Main Project Ideas and Inspirations

I have not settled on a final project plan but have a few ideas that I’m playing with in my head. None of my ideas have any particular relation other than the fact that I am going to try to upcycle (I know it’s no longer a project requirement, but we should always try to reuse things) something I already own for the main part of the part project and upgrade it in someway. As I will be moving at the end of the summer, I am actively trying to whittle down my belongings so that I have less stuff to cart halfway across the country. I’ve gained a lot of unnecessary stuff through my four years in college (my mom moving to New York last summer and pawning lots of stuff off on me didn’t help).

My first idea is to complete a project I started three years ago. It follows the old school aesthetic I used for my Upcycle project. I made a t-shirt quilt for my father back in high school and then promised I’d make sister one as a graduation present with all of her Iowa State University t-shirts. The images below show examples of t-shirt quilts that follow the old school aesthetic.

My sister attended Iowa State for 5 years and collected many tshirts that she wanted to hang on to from her time there. The images below show the work I did back in the summer of 2018. I laid out the tshirts into a pattern that best suited that overall size and shape of each tshirt and the blanket itself. the image on the right shows the dimensions of each section of the blanket. I believe the dynamic component is that this is a usable object. It can decorate a bed or a couch or a cold human in lounge position.

Another option I considered for this project was to make a plant stand out of a lamp I’m not currently using. This would be an Ikea-style-multi-purpose piece of furniture that supplies both light to a room as well as houses several small potted plants. The image below on the left is a picture of a lamp similar to the one I currently have. The center image below is a normal plant stand, and the image on the left is combination plant stand and lamp that already exists.

For this project I would likely 3D print rings that could fit around the shaft of the lamp and be tightened with a simple screw. Then I think it would look nice if the plates themselves that the plants would sit on were made of wood to tie in a more natural look. Finally, I think I’d paint the lamp white and get rid of the black to brighten up the whole look. The image below are the small potted plants I have currently that need a new home.

I have a couple more things I could work with, but the two project ideas I discussed above are what I am leaning towards making. I really like the idea of repurposing/consolidating my totes of crap hiding in the closet underneath the staircase, so that is the direction I will definitely be taking with the project. I just have to decide if I want a cute plant lamp for my new apartment or to finish a gift I started 4 years ago. Thoughts???


Getty Images, 2021, Featured Image

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Etsy, Image 2

Valerie Welch, Image 3

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MyKnobs, Image 5

Wayfair, Image 6

Etsy, Image 7

Valerie Welch, Image 8

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hunter Meissner
    March 8, 2021 1:25 pm

    I think that both ideas that you presented above are really great ideas that are definitely pursuable. If I was in your position, and given the fact that you are moving I would personally go with the quilt. Not only is it something that can be taken off your hands, but it will also double as a nice graduation gift for your sister. I’m excited to see what you decide.

    • Valerie Welch
      March 10, 2021 7:03 pm

      Hi Hunter, thanks for your feedback! I agree with you. I think I’m going to run with quilt idea!

  • James Brown
    March 8, 2021 1:09 pm

    Hi Valerie,

    I like both ideas that you have laid out here. I also find myself leaning toward using materials that I already own. Both for the reason that you mentioned above about moving, and because I am broke. I think both ideas would turn our well, but I think if I were in your shoes, I would do the quilt. I think it would be nice to have something to give your sister and to get rid of something entirely. If you go with the lamp, you now have another object that you have to take with you when you move. Anyway, good luck!

    • Valerie Welch
      March 10, 2021 7:04 pm

      Hello James, thanks for your comment! I think you’re right, the quilt would get rid of an entire box of tshirts and my sister would love it. I think I’m gonna go with that!


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