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Upcycle and reuse with decoupage

By on November 19, 2010

decoupage pot

Decoupage can give ordinary objects a new look. It’s simple cutting and pasting. You can use fabric, tissue or paper (magazine cutouts, wallpaper, greeting cards, old calendars, etc.) to achieve beautiful results on most any material, such as plastic, wood, metal, glass, canvas and wax, to name a few. Use decoupage medium such as Mod Podge or diluted white school glue to adhere and seal. The first tip shares ways to reuse items for a decoupage project.

decoupage pot

TRASH TO TREASURE:

Use scrap material from sheets, clothes and decoupage on kitty-litter buckets and ice cream buckets. Cut the scraps into strips and wrap around the buckets for a cool look. You can make trashcans or storage containers. — Lisa, Tennessee

ACORN DECORATIONS:

You have to pick acorns that have no visible insect damage (it will often look like a small hole drilled into the side of the acorn), and then you will have to dry them. One way is to line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and put them in a 175 F oven for several hours. This is kind of a pain, but at least you won’t have wormy fall displays. — Joanna, e-mail

STEEL WOOL TIP:

SOS pads will last forever if you add a little baking soda to the dish you keep it in! — Jimmie S., e-mail

Sugar-free Hot Cocoa

1 cup water
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg (optional) — Wendy, e-mail

ALTERNATIVE USES FOR SHEETS:

Cutting sheets up in 12-inch-by-12-inch pieces, especially flannel sheets, work well with post-op rotator cuff surgery by slipping them up under the arm to absorb moisture when the arm has to be in a 90-degree angle in a sling. Also, a friend of mine has a husband with Alzheimer’s, and he refuses to use Kleenex, so I cut up 8-inch-by-8-inch pieces with a rotatory cutter and made close to 90 small handkerchiefs. I ironed them, and he thinks he is using a regular hankie. — Karen H., e-mail

SPARKLING DISHES:

My dishes had a terrible film on them for several months after running them through my dishwasher. I almost bought a new dishwasher. I went online and looked up dishwasher film. They suggested using a different detergent and using half detergent and half Lemi Shine in the dispenser. That did the trick. My dishes are once again sparkling clean! And I’m able to continue to use my 20-year-old Kitchen-Aid dishwasher. (The detergent I discontinued using is the new Cascade in the light green box.) I’m now using the Cascade Complete with the Lemi Shine product. — Sue H., e-mail

WASHING SODA USES:

I believe my mother used washing soda in heavy solution to strip old varnish (1875 vintage) from wood work in our house. It also used as a silver polish or stripper with an aluminum sheet or in aluminum pan. — David L., e-mail

REUSE PLASTIC ZIPPER BAGS:

Over the years we have collected the clear zippered plastic bags that sheets and other housewares can come in. I use them to store blankets, crafts and other things I want to keep but not use all the time. I also use them when I crochet to keep my entire project corralled such as yarn, pattern, scissors, markers, hook, etc. I don’t lose anything and it keeps everything cat fur free. — ceitllyn, e-mail

photos by swamp dragon
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