I believe in the potential of materials. So much so that I commonly hold onto things–scraps of wood, broken furniture, discarded pallets–with the faith that I can and will make use of them. I honestly don’t find this tendency to be problematic in itself. In fact, it’s a really enjoyable way to engage my creativity and my commitment to live more sustainably. The pile up of materials, however, is a problem. When I don’t get around to utilizing all the materials I collect, my house, basement, and back yard start looking like a workshop…or a junkyard.
Today, I tackled a project I have been meaning to work on with my stepson–a desk addition to the loft bed I built him a couple of years ago. Miles has been slowly earning components for a custom built gaming PC (sort of a motherboard for good grades scheme). All of these computer parts have just been siting in a pile. By building the desk, we’re not only getting rid of some back logged building materials, but also decluttering a corner of the house.
Ever in search of educational opportunities, I had Miles help me to take measurements and draw up a plan for two triangular brackets and a custom fit desktop. A couple hours, breaks, and snacks later, we finished.
After looking at the scraps from the desk project, I decided to start another project that I have been thinking about for a long time.
I have an amazing dog who happens to be elderly and paralyzed from the middle of his back down. When he’s not in his cart or my lap, he spends a lot of time on the couch in the living room. This is non ideal for a couple of reasons. A fall off the couch would be really dangerous for him. Our family likes to use the couch and he takes up a remarkable amount of space for a 10lb dog. And, as you can imagine, he’s not the most “continent” animal in the world. For whatever reason, sitting on the floor doesn’t work for my little guy either. I suspect it’s something about lines of sight or fear of getting trampled. Whatever it is, the floor gives Kielo massive anxiety.
I have long had the idea to make Kielo a small little personal sofa for the living room, and saved a piece of a old, broken knock off mid-century end table just for that purpose.
I cut the scraps to size and added them to the side of the table as arms or guard rails for the little man and then headed down to the basement to find a piece of scrap to use as the back. For all the random crap I had down there, there weren’t a ton of options. I ended up grabbing a left over piece from when I build a triangular shaped corner cabinet for my computer.
Everything went together pretty smoothly. Tomorrow I am going to rummage through the spray paint in the basement. Hopefully there’s something I can hit this with that will look nice with the living room (at least nicer than this scrap wood collage).
Though the custom doggy sofa is far from done, I couldn’t resist giving it a little trial run.
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