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DIY Projects with a Habitat ReStore Twist

DIY Projects with a Habitat ReStore Twist

If you’re looking for an awesome DIY project or in need of some inspiration, then Joe Jennings is your man to talk to. 

Joe began volunteering in 2015 as a regular crew member with his church, St. Basilica. The crew works once a month and also dedicates a full week every summer on a house. Besides working with the regular crew, Joe also started working on a few projects of his own.

Joe’s first day with the regular crew was working at the New Brighton ReStore. Their job was to repurpose old ceiling fans and other materials. They made different lawn ornaments like this dragonfly.

Dragonfly lawn ornament.

Joe enjoys repurposing, and it gave him the idea that he could use ReStore materials to repurpose things of his own. Joe is from New England and as his wife, Peggy, puts it — he is a "full on Yankee", which means reusing materials is not new to him. They shared with me the Yankee saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.” They recycle everything and can always find an alternative purpose.

Joe took a few classes and worked in the Edina Open Community Woodshop for a few months. The woodshop gives people access to different work tables, power tools, and storage for projects. Joe decided to go to the New Brighton ReStore and buy some old bi-fold doors and kitchen cabinet doors. He made two beautiful pieces of furniture out of the materials: an end-of-the-bed storage bench and a square coffee table, which he then donated right back to the ReStore.  Joe also made a black pedestal out of material he found that was free on the side of the road. Joe and Peggy enjoy going to the ReStore for various items, including a great painting that is currently hanging in their home.

Joe's recrafted coffee table. Joe's refurbished storage bench.

Volunteering with Habitat gives Joe a chance to give back. He has really enjoyed the experience and has met a lot of interesting people who are all committed to Habitat. He thinks Habitat’s mission is important— restoring and building homes is a great way to bring a community together and helping families improve their lives. Joe’s been repurposing and reusing things all his life and will definitely keep at it. He hopes his work can encourage others to shop at the ReStore and do a few repurposing projects of their own.

Joe with his completed storage bench and coffee table.

Sign up to volunteer at the ReStore!

Jan at the WCCO studio.

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