No Shame in Dumpster Diving

Jennifer —  February 6, 2012 — 1 Comment

iloverehabs was featured over on wherelovemeetslife.  She found me somehow and wanted to show her readers my stuff.  Go over there and check her blog out…not to see my stuff but to see hers!  She is a full-time employee, mom, wife and DIY/Life blogger.  (plus I think she and I both have a love for chevron…kindred spirits, I just know it)  I think I am going to have to try her mustache glasses.  Mustaches are the rage and I think need to be added to my kitchen.  Thanks a ton for the love!

Raise your hands if you have done any dumpster diving. I am totally unashamed of taking one man’s trash (left on the curb) and making  it my treasure. I have never actually pulled anything out of a literal dumpster but I am not opposed either.  In fact, I have some friends (you know who you are) that would be the ones to help me in the dumpster…and not leave me there…hopefully.  This is a common practice in this part of America.  Maybe it’s because I live in the hills of the Ozarks, but people will even post on Craigslist what they are putting out on their curb with the trash. I found my garage cabinets on a Craigslist Curbside posting.

I saved a family in the middle of a renovation a trip to the county transfer station which probably would have cost them about $20 to dispose of these cabinets.  I must also mention the physical stress I saved them from having to get them there.  Here is a story for you.  (You might think less of me after this but oh well, just puttin it all out there.)  The Hubs and I were hanging out watching football one Sunday night with our good friends. We realized that the next morning was “large item trash day” in our city so at about 10pm (maybe later) we got in our car and went to the nicer neighborhoods to see what was left out to go to the county landfill. We didn’t find anything that night but the thrill of it made us feel like spontaneous teenagers. The funny thing is that my friend, the wife, was about 5 days away from the due date of her first child.  Shameful?  Maybe.  Responsible?  Probably not.  Memory?  Absolutely!

The Hubs and I have done our fair share of curbside sharing. I will literally put something out on the curb with a free sign. These are usually things that are not worth the time to sell. If it goes then I have saved myself some serious hassle. If it doesn’t…to the thrift store or transfer station it goes. Here is the crazy thing everything I have put out on my curb has been taken.   That tells me there are tons of dumpster divers like me. Here is what I have put out on my curb:

  • Fridge that was in the house when we bought it  (really old, really dirty. )
  • Stove that was in the house when we bought (too old with no knowledge of reliability to sell)
  • Coffee Table
  • Old Double door we took out of our kitchen.  (It was rusted and old)
  • Old Bike Rack
  • Outdoor table that was leftover from the old owner
  • Lawn chairs leftover from the old owner
  • Doors that we replaced

This chair was in storage for years at the camp that I work at.    It was headed for the trash pile during our cleaning week last spring.   I decided to salvage it and took it home one day after work.

It had a pair but its partner was broken and as much as I tried, couldn’t fix it.  When I brought it home I didn’t know where I would use it, but as I started working on my living room again I realized it could be extra seating there.   So, I turned it into this:

I found a clearance fabric shower curtain walking thru the clearance section at Wal-mart.  It was priced at $7.00 and the fabric kind of reminded me of ikat.  It had all the colors I wanted to use in my living room.  It had the blue from my new curtains and the turquoise from the pillow on my couch.

I didn’t even bother to take the leather off the original chair.  I just grabbed my pneumatic staple gun and recovered the seat.  I used some remnant white fabric I had from my new curtains project to clean up the bottom of the seat.

To cover the back of the back rest I cut a piece the shape of the back, yet bigger.  I folded and hot-glued it into place using spray adhesive for the middle part.


I screwed the pieces back into the chair and voila…for $7.00 I had a new addition to my living room.

Here is how it fits in the layout.

I decided to move it to the left of the bookcase so it doesn’t block my t.v. gear.  I am looking for a small side table.  I will probably DIY something or look for something inexpensive.  Here is the look I am going for so if you see anything out there let me know.  I like this one from west elm:

I am not cure ceramic fits my lifestyle so maybe a painted white version of this?  This is DIYable too.


Anyway, I love my chair’s Danish Modern lines and I love the extra seating it provides my living room space.

Do any of you have a dumpster dive you want to share?  Comment below with a link to your blog.  If you don’t have a blog, just tell us about it or link a flickr pic.

Thanks for reading,


If you liked this post you might like these:

Milk Crate Ottoman

Rocking Chair Rehab

Slip Cover A Chair

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One response to No Shame in Dumpster Diving

  1. Thanks so much for showing my blog some love too! And great find,I love that fabric!

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