Roadkill Rescue: Painted Chair

English: Cemetery in . Français : Cimetière à ...

Image via Wikipedia

I grew up next to a cemetery. Although most people would consider that all sorts of creepy, I liked it. It was an old cemetery with stones dating back to the early 1800’s, some perhaps even earlier if they had still been legible. It was a great place to ride bikes, play hide and go seek, or climb the larger monuments. One of the best things to my 9 year old point of view though was that the cemetery was less than environmentally responsible. They dumped the trash unceremoniously over the bank at the back of the property into the woods where we played. And that is where I developed what to many is the unsavory habit of garbage picking. I know it drove my mom nuts when I was continually dragging home bedraggled silk flowers and plastic flower pots.

A typical dumpster in Sunnyvale, California.

Image via Wikipedia

Some bad habits you don’t out grow. I still can’t bear to see usable items sitting in the dumpster. I usually look around to see if anyone is going to see my unglamorous self making the dive, and if the coast is clear the piece of trash treasure is mine! If I can’t use it or revamp it it goes into the Goodwill pile. (After a good cleaning, of course.)

This chair was one of my dumpster scores. I wish I had taken a before picture, but I didn’t. I washed it well and repainted the wood white. I also painted over the old fabric seat and back with gesso. It took a few coats as it soaked in quite a bit but in the end I had my canvas.

I’d been inspired by Valinda’s Art for the Soul shop in Laguna Beach. I like the lighthearted, quirky, colorful furnishings and home decor. The prices, not so much. ($1516.00 for a bar stool on sale, anyone?) Not that artists shouldn’t be able to charge what the market can bear for their creations. It’s just that the new owner will never be me. And I’m ok with that. Because my neighbors throw away some good stuff!

Once I finished my chair I took it to a home consignment shop. It sold in 2 weeks for $90, of which I received $60. Not bad for the cost of my pride some paint and a few afternoons of fun. And whoever bought it got something Art-for-the-Soul-esque for a whole lot less!

Here’s where I’m linking up.


Sew Much AdoFrugally SustainableThe Shady PorchTea Rose HomeLil’ Luna,

Someday CraftsPassionately ArtisticBlue Velvet Chair, Whatever Wednesday


Mom On TimeoutSomewhat SimpleThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageFun to CraftHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderSaved by Love CreationsA Glimpse Inside,

Between U & MeHappy Hour ProjectsAnything Goes Linky Party,


Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projectskojodesigns,

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Release Me CreationsNaptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestChic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrench Country Cottage,

The Charm of HomeThe Grant LifeAt the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge,

Stuff and NonsenseOne Art Mama2805,


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal


LambAround,  Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes,

Petite HermineMy 1929 Charmer Blog,


{aka}/ designGet Outta My Head PleaseMad in Crafts, Skip to My Lou,

The Gunny SackSew Can Do, Singing Three Little BirdsEtcetorize,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet homeCraft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities Just Winging ItEverything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday



  1. January 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    That’s awesome!

  2. Jacki Sellers said,

    January 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Incredible! I wish I had seen it in person; especially the before and after. Keep up the dumpster diving girl! You rock!

  3. cuethebanjo said,

    February 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I LOVE dumpster diving and only know of a few others that will get dirty with me. Chair looks awesome, great find. 🙂

    • February 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Diving with friends is even more fun! I once had a friend with a willing husband, an empty garage and a van. We would go out trolling around town the evening before the garbage pick up day and snag usable items. We would clean up and fix up what ever needed it and give it to people in need that came to the church looking for help. We furnished a few apartments this way for women fleeing domestic abuse situations. Oh, the thrill of the hunt! 🙂

  4. Maysem said,

    February 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    WOW!! Talk about talented!! You did a beyond amazing job on that chair and you should have definitely gotten more for it:D As for the garbage picking, I’m not one to do that BUT am so impressed with those that do and make something out of it…seriously! And for the playing in the cemetery, that is creepy Karen!!! LOL!

    • February 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Thanks, Maysem! During the day the cemetery was a lot of fun. The creepy part was when I had to walk past it alone after dark to get home for the night!

  5. Shannon said,

    February 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

    This just warms my crafty little heart! I saw your project linked up with Sorta Crunchy, and I’ve subscribed to your blog. Love all the projects you have here. I just want to know one thing…how do you find time for it all?!

    • February 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Thanks for your kind comment, Shannon! Looks can be deceiving I guess. I haven’t had much time for crafting lately so most of my posts so far this year have been projects I completed during my pre-blogging days. I usually mention if it is an older project, but I didn’t this time. The painted chair was made at least 4 years ago. It’s fun being able to remember the projects that went before, and it is giving me some blog fodder during a dry period. I hope it isn’t cheating!

  6. ReStitch Me said,

    February 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

    We had a cemetary next to the neighborhood where I grew up. All the kids played there as well. Lots of happy memories! Good for you on the great sale of your chair! 🙂

    • February 2, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Thanks! Finally someone else who understands that cemeteries can be happy places! 😉

  7. February 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    So artistic! Love it! And loved your story of how you began your “treasure seeking” in the trash by the cemetery. I think that would have been me too, had I been in there!

  8. Kelley said,

    February 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Wow! What a great find.. and I love how you spruced it up! And then you made some cash from it too.. awesome 🙂

    • February 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      And I had a lot of fun doing it… Doesn’t get much better than that! Thanks for your comment!

  9. Melanie said,

    February 3, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Very creative! Love the title of your post, too! Happy you linked to Things I’ve Done Thursday!


  10. vikki said,

    February 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I love it. You are very creative.

  11. February 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Super cool chair!

  12. Art and Home said,

    February 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I’m glad I stopped by. I love what you did to that chair. Very creative. God bless x

  13. February 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Hey Karen! This is so creative! I love it! Thanks for linking it up at Between U & Me! You won the $30 giveaway last week, so come on over and hit the contact me to redeem your gift certificate! 😀

    • February 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks a lot! I went and contacted you, but I’m not sure the message got through. If not, please let me know. Thanks again!

  14. Honey said,

    February 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Very cute! Thank you for sharing your at Potpourri Friday!

  15. February 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Your sunny chair is making someone VERY happy right now (including me!) Thanks for rescuing usable things; every little bit helps. And you could truly sell those at a nice profit I’m sure; your skills are amazing! Thanks for sharing at Refresh your Nest Friday over on Making Lemonade.

    • February 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment! I have wondered about who the chair went to and what does it look like in their home. How have they put it to use… I think it would be a bit more fulfilling to sell things directly because you can have that contact and get a bit of a feel of what the next chapter in the life of your creation might be like.

  16. February 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    So enjoyed how you became a “picker”. I would of loved to live across from a very old cemetery. Love the chair, so creative and beautiful. Roadkills are the best, and you proved this true! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best Par.tay!

  17. Natasha said,

    February 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday Link Party!
    Hope you can join me again tomorrow

    Natasha xx

  18. Erika said,

    February 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Love the chair! I featured it on today’s It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising.


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