As I was picking up a few groceries in Lidl the other day, I noticed that someone had abandoned a small wooden crate that had previously contained oranges. Clearly, an over burdened customer didn’t want to take the empty box home and had thoughtfully left it for someone else to clear away. The more I looked at it, the more I felt that surely I could find a use for the orange box. Then, I realised what stray thought had prompted my musing. When I was a child, my dad made me a dolls’ bed from a similar wooden fruit box, donated by the local greengrocer.
Sadly, I no longer have the bed, but I can still picture it to myself (that is, if my memory serves me correctly). Dad made the bed as a divan style, putting padding on the top of the box and tacking (striped ?) fabric over it to form the mattress. I think he made a padded headboard too. With a pillow, sheet and a blanket my dolls must have been quite comfortable. Though I am almost sure that at some point the bed ended up being used as something else entirely (turned upside down, it could have been a boat). Anyway, I think that dolls’ bed transformation was doing up-cycling before it was even called up-cycling and it became a fashionable thing to do.
Now, I am trying to come up with an idea to use my ill-gotten gain from the supermarket. I have even considered lugging a full box of oranges home on the bus so that I have another box to incorporate into some grand creative plan. One of my ideas (apart from making my own dolls’ bed) is to make some sort of outdoor planter for the spring. With a good coat of exterior paint or varnish, this type of wooden box could make a great herb planter for instance. If I painted some up, they would complement Verity’s painted pallets very nicely. You could get quite arty with the decoration, perhaps painting ‘parsley’, ‘mint’ etc. and painting leaves and flowers. I can see another excuse to buy an assortment of match pots in all the colours of the rainbow.
My other idea, again by adding at least one more crate, is to make a vegetable storage structure. These boxes are stackable, so you could store potatoes in one box, green stuff in another and so on. A bit of fancy painting, and there you are. In fact they would make great storage towers for all sorts of items. Of course, on the other hand I could simply break the box up for kindling…what do you think folks?
UPDATE: I now have three boxes to use, since I found two more on a trip to yet another branch of Lidl (I do occasionally shop elsewhere you know!). At present, they are stored in the shed, waiting for my inspiration to strike. I can see them as I look through the kitchen window, so there is no escaping the task ahead….