Upcycled Vintage TV

Re-purpose. Reuse. Rejoice.

Things got a little crafty over at Atomic Indy headquarters this past weekend. It went a little something like this...

Per usual we were cruising the residential side streets in search of Mid Century Modern treasure when we happened upon this sight:

What really caught our eye was a big "free" sign. Grabbed a few things, then announced the remaining curbside freebees to the Atomic Indy Facebook fans.

Was intrigued by a 1972 Sony TV-750 with its space-age look and clean lines. Especially after cleaning 38 years of grime from it.

It didn't work. Expected that. For giggles, took it apart.

Then suddenly, epiphany delivered a face-smack.

Grabbed the socket and power cord (with an inline switch) off a couple old light fixtures. Then got to work.

We used a low wattage CFL bulb to make sure we didn't have any heat issues. The guts of the TV will be dropped off at a local e-scrapper.

Some quick obligatory chatter:

Atomic Indy is not responsible for you burning your Mid Century Modern house down, or any electric shocks that may result from you attempting to replicate this.

The legal gods have been appeased. Onward.

Here's where the cool begins. We carefully selected our favorite Julius Shulman images. Settled on one. Meticulously sized and cut it to fit the inside of the glare screen.

Put it all together and you've got a really sweet back-lit picture frame to display your favorite Mid Century Modern images. Also makes a great kitchy-cool accent lamp.

I imagine we'll change the image out every so often. A process that will take about 15 minutes each time.

You can check more pics on our Flickr set.





  1. Now THAT is cool! I would have grabbed everything in front of that house too.

  2. Baz, not only are you handy around a mod house, you are certainly quite clever!

  3. Love it, that's a great little TV and a great idea of what to do with it.

  4. That is absolutely brilliant!! Really makes me wish I'd picked up the little tv at a recent estate sale, but I thought, "Oh, I'm sure it doesn't work." Where were you when I needed you?! :-D

  5. You just made my right brain feel all warm and fuzzy.

  6. Cool idea
    I have a bunch of old screens from TVs to old MACs sitting here
    Maybe I'm gonna sell some of my photos this way
    Tahnks for the post

  7. You made it over on Notcot.org:

    and 2moderns blog:

  8. This is so great! I love the retro feel, it's like I'm in Mad Men and feel at home. How do you retrofit window coverings to match such a thing? I came across your post this afternoon while browsing interior design blogs and the topic of window treatment selection was very interesting to me. It is true that you must dress your windows appropriately to bring out their true beauty. Thank you for writing and as a special thanks to you and your readers, I would like to offer a 20% off coupon using this code upon checkout: BLG20.

  9. I don't understand the image you used, what kind is it? It has to be semi-transparent for the backlighting. Can you explain this image more?

  10. LOVE THIS. Could you explain how the image is illuminated? What material is it printed on? Vellum?

  11. i'm in the process of creating one of these... how is the photo produced? is it on a transparency? need to know!!

  12. To answer the questions of "what is it printed on"; It's simply cheap printer paper. That's it. The light behind it shines through. Printing on vellum or something translucent would be complicated, and the image would get washed out.

  13. Just found this on my MCM Pinterest, imagine that ;)

  14. Just found this on my MCM Pinterest, imagine that ;)