Something From Nothing
Sarah Rae Smith
Oct 21, 2008

102108-oildrum2.jpg Yesterday we kicked off our week long Craigslist Free Scavenger. We showed you how to make a front door mat from an old tire and a pet house from an old speaker box. Today our free finds from Craigslist include an old oil drum and some retail shelving. All you have to do is supply the time and the manual labor. Click through the jump to see our ideas!

Scavenging Tip: Oil drums are common occurances on Craigslist, the only key is beating the junk metal scrappers to them, so make sure you act fast if you want one. You can also find retail shelving in the business section of Craigslist in addition to the free section. Don't be afraid to email someone who might happen to have their display listed for a fee asking to haul it away if no one ends up purchasing it.

From Oil Drum To Trashcan

  • You will want to cut the top off your oil drum. You can use a drill bit to start your hole and a hack saw to cut it out, or make friends with someone who is skilled in the way of the power tools.
  • The next step will be to clean out whatever is left inside. Make sure to inquire from the previous owner what has been in there. It might change what cleanser you use to take care of things.
  • Once things are clean and dry, pick up a few casters from your local hardware store (Wal-Mart also carries them) or farm and feed store. Attach them to the bottom (hopefully in a rust free area) and flip your can back over.
  • You are now ready to add your favorite brand of trash bag, although we highly suggest using one that is larger than your average bear.

    From Retail Shelf To Wardrobe

  • 1 - With this specific piece you have the option to paint before doing any other adjustments. In this case we might take the second to do so and make it a nice pop of color in our space.
  • 2 - We also came across a listing for pipe remains, but if you don't happen upon such a listing you can purchase short lengths from the harware store. Just make sure to take your measurements in so they can cut it to length correctly the first time. While you're there purchase two flanges for the correct diameter of your pipe.
    Attach them to the side of the shelving (screws will work just fine) at an appropriate depth (so a hanger will fit).
  • 3 - In the back of the top section we would love to screw in some hooks to hang jewlrey, purses or other accessories. It could be used for shoe storage or winter hats and gloves.

    We hope this helps to inspire the creator in all of you. Make sure to look at things with a curious eye next time you're scouting Craigslist. Don't forget to send us a photo of your treasures and transformations!

    (Photos via Craiglist and

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