Older homes in disrepair don't immediately scream "crafting material!" But they should. The nooks and crannies of older houses contain abstract and eclectic materials after refinishing or as is, depending on their current state. A little creativity and a basic understanding of woodworking can help you turn mantels, molding and even stair railing spindles into beautiful crafts for your own home.
Create a table, supported by or made entirely from railing spindles. Four or five spindles laying flat and side-by-side form the beginning of your tabletop. This project will only work if the bases and tops all the spindles match perfectly in size and shape. Attach the bases and tops together using nails or crafting glue or, if the railing is still intact, begin your tabletop by laying the railing section flat on the floor. One spindle supports each of the four table corners. A slab of clouded or tempered glass glued on top of the flat-laying spindles or railing creates an even, smooth tabletop.
Turn single railing spindles into chic candle holders. A well painted spindle can remain as is or strip the original finish and paint the entire spindle gold or silver for a modern edge. To protect your home from fire, use a spindle with a sturdy a base and top. A flat piece of wood or clay will anchor the bottom of the spindle so it doesn't tip over. Finish by gluing rounded pieces of sea-glass or pottery around the perimeter at the top of the spindle to hold the candle in place.
Turn two identical spindles into a striking structure on which to hang your jewelry. A sturdy wooden strip connecting either spindle 8-inches apart will prevent the structure from tipping over. Wrap a piece of cloth or ribbon around the back of a thin wooden strip measuring 2-inches wide and 8-inches long. Small, circular hooks spaced every few inches along the cloth-covered wooden strip form the hanging space for your jewelry. Finish the structure by nailing the ends of the cloth-covered wooden strip behind either spindle top.
Four spindles, of similar or different designs, can form the four edges of a modern, eye-catching frame. Choose spindles that measure approximately the same length as the object you're framing. A flat, neutral colored base frame around the mirror or picture provides a surface on which to glue the spindles lengthwise. Position the spindles before doing the final gluing to make sure they won't obstruct the picture or mirror inside the frame.
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