Call me a hippie, but I love “up-cycling.” The idea takes recycling to the next level, literally turning trash into treasure. I’ve seen entire gardens made from 2-liter bottles, pet beds made from old computers and surprising new uses for wine corks. One of my favorite ideas was a coffee table one blogger created from a secondhand door. She kept the nicks, scratches and old-fashioned hardware the door came with to create a table with lots of character.

So when I was forced to replace my old front door, throwing it out wasn’t an option! I considered turning it into a headboard or creating my own version of an Italian desk that also closes into a dining table for 8 people but ultimately I went for sprucing up my favorite room in the house: my kitchen! A little chalkboard paint, a little magnetic primer and some heavy-duty hanging hardware easily turned my old door into an interactive weekly planner. As a bonus, the Donation2Decor blog I used for instruction tips also teaches you how to turn old typewriter keys into unique magnets for your new creation.

In short, don’t be afraid to D.I.Y. and up-cyle – it’s an eco-friendly way to add individual character to any kitchen and it’s fun, too.

Our intern is Desiree Johnson, a recent journalism graduate and Texas native. The 26-year-old loves painting, her dachshund Munchie and learning to use what she calls her “real, adult-sized kitchen.”