With a little imagination, you can breathe new life into some of the old things that are headed for the trashcan. There are a million ways to repurpose your would-be throwaways, many of which don’t require you to have a crafty bone in your body.
Here are ten ideas I find particularly clever.
- Colander into an ice bucket. Since the ice in the colander melts into the bowl beneath, your party guests won’t be left fishing cubes out of a chilly bath.
- Tissue box into a plastic-bag holder. This is my personal favorite, since my laundry room is constantly engulfed in a puffball of grocery bags. Get those things organized and put them to use!
- Coffee can into planters. Coffee cans can be turned into myriad new things, one of the most charming of which is planters for greenery, flowers, and even vegetables. Nailing them to an outside wall gives you a vertical garden.
- Shower cap as food protector. Flies and picnics go together like bees and honey. Bring your old (well, actually make that new) shower caps along to cover the food, and you’ll be on your way to a pest-free picnic.
- Office supplies into decorations. Offices don’t have to be boring! You can use some of the more colorful and eye-catching of your desk gear to make a cheering garland or two to decorate the space.
- Old picture frame into a vanity tray. Old frames can be too ornate for the walls of modern homes, but not for serving as a special spot for your personal effects. Repurpose an old frame to hold your comb, brush, makeup, and other primping possessions.
- Baby wipes container into a yarn dispenser. Babies use wipes like they’re going out of style, so it’s a good thing there are other uses for those containers. The opening in the top makes for a perfect yarn dispenser to help you keep organized while you knit.
- Old newspapers into wallpaper. Some old newspapers—especially the really old ones with the quaint ads—are much too fun to look at to use as a fire-starters. Instead consider repapering your bathroom with them.
- Old CDs into ornaments. Who listens to CDs anymore? Well, me, for one, since my car doesn’t have an MP3 hook-up, but that’s beside the point. The point is there are a whole lot of CDs in the world without a useful purpose. How about making ornaments of them?
- Paper towel holder into a ribbon spooler. The serious wrappers out there will already know this trick: Pile your ribbon rolls onto an old paper towel holder so you can unspool them easily without all the tangle.
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To what new purposes do you put your old things?