repurpose en-US 20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim Jeans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-new-things-you-can-make-with-old-denim-jeans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="jeans" title="jeans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Denim fabric is one of the few things in life that actually looks and feels better as it ages. And, unlike other textiles, denim never falls out of fashion. As a result of its timeless style, used denim, in the form of old jeans, is an inexpensive and easily available craft supply for just about everyone. (See also: <a href="">Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <p>If you don't already have an old pair of jeans languishing in the back of your closet, collect a few pairs from your friends and family for free, or buy a stack of them at a charity shop or garage sale for less than $10. With a little planning and creativity, one pair of jeans can be cannibalized into more than one project. Even the grungiest jeans can be turned into something lovely, as spots and holes can be cut out.</p> <p>Whether you are a novice crafter or a advanced sewist, old jeans are a great starting point for a huge number of DIY projects, that range from charmingly primitive to sophisticated. (See also: <a href="">Great Uses for Old Ties</a>)</p> <h2>Quilts</h2> <p>There are tons of great examples of <a href="">denim quilts</a> (with free patterns) available on the Internet.</p> <h2>Rugs and Floor Mats</h2> <p>By the way, denim quilts are very heavy and can also be easily used as area rugs.</p> <p>In addition to quilted floor mats (AKA the quilt you put on the floor), denim can also be used to create <a href="">woven rugs</a>, <a href="">rag rugs</a>, or <a href="">braided rugs</a>.</p> <h2>Place Mats and Table Runners</h2> <p>Smaller strips of fabric left over from other project can be used to make mini quilts as place mats or table runners.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>Pillows</h2> <p>Although denim patchwork has long been a staple of country style, it can look surprisingly modern. I like the idea of making <a href="">denim pillows</a> appliqued with punctuation marks rather than a traditional monogram.</p> <p>Jeans have long been associated with the American West. However, a <a href="">Union Jack pillow</a>, made from vintage denim can inject a little English Punk Rock into any decor. (See also: <a href="">Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <h2>Floor Cushions, Poufs, and Pet Beds</h2> <p>Because denim is so tough, it's also a good fabric choice for <a href="">floor cushions</a>, <a href="">poufs</a>, and <a href="">pet beds</a>.</p> <h2>Coasters</h2> <p>You really don't even have to know how to sew to make <a href="">denim coasters</a>. Use fabric glue or hot glue to make spiral-shaped coasters from the seams of old jeans. Pro tip: put a thick rubber band around the outer edge of the coaster while the glue cures. It will keep the spiral tightly rolled, and preserve the round edge.</p> <h2>Outdoor Furniture</h2> <p>The woven denim straps on this <a href="">charpai</a> (Indian string cot) gave me a great idea for refurbishing old-school, fold-up lawn chairs that have lost their uncomfortable nylon webbing. (See also: <a href="">Simple Tricks to Make Old Furniture Shine</a>)</p> <h2>Director Chair Covers</h2> <p>Instead of buying new canvas, create <a href="">padded seats and backs</a> from salvaged fabric.</p> <h2>Handbags</h2> <p>The Internet is full of patterns for <a href="">denim handbags</a> that range from chic to hideous. Use good judgment.</p> <h2>Firewood Totes</h2> <p>This <a href="">firewood tote</a> would also make a great picnic basket. (Yes, they re-use and recycle in Russia, too.)</p> <h2>Storage Bins</h2> <p>Although craft maven Betz White originally designed the <a href="">upcycled Do-It-All bins</a> to hold craft supplies, they would also be great for storing toys. Make these as gift baskets for food gifts. They would also be the perfect wine or water tote.</p> <h2>Sewing Machine Pad/Organizer</h2> <p>Keep all your <a href="">tools handy</a> for your next crafting binge.</p> <h2>Baby Bibs</h2> <p>Because used denim is soft and washable, it's a perfect material for making <a href="">baby bibs</a>. (See also: <a href="">Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h2>Aprons</h2> <p>Adult bibs, AKA aprons are a good way to use up random pockets. This apron tutorial is in Korean, but the photos show the step-by-step process of turning denim fabric and a washcloth into a cute <a href="">wrap-around apron</a>.</p> <h2>House Slippers</h2> <p>There are a number of free patterns for house slippers floating around on the Internet, but I thought <a href="">these were the cutest</a>. Pro tip: To make your own pattern, trace around the soles of a pair of flip-flop sandals for a more custom fit.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="" alt="" /></p> <h2>Softie Toys For Dogs and Babies</h2> <p>This <a href="">softie</a> would make the perfect tooth fairy pillow because of the pocket.</p> <p>FYI, when making toys for babies and <a href="">pets</a>, make sure to not use buttons, loose strings, or anything else that could be a choking hazard.</p> <h2>Cat Toys and Christmas Decorations</h2> <p>Although these were intended to be <a href="">cat toys</a>, these would also make very cute holiday decorations.</p> <h2>Christmas Wreaths</h2> <p>Speaking of holidays, a <a href="">denim Christmas wreath</a> is an easy, no-sew project that even kids could make.</p> <h2>Masks</h2> <p>Carnival is just around the corner! If you have a pair of embellished jeans that have seen better days, repurpose the denim and the doodads into a <a href="">fabulous mask</a>.</p> <p><em>What's the best repurposed denim item that you've seen or made?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="20 New Things You Can Make With Old Denim Jeans" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Max Wong</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">DIY articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY denim fabric uses recycle repurpose Fri, 21 Feb 2014 23:29:47 +0000 Max Wong 1198 at 15 Common Kitchen Cast-Offs You Can Repurpose Into Cool New Things <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-common-kitchen-cast-offs-you-can-repurpose-into-cool-new-things" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="corks" title="corks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Next time you finish up that last bit of tomato sauce from the jar, don&#39;t just think it&#39;s destined for the trash or recycle bin. There are plenty of opportunities to transform some common food packaging and kitchen cast-offs into repurposed treasures. This not only makes for useful new items around the home, but it will also save you money while being environmentally friendly. Here are just a few ideas you can try today. (See also: <a href="">21 Disposable Products to Reuse</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee Cans</h2> <p>Upcycle a standard metal coffee can into an attractive kitchen tool holder by painting or covering the sides with a nice piece of fabric. Or, use decorative paper to make a nice-looking container to hold scissors and markers for arts and crafts. You can also paint the outside of coffee cans and poke holes in the bottom to make <a href="">coffee can flower pots</a> for herbs or small plants. For kids, transform a can into a piggy bank by cutting slots in the plastic top and decorating with stickers.</p> <h2>2. Milk Cartons</h2> <p>Cut the tops off plastic, gallon-sized milk jugs and fill them with sand to hold a candle steady. Line the cartons along a driveway or walkway for a great holiday or night time party effect. Or, <a href="">use quart-sized milk containers as candle molds</a> to make unique, new candles to use as decor. Regular cardboard milk cartons also offer a multitude of craft ideas, such as <a href="">milk carton sailboats</a>, <a href="">milk carton traffic lights</a> and <a href="">milk carton bird feeders</a>.</p> <h2>3. Wine Bottles</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Wine bottles are perfect for dressing up with ribbon, paper, fabric, or leaving as-is to make flower vases. You can go for a rustic look at a dining table by placing candles in a pair of matching bottles. Melted wax down the sides also makes for a very romantic, Italian eatery feel. Interesting bottles, such as those with clear glass, unique labels, and distinct shapes can act as beautiful shelf decor on their own.</p> <h2>4. Paper Towel Rolls</h2> <p>The inside cardboard roll of your paper towels is great for holding and organizing folded plastic grocery bags, preserving documents by rolling them up to prevent creases, or organizing loose ribbon by wrapping around the roll. Paper towel rolls also make excellent boot trees for propping up knee-high boots.</p> <h2>5. Baby Food Jars</h2> <p>Remove the labels from baby food jars and keep your nails, nuts, bolts, and screws organized in a tool drawer. Or, for the crafter, use them to collect and organize everything from push pins to beads to glitter. In the office, store a small stash of rubber bands and paper clips in such jars. For the cook, small baby food jars make great containers to hold homemade spice mixes and dried herbs.</p> <h2>6. Parmesan Cheese Container</h2> <p>Repurpose a parmesan cheese container into a holder of all things shaken, such as a sugar and cinnamon mixture to distribute on your morning waffle or glitter that can be easily shaken onto crafts. Or, fill it with baking soda to use along with your cleaning supplies for sprinkling into sinks or onto the carpet. It also makes a nice container for taking kids&#39; snacks on the run (think goldfish, mini pretzels, or any bite size foods).</p> <h2>7. Medium-Sized Jars</h2> <p>Medium-sized jars &mdash; like those for salsa, jam, or olives &mdash; can easily be decorated and repurposed into candle holders for small pillar candles. You can also fill these jars with decorative pebbles or bath crystals for a spa look in the bathroom. Jam jars are great to collect and use as a set of cool drinking glasses, especially for juice in the morning or fun cocktails at parties. Also try medium-sized jars for holding pencils and notepads near the phone and loose change and keys by the door. (See also: <a href="">Ideas for Canning Jars</a>)</p> <h2>8. Cereal Boxes</h2> <p>Cover your average cereal box with scrapbook paper and you have instant decorative storage for papers, bills, and kids&#39; artwork. Cereal boxes can also be upcycled into attractive <a href="">DIY magazine holders</a>. They also make great places to store special photo copy paper and large mailing envelopes. Cool kid&#39;s crafts also abound, like the <a href="">park and play cereal box garage</a>. (See also: <a href="">Creative Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes</a>)</p> <h2>9. Plastic Lidded Containers</h2> <p>Your butter, Cool Whip or deli meat containers are perfect for using as take home containers for guests or freezing foods. In addition, they make useful tubs to store dry goods, art supplies, office supplies, and small power cords in one place. For food items, just be sure to avoid heating things in these containers as certain types of plastics can leach into foods more easily.</p> <h2>10. Plastic Berry Baskets</h2> <p>Those green mesh-like baskets that hold fruits and berries at the supermarket make great under-sink storage for sponges and microfiber cloths. Or, cover a basket in fabric to hold small items, such as business cards, phones and chargers, or spools of thread. You can also follow <a href="">Martha Stewart&#39;s guide to decorated berry baskets</a> for a cute gift idea.</p> <h2>11. Wine Corks</h2> <p>Get creative with all those leftover wine corks and make a homemade bulletin board by gluing corks over the surface of a piece of wood. You can also try your hand at making your own <a href="">wine cork trivet</a> or <a href="">wine cork wreath</a>. Another idea is to label your corks with the event and date when you drank your bottle, and collect them in floor vases to make a unique, decorative display. (See also: <a href="">25 Things to Do With Used Corks</a>)</p> <h2>12. Large Jars</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Large-sized jars, like those for spaghetti sauce or pickles, make great homemade vases. Simply decorate the outside with ribbon, glitter, or other embellishments. For faux flowers or to make a shelf display <a href=",default,pd.html">of painted jar vases</a>, pour colored paint inside a collection of jars. Large jars can also hold hair brushes, large cooking utensils, paint brushes, and tools. And lastly, there&#39;s no need to buy mason jars when you can reuse your large jars for making your own soups and sauces.</p> <h2>13. Mesh Produce Bags</h2> <p>Use your mesh bags that hold bunches of oranges, lemons, or onions to make kitchen scrubbers. If you wad a few bags together into a ball and secure them with a rubber band, you now have a great tool for scrubbing pots and pans. You can also string a thin rope or shoelace through the top of these bags to make an easy closing tote for carrying items to the beach or small sports equipment to the field. Also try to take empty ones to the farmer&#39;s market to use for new produce you buy.</p> <h2>14. Dish Soap Squirt Bottles</h2> <p>Once your dish liquid is gone, fill the bottle with vinegar to use for cleaning jobs around the house. I especially like this use for cleaning glass shower doors, as it&#39;s easier than lugging a jumbo bottle of vinegar around. Squirt bottles also work great for other cleaning solutions, like carpet cleaners and clothing stain removers, where you want to disperse liquids onto targeted areas.</p> <h2>15. Coffee Sleeves</h2> <p>If Starbucks or any other coffee shop is a regular part of your day, then start collecting your <a href="">coffee sleeves to use for starter seeds</a> for indoor plants. If you&#39;re crafty, you can cut sleeves into shapes to make artsy, corrugated gift tags to use on presents, or try making yourself a <a href="">coffee sleeve wreath</a>. And, one very green action is to literally save your sleeve and use it again for its original purpose during your next visit to the coffee shop.</p> <p><em>What other items do you repurpose around the house?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Common Kitchen Cast-Offs You Can Repurpose Into Cool New Things" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kelly Medeiros</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY DIY recycle repurpose storage Mon, 21 Oct 2013 10:24:03 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1034262 at 25 Things to Do With Reusable Water Bottles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-things-to-do-with-reusable-water-bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Water bottles outside" title="Water bottles outside" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While putting away dishes, cups, and other kitchen items, I noticed that I was accumulating water bottles. Some have been purchased outright, a couple were gifts, and some were acquired as a result of participating in athletic events. My family&rsquo;s collection includes:</p> <ul> <li>Plastic sports water bottles</li> <li>Camping water bottles acquired for a backpacking trip</li> <li>Stainless steel water bottles</li> </ul> <p>Most are used on hiking and camping trips or for bike rides and <a href="">spin classes</a>. The more we have, the more we use them, and the more I have considered additional purposes. Here are a few ideas for using your water bottles. (See also: <a href="">The Best Eco-Friendly&nbsp;Water Bottles</a>)</p> <h3>1. Measure Liquid</h3> <p>Our camping bottles have printed measurements indicating ounces and millimeters. Use these to measure water, broth, milk, or other liquids when cooking.</p> <h3>2. Make Tea</h3> <p>You can make a cool glass of tea by placing a tea bag in a water bottle, adding filtered water or tap water, and waiting about 30 minutes. During this time, the tea should steep naturally. Add some sweetener and/or ice for iced tea. For flavored tea, add a splash of fruit drink or a bit of powdered drink mix.</p> <h3>3. Carry Dry Food Mixes</h3> <p>Campers can fill up extra water bottles with dry goods that require only water (carried in a separate container). On a camping trip with another family, a friend made pancakes using a dry mix he prepared for the trip. His <a href="">pancake mix</a> would fit well in a water bottle. At the campsite, add water to the mix, shake, and pour in 1/4 cup increments on a hot skillet to prepare. Similarly, bring <a href="">potato soup mix</a> and add boiling water to make hot soup.</p> <h3>4. Mix Up a Drink Without a Spoon or Stirrer</h3> <p>If you are mixing a drink (I&rsquo;m thinking of a sports-type drink, but other <a href="">types of drinks</a> could work as well), use a water bottle alone instead of a glass with a stirrer or iced tea spoon. Pour water in the bottle, add the right portion of the powdered drink mix, close the lid securely, and shake.</p> <h3>5. Split a Drink</h3> <p>On a somewhat regular basis, I would like to share a drink &mdash; but not germs &mdash; with someone. Having a water bottle at hand makes it easy to split a cold drink, like a soda, tea, or even bottled water. Buy your drink, pour a portion in the water bottle (being careful not to touch the drink lid to the bottle opening), and give the other person the remainder in the original container. This approach saves some money and cuts down on waste.</p> <h3>6. Refill Water Bowls for Your Pets</h3> <p>Designate a water bottle for your cat or dog, label the bottle with a permanent marker, and use it to fill your pet&rsquo;s water bowl.</p> <h3>7. Water Plants</h3> <p>Just as Paul suggested as a new purpose of <a href="">used detergent bottles</a>, a water bottle can be useful for transporting water from the kitchen sink or spigot to your plants, inside and outside the house. For a smaller version of the drip irrigation method, fill a sports bottle (with a pull top) and turn upside down to water your plants.</p> <h3>8. Hold Fresh-Cut Flowers or Greenery</h3> <p>It's quirky but functional &mdash; your water bottle can serve as a vase when transporting fresh-cut flowers or as a centerpiece on your dining room table. Fill the bottom of the bottle with water and add the flowers.</p> <h3>9. Hold Household Stuff</h3> <p>Clear bottles with wide mouths are especially useful as holders of certain household items, like paper clips, nuts and bolts, or pens and pencils. If you are fond of a commemorative water bottle, then repurposing will let you keep it without it gathering dust or clogging up your kitchen cabinet.</p> <h3>10. Hold Coin Change</h3> <p>Toss <a href="">coin change</a> in a water bottle and keep the bottle in one of your cup holders in your car or on your dresser in your dorm room. This way, you&rsquo;ll have quick access to spare change. Or you can easily take a filled-up bottle to your bank or credit union and trade for cash.</p> <h3>11. Clean Wounds</h3> <p>On a few occasions, I have reached for an extra water bottle to clean a wound after a minor accident. Though not sterile, the water was clean enough as it came from a reliable source (my home's water supply) and had been placed in an uncontaminated bottle.</p> <p>The water can help wash out debris such as small stones or dirt until you have time to get sterile water, antibiotic cream, and bandages.</p> <h3>12. Substitute for a Sippy Cup</h3> <p>You could use a water bottle to serve a similar purpose as a kid&rsquo;s sippy cup &mdash; give your kids something to drink without fear that they&rsquo;ll accidentally spill the entire contents on the dining room table or living room floor within a few seconds. These wouldn&rsquo;t work well for younger kids, but for those who have mostly graduated to regular cups, having a water bottle available to help avoid drink-related catastrophes could be handy at times.</p> <h3>13. Freeze Liquids</h3> <p>Just as you might <a href="">freeze small quantities of soup stock in ice cube trays</a>, use your water bottle to contain leftover liquid for future use.</p> <h3>14. Help Keep Other Stuff Cold</h3> <p>A frozen water bottle can serve as an <a href="">ice pack</a> when placed in a cooler with food and drinks.</p> <h3>15. Play</h3> <p>Squeezable water bottles can be filled and used as a substitute for toy water guns.</p> <h3>16. Give as a Hostess Gift</h3> <p>One of the reasons I noticed that my kitchen cabinets were overflowing with water bottles was because I received one as a <a href="">hostess gift</a>. To jazz up the present, fill with drink mix packets.</p> <h3>17. Help the Homeless</h3> <p>My oldest son volunteers some with the homeless, and I accompanied him to a &ldquo;block party&rdquo; that involved a free cookout with drinks, haircuts, and fellowship. Not knowing quite what to do while he talked sports with the guests, I decided to serve drinks and discovered that many of the homeless could benefit from having an extra cup or water bottle.</p> <p>Having something to contain a drink enables them to use public facilities (like the water fountain at the public library) more readily, rather than having to buy a bottle of water or soda whenever they were thirsty. &nbsp;</p> <h3>18. Have a Cheap Drink at School or the Office</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s taken a while, but I have finally got my kids (now teenagers) to see the value in filling water bottles and taking those to school rather than buying water there. Fortunately, they shun sodas and most sweetened drinks. But for a while, they bought water in the cafeteria or from the drink machines for afterschool sessions. Now, they take the water bottles.</p> <p>Likewise, my husband takes water bottles to his office.</p> <h3>19. Stay Safe When Working Out of Your Element</h3> <p>You already know that you should stay hydrated on <a href="">outdoor adventures</a> but may not think of needing enough water during special work-related events. Carrying your own water can be useful when you are working at a busy trade show or helping customers in an outdoor setting all day, especially if you are accustomed to a predictable, climate-controlled work environment.</p> <h3>20. Make Money</h3> <p>Decorate the bottles (extra ones you've acquired, rather than used ones) and <a href=";sref=sr_50b488692ff171b5c3b746d6911b765dade6c5a99a3a86eaf032c2dffbc76202_1334592090_14238319_bottle&amp;ga_includes%5B%5D=tags&amp;ga_search_query=water+bottle&amp;ga_search_type=all&amp;ga_view_type=gallery">sell on Etsy</a> or another craftsy retail outlet.</p> <h3>21. Serve as a Lantern</h3> <p>Replace your standard lid with a solar powered LED cap, and your water bottle can serve as a lantern. The cap isn&rsquo;t cheap (I found one for <a href="">$19.99 from ThinkGeek</a>) but could be useful when camping in the wilderness.</p> <h3>22. Carry Snacks</h3> <p>Fill the bottle with snacks, like pretzels or nuts. Carrying these items in a bottle should keep them dry plus make it easy to carry on your bike, haul in your car, or tote in a bag.</p> <h3>23. Carry Gear</h3> <p>If you happen to have outdoor apparel that is compactable, put it in a water bottle to make it easy to carry. Likewise, carry small-but-important items like <a href="">first aid supplies</a> in a bottle rather than letting them roll around loose in your luggage or tote bag.</p> <h3>24. Cut Cookie Dough or Biscuit Dough</h3> <p>Either the water bottle lid or the top of the water bottle could be used to cut out cookies or biscuits, according to a commenter on <a href="">Fat Cyclist's uses for water bottles</a> article. Dust the lid or top with flour before using, just as you would with traditional types of cutters.</p> <h3>25. Make a Toy Hovercraft</h3> <p>Use a sports water bottle lid (described as a &quot;pull-top water bottle cap&quot; in the comments section of the <a href="">alternative uses of water bottles</a> article) along with a blank CD and balloon to make a hovercraft.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" src="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Watch video</a></p> <p><em>Do you have any clever and practical uses for reusable water bottles? Share them in the comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Things to Do With Reusable Water Bottles" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY General Tips Green Living repurpose reuse water bottles Wed, 18 Apr 2012 10:36:07 +0000 Julie Rains 919297 at 5 Ways to Get Junk Gone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-get-junk-gone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Mechanical Junk" title="Junk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The beginning of the new year always seems like a good time to get rid of things that you've been meaning to. But sometimes, the reason you haven't gotten rid of a particular piece of junk that is cluttering up your home isn't because you want to hold on to it &mdash; or even that it's useful in any way. Sometimes it can just seem entirely impossible to get rid of a particular item. </p> <p>I've used Freecycle, Craigslist and even just talking to friends to get rid of plenty of things that I didn't necessarily want but still could be used by someone else in the past. But as great as those methods are, there are still some things that they just can't move. I've had stacks of old magazines that no one wants, pieces of scrap metal that simply can't find a good home and rags that just aren't needed. But I don't want to just toss these items in the trashcan: they may be junk, but they may still be useful.</p> <p><strong>1.&nbsp; Schools</strong></p> <p>While no one wants to drop off junk at the local school, they may not see some of the stuff you want to get rid of as junk. A big pile of magazines, for instance, can be extremely useful for a teacher wanting to do collage projects. I've found it easiest to just check individually with teachers on whether or not they have a use for anything in particular.</p> <p><strong>2.&nbsp; Animal Shelters</strong></p> <p>All those towels and sheets that are too torn up for anyone to want? Well, your local animal shelter may have a use for them. Animal shelters routinely have a need for rags, as well as other items that you might otherwise throw away.</p> <p><strong>3.&nbsp; Salvage Yards</strong></p> <p>Just about anything that can be stripped off a car or a building may be able to find a home with a local salvage yard. In many cases, it just has to be in repairable condition &mdash; working order is not necessary. In some cases, you may even get money for the items you drop off.</p> <p><strong>4.&nbsp; Artists</strong></p> <p>Many artists, especially those working on sculpture, use a variety of items that other people would consider junk. It's very important to talk to the artist you have in mind before just dropping off a piece of junk, though. The number of crafters and hackers willing to repurpose items is also on the rise.</p> <p><strong>5.&nbsp; Recycling Centers</strong></p> <p>Just because something is junk in its current form doesn't mean that it can't be recycled. Many recycling centers will take items that you can't put in your recycling bin, as long as you bring them in. Most have websites now listing what they'll take &mdash; mine accepts a variety of items including vinyl siding, batteries and computer parts. In most cases, if it's metal, they'll also take it.</p> <p>If, in the end, you still find that you have a piece of junk that absolutely no one wants, there are some options to disposing of it. Depending on your local waste disposal company's policies, you may or may not be able to add things to your regular pick up. For bigger items, taking them to the local dump yourself may be more cost effective &mdash; landfills and dumps typically charge by the truck load to drop off junk. There are also a variety of services that will come and remove junk, offering an easy solution for anyone without access to a truck.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Get Junk Gone" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle declutter junk recycle repurpose trash Fri, 01 Jan 2010 05:18:16 +0000 Thursday Bram 4395 at 20 Money-Saving Ways to Reuse Old Pantyhose <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-money-saving-ways-to-reuse-old-pantyhose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was a bank robber, the first Halloween I can remember. That involved carrying a burlap bag filled with stacks of newsprint &quot;loot&quot; over my shoulder, wearing a black turtleneck sweater like Illya Kuryakin wore in <em>The Man from U.N.C.L.E.</em>, and &mdash; most memorably &mdash; sliding one of my grandmother's worn out silk stockings over my head.</p> <p>That memory (the last part, in particular) is etched upon my mind. And, my therapist says, no amount of counseling is ever likely to erase it.</p> <p>Silk stockings are of course as long gone as my dear grandmother; truly sad to say, in both cases. But here are 20 creative ways to repurpose today's worn out nylon pantyhose, even if you're not planning to rob a bank.</p> <h3>1. Gift wrap storage</h3> <p>Keep rolls of gift paper neat and tatter-free by storing them in old pantyhose &mdash; one roll per leg &mdash; and hanging them in the closet.</p> <h3>2. Green Cheapskate soap on a rope</h3> <p>Put bath soap slivers in the foot of a pair of pantyhose to get every last bit of suds out of them in the shower. Rub-a-dub-dub, there's a cheapskate in my tub. (See more &quot;<a href="">Recycling Oddities</a>.&quot;)</p> <h3>3. Plant ties</h3> <p>Use lengths of pantyhose to stake up tomatoes and other plants in the garden; because of its elasticity, it's easier on tender plants than string.</p> <h3>4. Mold and mildew stoppers</h3> <p>Partially fill pantyhose with kitty litter and place in shoes, luggage, closets, dressers, etc. to absorb moisture and reduce mold and mildew.</p> <h3>5. Panty-pantry storage</h3> <p>Store onions, potatoes and garlic in pantyhose and hang them in the pantry to promote good air circulation and keep them from rotting.</p> <h3>6. Sweet smelling sachets</h3> <p>Fill lengths of pantyhose with potpourri, tie off at both ends, and use to keep closets and dressers smelling sweat. They also work well when filled with <a href="">cedar shavings or moth-repelling herbs</a> to prevent damage to clothing in storage.</p> <h3>7. Pillow stuffing</h3> <p>Cut pantyhose into strips and use to stuff throw pillows or toys.</p> <h3>8. Repair torn pair in a pinch</h3> <p>If she has a run in the left leg and a matching pair with a run in the right, my wife sometimes cuts off her bad legs (so to speak) and doubles up, wearing two layers of panties with a good leg attached to each. (God I love that frugal woman.)</p> <h3>9. Packing peanut storage</h3> <p>Store menacing <a href="">foam packing peanuts</a> in a pair of pantyhose to keep them from invading the house until you're ready to reuse them. Cut a hole in the toe and tie it off with a twisty seal for easy peanut dispensing.</p> <h3>10. Homemade bungee cords</h3> <p>The elasticity of pantyhose make them perfect all-purpose tie down straps, or tie a metal &quot;S&quot; hook from the hardware store on each end for a homemade Bungee cord.</p> <h3>11. Lint mitt</h3> <p>Use like a mitten to remove lint and pet hair from clothing and upholstery rather than a lint brush. The mitt will also remove deodorant residue from clothing.</p> <h3>12. Scratch-less scrubbers</h3> <p>Try pantyhose to scrub tile and other surfaces where you're afraid of scratches. Also good for applying polishes to silver, brass, gold and other easily scratched metals.</p> <h3>13. Protect prized veggies</h3> <p>Put pantyhose over vegetables like squash and melons while they're still growing in the garden to protect against pest damage without using chemical pesticides. <em>Is that a zucchini in your pantyhose, or are you just happy to see me?</em></p> <h3>14. Flower bulb storage</h3> <p>Store seasonal bulbs in pantyhose and hang them up in a dry place to promote good air circulation.</p> <h3>15. Shoe shine buffer</h3> <p>Old pantyhose are perfect for putting the spit-shine on shoes.</p> <h3>16. Wear them outdoors</h3> <p>Guys, don't be shy about sporting a pair of worn out pantyhose next time you go camping or work in the yard. Real outdoorsmen (and outdoorswomen) have known for years that they prevent chigger and other insect bites and minimize foot blister.</p> <h3>17. Draft dodgers</h3> <p>Partially fill pantyhose with kitty litter to seal off cold drafts from under doors and windows.</p> <h3>18. Fishing trick</h3> <p>When I wasn't wearing my Granny's worn out stockings over my head, my Gramps was using them to catch catfish. He'd wrap a piece of chicken liver bait in a section of nylon stocking to keep it on the hook; the fish would still bite, and he'd still have his bait.</p> <h3>19. Paint/stain/plaster applicator</h3> <p>Use pantyhose to add interesting texture and designs when applying and/or finishing paint and plaster.</p> <h3>20. Special photo effects</h3> <p>Stretch pantyhose over your camera lens to give photos a muted or starburst effect. (NOTE: It's best to have her take them off before you try this.)</p> <div class="guestpost-blurb"> <p><em>This post from the </em><a href=""><em>Green Cheapskate</em></a><em> by Jeff Yeager is republished with the permission of </em><a href=""><em>The Daily Green</em></a><em>. &nbsp;Check out more great content from&nbsp;The Daily Green:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href=""><em>30+ Ways to Save Money By Going Green</em></a></li> <li><a href=""><em>10 Ways to Save Money On Gas Without Replacing Your Car</em></a></li> <li><a href=""><em>Top 10 Weird Uses of Vodka</em></a></li> <li><a href=""><em>6 Safe Green Investments</em></a></li> <li><a href=""><em>How to Pay 50 Cents (or Less) for a Gallon of Gas</em></a></li> </ul> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Money-Saving Ways to Reuse Old Pantyhose" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeff Yeager</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">DIY articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Green Living pantyhose repurpose reuse stockings Sun, 29 Nov 2009 16:00:02 +0000 Jeff Yeager 3898 at