New Uses for Old Items

des_arc_ya_yaNovember 25, 2005

A couple of years ago we did a post on this subject and I gained a lot of great new ideas for using the stuff that I already have.

How about naming something in your home that you use in a different way? Figure we have enough "newbies" coming in that we're all gonna get some new ideas!

I'll go first: I use an old metal typewriter stand with a drawer in it to hold my printer. The drawer holds photopaper and extra ink cartridges. I use an old 50's wooden cabinet that held a tv to store towels in my bathroom. DH's Grandpa's wooden checker board is wall decoration in our computer room.

I'll think of others later! LOL


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Well, I use clothespins in different ways. Of course I use them in the obvious way, but.....
I also use them to pin up my long sleeves when I am cooking
I use them to pin back curtains to let in the daylight
I use them at my desk to pin certain papers together that I do not want to throw out by mistake
I clip my letters to mail so I don't drop or misplace some
I put sticky magnets on the back of them to pin up certain notices on my refrigerator

I know I have more uses for them, but I have to do a house search first to remind myself of what other uses I find for them.
I am amazed that such a simple invention works so well in so many ways.
Great idea for a thread.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 1:07AM
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have you seen that gag gift where they write on a clothespin. money clip. with a penny clipped in?
my daddy made a checker board out of a piece of wood and used bottle caps for the checkers. it was a sunday enjoyment when there was free time to play.neighbors would come over and wait their turns to play against daddy.he was rarely ever beaten at checkers so they thought of it as a challenge.yeah he was the best checker player in the county.
i felt like doing a little dance when i would beat him at his game. i finally realized tho that he was just letting me win.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 8:15AM
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I've used heavy jute string across a wall with clothespins to hold childrens art or across a door opening to hold Christmas cards. I've used it like garland on a rustic Christmas tree again using the clothespins to hold on lighter ornaments. I've even used it across the top of a window in my laundry room and clipped on tea towels like a valance, very cool!

I use old mixing bowls in my craft room to hold assorted small pieces and supplies. I also use old biscuit jars in the same way. Use two large Lance jars with the red tin lids in my kitchen to hold kids snacks and tea towels.

Picnic baskets make great storage, and stack different sizes to maximize space.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 9:31AM
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or write on the clothespin. money pincher.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 10:41AM
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Two of my most recent "curb-shopped" items....

An old computer table:

Decoupaged the top with vintage calendar is now in the kitchen holding the microwave and toaster:

I live in an apartment where space is at a premium, so I took these wineboxes and "created" a bookcase:


    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 2:46PM
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i meant. penny pincher.
with a penny clipped inside a clothespin.
a penny inside a paper clip for a money clip.
they're all old ideas.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 4:05PM
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I have an old cast iron wood rack out on the deck. Planning on having a top cut for it (wood or glass) and using it as a table outside.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 5:10PM
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I use empty jars for change,nails different size nails in each jar.The plastic jars of course,then i throw in one of those silica packets that come with your new shoes .That keep the nails from rusting.But if the top is on tight that shouldn't be a problem.
I also recycle plastic water bottles,juice bottles etc according to their shape and turn them into snowmen.I even have my 6 year old gs keeping an eye out for snowmen bottles.Those ones that pomegranet juice comes in are perfect.And the empty pudding cups make great hats for some of the smaller snowmen.
I have a piece of strong tubing from carpet or something like that ,that i covered with contact paper and i store all my yardsticks in it.I glued it to a piece of pine board for stability.
We do tons of recycling and reusing at my house.Gotta keep those landfills from filling up.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 8:51PM
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Kept peanuts in frozen juice containers, sitting on desk or by computer - can even pick them up without looking, tip up to mouth. That was a good idea till I lost all but three teeth.

As I had trouble with grain moths, used a small yogurt cup in the top to keep the bug-gers out. Worked, too.

It works for small candies, as well, but most of them aren't of interest to the moths, so don't need the yogurt containers as lids.

Processed breakfast cereal isn't of interest to the bugs, either - I guess they're smarter than we are.

Store small electrical cords in old cores of paper towels.

I used to put leftovers into old margarine containers for storage in frost-free fridge; to avoid dry-out, slide into empty bread bags. As I wonder whether some of the chemicals in the plastic containers may leach into the food if I put them into the microwave, now I plan to buy some soup bowls at Value Village, Good Will, etc. so I can put them directly into microwave after pulling them from fridge and letting them warm up on counter.

Store receipts for purchases in used (preferably non-window) envelopes, labelled by the month, with "December" now at the front of small box that sits on or near my desk. As of Jan. 1 will move that envelope filled with December's receipts to the back of the small box, so "January" will show, filled with last January's receipts, that I'll staple and put into another empty envelope, labelling it, "January 2004", then store in a similar box elsewhere, leaving the "January" envelope empty, ready for this January's receipts.

My receipts for the whole past year are available to hand whenever I want to look at them.

And it's easy to file any receipts that have been lost, around the house, car, etc.

Cut down the side of 2 empty 1 litre milk boxes, about 2-1/2" wide and deep, about 7" high, then slide them together and staple down the sides to hold the receipts that I mentioned above, also for regular mail, mail from family, Christmas mail, recipes, etc.

As receipts come in from church offerings, gifts to charity, etc., stick them in another such box, they're ready when income tax time comes.

The 2 litre boxes are about 3-1/2" wide and deep, about same height, they work well with larger or more bulky materials, or where more stability is needed.

Milk crates hold 16 of the 1-litre size, 9 of the 2-litre size.

When mail arrives in large envelopes, slit it down long side rather than across short flap. From about half way up flap cut a narrow strip toward slit side, repeat at the other end of envelope, fold pasted side of envelope down inside to form a file folder.

To strengthen the side of the file folder that shows when filed, instead of slitting the envelope down the side at the fold, slit it about 1" to one side of the fold, so that the top edge of the folder is double for about 1" down after you've folded the short side down inside.

Some lovely slippers that daughter gave me for Christmas a year ago appear to have been lost when I moved last spring, and I find that waltzing around on the cold wood, tile or linoleum floors cause my feet to do some complaining now that winter days have come. As I have some old thick work socks with high tops whose feet are rather (read "much") the worse for wear, I propose to cut across the foot part, straight down from the leg, then sew across the top of the leg. Then I can slip my stockinged foot into the new slipper going from what was the middle of the foot toward what was the top of the leg when the socks were intact.

Can't think of any more at the moment - but I'm sure that there are some.

See you all later - and I hope that you have a glorious New Year: the best yet.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 7:24PM
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Use empty perscription bottles to store garden seeds as you gather them. I also use them for tacks, nails etc in my tool box. Use the cover from a small circular fan to put out suet for the birds. A large plastic flower pot saucer makes a good bird bath for the ground birds.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 1:26PM
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I like to repurpose all kinds of things. Use an old metal bread box to hold the rolls of garbage bags. Vases hold kitchen utensils. Blue Mason jars hold whatnots...pennies, ball bearings, marbles...stuff DH collects. Turned a gun cabinet into a curio cabinet. Our TV sits on an old blanket chest that holds the kids' old stuffed animals and baby blankets that I can't bear to throw out. Old suitcases store DH's memorabilia and they're stacked holding up the DVD, and other electronics.

We use a large concrete cowboy boot planter to hold woodstove tools.

At work I've used a lot of old goodies...I painted an old cedar planter box and I use it in my office to hold files.
A 30's artdeco ashtray holds potpourri on my desk. And an old, vintage metal picnic basket/lunchbox holds napkins, dishes, silverware, etc for my lunches. I also use vintage napkin holders for business card and scratch paper holders.

I've got a TV from the 50's that we're thinking of turning into a bar. Going to remove the picture tube and put shelves in it's place. I wish we could figure out how to use the front of the tube as a door...maybe I'll have to paint some masonite to look like the screen.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 3:26PM
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You know those three dimentional deer that people use in their yard for Christmas decorations? They are white and covered with little white Christmas lights???

Well, I pulled one out of someone's trash...the head is entirely three dimensional, and it detaches from the body.
I am going to remove the lights, paint the frame black, stuff with spagnum moss and put little ivy or maybe Hen's and Chicks or small bromileads or other small plants in it. I will have to line with chicken wire and may put potting soil inside, then moss all along the outside. Will mount it on a wall or someplace. I'd take a pic but can't find my
camera battery charger. Anyway...that's my latest idea on converting a piece of junk.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 10:34AM
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The former owner had left two, rather plain, but well constructed, nightstands in my condo. Took out all the 'guts' from the drawers, added shelves, used some trim rope/moulding, painted/glazed, made a pillow for the top, and now have a wonderful bookshelf/bench window seat.

Give me a lemon and i'll make a cake!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 2:15PM
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I'll add two:

1) Use plastic pop bottles for mailers. Screw the top on tightly. Cut a "v" shaped slit in the middle of the bottle's body and then fill with whatever (I like to do care packages to daughter in college or maybe small gifts to a shut-in). You would be surprised at how much you can squeeze into a bottle but if your stuff isn't filling the space well enough add some plastic Easter basket grass or some shredded paper to fill. Tape the "v" shut and then put a piece of paper cut to encircle the bottle's middle (and hide the opening). Put the mailing info on this paper wrapper, cover with clear tape to protect, and take it to the post office for postage. Viola! A really cool mailer!

2)I have a pretty cheese keeper (wooden base and clear domed top) that I hardly ever use. Plan to recycle it for the winter into a little plant keeper for maybe a pretty potted African violet.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 3:24PM
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I finally got my make-up drawer organized using a plastic silverware organizer. Works great and is the first time in my life my make-up drawer looks organized.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 12:17AM
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I use a silverware organizer for pens, tape, stamps, hand lotion on my desk. I got great cup and saucer ideas from this site. We never use cups and saucers, prefering mugs, but I have lots, and some are old or sentimental. I have used them upended...cup upside down with saucer on top to hold a pillar candle. I use them to hold pens and pencils and another for loose change. I have a cute china ashtray from the 50s that has change in it in the bedroom. I have a saucer with a candle in it surrounded by tiny shells I found on vacation.

I also have a large martini glass filled with colored sand, and a candle in it. My best is a Singer treadle sewing machine cabinet like the one my mom inherited from my grandma (no machine in it, however) for a night stand in the guest room. The 2 little drawers on each side of the cabinet are filled with small samples of toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, floss, etc. which a guest might need, and a small sewing kit.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 2:29PM
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RECYCLED........REINVENTED .........REUSED.........etc

In my kitchen I have a floor to ceiling shelf unit that holds my kitchen "toys" et all, next to my wrought iron plant stand w/ my milk glass lamp sits on beside a round patio table doubling as kitchen table,& last but notleast, a night stand for plants, & underneath my potaotes/onions are kept in a water bath canner. I put my prize violet on a square pedestal cake plate on the right side of my sink under the south window. I like to use all sizes of clear stemmed glasses for rooting plants & as vases on the window ledge over my sink. 2 plastic mushroom containers are now graced w/ my newly rooted rose cuttings on the window ledge. I too use a heavey clear glass vase on my stove for utensils & a quare basket for table napkins.

Clothes pins are great for all kinds of celophane packages, cereal/cracker/chips, washed plastic bags on the spice rack next to the stove,& holing my tiny Christmas lights to the curtain rods in the ktchen.

In living room I use a wrought iron sewing machine base as a side table, the board is covered w/ an old embroidered table cloth for my Rex begonia, a few frogs, and a wig holder for my straw hat. A lace curtain becomes a cover for my side board w/ plastic over it, so my cat can look out the window behind it.
I put a 4 shelf metal unit on my coffee table for plants in south window, and beside it a brass bench (that was headed for the dump)is adorned w/ my 2 annual hibiscus plants. One in an apple crate. Two large suitcases contain videos.

An end table beside my bed for phone & CD player keeps the cat out of the window. I covered a glass gallon jar w/ an ivy print, tied 1/4" ribbons around neck & I use for pennies, flags, a duster, &... A 4 drawer stack unit for recycling for a file cabinet & storage.

Misc..... 4 or 5 gallon buckets w/ holes drilled near bottom makes good planters for ornamental grasses, small trees, giant aliums, and more......
Canning jars for storage in frig and cabinets. Plastic hangers for wet laundry, I hang 90% of my laundry.

Vangy likes to do more than play in the dirt.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:17PM
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I use a shoe bag to hold all my craft paints/brushes/ rolled up stencils, etc, and another to hold sewing trims. These are the type you would hang on a door, made of plastic, and can be bought, CHEAP!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 12:54PM
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Hi Pat Clara,

About 20 years ago I was visiting with a clergyman who'd been a colleague as missionaries in Korea after the Korean War (about 30 years before that) when we were helping some refugees get their lives back into some kind of order after that horrible war.

While we were going to his small church in the country, when I noticed a spring clothes pin fastened over his car keys, I, being a curious cuss, just had to ask him the reason for its being there.

He, a droll fellow, replied that it was his avante-garde, futuristic gimcrack telling him that his headlights were on.

A big help, too - as he'd had to get a boost due to a flat battery on occasion before he discovered the idea.

Pesky 1,

Would you consider donating the baby blankets, stuffed toys, etc. to a local women's shelter or other agency dealing with underprivileged/forgotten children?

There's a real need among such folks.

It is hard to part with such mementoes of earlier times with our loved ones.

Have a happy, healthy weekend - with prosperity enough to meet your needs, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 2:14PM
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Joyful, I would love to give them away, but I'm saving them for when my kids have kids.

We used to get people giving us blankets and towels for my husbands old business (to use as packing materials). I'd sort out the better ones and donate them to the Mission. When my kids were small we used to take their outgrown coats and toys to the Womens shelter. I'd much rather it go to someone who can use it than to the land fill!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 3:28PM
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I use those old blue canning jars next to my coffeepot
to hold packets of creamer and sugar (saved from fast food
restaurants). Also, I found myself with a lot of coffee mugs so bought a ceramic drill to drill a hole in the bottem and use them for small planters as gifts. The mugs
can also be bought at Goodwill for a dime.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 8:17PM
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I use an old tool box to hold my tv remotes. Put small wooden drawers up on my wall as shelves. Paint flower pots to hold my toothbrushes in the bathrooms and pens/pencils by my phone. Old pails to hold magazines. An old washboard makes a good magnetic memo holder. An old washpan on my dryer holds fabric softener, dryer sheets, stain removers. ~Anj

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 9:31PM
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I made a UV light out of a candle tin with a lid. (Ok, I bought the candle tin just for the purpose.) UV lights can be used to see if items glow, or flouresce. Neon colored things glow brightly under UV light, as do certain rocks. Plus, mouse urine also glows under UV light, as do some scorpions in the US! My son and I had a fun time going all around the house finding neon things that glow.

I made my son a hover disc with an old CD, plastic bottle cap, and balloon. Then we played air hockey with it.

I have made shelving from old pallets.

Made a mini-pond from a Rubbermaid plastic container.

In the spring I am going to make a larger pond from a rigid kid's pool.

And I have a plastic barrel, about 29g, from which I will breed daphnia to feed my indoor tropical fish. Some fish only eat live food, not flakes.

I also made an oil lamp from a hot fudge jar. And a candle from another hot fudge jar. Hot fudge jars are made to be heated in the microwave so they should withstand the heat just fine. Plus they have metal caps for the oil lamp.

I also made a solar heater to heat one room out of scrap 2x4s, metal sheeting, black paint, and clear acrylic. It only works on real sunny days though.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 9:24AM
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I use an old cast iron double twine holder as a thread holder for those large cones of sewing thread for my sewing machine.

My electric sewing machine is housed in an old oak and cast iron sewing machine cabinet.

A kitchen carousel utensil holder holds my good sewing scissors.

Those old country store paper dispenser of wood and cast iron holds rolls of bias tape I use in my sewing.

I buy old cotton fabrics, sheets, table cloths, etc. at thrift shops to use to make braided rugs.

Old wood thread spindles hold my cotton strips for my rug braiding projects.

I made a plastic bag holder/organizer from 3 pretty place mats I bought at the thrift shop.

A unique tiny padded footstool with a lovely hand embrodiered top I found at a thrift shop, now holds my clamp on crank cloth cutter and my braiding clamp. I can leave it on a table, or sit it on my lap for easy use.

Enormous old wicker baskets with lids hold my braiding fabric and keeps it out of sight.

Small wicker plant pot baskets [found in a thrift shop 10/$1.00] lined with plastic grocery sacks are my wastebaskets.

A vintage wicker baby changing table, now on casters, is my rolling kitchen island.

A wicker mirror frame without the mirror now frames a bulletin board.

As I think of other things I recycle, I will post them.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 1:41PM
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How can I forget I use those old aqua glass canning jars, and matching aqua glass bottles and country store jars as containers, and canisters in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 1:50PM
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Before I started using my "second hand paper" in my printer to do drafts, I made my own notepads. I would cut the paper in 1/4ths with the paper cutter. Then put one end of the neat stack between 2 rulers and fasten tightly together with clamps or rubber bands. Put a good layer of white glue on the end and make note pads. It usually would take a few layers of glue to make them hold.

A yard stick with an old paint brush duct taped to the end works well for catching cobwebs off the ceiling and as a mini broom for the corners.

My sewing scraps go to make rice bags which are great to keep buns warm in a basket... plus many other uses, as you know!

Old mattress pads or bedspreads make great fill for sewing projects. I have used them for placements, potholders, anything that needed batting. I was tired of all the little junk on my nightstand and made a runner with pockets on the one end to put all that "stuff" in. I like to keep a pencil, paper, calculator etc on my nightstand.

On another site I found a new use for old phone books. WHen I refinish furniture or do faux finishing and need to dab my paint brush off or clean off my scraper, I use the pages from the phone book like a paper towel. It works great!

My Chihuahuas love the baby sized stuffed toys and can be found for less than $1 at Wally World. (Take off the hard button eyes and nose if need be.) When they get torn apart I sew up holes with fishing line. Fishing line is great to sew up upholstery etc.

Put a old nylon stocking over the washer hose to catch all the lint etc and other gunk. You would not believe how much comes out of the washer! This was recommended by the guy who cleans drains. My washer water drains into a big tub then into the drain. I am going to try to use the rinse water on my yard this summer. Wonder if i can put a hose on it and just drain it outside?

I use old nylons in place of wire tie, as to tie my excess computer cables up to hide them behind furniture. They work well to hold the garden hoses for storage. When I store my area rugs I roll them up and tie them with nylons.

Get in the habit of wearing an apron can save you steps and protect your clothing when cleaning, painting etc.

Use a n 15- 18 length of fleece fabric as a shawl or wrap. You can blanket stitch or crochet around it to make it pretty or use it as is. (This is the width of the bolt,usually about 60") I have also sewn a partial "tube" on each end for "sleeves", like the shrugs that are popular now.

I use the inexpensive metal shelving units in my sewing room closet to store all my fabric. The shelves I have fit a bolt of fabric perfectly, or folded fabric.

My old aunt left me a triple mirrored vanity from about the 30's. It is on legs, has 3 small drawers on each side and a small shelf between the drawers. The side mirrors are hinged and the middle mirror separates the drawers area. It was moved into my diningroom and did not get any farther. I use it to store my candles, napkins, keys,etc. I have a candle lamps on each side, a carafe and wine glasses on the lower middle level shelf. The mirror is nearly full lenght and comes in very handy as I am going out the door.

I grate Irish Spring soap and sprinkle it around my flower beds to keep the rabbits away. I love the smell of it, but can not use it to bathe!

I have used an old jewelry box that has lots of drawers in the bathroom for my makeup.

One of the standing jewelry cabinets make a good TV stand for the bedroom. It is just the right height to see the TV over the foot of the bed.

Ok... I have said enough! Hope someone can use a few of these ideas.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 11:50PM
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In the colder areas of the country, heated air inside homes gets as dry as in the desert, they say.

In my earlier home, the dryer vent had a flapper that allowed one to direct the heat outside, or into the house.

It might add too much humidity of one directed the heat from too many dryer loads into the house frequently, but the occasional one is fine. I hung a pantyhose over the end of the plastic flex-tube to keep excess lint from flyig around the basement, adding one type of pollution.

Kathi MDGD,

Should you be the servant of a cat (that allows you to live with it) ...

... perhaps you might glue some carpeting around your yardstick holder as a sharpening post.

Hope you all have a great recycling weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 3:31PM
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One of my yard sale finds is a wooden spice rack that holds 12 bottles--the kind that turns. I filled the bottles with my vitamins, supplements, and daily precription drugs--I clearly labeled the lids. This sets on the kitchen counter. It looks much better than having all those bottles setting out and is a reminder to my family to take their supplements. When they were setting in the cabinet-they were often forgotten.

I use my old stained kithcen towels--by folding them and sewing across each end to make them fit onto my swiffer or redimop. I just wet before I slip them onto the head of the sweeper. They can then go into the laundry after each use and I always have a clean mop head. Much cheaper and more efficient than the disposable ones.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 9:13AM
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i also made my deceased husband,s gun cabinet into a lighted doll display.i also have the top of a china cabinet as a curio display.i am about to turn my french provincial end tables into display tables .one of the marble tops has been cracked so i will replace the faux marble with glass to diplay my minature tea sets.i turned my fireplace into aflowing fountian and flowers.i have seen a waterbed headboard made into a kitchen cabinet as an over the stove for cannisters or china display.i have a childs toy piano converted into a video tape holder.i purchased a handicap scooter recently.knowing how careless i am i decided to protect it fron my sloppy i cut the feet out of a pair of socks to cover the handles placed a shirt over the back and a pillow case to protect the seat.another pair of socks over the arm rests.i am thinking i have to make a net bag to place my purchases . the basket is only large enough to hold a small tv sits on a sewing machine table so that the heat from the vents is allowed to circulate. eventually an old chiffer-robe I inherited will become my computer holder.I am one person who will only obtain antiques if they are wicker desk will soon be my vanity.I need a glass cover for old wood toter used in the bathroom to hold towels which are rolled. a fancy wicker basket to hold wash clothes .a wire trashbasket is used in my kitchen to hold potAToes and onions which spoil fast if they remain bagged.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 8:17PM
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Watering "can" from large cat litter jug: Drill several small holes in cap and one larger hole in "body" of jug, at the top. Works great, and you can even paint it if you like. Use the Krylon for plastic. . .

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 11:10AM
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I use ice cube trays stacked in a drawer to store my jewelry. It keeps everything separated, but earrings together.
If my earrings have the metal backs that have the two loops on the sides, when I take them off I put the back on one earring, then slide the post of the other earring through one of the loops, then put the back on that one, so they stay together.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 4:05PM
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Anyone find a use/uses for used auto tires?

o j

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 5:43PM
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Now using an old wire milk crate to hold my newspapers in until recycling day. It's exactly the right size to hold them and I have it sitting on a bench by the back door so I don't forget to put them out. Gonna bag them, though, don't want the trash collectors to "collect" my crate! LOL

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:02PM
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My favorite recylced items are three wooden rotating spice racks with little glass jars that I picked up at yard sales. I use two of them in my sewing room to hold buttons, labels, snaps, weights, etc. One of them has a hole at the top and this is holds my larger scissors. Dh uses the third for small items in his work room.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 6:59PM
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well if I could figure out this picture linking thing maybe I could just show the airiel view of my home. lol.
I actually type to slow to just make a list and have been thinking for days what ???.
I worked in a warehouse for yrs. and threw away 1,oooos lbs, of usable material a week and just spent yrs. figuring out what to do with this or that or that and have always just had an affliction to throwing away something when I know it can be transformed into something usable.
I have posted here before that I have 1,000,s of bd, ft, of 1/4sawn oak material that I have made into furn, etc.
fav.things the shoe organizer bags for doors I started using as a baby stuff keeper worked great in a small house powder,lotion,etc....
I now have one on 6 doors for sewing stuff.
ammunition,knives,sharpening stones etc.
quilting sqaures, and fat qtrs.
daughters toys..etc......
daughters socks etc....
garden junk , nippers, bottles, and sprays etc.
I built an entire shed wall out of 2by3,s instead of plywood.
used tin cieling tile for backsplash on our stove.and am supposed to use an upside washtub for the vent hood.
used spoons lg. and small for kitchen handles.
use g.s tie racks for utenstil holders .
used rear sliding pickup windows in d.d,s castle/ playhouse for windows. also used a sunroof for a flipout window.
used to grow a lot of veggies in tires . but don,t now.
have a mold cut from a tire for a 1/2 circle for concrete.
LOL have a set of lockers from a strip bar repainted in this room for sewing storage still had the names on them when we got it candy, sparkle,
hmmm like all the ideas . reuse it pls. Rick

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 7:48PM
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I recently redid our very small bedroom and came up with a great idea for Jewelry. I used two old rake heads, painted them and hung them upside down on the wall (behind the door). Works GREAT for necklaces and braclets!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 5:23PM
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used an old wicker chest for storing my yarn stash that was fine until one of my youngest decided to climb on it and ruined the lid instead of throwing it out, i put an old cabinet door on it still holds my yarn and works like a coffee table, seat for large crowds. the old lid i turned the frame into support bracket for shelves and the wicker became a small decorative border in my garden.
2 old kitchen 4 drawer cabinets "without tops> i covered with recycled plywood "plan to decoupage them later just haven't got around to it yet> and use them for my sewing stuff, on top of one sits my dress form also renewed i found at a thrift store.It was made from cardboard and those paper fasteners used in folders with measurements written on it by the company, not my size or very sturdy so i used old thin foam and duct tape to make it to my measurements covered it with an old stained t-shirt, pinnable and easy to fit patterns on. i also used an old cone shaped tomato cage to make it more sturdy. The other cab is a stand for my split leaf philedendron with other sewing stuff in the drawers also.

i used an old hanging wall cabinet without doors for a bookshelf, an old sewing table for my kids mac. and old wood and very heavy rolling microwave cart is now my phone book and recipe book holder. plan on refinishing it too.

a stereo cabinet without the door holds my printer, scanner and computer supplies.

I use old sheets for pattern making. old drawers I use under beds. old metal shower caddy is in my kitchen over the sink holds rag, sponge and scrubbies. old mayo,jelly jars etc i use to freeze foods, store dry ingredients premeasured also old coffee cans for cannisters.

had a futon it's metal frame fell apart so i used the mattress on top of my mattress for extra comfort and it doesn't bounce around as much, i sleep real good now. the frame got broken down and used for curtain rods, potrack, garden bed border etc...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 2:05PM
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leolady, would you have instructions on how to make braided rugs?


    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:13PM
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I use hair scrunchies & pretty butterfly hair clips to hold my curtains back.

I've also found that those scented candles by Glade(?) in the little glass jars fit perfectly in the hanging wire planter baskets (the kind you get from Walmart), I hung it in my entryway with a candle in and it looks nice & makes my house smell pleasant as well.

My Grandma, God Bless Her, she loved that darn contact paper. She used it to edge-line the tops & bottoms of her lampshades in her family room. (the faux black & white marble looking kind). Looked pretty good. She died a few years ago. One day while visiting my Grandpa I noticed that on his screendoor (it's the kind with real thin plastic (?) flanking either side of the screen) well having so many grandkids the plastic had gotten weak and was cracking so he used some of Grandma's left over contact paper on either side to reinforce it. It looks great, is functioning wonderfully & I'm sure it brought a twinkle to Grandma's eyes as she looked down from heaven.

I like to collect discarded tissue paper from gifts and tear it up in small pieces then decopage it to my planters.

I also save all my gift bags. Some I'll cut out the picture and frame it. The plain ones I cut out coloring book pages or old wrapping paper and glue on for a personalized theme bag, works especially well for kids' parties.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 12:01AM
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My best advice lpalta for learning to braid rugs is to go to this site and join in!

There are wonderful rug braiders who will help you learn. That is what I did!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:21AM
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just love the braided rugs also, my mother can no longer do it or crotchet so some of my keepsakes are my kitchen rugs
that are made from wal mart bags(blue) and bread wrappers (rainbow) they are incredibly tough just love them.
I,m yrs behind showing pics and this just belongs here
this is a shed wall that is 3 4/4 uprights that I was going to attach plywood to, but started nailing 2/3 boards to the bottom for support and I just kinda figured I needed a plc. to store them so kinda log cabin fashion with a nail gun with a lot of caulking and liquid nails (free)I made this wall and then painted it with lifetime warranty paint that was mistint for 1$ vs 40$ the colors look better at that price. the other pic is is a few yrs old but all of it except the concrete and the screws and top deck boards is free total cost was around 550$ the oak benches are about that much , Rick

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 11:45AM
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What great ideas!! Here are a few of mine and some I've seen --

My old nightstand makes a good printer stand. The spare toner cartridge goes on one shelf, paper on the next, and extra cables go in the drawer.

I use spring clothespins to reclose bags of frozen vegetables -- just twist and clamp. I use a small ceramic bowl to hold the extra clothespins.

My large glazed ceramic planter with matching drip pan or whatever it's called underneath became an end table by inverting it and putting the drip tray on top.

I have read about a company that shreds old car tires and sells the shreds for mulch. They claim it lasts for five years. I've also seen the tires laid down flat and V-shapes cut into one side. The V's are then pulled out and down, making a kind of bowl shape, which is then filled with soil and planted. They can be painted as well.

I'm thinking about finding a painted wooden CD-type cabinet with doors, which I plan to hang on the wall and use to hold prescription bottles.

Old blankets, comforters and pillows can be donated to the local animal shelter or rescue group for the animals to sleep on.

The wooden base that used to hold my large fishtank became a counter for my stereo components and I put the large, unsightly speakers behind the doors on each end, which I can open outwards when using the speakers. I plan to cover the openings behind the doors with fabric.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 5:33PM
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I bought an antique rocking chair with no seat. I had plans to fix the seat but instead just stood a large potted fern tree plant in it! Now it is SOOO interesting!

You know those industrial size sppols of rope--really large? We use an empty on, on its side of course, as round wooden table on the deck.

I also use large old straw purses as magazine holders or for holding dired flowers. A straw hat is nice for dried flowers too.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 1:14PM
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Prariefloozie LOVE the idea about the Irish Spring soap as I have wild rabbits and they are driving me crazy.Thanks! I took a 29 gallon aquarium and made it into a plant terraranium. I use a old tackle box to store batteries. I take my good handtowels when they get old and my DH uses them for his bath rags and then after they older, I use them as house rags. The cheap yardsales stuff toys I buy for my chihuahua (25 cent-50 cent) get recycled by being given to another animal when he gets tired of them. Old coasters and dishes make good water catchers for plants.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 8:44PM
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I save all the plastic deli containers then use them to mix grout in. They clean so easily.

I am forever losing one sock to the washing machine so use the remaining one for a dust cloth. Not that I dust very often.

Chipped glass anything gets used for totems.

Chipped plates get added to my mosaic stash.

My Corian samples have become coasters.

Cookie tins hold my threads.

Snip the corners off wire hangers and use them to keep the plastic weed mat down.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 10:10AM
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All summer as I have been deadheading my flowers that have gone to seed, I have been saving them in the garage in paper bags. Now that fall is approching I grab a bag and as I walk I toss them along the nature trail I walk on. It will be fun to walk and see if any come up next summer. If not it is a good excuse to keep me walking

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 10:51PM
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What a cute and clever idea!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 9:07AM
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I just love the idea of the various uses
for clothespins. Uglyoodie: Love the the idea
for Rx bottles. I have been saving a few, until
I could come up with an idea! I use to give
them to my old Vet who would recycle them, but he retired.

Ok, here are my ideas!

I use/buy old Velveeta cheese boxes, apply
wood appliques in rose motifs, paint and use
to store stationary supplies. I have one in
my b/room with a crystal knob, and I use that for
Q-tips and hair tyes.

I save all plastic produce bags, plastic bags
that cotton balls come in, bags left over from tortiallas,
and use them to dump my coffee grinds in, before tossing in the
garbage. Nothing worse than coffee grinds sinking past the trash
liner and making a mess!

I use old crib sheets as main covers for my dogs' beds. It
makes them last much, much longer. If you get a solid
color one, and have bucket seats, and if you are finicky
about your vehicle, as I am, they make perfect temporary
seat covers. The elastic top and bottom fit your bucket
seat perfectly well, and know one will know it is a crib
sheet unless you tell them so!!!

Like sudiepav, I have a vintage 2-drawer cabinet from an old
treadle machine.
It holds cards, sticky notes, business cards, stamps, etc.

Large Tupperware canisters in old 70's colors. I have one
for storing dry cereal, two more hold my small dogs' dog food,
as I have 4 dogs, 2 are on senior diet, and the other two are younger,
so they are on a different formula, so I use 2 Tupperware containers.
I then SAVE all dog food bags, as they are very sturdy, and handy
around the yard for collecting, weeds, dog poop, etc. I never
throw them away!

Oh please tell me my mother was not the only one that was "cheap" when
it came to Holidays, Birthdays. She would salavage any decent
size of wrapping paper, tissue paper, and especially the ribbons. I
started doing the same, and still do to this day!

Here is a great idea for the kids that love to color. You can get the "end rolls" of newspapers, from your newspaper processing plant. They are usually free for the asking. This is free of ink/dyes, and it is perfect for laying out and letting children color on it. Also perfect for lining your kitchen drawers. Use as a temporary table cloth cover on a picnic table. I usually go and get 2 rolls. If you are raising puppies or kittens, you can also cut and use the inkless sheets of news paper rolls, in place of regular newspaper.

I too, use milk crates for cans, recycling, etc. When they are full, I carry them to the recycling container before taking it to the curb.

I think I better get used to wearing an apron. I have ruined so many house clothes. Grin!!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 3:51PM
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Here is a link to some of my "re-do's".

An old small spice rack, painted, distressed, mosaic, serves as a shelf wall rack, for those tiny little picture frames.

You can see what I did with my old sewing machine drawers, mentioned in my original post.

And my make over (who-da guessed it was a Velveeta cheese box)!

I love vintage fabrics, and I bought a rare unopened feedsack, opened it, and made curtains for my office window!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 5:31PM
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This was my sisters idea ,but I have adopted it also. Her dog was always getting in the cat box and we both have four cats so litter is always getting on the floor. She took a very large rubbermaid container and cut a hole in the top big enough for the cats to jump in and out of and filled it with litter. It keeps the dog out and most of the litter that gets tracked out stays on top of the lid and you can just pour it back in.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 10:43PM
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I found an relatively new nightstand at a Habitat for Humanity Resale Store (love the place!) for $5: a hole was drilled into the side by previous owners. I made the hole bigger, covered the opening with a cafe curtain on a spring rod, and slide in a kitty litter pan. I turn the opening to the wall with enough clearance for the cats. They love the privacy, it is a great disguise and it contains the odors!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 2:13PM
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Love toothbrush holders for paintbrushes.

Tackle boxes are great for storing small craft items and beads.

Made lovely curtains from vintage pillowcases (the kind with crocheted ends), throw rugs and pillows from placemats sown together.

An aluminum arrow fit perfectly into my cars broken antenna hole. Works like a charm. L.O.L.. (Remove fletching if you don't want people to think you're a redneck.)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 1:43PM
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Love this topic. Lots of great tips here. Mine would include:

old thick glass light shades turned upside down in a metal rack(those made recently for glass bowls & often found at thrift stores when the bowls have broken) to hold a large candle, also have used one outside in the top of what used to be a brass shelf unit that had glass shelves as a bird feeder(the brass finish is now gone, replaced with a nice coat of rust)

Giant colander for a magazine holder

Silver toast rack makes a great sticky notepad holder on the desk

Old coke crates to hold various office supplies above the desk

Dh's grandma's old spice shelf that has 8 compartments with ceramic "drawers" in the craft room to hold small bits. I'm gonna label underneath each so that I'll know what's in there

Vintage pottery biscuit jar with no lid to hold my wooden kitchen utensils

Metal stands that used to have clear glass candle holders in them, now have various rock balls that I got at the dollar store(like granite, marble, etc) for a cool decorative element

Future project: to make a bulletin board out of the wooden frame of an old dresser mirror(mirror missing) moving the old celluloid mirror holders over to use as jewelry hangers and putting cork where the mirror was

Last Halloween, I used the damaged footboard from an old bed from the barn, had dh help me add picket fence pieces across the front of it, braces at the bottom, and a shelf on top to display five pumpkins carved to match the words to the song, "Five Little Pumpkins"

All I can think of for now.

Jill T.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:21PM
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Oh, Jet, I love your pumpkin display idea! Do you have a photo to share?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 4:33PM
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Sorry, I am one of the few people in the world without a digital camera and I didn't think to take a regular picture. Well, I did buy a little cheapo $20 digital camera but it is messed up. I hoped to be able to get one by now, but my 2 college age dd's decided to both get married this year, so definitely no extra funds around for a decent camera. Maybe, Santa will bring me one, if I'm really good, lol!

As for the pumpkins, the first one I carved with a mouth in the shape of an "O"-"Oh, my it's getting late", the 2nd one with a silly smile, for "but we don't care", the 3rd with eyes carved looking up-"there are witches in the air", the 4th with a grimace(think that was it)-let's run & run" and the 5th one with a big grin-"I'm ready for some fun". It was funny people would come up and stand there for a minute and then they would "get it". At least those who sang the song in school every year at Halloween like we did. Of course, I used to sing it to my girls, too. The pumpkins were all varying shapes of smaller sizes.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 10:58PM
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to help my grandchildren reach the sink in the bathroom, I made a small bench from an old toilet seat. The plastic finish is easy to clean and does not mar.
use old egg cartons for packing material. strong and light!
anyone have uses for old motor oil?
use wire coat hangers to support small plants in your gartden. bury them after they rust to return iron to the soil.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 11:41AM
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lady_alicia Zone 5/6 PA

I'm not as creative in my thinking as all of you are, BUT I did redo these shoe boxes. We have four children, so there are lots of shoes to buy and I love these flip-top boxes. So I made these to store my seeds in and keep small bottles of paints in. Better than just a plastic tote box. :) Now I have something springy to look at during the dreadful winter months!

I just love everyone's ideas!!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:41AM
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Wow...glad I found THIS forum!

-I use an old steel over-the-tub soap holder at the kitchen sink for my sponge.
-I use the old built-in propane grill on my back porch as a plant holder for my large philodendron.
-I use an old cattle trough for my koi pond.
-I use an old rake head to hold belts in my closet.
-I use a handmade desk found on my neighbor's trash pile as a bar/buffet in my dining room, and an old pie safe as my china hutch.
-I use a discarded 1950's enamel top kitchen table as my laundry folding table-perfect height.
-I store my coffee beans in an old saltines can.
-My husband uses the base of his old waterbed (with drawers) as a storage unit in his office, and a vintage metal teacart as a printer stand.

Is it trash day yet?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:53AM
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--I use old sheet music cabinets to store my DVDs.
--I use old sewing machine stands (sans sewing machine) as endtables
--My computer is actually inside my very narrow Victorian built in closet. Too narrow to store anything, but perfect for a flat computer screen, scanner, etc. They're on shelves I'd added, and I use an old typewriter desk on wheels for my keyboard and mousepad. (Painted it pink! It's very cute now-- was industrial gray.)

My electrician did think I was a little nutty when I asked him to install electric outlets and a phone jack inside my cupboard. :-)


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:29PM
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Jean, I use an old metal typing table to set our printer on. The drawer holds extra paper. I left mine industrial gray - on purpose! LOL

Different (typewriter!) strokes for different folks! LOL

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:31AM
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I installed shelves into my hall closet and have bins for everything. Labeled them with whatever is in it, toothbruses, paste, mouthwash. Make up was put in one, and I was saving the old large makeup kit for yard sale. Happened to think one day, that old makeup kit would be a good place for my jewelry pliers, pieces and parts for making and repairing jewelery. Now, if I could just remember where I put it.
Found a small footstool with lid, changed it into a sewing kit. Found three long skinny storage bins, fit perfect inside to hold spools of thread. Scissors in one, others with needle threaders, thread cutters, small razor knife, etc. Works great, and so much more storage than small kit I had before. Also was able to store old hanks of embroidery thread. They work great for buttons and making closures for bags without one, add a loop of embroidery thread,( all 6 strands) and button to other side. All done, no muss no fuss.
I pick up old notebooks and folders at yard sales, use them for project folders or storing important papers, use magazine holders for all the notebooks, and it is all in handy reach on shelf. even have special one with page protectors showing all my cut outs of excercises from a magazine,just flip to one I plan to do, and can page mark them for different days of week, what body part they focus on, etc.
clothes pins, paint with different colors, add name with sharpie marker, and everyone has their own "important paper" pin. can also add magnets to stick on fridge. I use two magnets on my sliding screen door to keep from walking into it, just back to back. Also have some on my kitchen window, fruit and vegetables, my kitchen theme, keeps birds from flying into window and scaring the life out of me!
Hung an old door knob with plate outside in my carport, holds wipe off board and marker for friends to leave me a note if I'm not home.
have a small rolling plastic cart with drawers, topped it with topper of round table, and cloth with glass on top. Those little round cloth tables were so cute, but I needed extra storage space, can't see the cart. A two drawer file cabinet is the right height for the same thing. And serves as a table next to my favorite rocker. Love all your great ideas, hope I've given you some new ones.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 10:13PM
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I use an old hockey stick as a curtain rod in my room. I also use egg cartons for mixing paint for my art classes.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:59AM
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Was searching for something (uses for old lace) on this forum and this old post came up. Anybody want to add some new ideas to this one, or should we start another?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:44PM
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I recently turned a small hutch cabinet, that I found at a yard sale into a large jewelry box. This box was tall enough to hold all my necklaces without tangles. I posted the pictures and instructions on in the creative stitch forum category. I will never use a traditional box again. I posted other ideas, to recreate yard sale finds into treasures, in the same forum.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 6:21PM
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I took my neice's Wedding dress that was about 25 or so old and it had been hanging in a plastic garment bag. the dress was not real fancy and it was hot the day she got married.. so this dress hung in the garment bag for all those years.. the satin part of the dress had yellowed some , but otherwise was intact. I thought what the heck, all I can do is ruin it and she gave it to me to do what I wanted with it.. so I put in the washer with gentel cycle..and added some very mild bleach.. like snowy power bleach for fine clothing'// It came out so nice and white.. I took this dress and remade a first communion dress for a little girl.. I only have a photo of the finished dress on my computer, I will try to get before and after.. I was able to make the entire dress over use all the fabric and only had to purches a 1/2 yard to make the bodice over as , now believe this or not.. the little girl was bigger than my neice .LOL I use portion of the skirt netting to make her veil and took the collar off and redid it and made a ruffle down the front and also was able to make her sleeves for the bodice from that too.. I did add some ribbion and a shash with a bow... she looked very pretty and cost.. well about $4.00 for a dress that cost most of the girls in her class right around $70.00 to $100.00 .. She is the little one second to the left with the little piece of hair hanging down in her face.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 12:22PM
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