mark used a 4 1/2-inch angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel to get the job done and wedged the cut areas open as he went along with a wood shim or multitool so the cutting disc doesn’t get pinched between the rubber surfaces. Drill a few holes on the bottom of the tire half you’re keeping to allow water to drain.

The totter board is supported by a totter plate which sits inside the tire and is fastened with 1-inch flathead screws. Mark then used two 1/2-inch deck screws to secure the totter board to the totter plate. For the eyes, he used old raquet balls cut in half with a utility knife.

It’s best to paint the individual components prior to assembly and you can choose your own colors, patterns and animal inspirations. For instance, Mark painted the inside of the tire red so it looks like a mouth, the totter plate white to look like teeth and the eyes simply complete the look. If it were painted green instead of blue then it would probably look more like a frog – you get the idea.

For detailed step-by-step instructions check out: Mark | My Fix It Up Life

Turn Your Bulky Old TV Console into a Vintage Pet Motel

By | Pets, Recycling | No Comments

Remember those clunky, boxy television sets? They were so heavy that once you set it down it was easier to rearrange all your furniture in the room around it rather than have to move it again – I guess that’s how the “point everything at the TV” design craze happened.

But old school TVs were more than just electronics in a box – some with their simulated wood grain patterns, cool knobs and dials, and even decorative cabinetry were as much a part of your decor as your couch, drapes and coffee table. Because of their cool design and the fond memories of childhood they bring, a lot of DIYers are coming up with clever alternative uses for these old entertainment beasts.

Gutting the inside isn’t hard. A screwdriver, needle nose pliers and wire cutters should be most of what you need. Be careful removing the actual monitor though – it has a picture tube (CRT – cathode ray tube) coming out of the back that looks like a large light bulb and a heavy cable going into the side of it. Even if the TV has been unplugged for years the tube could still hold a charge that can give you quite a jolt.

Most often there won’t be a charge but better safe than sorry so it’s best to discharge the CRT. To do so, take a length of insulated wire, touch one end to the metal chassis and the other to where the cable connects to the picture tube. Be sure to slide the wire all the way under the sleeve that protects the cable until you touch metal. If there is a charge you’ll hear a pop. Make sure to hold the wire by the insulation!

You can use this same method with screwdrivers for a better grip. Connect one alligator clip to a flathead screwdriver and ground it. Connect the other alligator clip to another screwdriver and slide it under the sleeve until you hit metal. Hold the screwdrivers by their plastic handles!

With the tube now discharged you can cut all the wires connected to it and remove the rest of the electronics. Dispose of the monitor/tube properly by taking it to your local recycler. Now decorate the TV to match your furbaby’s personality!

Check out these pet beds and mini-rooms created from upcyled old TV consoles. Don’t have one lying around anymore? They’re pretty easy to find. Get one on the cheap at your local thrift store or at a yard sale, or even nab one for free off Craigslist!

Turn a Used Washing Machine Drum into a Fire Pit

Make a Fire Pit From Your Old Washing Machine Drum

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

You know the saying? One man’s washing machine drum is another man’s retro-chic fire pit? Well, close enough. While renovating their home in San Francisco, Joe and Sarah weren’t happy with all the generic-looking fire pits available at the big box stores when it came to decorating the patio – and anything cool and unique was out of their budget.

With $10 and an angle grinder, they put their newly-acquired home improvement skills to work by turning a discarded washer drum into a resort-style fire pit that put a lot of the store-bought ones to shame. It turns out that the drum is a perfect container because the small holes not only allow oxygen to flow more easily but it makes a beautiful pattern of light on the wall.

What You’ll Need

  • Washing machine drum (you can pick up a used one from an appliance store for around $10)
  • Angle grinder
  • Wire brush, cut-off wheel and sanding disc
  • Angle-stock and flat-stock steel (optional – for making feet)
  • High-heat paint
  • Safety glasses
Strip plastic off washing machine drum

House & Fig

Strip the drum of all its meltable components including the plastic rim and base. Grind or sand off any remaining sealer. Joe and Sarah also removed the center spindle but that’s optional.

DIY Fire Pit - Prep the drum for paint

House & Fig

Cutting off the metal lip that was previously covered by the plastic rim will give your pit a more polished look and erase all traces of what it did in its previous life. Smooth out sharp cuts or jagged edges with a grinder.

Finish prepping the drum by taking a wire brush to all those years of built up soap scum around the outside. If you plan on painting your drum, scuff the entire surface inside and out with sandpaper to create a fresh surface for the new paint to adhere to.

DIY Fire Pit - Welding Steel Feet

House & Fig

Joe fabricated some steel legs and welded them to the base so it was off the ground a bit but this isn’t necessary depending on the surface the fire pit will sit on. Spray the drum with high-heat paint in multiple light coats allowing each coat to dry until you achieve an even color. Although it’s tempting to use thick coats on such a large object, using thin coats on a contoured surface will give you a more even finish and minimize drips.

Now throw some logs and lighter fluid in it and roast those s’mores!

$10 DIY One Hour Upcycled Firepit | House & Fig

Cut your old tires to add traction to slippery steps

Add Traction to a Set of Stairs with Old Tires

By | Outdoor, Recycling | No Comments

Are your tires no longer passing the penny test? Although they don’t have enough of tread to grip the road like they used to, there’s still plenty left to give your metal or wooden outdoor stairs some extra traction – especially when wet. Cut the tread part of your old tires into rectangular sheets and screw or nail them down for “no-slip” stairs.

Photo: Nyssa