Repurposing for a Purpose

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Flipping furniture for a cause was the theme behind the Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s unique new contest, where the winners were recently announced.

Entrants in the ReStore Re-Design contest, sponsored in part by Woodcraft, were required to purchase their original item from the ReStore. In addition, the entrants all received a $10 coupon from Woodcraft to help them get started on their transformation. BUT when they brought their revamped piece back to enter into the contest, they were reimbursed for the ReStore purchase. The 13 entries ranged from an umbrella light to a robot on wheels.

Four entries were selected as semi-finalists and went on to the Destination Design Auction – Habitat’s primary fundraiser each year, which features home furnishings in designer vignettes sold in live and silent auctions. The artist whose project brought in the most money at auction on April 7 received the Grand Prize of $250! The remaining entries are available for purchase at the ReStore. 

People's Choice and Grand Prize Winner - Record player turned wine bar by Tammy Lockhart


Just over $330 was raised by People’s Choice voting, where visitors to the ReStore could view the entries on display and vote for their favorites by placing money in the enclosed stands in front of each project.

The winner, who received a $50 ReStore gift card, revamped a retro Crosley record player into a wine bar. Artist Tammy Lockhart spent $32.10 on the record player, which was 98% repurposed. She removed the turntable, radio, and speaker panel, then added a wine rack and some lovely gray paint, accented by the stained beadboard. The area where the record player sat is now a place to store bar accessories and the other side holds the glassware. The door used to formerly hide records became a chalkboard serving tray for guests. The beadboard and trim were salvaged from a kitchen remodel.

One Woodcraft judge said, “Who would ever guess what this was in its previous life?!” The other commented, “A lot of thought went into each part of this upcycle. This $30 item is now well worth more.”

Tammy’s project sold for $400 at the auction, which earned her the Grand Prize of a $250 Visa gift card. She, in turn, donated the gift card to Sherri Bond, the Habitat homeowner who spoke at the event. Bravo, Tammy!

Woodcraft Choice - Headboard and footboard turned into hall bench, coat rack and cork board by Kristi Burroughs


The entry selected as “Woodcraft Choice” is actually three projects in one. Using a headboard and footboard, Kristi Burroughs, with the help of her husband, was able to create a hall bench, a coat rack and a memo board. The original headboard featured some lovely curves that look great as the back of the hall bench. They added a fabric-covered foam pad as the seat, which one judge said was “thick and comfy.” The judges liked the color and fabric choices of the collection, saying “it has a high-end look that would work well with any décor.”

The sides of the coat rack are the leftover legs, and the frame was used to create the cork board. One judge remarked, “Very creative use of materials by also making items from the discarded pieces.”

In the entry narrative, Kristi wrote, “We really enjoy woodworking and working together on something as husband and wife. Good times for a good cause.” Kristi received a $50 gift card to Woodcraft. 

Committee Choice - Hospital Bedside Table transformed into Child's Play Kitchen by Joseph and Amy Ewing


The ReStore committee selected two winners – an upcycled hospital bedside cabinet and a whimsical chandelier.

When Joseph and Amy Ewing purchased the 1952 bedside table, they initially weren’t sure what its former life had been. After some research, it appears it probably stored wash basins and towels in the upper compartment and bedpans in the lower part in a hospital or sick room.

The table is now a colorful children’s play kitchen Joseph and Amy explained, “We took the original sad piece and turned it into a new exciting fun one for a child, but also tried to keep the history using some of the hardware and putting it in the new piece. The original was used to help the sick, and the redesign is used to help with imagination, creativity, and fun through a child's eyes."

The Ewings added a lot of creative details for the lucky kid who receives this playset, including knobs that turn, a chalkboard for writing down the menu, a small real iron skillet and a collection of their own little cooking utensils. One judge commented, “Lots of fun surprises to keep them occupied for quite a while.” 

Committee Choice - Lighting fixture turned into umbrella chandelier by Carrie Adams and Matthew Dodrill

The ReStore committee’s second choice is “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” by Matthew Dodrill and Carrie Adams. They created this beautiful umbrella light sculpture from an old brass chandelier. Carrie wrote, “A friend of mine met me at the ReStore to shop for the contest, and he commented that this light looked like an umbrella. Then inspiration hit!”

Carrie and Matthew tore the light fixture completely apart, rewiring it to give the new owners options of how many bulbs to turn on at a time. They sanded and painted the metal brown for the cage that holds the glass, cream for the light base part and blueish-teal for the glass. Matthew created a detachable umbrella handle, and Carrie strung sparkling crystals on clear line to mimic raindrops.

Judges commented that the completed piece would look lovely in a nursery and liked the attention to detail that was used in this transformation, “I love that they thought about how the new owners might use this light and gave them options.” 

Honorable Mention: Re-Designer of the Future - Office chair turned into Rusty the Robot by Lydia Stevens, age 6 (inset picture, on right)

Honorable Mention: 


The committee was so impressed with this entry that they decided to award an Honorable Mention to Lydia Stevens for “Rusty the Robot.” Lydia, who is 6 years old, created this functional art piece from a metal rolling office chair. She is pictured in the before shot (on right) with her sister Kennedy.

In addition to being an interesting conversation piece, Rusty can be used to hold a tablet or other electronic device “so you can watch a movie with him,” her narrative said. “His arms are bendable so you can shape them in funny ways. You can hug him!”

One judge commented that Rusty would be a fun buddy to have around. “I hope the artist continues making art, upcycling and thinking of new ways to do things.” Lydia received a certificate, as well as a prize basket and two tickets to Destination Design. Though not eligible for the grand prize, Rusty was there too. 

Check out the rest of the fabulous Re-Design entries…

More Re-Design Entires

Angela Wines repurposed nearly the entire old dresser into a mud room or entryway seat with plenty of storage for coats, scarves, and hats.

Angie Uppole used a twin headboard and footboard to make her “New Beginnings Loveseat,” which is “ready to start its new life.” 

Dinah and Mike Reeder gave this red china cabinet a “shabby fab” new life with some elbow grease and a few coats of paint. Use the hutch for displaying china, family photographs, vintage quilts, doll collections, wine, books, or even shoes. 

Jaliyah Townsend upcycled an old padded headboard into a bench for extra seating with storage on the bottom shelf. Great for an entryway or mudroom.  

This “Through the Vintage Looking Glass End Table” by Ashley Earley received a lovely “mercury glass” paint treatment on the top and an overall beautification from old to new.  

Chrysta Bourdon took a retro headboard and turned it into her version of a bench, using a metallic silver finish and red fabric.

Nancy, Sherri, and Harry Bond made a cute seat/storage bench with sheet music inside from a twin size headboard and footboard.

Robert McManus and Jolene Powell removed the hardware on this old parking lot light and created a chandelier with an interesting industrial appeal. 

“The ReDesign effort was a great success, bringing in more entries than we expected for the first year,” stated Lisa Collins, Habitat resource development coordinator. “We very much appreciate Woodcraft's participation. It was an ideal partnership.” 

Destination Design raised more than $30,000 for the local chapter, including $855 from the four Re-Design finalists. Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley, whose primary mission it to provide people with a “simple, decent, affordable place to live,” will soon build their 100th house. 

We hope you'll be inspired!

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