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Alley Trash to Jewelry Stash

My house was built in 1929.  The neighborhood doesn’t have a home owners’ association imposing strict guidelines about life or death matters like whether you garage door is left open too long.  Good thing, because the house doesn’t have a garage.  Well, it originally did have a really neat porte cochere, but like any other available space in the college neighborhood I live in, it was converted to an apartment years ago.  Almost every house on my block has some kind of rental property out back, and college students move in and out of them on a regular basis.  I have a low tolerance for some of the weekend parties that occur all too often in these apartments, and the pink-flamigo/random-furniture-on-the-porch decorating scheme that seems to be the perpetual favorite  of the college crowd isn’t my cup of tea.  On the other hand, there are benefits.  Like a constant supply of abandoned furniture in the alley.  Okay, not everyone sees this as a benefit, but I like to look at it that way.  I don’t even need garage sales or Goodwill, my alley keeps me pretty supplied with materials for projects to keep me busy.

These have potential don’t you think?

Dresser Drawer Parts

A little paint can do wonders.

Some vintage door plates would work nicely here. 

Old Hardware

I think I’ll use these to make a place to tame the jewelry mess going on in my dressing area.

Mirror & Jewelry

What other treasures do I have that would work here?

Vintage Buttons and Hardware

Love the cabinet latch, and some hooks will secure it and make great places to hang my jewelry.

Cabinet Latch


How should I arrange these things?

Drawer Front and Hardware

Vintage Glass Knob

I’ve saved these vintage glass knobs for a while.  I think this is a good use for them.

Adding Hardware

Some of my favorite things can hang from this hook.  I love my metal stamps!

Clamping Washer to Board

Gorilla glue and a little clamp will secure the bolt to the drawer front.

Attaching Hardware

Drawer Fron with Hardware

Vintage Button Detail

This vintage button was in some things that belonged to my grandmother.  A little memento from the Laura I am named after.

Side View

All done.

Almost Finished

Or at least I thought I was done.

Jewelry Organizer

 Here you see the alley-junk-turned-organizer put to good use.

Finished and Hung


Take another look.  Notice anything odd?

Jewelry Organizer

No, I don’t mean my odd taste in jewelry or my bad low-light photography. 

Jewelry Hanger

Maybe I don’t always think things through ahead of time like I should, but it worked out okay despite my impatience.

Jewelry Hanger

I’ll confess my mistake in the next post.

If you’ve figured it out let me know!


  1. Terry graham
    Posted 21 Mar ’11 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I love this! What a cool idea. I love finding a way to use little treasures from my grandparents. I need some gardening advice too.

  2. Posted 22 Mar ’11 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Laura – I love your adventurous spirit. You always see value in objects and breathe new life into them. I love this arrangement! Nice work. As for your ‘mistake’ – it looks like the final piece with the white keyhole piece needed “a shave and a haircut” to fit in. The left side looks shorter installed than it does in the initial photos. …Did you break out the power tools? :)

  3. Posted 22 Mar ’11 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Laura, I love this!! It’s right up my alley (: Now, I know what I’m on the search for in the neighborhoods around our campus and the flea markets as well.

  4. Posted 22 Mar ’11 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    That is too cool! You are so crafty. I would say that there is not enough space for your dangly ear rings. White knob is in the way. My guess anyway.

  5. Posted 2 Apr ’11 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Hmmm, my guess is going to be that on the darker-colored ‘keyhole’ piece, you had it turned upside down (w/the keyhole at the top) when you added the hook. ;)
    and is that is why you have 2 hooks on that piece…
    Am I correct, could that be what happened…? – lol
    Well anyways, it still looks FABU darling!
    This is an Excellent upcycle & repurposing idea, and what a fun shabby-chic Look!
    *btw, I REALLY had to look hard to notice that is what MIGHT have happened*
    Looking forward to seeing more projects like this from you.
    Have a Spectacular weekend!

  6. Posted 3 Apr ’11 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Laura,
    I love the way you have re-used all the old hooks and knobs and made something new! Lovely.
    Have a good week.

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  1. By Recalculating! on 3 Apr ’11 at 10:52 pm

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