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Clever Reuse Ideas

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


Clever Reuse Ideas

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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

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  • 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

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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

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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

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

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

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

it's umbrella season! keep 'em at the ready

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  • 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

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Tea tins turned windowsill herb garden via Apartment Therapy

Inspiration: Windowsill Garden — Melbourne

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What to do with the crib your kids have outgrown.

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

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

B L O O D A N D C H A M P A G N E

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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 homedit.com

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

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

Design Meet Style

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

DIY Alternative to a Wreath | My Daily Bubble

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Start saving those wine corks to repurpose as this fun cork bulletin board via A Beautiful Mess!

A Beautiful Mess

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Eye-catching DIY memo board: Frame a pretty scrap of fabric or wallpaper, hang in a high traffic area, and use a dry-erase market to jot down reminders on the glass. via Real Simple

10 Cheap Organizing Hacks for a Clutter-Free Home

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To make decorative luminaries, drill holes in pint-size cans, making a pattern. Place a votive candle in each can. | Photo: Tina Rupp

10 Uses for Paint Cans

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Fill a large paint can with sand or gravel, and stick a garden torch in the middle. | Photo: Ryan Benyi

10 Uses for Paint Cans

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Create storage for pencils or brushes: Place adhesive-backed magnets on the bottoms of small paint cans (use a hot-glue gun for extra hold). Attach to an inexpensive magnetized knife strip on the wall. | Photo: Ryan Benyi

10 Uses for Paint Cans

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New or used, these metal pails have a variety of uses around the house | Photo: James Worrell

10 Uses for Paint Cans

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Window-Frame Trellis: Turn an old window that's missing its glass into a support for climbing vines. Here, a single sash is attached to an elevated planter made from scrap wood. As an alternative to a window, use a Windsor-style chair with vertical spindles in the backrest. Place potted plants on the seat and train tendrils around the spindles. | Photo: Courtesy of Lark Books/Sterling Publishing

Turn Salvaged Junk Into Garden Ornaments

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Protect your stovetop: Use pie plates to surround gas burners or to line burners on an electric range. Cut a hole in the center large enough for the burner, as needed. | Photo: Misha Gravenor/The Image Bank/Getty

10 Uses for Aluminum Pie Plates

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  • Anna Wachtel Riley
    Anna Wachtel Riley

    This is bad advice. Using aluminum on electric burners can cause overheating which can burn out connectors and wiring. Drip pans for electric ranges are cheap and readily available at every hardware store and most anywhere that sells even basic home products (drugstore, big box retailer, etc).

  • Anita Frank
    Anita Frank

    Agreed, Anna! Just buy new drip pans--really inexpensive!

Prevent melted-wax mess: Place pie plates under burning candles outside to stop wax from dripping onto your table or patio. | Photo: Tetra Images/Getty

10 Uses for Aluminum Pie Plates

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Use a pie tin as a mini roller tray. It is the perfect size to hold small amounts of paint when doing minor touch-ups around the house. | Photo: Janice Richard/E+/Getty

10 Uses for Aluminum Pie Plates

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