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How to give old furniture a new purpose

Scouring flea markets and salvage stores can provide great inspiration for your home, especially if you look at everyday items in a whole new way.

And what licensed contractor Matt Blashaw, host of the DIY Network's "Money Hunters," loves most about his job is finding new ways to re-purpose an old pieces of furniture. On "The Early Show" Thursday morning, he discussed some great ideas on how to save money by re-purposing items.

1. Kitchen Cabinet Toy Chest

Turn a salvaged kitchen cabinet into a great place to store toys.

Discarded cabinets can be found at second-hand or salvage stores and at a low-cost. The back side of the cabinet becomes the bottom of the toy box and the cabinet door becomes the lid. It's simple to outfit the cabinet. Add strips of 1x6 to the back of the cabinet on each end. Then attach casters for mobility. Casters cost about $3 each. Very important - Add a Toy Box Safety hinge so the "lid" stays open when digging for toys. This hinge costs about $4. Add rubber bumpers to the corners at the door opening to prevent pinched fingers. The original top and bottom of the cabinet - which are now the sides of the toy box - needs to be finished off. To give a soft appearance, glue on remnant carpet squares. You can use a fun color. Use a spray adhesive to do this - spray both the box and the carpet and let the glue dry for a few seconds (important to let dry). Then attach the carpet to the box for a strong hold.

2. Door Headboard

Give your bedroom a stylish look without spending a lot of money by converting an old door into a one-of-a-kind headboard. Old doors are available inexpensively at flea markets and salvage yards and can be re-purposed easily to create a headboard. This door cost only $65. To convert the door to a headboard -Trim door to fit the bed size. Raised-panel doors generally have a larger section at the bottom, so trim more from the bottom for a more symmetrical headboard. Remove the hardware then strip and sand it. Add a new coat of paint. Also add a decorative strip of molding to the top and sides to finish it off and cover up where the hardware was. To mount the door to a bed frame, you'll need simpson brackets and 2x4's. The 2x4s are attached to both ends of the door using the simpson brackets. Then, bolt the bottom part of the 2x4s (on each end) to the bed frame. Another option is mounting to the wall over your bed using a French Cleat Hanger.

3. Wine Bottle Pendant Lights

Instead of taking empty wine bottles to the recycling bin, think about turning a few into lighting fixtures. It's a great modern look in lighting but without the cost of new fixtures. New wine bottle lights can cost $200 each. However, you can purchase a pendant light kit at home improvement stores for about $10-$15. The light kits are an easy way to convert the wine bottles into functional and attractive lights. To re-purpose wine bottles into pendant lights, use a tile saw to cut off the bottom of the wine bottles. Once the bottles are cut, you'll want to lightly sand the cut edge with 80-grit sandpaper. To give the bottles a nice glow, coat each one with a semi-transparent frost spray paint.

SAFETY NOTE: Wear safety glasses and have a good pair of work gloves on when you're working with glass. Also, wear a dust mask.

4. Window Picture Frame

If you want a unique way to display your pictures, convert an old window. Old windows can be found at salvage yards. The window featured on this segment cost $15. To convert it into a picture frame - sand or strip off old paint. Since it's an old window, the wood underneath the paint will probably be in nice shape. So you can just use a polyurethane coating or two to give a beautiful finish to the wood. Or, to match your decor, you can also stain or paint the frame. Depending on what pictures you want to display, cut mat board to the correct size. Also, cut foam core to "seal" the back of the frame once the pictures are in place. Use window glazing points to hold the foam core in place. Mat board, foam core and window glazing points are available at arts and crafts stores. To hang, add picture hardware to the new picture frame.

5. Ceiling Tile Planter

Antique tin ceiling tiles are an artifact from years gone by that can be found at antique stores and salvage yards. The beautiful designs of the ceiling tiles can dress up the outside of a plain wooden planter. Attach tiles with nails or waterproof adhesive. If the planters are going to be outdoors, spray exterior polyurethane adhesive over the tiles to give a protective finish. If you like this look, but can't find antique ceiling tiles, reproduction ones are made now and available at home improvement stores.

6. Pallet Adirondack Chair

Love the look of an Adirondack Chair but don't love the price? It's possible to turn an old pallet into a comfortable Adirondack chair and it won't cost you much money. On a full pallet, Matt will show where to cut into sections to make an Adirondack Chair pattern. Once cut, a few of the boards have to be removed. Make sure you wear good work gloves when doing this project because pallets are rough to the touch. Carriage bolts are used to assemble the chair. We used a second pallet to make the arms. Once you've got your chair built, give it a good sanding and then paint with an exterior paint to finish it off. Add a cushion and you're ready to sit back and relax!

Check out the instructional video here for more information on how to make this chair.

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