a change in time

musings on behavioural change – the small stuff and the big stuff.

Peter can repurpose almost anything


While I like to think I have developed a few skills for reducing food waste and recycling, my husband, Peter, definitely wears the crown when it comes to reusing and repurposing. Today I will provide some ‘before and after’ examples of how Peter has diverted ‘waste’ from landfill, to create objects that enhance our daily lives.

  1. This wind chime

Okay, so it doesn’t look much like a wind chime in this photo. The discs are from old hard drives, the silver-plated dish originally belonged to Peter’s mother, Lois, and the printing plates are from Peter’s father’s factory, from back in the day.


This looks more like a wind chime! In this shot it is hanging inside, however the lack of wind was a problem so it now resides outside our back door, where there is plenty of wind.  I also love the way the sunlight hits the discs creating light patterns on nearby walls.

2. The sign for our band


Peter has a knack with cardboard. This humble cardboard box…


was given a coat of white paint after many hours of cutting and gluing, and then transformed into…


…a mesmerising sign that assures our audience find it hard to take their eyes off the stage!

I love this sign so much. It hangs above the window in our living room, and when friends or family drop by, or we just feel in a party mood, we flick the switch and the WAMBO sign lights up the room.

shiny sign

Festive lights for Louis, Tam and Dorothy’s visit in November 2014

2a The traveling WAMBO sign


This sign deserves a mention because it was repurposed from an old copper hot water service we found way over in a back corner of the roof cavity.


After all that cutting and shaping, Peter added some twinkling lights and we now have this adorable compact version, for those smaller venues.

3. The top section of the range hood

before_range hood top

We somehow managed to misplace the top section of the range hood about five years ago so Peter thought he should make a new one. He started with cardboard for the initial design, and then used tin from our old skylight to create the base.

after_range hood

Peter has a fine collection of copper and brass items which come in handy for all sorts of situations. Forget boring stainless steel, our range hood is decorated with horses pulling a chariot! (The brass shield came from a secondhand shop in Tasmania.)

4. Frame for bathroom exhaust unit


Our exhaust fan broke down and we were disappointed to discover that the new one was smaller than the old one. We needed a new frame. Why not use a frame from an old print?   I liked this idea.


It took a few adjustments and some trial and error, however, before long our draft problem was solved. It is especially pleasing for those people who end up flat out on the bathroom floor!

5. Before Peter, there was Gordon.


Whenever I compliment Peter on his ability to use materials from around the house to create both practical and fanciful things, he never fails to mention that his late father, Gordon, was his inspiration.


Thanks to Gordon for being such a good example to his son – his influence has left an indelible imprint on our lives.                                 I wonder what we will work on next!

Author: rhinophile

I’m interested in how we live and how we die. I like to try things on and see if they work for me. I find the human experience a fascinating one. No matter how much we hear about there being evil in the world, I also know there is goodness, and many people who are dedicated to caring for everyone and everything.

5 thoughts on “Peter can repurpose almost anything

  1. A wonderful photo montage and a wonderful team effort. Peter has the most impressive set of tools I have seen – all the better for repurposing items that would otherwise languish in landfill or a second hand shop. His creativity shines through, literally in some cases! 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing the latest example of Peter’s handiwork soon.

  2. Nice work both of you!

  3. What a fantastic range hood and the copper sign is a beauty.

  4. How lucky are you to have such a versatile man at your side. He could always go into eco-consultancy if he had to retire from his current career. We need more Peter and Gordon’s in the world. Share with my Facebook homies.

  5. Very nice – his work, your words!

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