Craft Ideas That Recycle

Taking something that already exists in a rundown, blah, boring or essentially unexciting way and transforming it into something that becomes a showcase for the home is the dream of every person who has ever gone to the producers of HGTV to pitch a project. You don’t need to try to land a job showing others how to recycle what they’ve got into something they never knew they wanted in order to recycle objects and items currently collecting nothing but dust.

Metal Trunk: A metal trunk or storage chest can be given new recycled life by painting it a solid car and then using techniques like stamping or stenciling to make it new. You could get stamps with Disney characters or SpongeBob characters or other characters of interest to kids and make an old metal trunk into a toy chest.

Aluminum Coffee Tin: Tear off the label from aluminum can of coffee to recycle it into a crafts project for your kid. Tell the little tyke it is going to become a cookie jar and you will immediately stir up interest. Provide acrylic paints and stamps or just provide paintbrushes for some freestyling painting decorating.

Seashell Mobile: Many kids who live in beach areas go through a period where they collect seashells by the seashore. Usually, the kid grows out of this period of collecting seashells and you’re left with a drawer full of the things. Use an awl or ice pick to put holes through the seashells and attach fishing line so that strings of seashells hang down. You’ve got yourself a nifty little mobile that will always remind you of when your big, brooding teen was an innocent little tyke.

Keg or Barrel Chess/Checkers Board: A beer keg or old wooden barrel makes a great place to attach a checkerboard for those who enjoy playing chess or checkers. The rounded form allows the board to hang over the keg or barrel like one of Angelina Jolie’s lips, only smaller.

Paddleball Handle Mirror: When the ball and rubber bands comes loose from the paddle ball handle for the last time, don’t throw it away. Glue a mirror to it and you’ve got something you’d pay more than 10 dollars for if found at a store. Decorate your new handheld mirror as you see fit with paint, baubles, miniature ceramic tiles, leftover cosmetics or what have you.

Beach Towels: Don’t get rid of those old beach towels. Those whose craft of choice involves sewing can sew two towels together to create a terrycloth dress suitable for wear around the beach, the old swimming hole or the concrete pond.

Unintended but Practical Uses for Common Kitchen Items

Take a look around your kitchen the next time you are there. You may not realize it, but a number of tasks that pop up around the rest of the house from time to time can be addressed quite effectively by using things that usually never see the outside of your kitchen. Not only is using kitchen items for use in other rooms an actually useful way to recycle, but by using what you’ve already got you can save money and avoid adding to your clutter at the same time.

Twisty Ties

Those little bits of plastic used for keeping bread fresh or tying up garbage bags can be used for practical purposes in a number of ways suitable to unexpected minor crises. If you accidentally break a shoelace, you can use twisty ties as a temporary fix to this particular emergency. During Christmas, you can call on the power of twisty ties to fill in when you have run out of wire hangers for the ornaments on your tree. The power of the plastic twist can also help alleviate, at least temporarily, the potential disaster of broken buttons on pants and shirts.

Straws

Save your used straws for recycling purposes. Just be sure to place them in a special area where they are clearly marked as having been used. One very practical use for straws include sliding over short stems of flowers to provide length and support in the vase so that they can be arranged at the same level of flowers with long stems.

Peanut Butter

Don’t toss away that jar of peanut butter just because all that is left are streaks on the side and bottom. That little bit of peanut butter not worth trying to collect for use on a sandwich may prove to be more than enough to use for removing the sticky residue left behind after removing price tags. Whether you want to display the item or just don’t want the recipient of a gift to know how much you spent, you can use small amounts of peanut butter to clear away the gummy evidence.

Mayonnaise

It may be disgusting, but the particular oiliness of mayonnaise serves it well for use as a lubricant. If you need to get a ring off a finger that was much thinner when the ring went on, you can boost the odds of success by smearing mayo on the digit. Try the same application to stubborn screws and nuts that refuse to budge.

Bread

If you should happen to drop something made of glass on the floor, bread can not only be put to practical use, it has the potential to save you from harm. After picking up any large shards and sweeping up smaller pieces of glass with a broom, you may still be left with almost invisible slivers invested with the power to cut into bare skin. Pressing soft bread into the surface of any areas where the glass might have wound up is a safe and effective way to finish the job of cleaning up.

Ways to Recycle Plastic Film Canisters for New Use in the 21st Century

One of the casualties of the digital age is the little plastic container that photographic film used to come in. As you have made the transition of your filmed image into a digital format, you may find yourself left with a collection of those little plastic film canisters. What do you do with them now that you don’t need them? Just add more plastic to America’s landfills? Surely, you are a better American than that. Cut down on our waste management crisis while putting those canisters to good use by recycling and re-purposing them to suit other needs.

Interior Decoration

As time goes marching by, those black canisters with the gray lids are eventually come back into vogue for their retro quality. Get a jump on the inevitable return of value to these relics of another time by introducing them into your interior decorating scheme. Any theme built around the art of photography can easily incorporate those canisters as part of the decor. You don’t even need a theme to use them: glue film canisters to the corners of picture frames that show off the glory of old-fashioned photography.

Paperweight

You can also decorate with film canisters in a way that is also quite useful. Fill up the container with sand to use as an effective paperweight.

Spice Shakers

Either as part of a decorating theme or just to add a little creativity to the dining room table, fill up old film canisters with salt, pepper or any other spice small enough to be shaken through holes made in the lid.

Seed Storage

The black plastic containers that used to store film are perfect for putting away plant seeds until you are ready to use them. The tough exterior of the canisters will offer protect against weather, insects and sunlight.

Car Change

That protective quality of film canisters and their diminutive size make the a great place for holding loose change in the car. You can even separate the coins by denomination so that each gets their own canister. Properly labeled, you can then easily find quarters, nickels, pennies or dimes when you specifically need them. Toss the canisters into the glove compartment and you will always know exactly where your change is when you need it while driving.

Keeping it Dry

Film canisters can keep coinage as well as paper money safe and dry when you head out on a boat. Why take a chance on your wallet falling out of your pocket and into the drink when you can just curl up your cash inside one of these handy dandy little containers?

Battery Compartments

Compartmentalize your supply of batteries for safe keeping as instant identification when you need them. Separate your AA, AAA and all those little round batteries into their own private containers. You will be able to instantly locate which sized battery you need. An additional bonus: if you wait so long to use the batteries that they start leaking acid, you won’t have any mess to clean. Just dispose of the whole canister.

Keeping it Cool

Give the film canisters a thorough cleaning and then fill with water and cap them. Place them in the freezer and when ready you can toss them into your kid’s lunchbox to make sure food stays cool enough to remain healthy during the long period between preparation and consumption.

Useful Ideas for Recycling Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are not just for playing games. You have probably noticed by now that tennis balls are are omnipresent among retirees as they are among the idle rich. And a lot more useful, too, when affixed to the bottom of walkers. But their utilization on the legs of walkers by senior citizens around the country is just one practical application out of many that make tennis balls one of the most recyclable of all pieces of sporting equipment.

Drawer Pulls

A room decorated in a sports theme can make decorative yet practical use for tennis balls. Attached to a drawer, tennis balls can make whimsical pulls. Depending on the size of the furniture, you can choose to attach an entire tennis ball or cut them in half and get double duty from a single ball.

Doorstop

The same sporting theme makes a great home for a tennis ball cut in half that is then screwed into the wall to serve as a decorative doorstop. Not that you have to limit this unusual use for tennis balls to rooms with an athletic theme.

Basement Drains

Placing a tennis ball into a basement drain is an effective way to keep creepy-crawlies from making themselves at home in your house. A tennis ball is heavy enough to obstruct entry of bugs from the pipes through the drain and into the house, yet is light enough to simply float upward when water enters the drain to be flushed out of the house.

Garage Early Warning Device

Suspend a tennis ball (or two or three) from the ceiling of your garage so that they hang down just low enough to bounce against the windshield of your car. This will serve to notify you when you have driven far enough into the garage to avoid running into any objects occupying the area beyond that space. This is an especially effective use of tennis balls when your garage lights are out.

Screwdriver Assistant

Cutting a slit into a tennis ball can actually be a big help when it comes to removing stubborn screws or giving you some extra power when you need to screw something into place. Slide the slit over the handle of a screwdriver and grasp the tennis ball in your palm. Twist the ball to provide increased power to turning the screwdriver and this will give you additional might.

Massage Therapy

Why pay for a ridiculously overpriced massage device when you can use ridiculously cheap tennis balls to achieve the same result. Slide three tennis balls into a tube sock and tie a knot in the opening. Rolling the balls back and forth over your body achieves the same massaging effect as an expensive monotasking device sold in high end stores.

Inconspicuous Storage of Valuables

Create a tiny slit in a tennis ball that affords enough of an opening into which you can slide small things of value. This homemade safe can then be stored unobtrusively back inside the can you bought them in or seemingly tossed in casually with a bunch of other worthless junk and most thieves and burglars will be none the wiser about the cache of valuable property hidden inside.

How to Put Erasers to Use in Creative Ways Around the House

Have any rubber erasers hanging around? If you do, you probably don’t have much use for them anymore. Do you even own a pencil at home anymore? Doesn’t matter because rubber erasers can be drafted into service to meet a number of needs you never considered before. Rubber erasers are not just for pencils. Not by a long shot.

Shaky Table

A table with uneven legs that shakes whenever you try to set something down on it is a natural for the eraser’s multiplicity of use. Careful measure and cut a piece of eraser to fit on the bottom of the offensive leg and then fix in place either with glue or a nail thin enough that it won’t split the rubber.

Unscuff Your Linoleum

Scuff marks left on vinyl flooring that refuse to come up with regular washing may be less resistant to the power of erasure. Trying cleaning away scuff marks in the same way that you remove mistakes left behind when writing with a pencil.

Decorative Stamp

Those with an artistic bent capable of carving a decorative design out of the rubber can put eraser to use as a way of prettying up the home. Once the design has been carved out, simply dip into paint and press against any surface. Erasers are a very useful way to literally stamp your own personality on your walls, floors, ceilings or furniture.

Sticky Price Tags

That unsightly and sticky residue left behind by a price tag inconveniently placed on a product you want to display can be ridiculously resistant to cleaning methods. All the elbow grease in the world may not be enough to remove sticky price tags if you are using a liquid solvent. But have you tried putting that elbow action to use with an eraser in your hand? A hard rubbing of sticky price tag residue may be far more effective than soap and water or even WD-40.

Pencil Erasers for Keyboard Dirt

The diminutive size of those erasers placed on the end of pencils are just the right size for cleaning off the dirt, grim and stickiness that accumulates on computer keyboards. Turn off the computer so you can attack the keys with vigor and rub away scuffs and other types of filth that keyboard keys attract.

Picture Frames

The addition of precisely cut and placed pieces of eraser on the bottom of a picture frame can serve two purposes. The added weight at the bottom of a frame will help push the top outward from the wall, thus protecting your walls from the long term effect of top of the frame pushing against it. The other benefit of this placement of erasers is affording greater ease in adjusting the frame so that it hangs straighter.

Pin Cushion

The rigid rubber of a quality eraser makes it ideal for sticking pins of all kinds. Whether you use needles for sewing, tacks for keeping things attached to the wall or pins to hold papers in place on a corkboard, an eraser useful for keeping your surplus in one place.

Piano Keyboards

Those big pink erasers with the slanted ends are perfectly suited for fitting in between the keys of a piano or musical keyboard. The diagonal cut of the ends of these erasers allow you full access to cleaning up the mess inevitably left behind from fingers that regularly tickle the ivories.