Make Do

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Last year we swapped the single bed in the sewing room for a new (to us) bed and trundle bed.  Miss O used to sleep in the single bed when she came to stay but once Izz was also sleeping in a bed we had to re-think the sleeping arrangements.  I was not prepared to give up what is primarily my sewing room to have 2 single beds available for occasional use so I had to think laterally.  Bunk beds were not an option due the young age of the children and the proximity to the window, so we opted for the single bed plus trundle.  We found it on Gumtree, in perfect condition and only $50.  We bought new foam mattresses and were very happy with the outcome.

The next question was what to do with the existing bed.  No-one I knew needed one and I could have advertised it on Freecycle but there was a degree of emotional attachment.  Sentimentality is the last thing a minimalist needs but this bed is one that my father made over 50 years ago and I was not keen to let it go.  However, it had to justify its existence in our lives.

We had an old day-bed which we had acquired from Freecycle about 10 years ago with the goal of restoring it for use on the long verandah – imagining lazy afternoons lying reading a book and listening to the birds in the shrubs nearby.  This was a great idea but one that was unlikely to happen due to the very poor condition of the timber.

Finally, we agreed that the day-bed could be dismantled for firewood except for the wire mesh base which The Duke has appropriated for use as a sieve.  The single bed which is quite narrow (750mm) will be a day bed.  It has been on the verandah for some months now, waiting for me to make a cover for the mattress.  Although it is undercover there can be rain blow in to that area so I had to consider how to manage this.

I decided to cover the mattress in vinyl which can be bought by the metre from Spotlight.  A few weeks ago I did some measuring and we went to Spotlight with intentions of buying the vinyl but I discovered that it would cost me about $120.  I gulped and wondered whether it was really worth spending that amount of money on something which was certainly not essential and was really a way of retaining something I did not want to part with.  So we went home and I looked for alternative ideas.

I found this heavy cotton bedspread (actually I have 2 of them) in the bottom of the linen cupboard.  I am going to use it to make a cover which can be removed for laundering.  This does not address the issue of the mattress getting wet so I found the large, heavy-duty plastic bags that were the packaging from the new mattresses we bought for the trundle beds.  I will make a cover for the mattress from one of these.  We will bring the mattress inside if bad weather is imminent but otherwise I will only have to wash the cover and the mattress will stay dry and clean thanks to the plastic cover.

This project will be completed with no extra cost.  The bed will have a new use and I don’t have to part with it just yet.  We may even put a headboard and footboard on the bed but in the meantime it will be perfectly functional.

I am looking forward to finishing this and enjoying some lazy afternoons.

Transformed

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I decided today that I needed to have a container for used disposable nappies.  Although I don’t have babies in the house we often have guests who do.  A bit of lateral thinking and I transformed this portable filing box that I acquired in my previous job.  It had been gathering dust down in the workshop.

Filing Box

I took the empty files out of the box.

Empty files removed

The box and lid were thoroughly washed and dried.  I then placed some folded plastic bags in the box as spare liners.

Box with some spare folded plastic bags in it

Finally; a liner in the box, label on the outside and lid in place.  Ready for a new purpose.

Bin with liner for used nappies