8 Ingenious Repurposes for Old Electric Fixtures

Saving electricity is a hot topic these days. It's a great way of conserving precious energy and minimizing your carbon footprint. Another eco-friendly practice is repurposing, which minimizes the amount of still-usable goods sent to landfills. We put the two concepts together for a lighthearted look at how to deal with no-longer-working electric fixtures. "If you can't repair, then repurpose," is our motto.

Deezie/hometalk1. Burnt-Out Bulbs Become Ceiling Art

What in the world do you do with a bunch of burnt-out light bulbs? Why, come up with a cool -- and easy -- decorating idea, of course. Deezie wired a group of colorful bulbs together and hung them all from a hook stuck into some "found art" … a gracefully shaped piece of driftwood attached to her ceiling.

Eva Barker Beaule/hometalk2. Bathroom Light Strip Finds Fresh Purpose as a Candle Base

After bathroom renovations, it seemed like the brassy old Hollywood light strip was bound for a local landfill. That is, until Eva Barker Beaule was inspired to paint it black and update it as a clever candle base. She even added tiny pads on the bottom so it won't scratch her table.

 Jim Jakes/hometalk3. Old Outlet Covers Frame New Photos

Yes, you can repurpose outdated covers from an electric outlet. Fix them up with a good scrub, paint, and glue onto an attractive mounting, as Jim Jakes did. Voila! You've got yourself the world's tiniest picture frames. These would be great for a wall display of classmate's photos.

GadgetSponge/hometalk4. Electric Fence Charger Transforms as a Lamp

Here's an oldie but goodie. A charger, used in years gone by to electrify farm fencing, was given a new lease on life as the base for an industrial-style box lamp by the ingenious GadgetSponge. Can you identify 4 other recycled "ingredients"? See the answers below.*

GadgetSponge/hometalk5. Discarded Vent Hood Now Feeds the Birds

A cheap, discarded vent hood was paired with an eclectic assembly of upcycled odds and ends (including an "antique" glass fuse) to become much more than the sum of their parts. GadgetSponge worked a little repurposing magic once again to come up with this pretty and practical garden bird feeder.

Rustic ReDiscovered/hometalk6. Electric Cable Spool Turns into a Table

The sturdy, oversized spools that once held electric cable are just right for making rugged-chic tables. Here Susan, who blogs at Rustic ReDiscovered, added interest by burning the spool's center in spots and adorning it with a metal rim from a broken barrel.

Carol S/hometalk7. Vintage Electric Floor Lamp Opts for Candle Power

This vintage electric floor lamp had been banged around so much it looked like all its parts, from wiring to switch, were beyond repair. But Carol S, reluctant to trash this memento from a dear friend, took the time to completely dismantle, paint, and reassemble it in a delightful new role as an outdoor (candle-powered) light.

Jamala W/hometalk8. Too-Dark Light Shades Brighten up Houseplants

These glass shades, purchased new, were too cute to pass up but turned out to also be too dark to let the light shine through. So, with the help of coffee filters and pebbles to slow down drainage, Jamala W transformed them into lovely planters that brighten her home just beautifully.

*Answers to #4: A) fisherman's paddle pushers, B) flashlight, C) lamp component, D) wooden board from an old pay phone.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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