Repurpose everyday items
photo by antkriz
Why buy new if you have something that works just as well? Sometimes, finding a new use for objects is easy such as cutting receiving blankets to make dusting cloths or reusing a juice can as a penholder. Other times, it takes clever creativity. What have you turned from trash to treasure in your home? What do you have that you’re using differently than was originally intended?
JAR OPENER: You’ve heard about reusing wide produce rubber bands to easily grip and open jars. You can reuse an old tennis ball, too. Cut it in half and place over the jar, squeeze and twist.
CHARGER STATION: Garage-sale breadbox with a hole drilled in back for the power-strip cord or a basket can house cell phones in an organized way.
GEEK FRIDGE MAGNETS: Remove keys from an old keyboard and cut magnetic strips to fit, and then glue it to the back of the keys. Makes a fun gift.
JEWELRY: You can use bottle caps to make earrings, bracelets or necklaces. Simply use a hammer and a nail to make a small hole near the top and attach ear wires, jump rings or chains. You can customize them with images by using resin or craft sealant. Visit Inch by Inch Designs (www.inchbyinchdesigns.com/IBIDbottlecaps.html) for details.
VASES: Reuse bottles and jars as vases. String a few beads onto galvanized steel or copper wire, and wrap and twist it around the bottles or jars. They can be used as candleholders, too.
GIFT BOWS: You can cut magazines into strips and loop and fasten them to make gift bows. You just need a brass paper fastener (brad) to hold your loops together in the center. Visit Free Kids Crafts (www.freekidscrafts.com/recycled_magazine_bows-e417.html) for instructions.
STORAGE: Old backpacks can be hung on hooks or hangers in the closet. You can store socks, winter gear, game-console accessories, toys, spare sets of sheets and pillowcases, etc. You can still use them in the car for sports equipment, a blanket or a spare set of clothes or in the garage for garden supplies.
TRASH CAN: Reuse popcorn tins as trash cans or to hold magazines, yarn, plastic grocery bags, rice, pet food or Christmas lights.
EASY-POUR PASTA: When your large powdered-creamer container is empty, reuse it to hold elbow macaroni or dried beans. Use it for grass or birdseed, crochet hooks and watercolor paintbrushes, too.
PLACE MATS: Vinyl tablecloths that have torn in some areas can be cut into place mats. Or use it under a highchair as a dropcloth. You can add a piece of Velcro on it and cut it to fit a child as a painting cape, too.
DVD CENTER: Old dressers can be reused in family rooms to hold DVDs, games, books, CDs and remotes or toys. Use them in a craft room for supplies or in the garage as a potting bench, too. Or just use the drawers as bookcases, shelves or under the bed storage.