Tag Archives: Freecycle

It’s May show and tell time!

A number of nice, free or cheap things have come my way in the last month and I’d like to share them with you. I always loved show & tell in grade school and well, I still do. I figured I’d pack a bunch into one post.

I lucked into these Sloggers rain boots in my size at the small local church thrift store. Sloggers is a U.S. brand that makes oh-so-cute rain boots and garden shoes. I already had some I bought from Amazon. They have nice thick treads and since I don’t have a car and walk a lot  I wear them often. This particular pattern is one I’ve covetously eyed and knowing their usual price, I didn’t mind paying a modest $5 for a second hand pair, ones which are perfect for spring/summer in this beautiful pastel shade.

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Last week I saw what I thought was trash in the street and I was going to get it out of the roadway (doing a good deed natch) but when I got closer I saw it was two Holmes window fan boxes with fans inside. I wasn’t optimistic that they’d work but I took one home to see and lo and behold it was a working fan so I fetched the other one. My best guess is they’d been left on the curbside but the grass cutters mowing a “common” area had knocked them into the street. It was odd there wasn’t a “FREE” sign on them; if I hadn’t picked them up they’d likely have gone to the landfill because who expects random roadside appliances to work?? Especially when they appear to be trashed boxes.

They were really dirty, especially one, so I had to take it apart, even breaking a small, unimportant piece in order to clean it but I looked online and these sell for $40 each at Target so not such a bad deal. Not only are they digital but they have a reversible “exhaust” feature.

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I paid $2 at a community school yard sale for these Levis 314 “shaping straight” size 29 jeans. The people were nice enough to let me take them into a close-by building to try them first and they were perfect.

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Someone tossed out a small set of drawers. The drawers were cheaply made and I didn’t want them but the solid metal drawer pulls were great so I only took them. This isn’t typically something I’d do particularly if I think it’ll render an item useless for the next potential grabber (I once didn’t take an IKEA bed frame because I only wanted it for the lumber and it seemed right to leave it for someone needing a bed, only to later learn from another person that a fellow came along after me and took it for the lumber!). However, drawer pulls are easy enough to procure so I didn’t feel too guilty.

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I set them in the dish drain to take the picture to show you

I’m not sure what I’ll do with them; they could be drawer or door pulls or if I attached them to a board I could make a little rack for hanging things.

Someone advertised a large, free glass bowl on line along with other items. I was delighted to be the first person to request it. The bowl turned out to be good quality Anchor Hocking, perfect for making breads. It was great timing because I’ve been looking at large bowls online but thought they were too pricey. Here it is next to a measuring cup to show size.

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I think this next is my favorite. I happened to see this IKEA Poang chair on the local Freecycle group (other than to give stuff away I rarely look at it because the group is very popular and nice items get plenty of replies). For whatever reason though, I saw this listing with a photo about an hour after it went online and somehow I knew this chair was mine. Sometimes I just get those feelings. I was right! The lister contacted me and I picked it up promptly. The cover needed a thorough washing (not dissing the owner; it had been used on a screened porch and abandoned by the previous home owner) and the arm rests needed sanding, both of which I did right away.

It happened that I found a tossed-out IKEA Pello chair several years ago (and after cleaning it and washing the cover of course) I put it in my room. It’s been fine but the white cover gets messy fast and it’s not my favorite shade. I thought I’d swap it for the new chair. However, a Poang chair is a bit larger than the Pello and it seemed too big for my little room. I had an idea: I swapped the covers! Even though each is made for its specific chair they still fit the other. So, here is the Pello chair I already had with the “new” Poang cover.

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After having a plain white chair for years this in-your-face print is a big change but I love it! I put the Poang chair with the white Pello chair cover in the living room. Perfect!

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Let me tell you about these two chairs. When I sit down in either I say, “Oooooohhhh“, close my eyes and promptly start yawning. Either I am too tired or these chairs are quite comfortable. I mean look at that chair above – it even appears to be leaning back & relaxing by itself!

And finally, I just got this ” glider” style bench curbside. You can make it move back and forth with your feet. Or you can just sit there sprawled on its unusual depth. It was kinda blackened when I found it but I scrubbed it up. I “willed” a new bench to come my way because another I’d found and had for many years finally had to get trashed; I’d made several repairs over the years but the wood had deteriorated too much. What’s cool about this one is I could remove the glider mechanism if I wanted and just have a bench. It appears from the bottom of the wood that it sat directly on the ground without protection so I may have to get rid of that part eventually. Benches like this are expensive and I love getting them as freebies.

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think that’s everything – for now.

p.s. The day after I wrote this I found a beautiful 7′ umbrella thrown out for trash. I had to add it to this post!

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Let’s fix up a roadside find!

I took my bike out for a short spin and on my way home, I spied a piece of furniture by the road that hadn’t been there on the way out. At a distance I thought it was a wood chair, which I wasn’t too excited about – wood chairs, broken and not, turn up a lot.

As I drew closer and got a clearer look, I grew more interested. A bench! Ohhh, benches I like. Now, I knew if I wanted it, I’d have to take it right then and there. I have learned my lesson. If you find something you want in a spot 15 miles due East from the Last End of the Earth with no signs of human activity or habitation in sight, and tell yourself, “I’ll come back and get that later,” and go on your (naive) merry way without it, I’ll be damned if when you return, that thing will be GONE, even if prairie dogs and rattlesnakes had to drag it off to their dirt homes.

As found, no wonder they threw it out

As found, no wonder they threw it out


I took a cursory look at the bench and this not being my first rodeo, knew the best option was to get it onto the bike and walk it home from there. I easily picked it up and balanced it on the seat and handlebars (watch and learn kids!). Just as I’d done that a man came biking behind me and said, Would you like a hand with that? I can help carry it as far as I’m going. Ha ha! He really said, That will be hard to take… on a bike. As he continued on by. Yeaaaah. It was already on the bike for starters. And I mean, come on, I’m fairly spry and such, but I was going to ride the bike while carrying a 3.5 foot long bench? Perhaps I could balance a person sitting on the bench with a dog wearing a party hat in their lap, like in the circus, too.

I easily walked the bike/bench the short distance home. Once I got in there, I saw it had a few issues, ones that might have made me disinclined to take it had I noticed them earlier. The front left leg was broken near where it attached to the bottom of the seat, and not cleanly either. A spoke came apart. The seat was unbalanced too, even with a clearly homemade “peg leg” addition to the right front leg. The dull black surface looked like it had been painted with tar.

Although the bench seemed old – both from the state of the wood and techniques used in its design – it did not cry out “valuable antique.” Old but poor workmanship are an odd combination. Plus features: the arms “scroll” under at their ends, the legs taper at their tops and actually go up through holes in the bench seat, the two long slats on the bottom sit in cut-outs in the legs, and each of the nine back spindles taper to a surprisingly skinny and more surprisingly, unbroken 1.5″ diameter.

On the not-so-plus side in addition to the flaws already noted: one armrest visibly turns out and the other turns in, sloppy-looking screws attach the arm rests to the back and seat, the wood is cracking in spots on the seat, and that seat at a depth of 13.5″ is very shallow for sitting. The bench would offer a few challenges, but this is the kind of project I really enjoy. I get to be analytical – solving the problems – and I get to be creative – making it purty.

First, I used Shoe Goo, the best glue I had on hand to connect the spoke that came apart and more importantly, reattach the leg to the seat. I pried off the homemade leg additions and pulled out a host of odd nails. I used a white plastic bottle cap to prop up the right front leg. Then I put on a coat of primer; I had just enough left in a can to eke out the job.

"Ghost bench" but still looking better

“Ghost bench” but still looking better


I knew I wanted red and just two days earlier, someone I’d received Freecycle paint from last winter, offered me a quart of “Cabernet Red” which I was delighted to have. Once I started, I thought having the legs and back spindles white would make it more interesting than solid red.
First coat, what a difference!

First coat, what a difference!


Welcomed inside after its second coat

Welcomed inside after its second coat


"Fancified" with cushions I already had. Voila!

“Fancified” with cushions I already had. Voila!