We here at eBay Classifieds don’t really believe in just throwing out your old stuff. It can always be used by someone. And in the case of these awesome projects, that someone could be you.
Just don’t forget to unplug everything, and be sure you know what you’re doing before you leap into something that involves soldering irons or re-wiring electronics.
Convert a microwave into a mailbox
This may not seem like an immediately obvious option for re-purposing your old microwave, but HenryBasenji on Instructables points out that his old microwave mailbox is waterproof and large enough to hold small to medium-sized packages, or even just a lot of mail if you are gone for a few days.
Henry recommends taking out all the innards, as it will make for a lighter mailbox, but he adds that you may be able to get away with just cutting off the electrical cord. You then decorate the oven however you see fit and bolt it onto a board that will act as the base of the mailbox (the part that attaches the mailbox to the post). Finally you can use L-brackets to attach the once-microwave and its base to the post you have.
Create a fan from an old microwave
If you’ve got a whole lot of internal parts after turning your microwave into a mail box, this fun hack comes from rodrick4u on Instructables could help you out.
It seems pretty simple, but the instructions do assume the reader has a certain level of experience working with electronics. First, you take out the cooling fan from the oven, then mount it on “any suitable stand”. Then all you have to do is “solder a line cord to the two AC terminals,” and “add a switch if preferred.”
Make a fan from an old desktop
Showing a real passion for building his own fans, rodrick4u illustrates how to build a desktop fan using the fan, the hard drive and some wires from an old computer.
This one’s a lot more complex than the one from the microwave, so if you want to strip down your old computer to make an eco-friendly fan, then you should probably just head over to the Instructables page and follow the instructions there.
Turn an old laptop into a digital picture frame
This is not as unusual as you might expect it to be. In fact, so many people are dedicated to turning their old laptops into mounted artwork that Repair4Laptop.org has tutorials for more than 95 laptop models (and this is a list that Gizmodo referenced in an article about things you can do with an old laptop, so you know it’s gotta be awesome).
Make a TV fish tank
This is an oldie but a goodie, and you can find loads of pages detailing how to build a fish-tank television, including this one from wikihow. It works best with televisions that have wood paneling, since they tend to be big enough to hold a tank that will be comfortable for your fish.
You just take off the top of the TV, gut the insides, and attach a hinged top made of MDF or wood. Then coat the inside and outside with a lot of varnish (to prevent the wood from rotting), and slip in a fish-tank that is slightly bigger than the TV screen, but small enough to fit inside the television itself. If your old TV was big enough, you can even put the air pump inside the TV, which will make it quieter.
Leftover light bulbs?
Why not put a ship inside it? This video on metacafe shows you how to do it in super-speed, but there are plenty of sites that take the old traditions of putting a ship in a bottle and transfer it to the modern day.
So, what old appliance would you like to rip apart, and what would you turn it into?