Old is New: The Shoe Wall

Making something old, new again. Such a lovely practice. And not a new idea. I remember my Grandma Louise talking about living through the Depression Era. How finding new purposes for old things was not a trend, but a necessity. Flour sacks became dresses for kids and dolls, old clothes were made into quilts, cardboard was kindling. Now we just add to our cart and hit the purchase button, and a box on our doorstep completes the process. Hopefully without a pesky trip to UPS for returns.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to add to my cart and hit that big purchase button. But there is joy in figuring out how to add some uniqueness to your style by using something old in a new way. Not something made in mass. Something that has meaning to you and your house. And I am not necessarily a crafter. Hot glue guns do not find their way out of my closet often. But I do love a good repurposing idea, as long as it’s quick, easy, and can be finished before the load in my dryer is done.

Now people upcycle and repurpose for environmental reasons, for artistic reasons, for sentimental reasons. Any reason is a good reason. And who doesn’t want a little unique edge to their style?

In our house, it’s the shoe wall.

It was born when we moved into our current house, and I opened our (unorganized) bin of baby items that were haphazardly thrown in. And there were the shoes. There is something about baby shoes. I could instantly see my babies again, toddling through our house… in those shoes. Worn soles, faded toes. And why should these symbols of our growing household stay in this blue plastic box? And begin to smell like a blue plastic box?

So I hammered them all to the wall in our entry. That’s it. No hot glue. Not much cleanup. It’s not perfect, but I love having something that is unique and ever-growing there on that wall, old but used again. And something we will add to as feet grow and favorite pairs get tossed aside. Does it smell? Maybe. But not like blue plastic anymore. Will it eventually include some unsightly shoes that the kids just had to have over the course of years? Yes. But it’s us.

Grandma Louise would be pleased.

Old is New - shoes wall 1

Ols is New - shoe wall 2

Old is New - shoe wall 3


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