Movers & Makers takes on ReUse-apalooza’s Designer Challenge

– By Elizabeth Mariner, Movers & Makers co-publisher and creative director

Some weeks ago, my daughter, Stephanie, turned me on to “Flea Market Flip” on HGTV. Soon after, when she read about ReUse-apalooza’s Designer Challenge – to craft auction items for the fundraiser from mostly salvaged and recycled materials – she said, “Mom, we can SO do this!”

Stephanie is unafraid to tackle a project, even woodworking, and I am a designer (graphic) with a long history of crafty experience reusing, remaking and re-imagining. Easy, right? Go to Building Value, pick out some salvaged items, and turn them into something fabulous for the fundraiser.

Let’s just say, now I know why they call this a “challenge.” Unlike the TV show, I do not have a “workshop of master craftsmen” at my disposal. Luckily, I have friends.

Join us and other participating designers at ReUse-apalooza on May 19 (7-11 p.m. at Building Value, Northside) to see (and bid on!) the finished products. Tickets are $35. Proceeds benefit Easterseals programs.

Scroll on to see the story of M&M’s Designer Challenge(s), and the friends who helped along the way. It’s been fun!

Shopping at Building Value in Northside: Selfie with manager David Daniels and my daughter, Stephanie Fan, M&M digital editor

Shopping at Building Value in Northside: Selfie with manager David Daniels and my daughter, Stephanie Fan, M&M digital editor

Deconstruction phase: A salvaged pair of folding shutters from Building Value began its transformation on the kitchen table.

Deconstruction phase: A salvaged pair of folding shutters from Building Value began its transformation on the kitchen table.

Power tools are a girl’s best friend: Stephanie lent a hand with her circular saw before she went to the FC Cincinnati opener.

One woman’s trash: We looked for inspiration at Indigo Hippo, OTR’s nonprofit resale art/craft supply store (13th and Main). Corian samples were perfect. Thanks, Megan! Also a shout-out to the guys at the new Woods Hardware (125 E. Ninth St., downtown). Surprising variety. Always someone to help.

One woman’s trash… : We looked for inspiration at Indigo Hippo, OTR’s nonprofit resale art/craft supply store (13th and Main). Corian samples were perfect. Thanks, Megan!

Going for a statement piece: Lighted sidetable with a removable checkerboard top. I’m still kicking around some interesting ideas for the final paint job.

Going for a statement piece: A lighted side table with a removable checkerboard top. The lamp inside came from Goodwill.

It's a wrap! Black and white fashion photography from magazines adds the finishing touch.

It’s a wrap! Black and white fashion photography from magazines added the finishing touch. (Come to ReUse-apalooza to get a look at the other three sides!)

Second project: a louver door from Building Value. Michael Drake cut it into two pieces.

PROJECT NUMBER 2: An unfinished louver door from Building Value. Thanks to Michael Drake who lent his saw and cut it into two pieces.

Capping the ends: The saw exposed dowels and other unsightly innards. Who knew?

Mapping out a plan: After stain and lacquer, an old National Geographic map went under the Xacto knife.

Mapping out a plan: Stain and lacquer went on the door and an old National Geographic map went under the X-Acto knife.

The scary bit: working up the courage to drill those holes.

The scariest bit: Working up the courage to drill those holes.

Rolling along: Marbles along the Ohio River.

Rolling along: Marbles to designate the Ohio River.

At last!: A two-tier coffee table, glass top courtesy Paige von Hoffmann. The map and marbles came from Indigo Hippo. (The pipe legs and fittings are new as these are not typically salvageable, I am told.) A final shout-out to manager Jeff at Woods Hardware (125 E. Ninth St., downtown), my new go-to for everything DIY. And a big “thank you!” to my partner, Thom Mariner, for his infinite patience and occasional muscle (Yes, it was he who drilled the scary marble holes while I held my breath). Looking forward to the next project!

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