Trash to Treasure: Message Board DIY

For this project we transformed an old cabinet door left behind from a kitchen renovation.  Just because there isn’t a place for this door in the kitchen, doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for this door!

 Message Board

  1. Prepare the door. Remove the handles and/or hinges.  Sand it down, to remove the varnish.  You can leave some traces of paint behind to help give it that salvaged look.

  1. Enhance the look.  By using neutral paint and light strokes with a rough brush, you can easily blend the paints and give the frame a natural, weathered look.

  1. Apply backing.  We used burlap to give it a natural, country look. Coat the glass with Mod Podge and adhere the fabric, smoothing out any creases or folds in the material.  After it had set and dried, trim the edges.

  1. 4.      Age the hardware.  We used a combination of spray paint and dirt to give the hardware and old rusty look.  Simply Spray them down with a bronze colored metal spray paint and toss a little dirt on them before the paint dries!



  1. 5.      Replace Hardware and accessorize.  Screw the doorknob back in place.  The hinges we had to screw in backward.  Rather that placing them in the holes they came from we chose to showcase them a bit more.  It wasn’t hard, just flipped them over and screwed them in.  After your hardware in back in place you get to accessorize!  Tie a long piece of twine to the knob and attach a dry erase marker to the other end.  Finally, we tied a bow on for fun!

 message board pic

Beautiful! You now have a clever, salvage designed message board that will be useful in any home!  And to think, you had it all along.  Congratulations crafty DIYer!

Posted in DIY

RRR Hero of December: Sherry Spitz


Iowa native Sherry Spitz grew up on a working farm. Hard work, stretching a dollar and appreciating the beauty in items handed down for generations were all elements of her upbringing that Sherry brought with her when she migrated to Gilbert more than 20 years ago. Sherry’s previous retail experience led to her success in selling antiques in several Valley antique stores before she and her husband finally opened their own eclectic shop in downtown Gilbert, Flashback Antiques.

Sherry’s passion is in finding new ways to use old items. Items that might easily have been discarded as “trash” have found a new, aesthetically pleasing and purposeful life under Sherry’s discerning and artful eye. Sherry’s store is often a prop resource for the Hale Theater and a mecca for Pinterest enthusiasts who appreciate Sherry’s knack to see beyond the original use for an item. Customers frequent her shop for unusual pieces that they can repurpose, and often post their achievements to the store’s Facebook page.

Sherry’s long-standing Gilbert community roots have afforded her excellent networking resources. Contractors bring Sherry items they would have otherwise landfilled, and if Sherry cannot turn their trash into a treasure, or she has more than she needs of any one item, she and her husband make sure that some other charitable organization receives any merchandise that is usable. Sherry doesn’t purchase bags to give her customers when they purchase items. Instead, she reuses sturdy, “pretty” bags that she has received from other merchants.


Sherry’s contribution to reducing the need to purchase new items and reusing what is already there in new and creative ways makes her Gilbert’s Reduce Reuse and Recycle Hero for December. If you know someone who you feel should be recognized as an Reduce Reuse and Recycle Hero, please e-mail us at or give us a call directly at 480-503-6459.

Trash to Trea$ure: Tire Ottoman

Good afternoon, Daring DIYers!

Ottomon Pin

For our next trash to cash project we are going to transform an object that you will no doubt be throwing away at some point …an old tire. It is common to reuse this item outside, but what about making a showpiece statement in your living room? Interested? Let’s get started!

1. Clean the tire. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just give it a good wipe down.

2. Wrap manila rope around the outside of the tire and secure with glue. To create a clean edge we poked a hole in our starting point and fished the rope through it before wrapping.

3. Cut out 2 round circles from MDF to seal off the bottom and top holes of the tire. Decorate these how you want. For our top piece we located the center of the circle and wrapped manila rope around till we reached the outside edge; we will use this as a removable lid. Our bottom circle was painted a shiny black and affixed to the bottom of the tire.

4. Find something cool to secure to the top lid of the tire. We used a door handle because we liked the chunkiness and oblong shape.

5. Attach feet on the bottom to give it some height. We cut out matching decorative shapes from table legs. We then painted them the same glossy black as the bottom board.

Ottomon Instruction Pin

Voila! A tire ottoman that is virtually indestructible, no matter who props their feet up on it. Plus, the inside is great hidden storage space!

Final cost: Lots of time and some love. Inspiration ottomans sell for $522.99 on!

Posted in DIY

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Hero of the Month

Town of Gilbert, Arizona


RRR Hero November

Agriscape is a type of layout that artistically and stylishly blends elements of landscape design and the best practices of sustainable agriculture by growing produce and other foods to reduce landfill waste and water usage.  Long-time Gilbert resident and ASU graduate Justin Rohner found a way to blend his love for agriscape with his passion for healthy living into a thriving agriculturally integrated landscape design business.  Rohner’s firm, Agriscape Technologies, was founded from Rohner’s observations of what he perceives as our misuse and waste of our natural resources.

One look at Justin’s own edible yard created from scratch serves as a testament to his commitment to practice what he preaches as well as a living billboard of his talent for aesthetic design.  Throughout the past few years, he has transformed his standard lot to include a plethora of nutritious and tasteful arrangements.  His use of a modified grey-water system…

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Earth Friendly Tip #11: Freecycle is a grassroots, non-profit movement of people who are giving and getting stuff for free! The idea is focused on reuse and keeping things out of the landfill.

The Freecycle Network

Looking to get rid of something functional you no longer need? Want the finishing touch for a room but don’t want to spend any money? Check out today!

RRR Hero of October: Elaine Birks-Mitchell

Did you know that 95% of textiles can be recycled, yet 85% of them end up in landfills? Gilbert resident Elaine Birks-Mitchell did. Elaine was also aware of the need by multiple organizations for a singularly elusive garment that was oddly enough not often collected as part of clothing drives – bras. At the same time there are bras tucked away in dresser drawers in almost every home that aren’t being used because they just don’t fit right. On average 8 out of 10 women buy the wrong size bra, which then remains unworn and as we are now aware, not donated!


You cannot return undergarments, but you can recycle them! So, in 2008 Elaine founded the Bra Recyclers, a Gilbert-based textile recycling company that specializes in the collection and distribution of bras to over 70 organizations worldwide including women in local Valley shelters and other transitional programs. Elaine and her team of Bra Ambassadors started a “Bra-volution” accepting donations of new or gently used bras and getting them to the women and girls that need them the most. “It’s about believing you can make a difference by recycling,” said Elaine Birks-Mitchell. It’s simple; drop off or mail your bra donations to:

3317 S. Higley Road
STE. 114-441
Gilbert, AZ 85297

Thank you Elaine, you are making a difference! For Elaine’s innovative thinking and passion to help others makes her Gilbert’s Reduce Reuse Recycle hero for the month of October. If you know someone who you feel should be recognized for as an RRR Hero, please e-mail us at or give us a call directly at 480-503-6459.

Earth Friendly Tip: Ditch the ziploc bag

Pack your lunch in an insulated bag instead of using a paper or plastic bag. Utilize reusable containers for sandwiches, chips, fruit, or anything else you eat at lunch! This cuts down significantly on ziploc bags, which we cannot recycle in Gilbert blue bins because they get caught in the machines!

For more information on recycling plastic films, such as ziploc bags and plastic wrap, please visit!