Are you a Re-Consumer?

Repurposing is the buzzword of the moment. It is something anyone can do. Whether you turn old dressers into extra storage or doors into tables. You are recycling some object for another purpose. Over, at Shop Wise Bags, we have coined ourselves “re-consumers.” It is the direct action of choosing to utilize a pre-owned object and turn it into a new treasure. I had this old ironing board in my basement for years that belonged to my Grandma, I also had her old steam iron and some dish clothes that she had embroidered sometime in her life. These things were tucked in different areas serving no purpose other than “stuff to move when I was looking for something else”.

I went to a friend’s house and she had a vintage ironing board in her bathroom leaning on the wall with a little dress hanging on it. It inspired me to come home and figure out how to use my own similar keepsakes. So, the ironing board with the dishcloths and the steam iron resting on two brackets (that were getting ruined in the weather outside) were arranged on the wall. “Practical Sculpture” is what I call it. Re-consumerism at it’s best!

Then I started getting primitive pottery as gifts, I loved the colors and usefulness, but didn’t want to always be packing it away after the flowers withered. A colorful arrangement of empty vessels was born. A large yellow vase holds all the marbles I find on the floor (the kids do not know this). I use, tiny green ware planters by the sink for my sponges, scrubbers and a couple of small African violets. All of my serving dishes are a mixed collection of white dishes from every era. It’s eclectic and beautiful, AND re-consumed.

All of the things I gather or collect need to have a practical purpose. Even beauty is a practical purpose. Every few months I change the location of a particular arrangement, this keeps me interested in admiring them AND lets me recycle creatively.

Remember recycle, repurpose, RECONSUME. We have started to have this intention in many areas of our life, especially gifts. I do not mean to go get an unwanted picture frame and wrap it up and take it to a wedding on the weekend. What I do mean is, the next little girl party you need to attend, go to a local thrift store or reasonable antique store with small wares. Choose a dress-up hat, some small gloves and a bead necklace, or a set of vintage pillowcases and a hand mirror. We have put a vintage apron, a potholder and small eggbeater in a bundle tied with a vintage hand towel. For boys, we pick a small, hinged tin and two or three old cars, boats or other small toys. Our boys have given cowboy guns, metal construction vehicles, adventure novels and vintage tools. For adult friends, we choose silver salad tongs, cuff links or unique glassware or pottery. The possibilities are endless and the idea of re-giving these items takes our focus off buying another item from a large store that will eventually be sold at a yard sale and end up in the same thrift/antique stores. We have seen that the gifts that we recycle in this way are received with surprise and joy, they cost relatively the same price and are far better quality and it inspires others to have an appreciation for the objects that are from eras past. We are creating re-consumers, one gift at a time.

Happy Recycling

Gabrielle from Shop Wise Bags & Got2BeGreen

3 Responses to “Are you a Re-Consumer?”

  1. As a thrifter these ideas really excite me. I’ve never heard of this term Re-consume but I like it and can connect with it. When I take something and use it in another way I have called it ReDo but I like our re-consume can fit in so many more ways. What a great message.

  2. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad to inspire!


  3. Wonderful ideas!!! Keep them coming. :)

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