Four Crafts Using Items From Your Storage Unit

Jon Fesmire | Mar 07, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

Self storage is best when you use it for things you need. So, when you discover that you have furniture, books, or other items you want to get rid of, you have a few choices. You can donate, recycle, sell, or do something creative—like start a craft project.

These are some of our favorite craft ideas for things that may be sitting around in your storage unit. Do one or more, and consider these projects a starting point for coming up with your own ideas.

Action Figure Lamp

Perhaps you have an old table lamp and some old toys or action figures in storage. These might even be toys from fast food children’s meals. Maybe you thought the figures would go up in value and after many years, they haven’t. Rather than throw them, and the lamp, in the trash, you can turn them into an artistic piece for your child’s room or your desk.

With the lamp, some spray paint, glue, your action figures, and a few tools, you’ll be able to transform your dull lamp into an exciting sculpture. These directions give the details.

Candles from Mason Jars

Mason jars are great. Though they’re made for canning jams, jellies, and sauces, they also make nice drinking glasses, especially if you like having a rustic feel in your home.

You can also make candles with them. If you’ve ever shopped for candles, you know how expensive they can be. So, if you have some old mason jars in storage, why not make your own? Use them at home, or give them as gifts.

You’ll need the following:

  • Mason jars

  • Soy flakes

  • Scent oil

  • Wicks/wick stands/wick holders

  • Pot

  • Wooden spoon

These are instructions for one candle, but we suggest you do several at a time.

Wash out and dry your mason jar, then measure it from bottom to top. Twist about an inch of wick around a pencil and measure the wick out from the pencil to the height of the jar. In other words, if the jar is six inches high, measure six inches of wick from the pencil, and cut it. Place the pencil on top of the jar so that the wick hangs down the center to the bottom.

Heat the soy flakes in the pot, and stir them while they have melted evenly together. Next, stir in one ounce of the scented oil of your choice per pound of wax, and stir. Pour the melted wax into the mason jar and let it cool. When finished, cut the wick about a half an inch from the top of the wax, and your scented candle is ready. Screw on the lid (if you still have the lids) and you can use it later or give it as a gift.

Hardcover Books into Shelves

Do you have some books that have been following you for years? Maybe they’re hardcovers you picked up at a library sale or garage sale, or textbooks that you’ve never gotten rid of but that you’re not interested in reading again. You could dump them, or you could put them to good use.

Imagine each of those books attached to your wall and earning its keep as a shelf for lightweight objects. Real Simple has an excellent DIY page for this easy project. These look attractive, and each one is unique.

Computer Case to Mailbox

Computer technology moves fast. Perhaps you have an old computer tower or two in your storage unit that you know you’ll never use. Depending on how old it is, your current computer may have twice the storage space and RAM, or greater. In the mid-90s, a great computer might have a one gigabyte hard drive and 16 megabytes of RAM. Today, you probably have about a one terabyte hard drive and 12 to 16 gigabytes of RAM. That’s one thousand times more storage space and computing power than just about 20 years ago.

So, why are you keeping that old computer?

Consider turning the tower portion, which is the boxy body of the computer that contains its working components, and take everything out of it. Remove the hard drives, CD drives, motherboard, and so on. Then, bolt the tower, upright, to the top of your mailbox post. Get address stickers from your local hardware store and put your address on the side. Your mail carrier will be able to drop your mail in via the top drive slot.

Here’s a video on YouTube showing what one man did with this idea.

We hope these ideas allow you to create some useful items, and have some fun, with old items sitting around in your storage unit. Use your imagination and you’re bound to come up with ideas for other items, like old furniture, CDs, and tools you no longer need. Enjoy!