Besides the obvious of up cycling broken cups for use as pen holders as I’ve done here with the addition of a creative label added with ceramic paint.Let’s dig them out and get creative.
Got the Sniffles?
I came across a cute little idea on Pinterest which I adapted for use at my place during a bout of the winter sniffles. Especially useful for when you’re not feeling the best and don’t want to have to get up and down to put used tissues in the bin, or drag the nasty plastic bag of used tissues around with you.
Simply get two tissue boxes of the same size (they don’t have to be the cubes I’ve used), but obviously one has tissue and the other is empty. Add some wide elastic which has either been sewn or tied together at the back.
The elastic I used was actually already sewn and used to secure something in some packaging I’d received. I then neatened it up with a cute decorative bow. I then added two quick post-it note labels ‘Clean’ and ‘Used’. Much easier to move around with you, aesthetically pleasing and if you think about it, a cardboard box full of uglies, is a little more environmentally friendly than throwing out a plastic bag of tissues which will take a lot longer to break down in landfill. Neat, sweet and petite.
In fact there’s a lot to be said for recycling, and ‘up-cycling’. So let’s have a look at some other great ideas in time for a rainy weekend.
Kids Arts Supplies
Old picnic baskets can be turned into portable art & craft boxes. Old cylindrical potato chip containers can be covered in paper or fabric and used to store paint brushes. Plastic takeaway food containers can be covered in stickers and house craft materials. Plastic party snack containers with several compartments and plastic lids can be used for reusable paint palettes that can easily be covered when there is no time to wash them out, it will save on paint as well. Here’s some links to some other great ideas:
- Make an Art Supply Turntable from cups & a Lazy Susan by CleanMama’s Blog.
- A DVD Colouring Case from Handmade by Stacy Vaughan
- Lego Walls from geekologie.com (love this idea, even if it was just applied to the side of a cupboard (for renters) or made onto a large picture-frame.
- Pencil cup made from an old phone book by makezine.com blog.
Mobile Phone Docking Station
Count the number of mobile phones that need to be recharged and buy a power board to accommodate it. Attach this power board to a painted or covered backing board that also has some pockets or coloured socks attached to it for the phones to sit in. Give each pocket a visual cue for the owner either labeling it with their name, their photo or a representative symbol. You could even add hooks under the mobile pockets for keys to hang on. This whole thing can then be mounted to the wall. This will reduce dust, cord tangles and confusion. For another spin on this idea, try placing the power board in a neat basket or box. This idea can also be utilized for battery rechargers.
*Safety Notes: Make sure that all electrical appliances have enough air circulating around them while charging or drawing electricity. Recharge away from water supplies (e.g. sinks in bathrooms or kitchens), and keep in areas away from small children.
- Retro Docking Station from an old Beauty Case by Design Sponge (truly love this!)
- Charging Station out of an old small suitcase (schoolbag?) by Weekly Geek Show
- Giftbox conversion DIY from Martha Stewart
- Quick DIY holder for charging phones from old lotion bottle from Make It Love It
A New Use for Old Pots & Pans
We often see cooking utensils suspended on hooks and hung from a rack on kitchen walls. If you have some old pots and pans that have holes in the handles which will also allow them to be hung, how about spray painting them brightly and suspending them from a similar rail? Use them to store fruit and vege. Or use them in the shed or workshop for storing other small items. Why not spray paint a metal baking sheet and make it into a funky magnet memo board?
- Tiered Stand from old cake tins and a candlestick from Apartment Therapy
- Similar idea from some old stove top covers by Decor-ganize Crafts.
- Paint palette from old muffin pan (great recipe for cornstarch sidewalk paint) from Pink and Green Mama blog
- Old Metal Cookie Sheet to Magnet Memo Board from Better Homes & Gardens (slide 7)
- Muffin Pan to Condiment Tray from Catch My Party
- Planter ideas from Lucy King’s Bower Bird blog
Detangle Wrapping Ribbons, String and Cords
A prettily covered shoebox can contain 4 or 5 spools. Simply cut, or punch some holes in the lid and feed the ribbons through. If you really want to smarten up the holes use eyelets. Perhaps an old paper towel holder or an old coat hanger for trousers the type with the swing bars could thread spools of ribbon.
- Coffee Can Cubbies for decorative sorting of wool and yarn from Leethal.net
- Mason Jars with lids attached to a shelf can store all sorts of things from Weeping Cherries blog
- $5 Ribbon Organiser from Spunky Junky
- Storing Tapestry Threads on Pegs from One Crafty Mumma
- Cardboard Tubes for power chords from Life Hacker
New Life for Old Ice-cube Trays
The little square compartments in an ice-cube tray can be useful in a desk drawer for tiny things such as staples, paperclips, thumbtacks, sharpeners etc. Or useful for storing jewellery, a great way for keeping necklaces from tangling up together and earrings in their sets. Ice-cube trays can also be useful in the toolshed for washers, nails, nuts, bolts and screws, fuse wire and fuses. They can also be stackable, in or out of a fishing tackle box. If you don’t have an ice-cube tray, convert old egg cartons, dress them up with a bit of spray paint. They can be used to raise seedlings, as molds for chocolate, candles and soap, and useful to sort small change.
As for the humble ice-cube tray? Pinterest is FULL of ideas, but anything tiny can be sorted into these trays from nails and screws and other hardware in the garage to earrings in your jewellery drawer. From craft supplies to seeds. Tiny electronic bits and pieces to stationery. Anything that will work in a small fishing tackle box tray will work in an old ice-cube tray.
Lastly, a quick handy tip!
Instead of lining your garbage bin with only one liner, why not line it with five or if space permits, seven? This way every time you remove a filled bag, there is already one there waiting to be used. You have now saved yourself some time. In the meantime if you want a way of ‘folding’ (yes, I said folding) your plastic bags to make them smaller for storage for use later check out this neat trick from Arlette of Polka Dot Pineapple.
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