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More like this: chopsticks, plastic bags and dental floss.

New Uses for Old Things

Clever ways to repurpose everyday items from RealSimple.com and around the web.

Fill emptied plastic eggs with puffed rice cereal and silver-ball cake decorations (or even jelly beans!) to make impromptu maracas for kids.

  • Justin Ryan

    It's probably worth noting that even though they're edible, those cake decorations are still a choking hazard for small children.

Use a lazy Susan to simplify egg dyeing. You don't have to precariously pass those cups of green, red, and purple dye. And you won't end up with a "tie-dye" finish on your kitchen tabletop.

  • My Self

    I'm dying to see if they notice your hint ...

  • Sara Treat

    maybe it's because I'm a mother of two boys, but I'd rather precariously pass dye than watch the lazy Susan spin at 33rpms while the boys laugh wildly and my walls get a new treatment.

  • Real Simple

    We're dyeing with embarrassment! Just fixed :)

  • sarah alb

    Sara - that was my first thought when I saw, it too! Must be too many grown-ups over there. ;)

  • My Self

    Oh, I wouldn't "dye" with embarrassment - it's a common mistake!

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Crumble hardboiled eggs for a salad topping by pushing them through a mesh strainer.

Soccer Net as Headboard

Lint Roller as Handbag Cleaner

Add marbles to the bottom of a vase to keep your florals in the drink and make arranging, well, child’s play.

Fold a packet of tissues inside the tin to keep them dry and intact in your purse or beach bag.

Stop pens and paper clips from rolling to the back of a desk drawer with a nonskid rug pad.

Squeeze juice from lemons with less effort by first warming them for 20 seconds in the microwave.

  • Andrea Pinnavaia

    Reminds me of my favorite Real Simple cleaning tip: microwave a mug of water with lemon slices for 3 minutes and let stand 3 minutes. All that grease and stuck on stuff wipes right off! :)

  • Real Simple

    An oldie but a goodie :)

Felt Pads as Cutting Board Anchor

  • Tabitha Cornwell

    The towel is a great tip. I wrap the towel around the base of mixing bowls to keep them from flying all over the place when my hands are full.

  • Ana Cruz

    That felt is going to get very gross very quickly!

  • Joy Davis

    agree with all above comments.

  • Kathy H.

    Just use plastic disc's that have adhesive on the bottom, or the foam shelving- use cut a piece to use under the cutting board!

  • Janet Ford

    I use those freebie rubber disc jar openers under cutting boards & mixing bowls. Work great & they were free!

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  • Alicia Abate

    The water looks like it still has toothpaste residue in it.

  • Maisy

    Hahaha.

  • Alison Marie

    Yeah definitely a fine line between hoarder or old junk and new uses for old junk. Definitely don't like.

  • Real Simple

    Appreciate the honest feedback, everyone. Thank you.

  • Brandy M

    Poor Real Simple...always getting the mean comments on your new uses for old things pins

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When you're out of liners, protect each muffin cup with a large square of parchment for a fresh-from-the-bakery look.

Kids' Floaties as Wine Bottle Protectors

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Xylophone (or, technically, a Glockenspiel) as Message Board

Vanilla as Freezer Freshener

Give store-bought plastic eyeglasses a custom fit. Heat them with a dryer, then mold them to suit your face.

Because it's resilient, dental floss is ideal for training vines on a trellis. Be careful not to tie the floss too tightly or it will dig into the growing stem.

Clipboard as Place-Mat Holder

  • JanW

    I just want the placemats! They're gorgeous.

Send your ring bearer down the aisle with a plush teddy bear (rings tied to a bow around its neck) and cue the “awws.” Bonus: Once the ceremony ends, your ring bearer has a cuddly new toy to commemorate the day.

An old step stool can add extra shoe storage in your closet.

Make Play-Doh "hair" by filling the chamber of a garlic press and squeezing.

  • Lauren Dare

    This is a new use? I've been doing this since the dawn of time!

  • Lis Boriss

    I didn't learn this thing was actually for garlic until I was in my early teens. What kid hasn't used this for play-doh/clay?

  • Elizabeth Garcia

    I didn't! ^^^^^ play doh had their own kind you could purchase and I had those in the 80's

  • Lauren Dare

    I have a feeling moms saw the "official play doh spaghetti maker" and said "I've got one of those in my kitchen they can just use that."

  • Real Simple

    Love these comments!