From Treasured Trash to Darling Decor

diy decoupage
My grandmother was very special to me.  My sister and I would spend much time staying with her in the summer while we were growing up.  She was always making something.  Pies, cakes, canned goods, clothes.  One summer we made scrunchies from leftover fabric and elastic she had saved.  She was remarkably frugal, and wasted nothing.  So when she passed away in 2010,  we had the saddening task of going through her things and deciding what stayed and what went.  
She had saved so many things over the years. Things that most people would take one look at and decide it was garbage.  Newspapers, magazines, and boxes and boxes of recipes.  She loved to bake.  These things had been saved, move after move. So, I saved them too.   I took home a large tin filled with these paper scraps and recipe cards.  I don't even bake.  So, here they sat, unused, collecting dust. I just could not bring myself to throw them away, nor did I see a use for them.   

It wasn't until I came across a half empty bottle of Elmer's glue that an idea popped into my head.  A while back I'd seen a DIY Mod Podge recipe on Pinterest.  Then it came to me.  Decoupage!  I thought, This is the perfect way to turn those seemingly useless scraps into something that can be admired, cherished and used! 

So, I whipped up the Mod Podge in a mason jar using equal parts water, and equal parts Elmer's Glue, and mixed it well with a sponge brush I found in the garage.
I'm always finding things in my own house, things I don't have an immediate or any apparent use for. 

Whenever I am feeling creative, I try to find the perfect formerly useless item for the task. This time, I found some unattractive pictures in frames, and an umbrella holder.  I don't think I even own an umbrella...but, maybe I'll find one.

I cleaned the surface of the umbrella holder well with warm soapy water prior to decorating.
I then gathered all the clippings together and started sorting by color combinations.  I like a lot of color so, I picked out the most colorful snippets I could find, and started brushing on the DIY Mod Podge to the  first surface area, placing the scraps on top.
Once arranged, I slathered on another layer of Mod Podge on the surface. Before you know it, I was done and wanted more.  
So, I made use of one of the ugly pictures I mentioned.  I made a slightly less ugly replacement.  I'll try harder on the next one, I was just so excited that I must have lost consciousness...

Well, there it is, my tribute to my thrifty grandmother.  There are many many ways of transforming trash to treasure, and not just the sentimental trash. Just keep an open mind and have fun!

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