I'm a dumpster diver and find no shame in that. I rescue food from the trash, get toys from the trash, get clothing from the trash, get schoolbooks from the trash. In fact, I rarely actually reach in to the trash as people here are generally mindful that other people may want their cast offs, so generally just place their things next to the dumpster instead of inside.
My most recent dumpster dive probably was my biggest one yet- a neighbor was throwing out a 5 door closet, and I "rescued it", lugging it back from the dumpster myself, because I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it- build with it instead of with bought wood! There were 5 door panels, and 3 much larger panels as well.
I'd rather not share the specifics of exactly what my husband built, because it's not something that would be applicable to most readers, but I just wanted to show you some of the creativity involved in how my husband did it.
He built two walls by connecting the boards with each other with small wooden pieces and metal brackets screwed into the door. But the smartest part was how he attached the corners-
Can you tell what he used to attach the two sides to make a corner?
The metal tracks from the drawers that were part of this closet!
My husband just took off the tracks, bent them in an L shape, and then screwed them into place. They did the job perfectly.
We needed a table to use as a picnic table, and had no folding table or even any spare table that we could bring outside.
An extra board and a broken arm chair, missing a back, that I found in the trash, became a little table.
First sawed the board a little shorter, because it was too long. Then flipped the chair upside down onto the board, and screwed screws through the arms and into the board. Then flipped it back over.
Wasn't the most beautiful table, I'll admit, and I would have prefered a slightly wider table, but...
Once covered with a tablecloth, it didn't look quite so bad anymore. And in fact, it was even big enough to have a family of four over for dinner as guests, and still have room to seat everyone.
My husband took apart the first project, and put the wood to use again.
We have very little floor space in our apartment, and our strollers and portable clothes rack were always falling over, looking messy, and taking up floor space. We also can't easily put things in the wall as they're made out of cement...
My husband used two of those boards together with an old refrigerator grate, some screws, and some twine and made a corner "shelving unit" or however you want to call it. It has a place to hang the clothes rack as well as a hook to hold one of our strollers, so its not falling all over the floor. (Good thing that stroller is light.)
The refrigerator rack at the top holds things like my baby carrier and other stuff that I generally take with me when I leave the house, and my husband made a net shelf out of string to hold the rain covers for the strollers.
The rest of the wood, my husband used to create shelves in the kids' room.
These aren't works of art, but they're creative ways to use what would otherwise end in a landfill, and saved us from needing to spend money on alternatives.
Whats the biggest thing you dumpster dove? Have you ever built anything with reclaimed wood? What was it?