The internet has spawned all sorts of unprecedented creativity and idea sharing. I’m especially interested in the “upcycling” items I’ve seen. I believe “upcycling” is a new word that has been spawned from the internet and refers to taking something old and refurbishing and repurposing it into something new.
I’m nowhere near a being a hoarder. I’m quick to get rid of no longer used, no longer worn items. But, I can get nostalgic and as I grow older, gain a deeper appreciation for well-made, interesting products of yesteryear.
So, this past Fall when I drove by a TV set sitting on the curb of an older home, something possessed me to pull over, back up and take a closer look. The set reminded me of the TV sets my grandparents had in their homes when I was a child.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m a fan of today’s flat screen TVs, thin as an inch and highly defined-we have three in our house.
But, there is something about those old TV sets. The old consoles that were a piece of furniture in family rooms across the US. These were substantial enough to set your drink or dinner on if you had to. Try that on one of these paper thin sets of today!
Still, I drove off thinking, it’s “junk” leave it be and let it go peacefully off to TV heaven. But, a mile down the road, I was compelled to turn around and drive back to it…drawn to it like a magnet.
I parked next to the driveway, looked around a bit cautiously-feeling a little criminally-and quickly hoisted the beastly appliance into the back of my Jeep without “breaking” anything within the TV…or within my spine.
Once it was loaded in, I shut the back and trotted into the front seat and sped off. A check in the rearview mirror confirmed I was getting away, free and clear.
When I arrived home, I asked Meghan to lend me a hand to bring something in the house that “I’d picked up on the side of the road.” She gave me a skeptical look.
Luckily, Meghan is a sport when it comes to these things and has herself “upcycled” several items in her past, some of which are in our house now-our main dresser and TV console.
She agreed the TV set was a pretty cool find but left it up to me to find storage and a purpose?
With our large basement that wasn’t a problem, but I needed to find a use for it. It, not surprisingly, was dead-which was fine considering I didn’t think it would supplant any of our current TVs for viewing.
A search on the internet revealed a few ideas, but not as many as I thought there might be. The main ones were removing the screen and tubing and replacing it with an aquarium. Cool, but we weren’t interested in having one or owning fish.
Another option was to make it a lighted bar. Seeing as we have a toddler, having a low set, accessible item with tons of glass and bottles, didn’t sound like a smart move.
One more had the screen and tubing replaced to create a cat bed. Uhh, no. Our cat, Emmitt, has too many places to sleep around our house already.
I decided I wanted our son Cash to interact with it. I liked the juxtaposition of old and young.
An original-at least as far as I know-idea surfaced in my brain–I’d paint the screen with magnetic paint and convert the set into a magnetic board on which Cash could use his colorful magnets!
I pitched the idea to Meghan. She was actually impressed and told me to go for it.
So, I bought the paint, had the brushes and tape and went to work. The magnetic paint is cool but really thick, so I had to stir it with a one inch thick piece of scrap wood I had in the workshop.
So, over the course of a couple nights after work, I painted on layers, waiting for each one to dry, and reapplying.
After six coats, I decided to bring in a trial magnet…and it stuck easily and cleanly!
I ripped off the painting tape, scratched out few errant paint dots and I was on to my last step, insisted upon by my wife…to clean “the crap out of it!”
I scrubbed and sprayed and scrubbed and exactoknifed and buffed and wirecutted and pounded anything else that protruded…and finally, my upcycle was complete!
But, the real test of my success would be if Cash would want to use it or not.
When you’re only halfway to success, you still succ!
I’m pretty sure that I just invented that phrase. Anyone know how I can start making and marketing T-shirts, coffee mugs and bumper stickers?!
Anyway, you may know from last week’s article https://wordpress.com/post/wisconsindadger.com/1715
how much Cash enjoys touch screens. This was taking that to a different level!
I set it up in his baby cave and let him loose. He passed through the valley of his toy mountains and went straight to this newest playroom addition.
He sat up…and immediately started moving magnets off, on, and around the screen!
As I watch Cash play, I feel good that I gave this TV set a new purpose.
Just like my family has given me.