How to turn a window shutter into a letter holder

Years ago I had the luck to rent a unique garret apartment offering instant patina. Handed down from art student to art student for several years, it was fitted out with antique discards from neighborhood buildings which were being modernized or torn down.

The bathroom contained a slightly chipped claw foot bathtub. Porcelain sink faucet knobs mounted on a weathered board became “hooks” for towels and bathrobes.The previous owner also left me a pile of handmade, slightly irregular red bricks which I used to construct bookcases and tables.

I enjoyed knowing that these carefully made pieces could find new use in my life. I read books to learn how people lived when these pieces were originally used. These artifacts gave my spare apartment character and history. With the help of flea markets and building makeovers in my area, I’ve managed to incorporate a few old building details into all the places I’ve lived since then.

If you’ve wanted to buy old doorknobs, heat registers, iron rails, window guards and other bygone details — but didn’t know what you’d do with them — check out the wonderful book,¬†Salvage Style¬†before passing them up again. It contains 45 step-by-step projects that transform salvaged items into new and different objects.

The authors say, “The skills needed for most of the projects are minimal, though experienced craftspeople will also find many interesting and challenging projects. And, even if you don’t want to pick up a hammer, the projects can help inspire you to find the perfect look for your home.”

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