Clever Reuse Ideas

From our popular "10 Uses" column -- creative ways to reuse household items

Clever Reuse Ideas

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Melissa of Melissa Mondragon | no. 2 pencil had a large swath of empty wall space to fill around her TV. She found a vintage cherry-wood dresser on Craigslist for only $100 and decided it was the right width for the space, plus the TV could sit comfortably on top. She removed two drawers to hold the cable box and other equipment, then painted the piece a cheery yellow color and used a special technique for a distressed look.

15 Fun Ways to Upcycle an Old Dresser

Picture frames used to create a unique towel bar via Margo Mauch Arrick

9 Ways to Use Picture Frames You've Never Thought Of

Use old picture frames to create a message center for your entryway via Brooklyn Limestone

9 Ways to Use Picture Frames You've Never Thought Of

Use a few small C-clamps on the corners of your outdoor table to prevent your dining setup from blowing away on gusty days.

10 Uses for C-Clamps

4 Greenhouses Made From Recycled Windows: Smart, budget-friendly tricks to create your own backyard greenhouse with salvaged materials

4 Greenhouses Made From Recycled Windows

Clear workshop clutter with zip ties: Thread zip ties through pegboard above your workbench to create a permanent, easy-to-spot holder for tools like a T-square or a hammer.

10 Uses for Zip Ties

Lock luggage with a zip tie: Secure the pull tabs of two zippers together by tightly threading a small zip tie through their openings to keep suitcases closed when you're traveling.

10 Uses for Zip Ties
  • Elizabeth Kelly
    Elizabeth Kelly

    Clever, but how do you get them off when you reach your destination since scissors or even nail clippers are prohibited in your carry on luggage?

Use zip ties to direct climbing plants: Help vines grow upward by securing them with zip ties to posts or lattice. Keep the ties loose so that you don't damage stems and plants have room to grow.

10 Uses for Zip Ties

Use zip ties to childproof cabinets. Keep little ones out of off-limits storage by connecting cabinet knobs with a zip tie secured in a loop.

10 Uses for Zip Ties

Preserve potting soil with a zip tie: Keep moisture—and, potentially, mold—out of an opened bag of potting soil by cinching the top closed with a zip tie.

10 Uses for Zip Ties
  • Kathy Dunne
    Kathy Dunne

    I used zip ties to attach outdoor lights to the railings on the deck - still intact even after this past winter.

Make a hanging herb garden with a zip tie: Drill drainage holes in a tin can and a hole near the top; fill the can with soil and herbs. Thread a zip tie through the top hole and fasten the can around a railing.

10 Uses for Zip Ties
  • Jacqueline Martinez
    Jacqueline Martinez

    Mini Ideas ,,,,,

Use a zip tie to unclog a drain: Fasten together several long zip ties in a chain; you'll need about five to reach the trap. Cut barb-like notches along the ties with wire cutters. Snake one end into the drain and move it up and down to loosen debris and hair clogs.

10 Uses for Zip Ties

Tuft a chair seat with a zip tie: Try substituting zip ties for strong upholstery thread. Drill two holes 3/8 inch apart through the wood seat base, the foam, and the fabric of a chair cushion. Loop a zip tie through the three layers and tightly cinch it beneath the seat to create the tufting. Cover the tie on the seat with a matching button.

10 Uses for Zip Ties

10 uses for zip ties: These handy fasteners can do more than corral cables. Put them to use with these clever ideas.

10 Uses for Zip Ties

Don't throw out those Altoid tins! They make great containers for small items that too often get lost and jumbled in "everything" drawers.

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Use a paper-towel tube and drinking straws to trap earwigs: Fill the cardboard core with large-diameter straws and place it under a plant where you see earwig damage. The earwigs will crawl into the straws. Grab the tube and cover the ends with your hands. Hold it over a bucket of soapy water and shake the earwigs into the bucket.

Garden Fixes from the Kitchen

it's umbrella season! keep 'em at the ready: painted cinder blocks via

it's umbrella season! keep 'em at the ready
  • Karen Jurasinski
    Karen Jurasinski

    I would stack them 2 tall.

Just like you don’t HAVE to use magnetic spice racks in the kitchen, you don’t HAVE to use shower caddies in the bathroom! Could be the perfect organizational upgrade for a small home office wall or craft room. Install a whole row of them if that’s what you need!

This Old Apartment

Tea tins turned windowsill herb garden via Apartment Therapy

Inspiration: Windowsill Garden — Melbourne

What to do with the crib your kids have outgrown.

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Mounds of colorful wrapping paper on your living room floor making you feel a little guilty—wasteful, even? Here are a few creative reuse ideas to ease your conscience.

Guilt-Free Gift Wrapping

Stacked, weathered crates serve as both a side table and storage space for firewood.


Ten fun hacks for the Ikea Knuff magazine file--from this mail station to a modular coffee table, a corner shelf and a docking station! | via

10 Ways In Which To Use 1 Simple Item: Ikea Knuff Hacks

An over-the-door shoe organizer is perfect for storing craft supplies!

Design Meet Style

Check out this easy DIY wreath alternative--a hanging monogrammed chalkboard wood slice with instructions from Caitlin Swann at

DIY Alternative to a Wreath | My Daily Bubble