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Part II of Reusing Old Items

by admin on September 10, 2008

JeansCollect old jeans, cut them into usable pieces, and sew together into a duffle bag, change purse, etc. (Some sewing skills required.) When making cut-off shorts, save the pantlegs and give them to your puppies. They make great tug-of-war items. Cut into 6×6 squares, sew together and fringe out to make a quilt. Give old socks to your kids for sock puppets. Take old socks camping. Bunch them up for thickness and use for pot holders. Use for dusting around the house. Tie into a knot and use as a dog toy. Use as rags when stripping or refinishing furniture. Use to clean up after painting arts and crafts.
Clothes Miscellaneous
Use for rags. Cut the elastic bottoms off of sweats and use as scrunchies. Cut small circles out of thicker material and use as “stoppers” for cabinet doors or as appliance “feet.” Use old long-sleeved shirts as a smock for children who are painting. Donate to shelters or charities. Take pieces from old clothing (which are unfit to be reused) and make them into a patchwork quilt or pillow. Cut clothing into small pieces and use as dryer sheets with a liquidy dryer sheet alternative. Make a quilt out of your child’s favorite clothes and give to their children.
Compact Discs
If they can still be used, give them to friends or sell them back to stores who deal in used CD’s. If they are scratched and can no longer be used, hang them from your wall. They make for funky interior decorating. Use as reflectors. Use as coasters. Place a watch in the center and hang it on the wall for a funky clock. Tie mono filimant fishing line to a CD and hang it in your fruit tree. It will keep the birds from eating all of the fruit.

Donate to a local school and possibly receive a tax deduction.
Melt old crayons together and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for younger kids. Make patchwork crayons. Keep worn down crayons in a toolbox for handy marking pencils. Create a vase by melting different colored crayons over an old bottle. Let the wax drip randomly. Make creative envelope seals by dripping crayon wax onto the back of an envelope. Make a special imprint in the wax if you want. Use different colors to highlight important events on the calendar. Use for drawing on easter eggs before you dip them in the dye. The dye won’t adhere to the wax and it will leave pretty designs. Keep in an arts and crafts box.
Egg Cartons
Use cardboard ones as a charcoal fire starter. (Dave) Use for potting flowers (inside) before moving them outdoors. (Jeannette) Use to keep necklaces and bracelets separate.(Andrea) Store earrings in the top of the carton to keep from losing them. Break up the styrofoam and use it as packaging material. Wash a styrofoam carton VERY WELL and use for an ice cube tray. Keep the lids attached so that you can stack them. Make into candy-filled eggs for Easter. Store golf balls inside.

Take envelopes which are sent by businesses (in the hopes that you will return them), place a label over the pre-printed address, write in a new address, and send it on its way. Use for writing notes to family members. Don’t recycle until it is completely filled. Use for storing receipts. Use for storing or carrying coupons. Use for writing grocery lists.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Use as stuffing for stuffed animals and decorative pillows. (Liz) Reuse in your sock or underwear drawer to keep your clothes smelling fresh. (Carie) Place in front of an air vent. The heat from the vent releases the smell into the air. (Carie) Tear the sheets in half before using in the dryer to reduce the number of sheets you use. (Carie) Wrap around a few clothes hangers in the closet to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Use to dust your house. Place inside shoes at night to keep them smelling fresh.
FoodUse for storing extra spaghetti sauce which comes from a can. Use larger jars for storing homemade soups. Use the lids from peanut butter jars as coasters. Drink from smaller glass jars. Use peanut butter or mayonnaise jars to store homemade cookies in the freezer. They will be protected from breakage and easily visible. Store your razor in a small, covered jar emersed in alcohol to prevent oxidization of the blade. It will stay sharp longer. Use spaghetti jars to can tomatoes and other vegetables. The standard canning lids and rings fit perfectly.
Using string, attach several to a coffee can, making a unique windchime. Place in the bottom hem of your curtains to keep them hanging straight. Use to open boxes which have been taped shut (its safer than a razor blade). Paint to match the decor of a room and then attach to the end of a pull chain (ceiling fan, lamp) for a funky decoration. Give to kids so they can dip it in paint and use it as a stamp for making art.
Mouse Pads
Cut small circles and use as “stoppers” for cabinet doors or as appliance “feet.” Use as a place mat. Cut, layer and use as a wrist support for the computer keyboard. Using cookie cutters, trace onto a mousepad. Cut the shape out and then dip into paint. Use to decorate your child’s room or give to kids and let them dab onto paper. (Greg) Cut into strips and place under heavy items so they don’t scratch the counter or desk. Use as a cushion between wood and clamps when woodworking.
NewspapersUse the Sunday comics as wrapping paper. (Don’t try this with regular newspaper–the ink smudges.) Use to stuff packing material. Use the comics (instead of paper bags) to cover text books. Use to line the bottom of your tent (inside) for insulation. Place plastic over the paper to keep the print from smudging. Fold several layers thick and use as a hot pad when camping. Wrap fragile items for packing/storing. Roll into “logs” for campfires. The thicker the log, the longer it will burn. Use spiral notebook wire to tie the log together. (Retrieve the wire and reuse it when you are done if it’s still useable. Make the above logs more efficient by cutting them in half and using yarn, string or shoelaces to dip the log into melted down candle wax. The wax-coated log will make for a good fire starter on damp days. Use for drying windows without streaking. Make sure that the ink does not stain the vinyl casments which are found on most modern windows because it is very hard to clean off. Make it into a garden film. Clear an area of weeds in your garden, lay several sheets of newspaper down, and spread mulch on top of it. It will keep most weeds from coming through. Use to clean mirrors.
Scrap Paper
Use any kind of used paper–computer, notebook, newspaper, etc. as wrapping paper. Personalize it with colored pencils. Cut it into smaller pieces and keep it by the phone for messages. When doing first drafts of school papers, print on the reverse side of used computer paper, photocopies, etc. For those of you who work in an office, convince your supervisor to use the back of scrap paper for printing lists, memos, taking phone messages, etc. Stress that this will help them save money. Use hole-punches as confetti. Use to make cards. Use pieces for bookmarks. Write down any ideas that pop into your head. Put smaller pieces in your pockets so that you can jot down notes to yourself throughout the day. Use to line your kitty litter box. Shred and save for packing material. Use for wrapping delicate Christmas ornaments for storage. Use for learning origami. Use for making home-made paper. Shred and use to line your hamster/gerbil cage. Use for lining a bird cage. Make a pinata. Punch holes along the side and place in a 3-ring binder for school notes. Punch holes along the side and string a shoelace through to make a notebook. Use a cereal box for a front and back cover. Use for grocery lists Let kids color, paint, etc. on the back of used paper. Color both sides of the paper whatever color you like, cut into very thin strips and then use as “grass” for the easter baskets. Take used copier paper from work and donate to daycare centers for the kids to draw on. Give lined computer paper to children learning how to write cursive. Use to make your own recycled paper.

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