Unusual 'Art' in Your Home?

des_arc_ya_yaJune 17, 2004

What's probably the most unusual thing that you have displayed in your home? I love unique, one of a kind things used as art and just wanted to hear what you have! LOL

Mine right now probably is my set of four old numerals taken from a railroad switch box. They are square metal pieces with a numeral on each. As luck would have it, the first two were my lucky number - 29, and the last two were the year I was born - 50. They are raised, chippy black painted numbers on the neatest background of aged, white and paint cracked metal. I put them on a long black rectangular frame - no glass and used the original rusty bolts that held them. Cut the ends of the bolts off and attached them in the holes with Liquid Nails so that they look like they are bolted to the inside of the frame. Hard to describe, but I think they look WONDERFUL! Will post a photo later.

What do you have that others might be interested in hearing about?

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I, too,have a love for the unusual. My family and friends think I am nuts because I am always on the hunt for strange things to display around my house. I have two old windows displayed in my house (one over the couch in the living room and over my bed). I used to have a pair of old shutters hinged together for a room divider. I recently "picked" a wonderful, old huge clock from a neighbor's garbage. I'm not sure that it works, but I am going to hang it over the couch in my familyroom. I am also getting ready to add old board games to the family room wall as an art display.
There is a picture of one of my windows in the gallery (under garbage window revised). I will post a picture of the clock (and the boardgame wall when it is done) on the gallery soon.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 10:44AM
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I just posted a picture of my garbage find clock in the gallery. Check it out!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 12:21PM
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Gorgeous wool saddle blankets we found for about $5.00 each in a back room at the feed store. We put loops on the backs and use them as wall hangings. I just love the texture and the colors are stunning, too: pink & green; black, khaki & red; turquoise, green & red. Prize purchase (all of $12.00) was a double saddle blanket (easily 5' x 7') that is striped red, green, turquoise, black, yellow & white.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 1:35PM
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I painted a picture of a deer on a big hunk of tree fungus .
I love unusual stuff !

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 3:27PM
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My brother has the wrought iron mailbox that was our Granny's hanging on his kitchen wall. He keeps his bills in it!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 2:58PM
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I have a dragon's head coming out of my wall... does that count? Than i have a picture that i found that looks like the dragon above him.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 3:30PM
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I display my mosaic bowling balls in my living room. I hate to put them away for the winter, so they join me in the house!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 3:41PM
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I love the unexpected on walls. Im not real sure what mine is but I found a huge wooden (my girls say it looks like a button because it has four holes in the center) wheel mold. No spokes, just all wood with the the holes in the middle..and, its bright red! Its about 2 ft' around. For a long time, my husband balked at hanging it in my living room, but I came home one day and its up!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 6:47PM
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I have a side table which I made from and engine crankshaft with a flywheel for the table top. My DH does auto repair so I have alot of inspiration.
Have a wonderful Day

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 7:27AM
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hi, had to think for a while ,not really junk or trash ,but I am sure most of it came from mistint or reduced shelve .
I painted my daughters room one side day and the other night used around 7 colors of blue and glaze witha strafoam sun and moon on each side THEN put over 200 glow in the dark stars on the night side and used glow paint to put dots all over and put cloud curtains on one side and night sky looking fabric on the other ,you can almost read with light outs . I guess that qaulifys but we need a music box that chirps like crickets ..rick

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 1:01AM
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Sounds cool Rick. Will you be getting a digital camera for your birthday? Would love to see pictures of your daughters room. :o) I don't have computer access tomorrow so will say it today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 12:05PM
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I made 12 cafe curtains once, out of the burlap bags from the coffee company that used to be here. I filled the whole back seat of the car with bags! (I wish that company was still here). No sewing..just hot glued all the seams. The same year I found the (I think they were) round decorative cast iron parts to a wood stove. Painted them and hung them on the wall..boy they were HEAVY! And carved and stained/painted driftwood for the walls too once.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 3:47PM
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Hi, I'm a newbie to this forum. Love the ideas! Our most unique item hanging on the walls is a set of 4 wooden pipes from an old pipe organ which we got from an organ collector who was having a garage sale. We get alot of questions about what they actually are. My other favorite unique item is an old wooden chicken crate which now doubles as a display shelf, a flea market find in Lambertville, NJ.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 2:42PM
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I, too, am a newbie to this forum. I collect rocks and old bottles. Just plain ole rocks that look neat or unusual. Used to live in a neighborhood that was built over a coca cola glass dump. Dug up lots of old coke bottles, milk bottles and other glass stuff. Was almost as much fun as dumpster diving.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 10:24AM
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A long way around, but necessary...

Used to make 2-3 trips a year to a specific motel in a resort area and became close friends with the owners. Always stayed in the same room, and eventually they gave me my own key, complete with an "official" keytag. In the middle of the room there was a rather prominent burn mark in the carpet that sort of marked it as "home". When they recarpeted the rooms, the owners cut out that burn and saved it for me.

I put that hunk o' carpet in a frame, matted it, stuck on the key, keytag, the room number and a small photo of me with the family. It hangs in my rec room as a reminder of the great times there. Even those who don't understand the history agree it's an attractive, if unusual, hanging.

In my office I hung a platter from a 1970's era computer hard drive where I cut my computer teeth. It is 15" in diameter and held a whopping 5 megabytes! A little history, and another reminder of simpler (?) times...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 1:43PM
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We have a large cooper nozzle from a stationary fire hose that came from a launch site at Cape Kennedy. It has sat in our foyer area of several homes over the years and hold an arrangement of euclatpus branches.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 8:36PM
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We have my Husband's Grandparents clock on the mantle in the lr.its over 100 yrs old and strikes on the hour & half hour, directly under it on a nail I have an iron "wheel", "pully" or something about 12 inches across with a Y in the center and a hole in the middle with 6 cogs evenly spaced around it. We lived on a dirt road about 47 years ago and I saw it in the ditch after the road had been "scraped" it looked as if it had been in the ditch or buried many years then. I dug it out of the shed about 6 months ago. On the hearth below this I have a cannonball my Dad kept most of his life.He was born in 1895 and lived in New Orleans in his teen age years and found it there. I get lots of comments on my decor!!! Sue

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 10:09PM
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Not too strange, and it's not actually up on the walls yet- but I have a growing collection of corks from wine bottles. Going to frame them and hang them in my kitchen. My family thinks I'm weird and my boyfriend thinks I'm a kook for wanting to hang them in our house.

I think it'll look neat!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 3:58PM
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After my husband's father passed away at 87 years old, my mother-in-law gave us several of his workbench tools he had had since he was a young man. (Things like old wrenches, hammer, screw drivers, and several other tools.) They have lots of sentimental value to my husband, as well as being quite old, so rather than using them he mounted them on a peg board that he painted white. He then added an old wooden sign with my in-laws name that they had used on their mailbox and that my father-in-law had carved himself many years ago. Not only do those old tools look great, but it makes more sense to preserve them this way than to have them hidden in some old box in the garage.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 8:23PM
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Not really unusual, but have my Dad's bugle on top of the entertainment center. He was a Bugler in WWI. My brother has his old army uniform.
Does my Christmas tree in corner of living room count? It stays up year round, as I have no intention of spending hours putting it together and have no place to store it. I decorate it according to holidays. Right now it is "nude" waiting for me to pretty it up, and it will probably wait until Halloween.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 11:20PM
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I have a Bullie Bag on the coffee table we use for serving mixed nuts to guests. It was a gift. Would that be considered art?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 11:56PM
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I have a map table ( coffee table with a a glass top and drawers that pull out underneath) that is filled with the buttons I inherited from my Nanna who was a seamstress. With the many handmade and antique buttons - glistening pearls, colored glass buttons, polished wood from various uniforms - the collection is a treasure to behold and reminds me of the hours I spent as a child sorting and studying the contents of the button box.

My guests are always intrigued !

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 12:42AM
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Awww, man! I was so surprised to see this old post brought back to the top. I love reading about the neat stuff people display in their homes. Anybody else?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 5:22AM
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Any chance of seeing a pic of that coffee table, flamesfan? Sounds neat!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 6:33AM
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I'll try on the weekend Barbara..I 'll have to borrow a digital camera. BTW cool, cool birdbath in your garden. Have you tried the mosaic stepping stones?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 11:40PM
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Sorrel - What's a bullie bag?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 9:45PM
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I am new to this forum but wanted to share. My mother always had a piece of art on the wall growing up of Old Keys. They were real keys glued on an 8x10 board and framed with an old wood frame. We were military and I always thought they were the keys to all the houses we lived in,but since learned she had found it a yard sale. She said when she went to purchase it the man thought she was weird for wanting it and that he just gave it to her. It has always been a conversation piece with everyone.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 8:59AM
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Thanks for any pics you can send along, flamesfan ( I LOVE buttons), and thanks also for the kind words on my birdbath (which is now safely inside for the winter!) No, I haven't done any stepping stones as yet... another item to add to my to-do list!

Earthangel, I can totally relate to your mother's love of old keys... a weakness I share! They have such character and mystery. I have a project using old keys that is also on my to-do list...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 12:18PM
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Speaking of the to-do list....I'll try to scan a picture over the holidays of my button treasures. We've been installing hardwood and a kitchen over the last few weeks so I'll have lots of film to shoot.

Earthangel, I love being reminded how children bring meaning to things like the Old Key picture. Of course you would believe that your Mom would cherish and keep all the keys to her old homes with so many moves. It is a charming idea.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2004 at 11:54PM
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It may be unusual art, but it is built for function....
we used 108 four inch by one inch blocks of quartz counter top sample blocks to build a base for our new corn stove. The mosaic design is random and the colors range from cream to dark charcoal. We acquired the blocks from a home improvement store when they were replacing their sample blocks. There is a front row of two-inch blocks to finish filling out the base that is built with two by six boards and standard floor board. The outside edges are covered with some back-splash tiles that were also being discarded.
Those tile seem a little pale and will probably be highlighted with some wood stain in the next few days. We are still waiting on our stove to be delivered and will try to post pictures when it is in place.

As for collectibles as art, I have many vintage table cloths, and display some of them on a tri-fold drying rack in the dining room. It also serves to hide some of my messy computer area.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 11:58AM
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Good Post, I picked up a 9 panel window, framed it with 4 x 1 redwood boards cut down from an old fence. Put a shelf on the bottom and put a crown-molding mantle on top. Put a one piece mirror behind it, painted the frame shabby white and the mantle shabby blue. It is hanging above our couch.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 2:13AM
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I collect antique keys and have them displayed above my bed inside plain pic frames. Love everyones ideas!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2005 at 7:32AM
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I have a giant toothbrush that lights up in my bathroom, a 6 ft broken mechanical gorilla in my living room, a leg hanging from the ceiling with rubber elf shoe on it, my bedroom is done completely in blacklight trash hanging from the ceiling & walls and then there's the 100 or so Urban Core Samples which are the assorted bottles I sort my treasures in.....But the Gorilla usually is what people notice first...then they look around and say oh my god, your house would give me nightmares...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 1:18AM
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i have a picture of the first house i lived in as a young bride.it was a hundred yr old house build out of litered wood ,. it had 2 rooms and a shed with a kitchen out back.my best freind was living with a mexican man who is an amatuer artis. he painted this picture and i begged for it.ironically he has never seen this house or the town which i live in and the house is still being used and has been moved twice since i lived in it 45 yrs ago.oooooooooooowheoooooooo!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 10:41PM
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We have barstools made from car wheels stacked on their sides and welded together and with a cushion on the top.

Oh, and a clear acrylic toilet seat with fishing flies and lures embedded in the acrylic. I keep wondering if the hooks will eventually work their way through to the surface.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 10:54PM
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This might be considered unusual. It's a sculpture I made from copper tubing, cds, washers, wire and some paint.

Here's a close up.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 1:02AM
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I love this forum! I just got 'back' after being gone from this site for a spell, so I feel like a 'newbie'! What great contributions are submitted by all! Sure beats paying a 'designer' when we have each other's brains to pick and on the spot experience! Thanks and let's keep this thread going!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 11:13PM
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I have black papier mache collectible crow decoys in my kitchen! No, not all over, but one is hanging from an antique drape holder, one on top of my old coffee cans, and one perched on a child's old chair hanging from a rack. Oops...I guess I have one sitting on a large wooden spool on top of my family room hutch, with an old large watering can beside it filled with berries! I love them!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 12:01AM
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Well, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that likes old "junk". I have an old oxen yolk hanging on my living room wall, it's a small one that was used for the oxen in training on my great-grandfather's farm. I also have the old crank style wall phone that my mother said was in her kitchen when she was a kid.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2005 at 6:32PM
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I just love my old theatre seat. Well, it is the cast iron side of it, because the wood was damaged. It weighs a ton. is aqua.... has a lady from the early part of the century on it. She is sooooo art deco. I just love it. It is leaning up against the wall. If it fell on my toe I am sure it would break it......LOL

    Bookmark   February 14, 2005 at 10:49AM
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I have a blow up big Godzilla that i put in my bathtub for Halloween (sticking out just a bit) A godzilla bank that roars, A Plastic gaudy santa which when it comes out for christmas first place it goes is under my daughters blankets in her bed. Felix the cat mini on my computer, Taz stuff, pez dispensers displayed on pegboard, painting displayed on a beautiful metal easel in the dining room, bronzey leafy lamp from india in my bedroom (was a good deal from a tag sale) Gumball machine in game room (looking for top piece) What i really am looking for is a wooden indian then I would be in heaven!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 7:06AM
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I collect old wooden tool boxes. They are usually about 1ftx3ft. I always meant to finish them, but I kind of like the way they look old and scarred. I use them in various rooms to hold odds and ends - candles, video tapes, etc.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 7:55PM
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As things go with this forum...I'm not sure how unusual this is, but here's the table my son-inlaw made for me several years ago from a rusty old potbelly stove his boss was throwing out. Since then, I've acquired another old rusty one from a former neighbor. That one sits in my front yard. We also have an old Franklin stove in our backyard which we put a chimney on to make it useable. Am now in search of another old stove to use in the sideyard for decoration.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 1:08PM
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I have an old wooden box that has Shredded Whole Wheat Biscuit with the address also written on the side sitting beside my husband's recliner being used as an end table...2 six pane windows with the glass replaced with mirrors hanging on the wall..an old wooden shutter just leaning against a wall..haven't decided what to do with it yet...found it floating in the lake... I have 3 wall shelves made out of boards from an old chicken coop from when I was young..several pieces of different sized drift wood decorated and hanging on the walls..an old bird cage hanging from the ceiling..a fruit crate I nailed to the wall(bottom against the wall) that I use for a shelf, with old bowls sitting in it..I also just set one on the floor with a lamp sitting on top.. a log that was also found at the lake that is hollowed out that I set a hanging vine planter in sitting in my living room...and the last project that was just finished before xmas, we cut small trees for curtain rods and wrapped grapevine all around them and made wooden brackets to hang them with, these are above my dining and living room windows..and then I hung little wooden and rustic stars, hearts and angel ornaments from them.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 11:46AM
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I have some old old antique Rail Road switchbox keys numbers still on them. pretty cool little Items

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 8:51PM
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I have a wooden pipe from an organ, an old wood planer
several cobblers set ups? and a cobblers shoe form
I use an old wine rack I painted for towels in the bathroom
And an old fish box missing a slat so I moved the bottom slats up and put pictures in the botton, of course they are in small fish frames

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 11:18AM
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I like to use architectural pieces. here are a couple

Old iron grates

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 11:24AM
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What a great thread! I have an old counter weight scale that was used in a metalurgical laboratory at the University. It is about 30 inches long and 16 inches high. When I first saw it I fell in love. Painted it barn red and set it on the half wall between the living and dining rooms. Now that I moved to a much smaller place I keep it in the studio where it is waiting for a new place of honor.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 9:54AM
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