Recycled Wood Makes Great Holiday Project

Image: A bed foundation on side of road.
Does this look like a project to you? It does to me.

It's one thing to read about recycling on the Internet, or to see kids shows promote the ideals of good stewardship of resources. It's another thing altogether to actually make something useful out of junk. I maintain the latter is a much more powerful way of teaching the validity of recycling as a part of every-day life.

My eight year old granddaughter is a bright kid, and she really likes making things. So it was easy to get her involved in creating a useful storage box for her room. The bonus was we built it out of wood rescued from the landfill. Wood is not cheap, in case you haven't noticed. And I've discovered that old bed foundations have quite a bit of useable wood in them.

I disassembled a couple of queen size foundations and got a nice selection of sanded wood boards. These were not box springs, as they had no steel springs at all; just wood, cardboard and some fabric. The cheapest bed foundations are constructed this way.

Please note I did NOT just pick these foundations up off the side of the road. You could do that, but there is a risk of introducing bedbugs or other unwanted pests into your home enviroment. If you can compensate for that risk, though, it might be worth it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The kid helped as much as you might expect an eight year old to help. There's only so much she could do, but I tried to keep her involved by finding tasks she could do. She responded with enthusiasm to doing the sanding, and later on we developed her skill with a socket wrench while demonstrating transforming the box from 'chest mode' to 'cabinet mode' by moving the split base from the bottom to one end.

Here is the gallery.

I would share the plans with you if there were any. However, this was one of my famous "greg projects" which means the 'plan' sorta developed as we went along. It's more a matter of "what can I make with what I have on hand" than anything else.

One important detail is this: ALWAYS drill pilot holes. Pine loves to split, and the screws I used are not specfically designed for wood. I used a 1/8" bit to drill pilot holes for the #8 lath screws.

I bought this hardware:

I had these things on hand:

The end result made me and the girl happy, which is the most important thing. And we got to actually participate in reducing waste by reusing what would have otherwise been buried in some landfill.

I think that certainly qualifies as a Thing That Works!

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