Archive for the ‘White Trash with a Purpose’ Category

The box is one of our tools as well as a repurposed item. Surprisingly enough, it is a relatively inexpensive item to make. Here is the run down.

prepping the seedling box

You will need;
We have very little money into this box, most of the things acquired where given to us, or we had laying about.
3 1/2 sheets of plywood
We had 4 sheets of 3/8 plywood 6 feet tall given to us (one reason for the shape of the box) 1 for the front, 1 for the back and 1/2 for each side, and 1/2 for the top.

2x4s in the corners and across the top

You can use a variety of light sources or heat mats with low light water bed heater, just keep the air moving so you don’t turn your box into an oven. We run 400 watts in ours using a grow light

1x material

reclaimed door hinges, screwshinges

A reclaimed squirrel cage squirrel cageand dryer vent, and metal coffee can help vent out the heat so we don’t scorch our plants. A small fan that can be turned on to regulate any heating issues, and keeps the carbon dioxide levels up by exchange old air for new. The height helps with temp regulations as well.

Mylar or anything reflective is used on the walls and the doors (glossy white house paint works, and is the cheapest of all the materials that could be used unless you have stuff laying about that you could use). The reflective stuff is used for light refraction, keeps the light bouncing around the box, maximizing your lumins.

Drip trays are need for any condensation or over watering.

What to do:

Split one sheet of plywood in 1/2 for the doors. door the 1/2 sheet of plywood for the top. This gets you the basic box. In one side cut a hole that you metal coffee can can sit in. vent with coffee canMount the squirrel cage in the opposite corner, attaching the dryer vent to the cage and to the coffee can. Mount the fan on the same side but different corner of your coffee can.fan

Then use 1x material for the door seem over lap and the hinge mountings on the doors. Attach the doors. Use your reflective material either before you put it together (as in the paint) or after (as in the Mylar). Hang the lamp.

We also use two reclaimed floor vents that have been placed on the bottom sides (either side) to help with air circulation.

Dimensions of our box is 6 foot by 4 feet wide 34 inches deep. and hidden behind our bedroom door (so don’t give me that, I don’t have the room). Using the egg cartons we have 264 seedlings, if we used the seedling flats, we could have close to 500 seedlings in our available space (egg cartons were readily available at this time).

1st day seeds

You can scale the box way down, we just used what we had instead of chopping everything up. 4x2x4 can be accomplished with 2 sheets a plywood, doing seed flats. (they are about 1ft wide 2 ft long)

You can do this in the corner of your garage, just make sure the temperature is regulated, between 80-90 f

Picture 319
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Re-purposing!

Posted: May 10, 2011 by hopejoyandfaithfarm in Around the Homestead, White Trash with a Purpose

Okay, I have something to admit to all of you. If I had the money (and a good farm store) I would like to go out occasionally and buy what I needed. I wouldn’t have to wrap my mind around how to make something that I want out of something that I already have. I love being frugal, but sometimes it gets old. Of course, I’m a wee bit cranky today after trying to work my budget, so I’ll get over that attitude soon.

I do believe it’s okay to re-use something intended for one thing for another use. For example, the paper box shown below (picked up from over a bank after a month of watching it sit there getting dirty and muddy) has been turned into a receptacle in the garden for a holder for gloves, hand tools and odds & ends of gardening paraphernalia.


I would really like to get a regular plastic mailbox with a door on it to hang out in the garden, but that is not something I need.  It’s just something I want.

Next would be this item:

I am a leader of a 4-H livestock club and a couple of years ago I had some boys showing poultry at our local fair.  One of the things that they are supposed to use to show the bird is a show stick.  The ones for sale are $18.99 and we have to order them.  The boys were going to bring small dowels and forgot them.  Of course, no trees around the fairgrounds to break limbs from.  What to do? I sat and thought for a moment, looking around our little “club” area.  Eureka! A lightbulb went off above my head, I swear.  I grabbed this:

borrowed a pocketknife and sawed the bottom off. Voila’ a show stick.  And, if you prefer a different color, just check the closet.

Last but not least, I have been working on our bug-out bags and supplies for tsunami/earthquake preparedness.  I wanted to make sure we had matches to go with the firestarters I made from egg cartons and line.  They are relatively cheap, I found them for $1.95 on-line, and I may order them at some point, just to be sure my matches will stay dry.  But, in the meantime, I used these:

They are prescription bottles with childproof lids.  I am sure they are not 100% waterproof, but will work well in a pinch.  I save all sorts of containers in a cupboard, and had enough saved up to have one for each bag, along with the striker portion of the box.  I miss the “strike-anywhere” matches.  They are hard to find.

There are lots of re-uses for different objects.  What are some of yours?

I am working on a really great project from a huge shipping crate I got next to a college dumpster. Its not finished yet so that project will be next Wednesdays post. Until then I will share some of my favorite links of some very awesome trasy ladies! Check them out and see all the fantastic things they make from other peoples trash and be sure and tell them Peggy sent you.

Gail from Repurposed Life has lots and lots of projects from trash finds. You can spend days just drooling over her archives. Go on check it out but be sure and save time to visit Rose over at Confessions of a Curbshopaholic. She has a post up right now about her dogs but please scroll on down and see the most unique and beautiful things she makes from trash. She loves to travel around the neighborhood and pick up things people put by the curb. I have gotten lots of ideas from her and spend hours just going through her archives and dreaming and making notes. These two ladies make me want to become even more trashy than I already am! So please check them out and have a look see. I promise you won’t be disappointed and I bet you come away with some new projects you just can’t wait to get started on yourself.

Reusing Food Containers

Posted: April 21, 2011 by txmarina44 in Crafts, Kids, White Trash with a Purpose

Living out here, I can’t easily run to the store for plastic containers for the food I want to keep fresh. And, our waste service does not include any sort of recycling. Whenever I finish with a good-sized, sound, plastic or even tin+cardboard container, I keep it for reuse for another food (having given it a thorough scrubdown first, of course).
Back when I was blending my own fruit yogurts for my boy (before we discovered his lactose intolerance), I saved the larger (32 oz.) containers for the various snacks he consumed, and after we started treating his gluten intolerance, they came in handy for the various alternative baking ingredients. One currently holds his animal crackers, and a few others have powdered milk (these are from the dairy days–husband used it in bread machine baking–and need to be emptied). Since we haven’t baked bread in forever, I’ll easily find something else to fill them. I used the single-serve yogurt containers to pack boy’s lunch components in when they still had lids–now that most brands use foil or plastic film, they’re mostly good only for bathtime/water table play. Anyway, I never had to worry about whether or not they returned home (my boy, at age 3, would often forget, and throw them away). Since they hadn’t been an investment, their loss wasn’t as hard to stomach.
I’m a huge fan of Ghirardelli chocolate–it’s part of our family history–it doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup as the sweetener. Their hot cocoa tins are perfect for storing pre-bagged teas that would normally fade in their boxes. I’ve used my girl’s baby cereal tins to store smaller bags of pasta, like stars and alphabet letters. I have old, larger, powdered iced tea tins that are currently storing small craft projects and materials.
Altoid (or other hard candy) tins are popular with the smoking crowd–most of my camping friends always have one on hand to safely stash their butts. I have one in my purse to store the points stickers from our local grocery store for the kids to save up for the cooler prizes. Also, I have a friend who makes micro-altar art pieces with them as the base. I’m rolling around an interpretation of my own in my head. Y’all will be the first to know if I manage to make something documentable.

Anyone remember film canisters? Although not from, nor for, food, I have several in my sewing kit which hold such things as buttons retrieved from worn-beyond-donating clothes, safety pins, and bobbins. I used to keep one full of quarters in my purse when I used to park in downtown Austin often enough to justify maintaining that stash.

Workbook rack

Posted: April 7, 2011 by txmarina44 in Kids, White Trash with a Purpose
Tags: ,

Yesterday, peggylynn showed us how she converted a yard implement display into a dish drainer/storage rack. I was stuck for what to post (I won’t be able to start my next project until tomorrow, when I can get supervision). and I took a tour around my house to see what was my most creative yet simple repurposed item. I found what I needed in my living room: I’d taken my old dishrack (which hadn’t fit well over our double sink) and used it to store my boy’s various workbooks, folders of coloring pages, and portfolios. The wires that would normally hold up dishes are perfect for keeping things upright, and it’s easy to read the spines and grab the one we need.

Of course, this begs a few questions: why do we need so many workbooks for a kindergartener? and, why not use a bookshelf? Adding more bookshelves to the house is no longer an option (and those we have now are jam-packed); I’ve moved half of them out and my husband still complains about the ones that remain. As I’ve mentioned in my intro, my son was identified at 2 1/2 as having special needs (autism, severe language delay). His special ed preschool program was very heavy on paperwork. Their focus was educational and not social, so they had him doing seatwork instead of playing with others who could model proper social behavior and creative use of toys. So, in addition to making up for the lack of neurotypical peers, we also had to reinforce and build on extending his focus and attention span for activity pages and sequence projects (commonly passed off as art/crafts) whenever he had a break from school (weekends and seasonal breaks). Gathering everything into one portable yet accessible container makes it easy for us to change the workspace venue when necessary (during sister’s naptime, we head out to the picnic table on the side patio). Even when we build the actual classroom/therapy space, I’m sure we’ll keep the dish drainer for its new purpose.