Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks Repurposing Old Items into New Things!

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    • #349113
      Avatar for LissLiss
      Keymaster

      Repurposing is when you take an item that is meant for one use and give it new life and new purpose… like this project here where one of our members took old hockey sticks and turned them into a bench!

      What item/object have you cleverly repurposed in your home (yard, garage,etc) and given new life to? (photo’s welcomed) (to play just hit reply)

      the lucky winner of this challenge will receive a soda stream starter kit


      Learn More about Budget101 Challenges Here!

    • #459468

      Oh my, I have a ton of these!

      Picture Frame into an Earring Holder- the glass broke in the front of my favorite photo frame so I took the photograph out and strung jute thread across the frame in rows and hot glued it into place on the backside of the frame. I hang my earrings on it.

      We had an old 5 gallon bucket which I scrubbed out and buried it in the ground with all but 2 inches hanging out. I use it to as a water bucket for the dogs, the ground keeps it cold all the time, even in the summer.

      I use an old empty tissue box to hold the cat litter scoop so that it stays off any other surfaces & doesn’t contaminate anything.

      I also use an old empty tissue box in my laundry room to hold the dryer lint until the box is full, then we bring it outside and let the birds and animals have it for building nests.

    • #459473

      I use a tissue box to store grocery bags under my sink so they can be reused as garbage bags.
      All our crusts get save to make bread crumbs, croutons or bread pudding

    • #459488

      We recently moved and had an older entertainment center that we were not planning on using any longer (took up too much space and was outdated). We were going to break it up and throw it. Then I decided since it was in 3 pieces.

      I put the upper and lower section in the garage (so we had additional storage and did not need to build any storage shelving). I brought the ‘stereo section’ downstairs to to store board games, decks of cards, cribbage board…….. Took out some of the shelves and mounted them on the wall for workout equipment (yet to use, but its ready for the New Year).

    • #459500

      I have taken a 6″ magnetic parts holder bowl and repurposed it as a stovetop spoon rest. It works great! It keeps the cooking utensils I’m using from making a mess on the stove.

    • #459505

      I bought a bunch of old cookie sheet pans at a yardsale this summer, washed them with a magic eraser to get the grease stains off them, then spray painted them blue. We painted rocks, hot glued magnets to them and made game board pieces for tic tac toe. We also made some little “chore” rocks, we just painted the rocks then used sharpies to write individual chores on each and the amount they are worth.

      My step kids are 6 & 7 so this is working pretty good with them.

      I also used the homemade decoupage glue recipe on the site and decoupaged some pretty scrap paper on one of them to make my own decorative serving tray. I had to let it dry for about 3 days though, then sprayed it with a clearkote sealer. Next time I will use fabric instead, but it still came out good.

    • #459499

      Here are few items I’ve repurposed the last few months:

      Broken Baby Gate: We repurposed the broken baby gate into a garden trellis for beans to climb along.

      My daughters favorite stuffed bear came apart at the seams, so I stuffed him with dyer lint with a couple drops of lavender essential oil and stitched him back up.

      The knob on the door of my pantry kept coming unscrewed and the threads were stripped so I used clear nail polish to “paint” the threads, then screwed the knob back in and now it’s Very Secure!

      We use newspaper & homemade window wash to wash the windows, the newspaper leaves them streak free.

      We use Rancid Grease to make our own Laundry Soap: Collect 5 pounds grease to make 2 quarts melted fat strained through cheesecloth. Pour 1 (1-pound) can of lye into 1 quart water. Don’t use a metal pot and be careful not to splash lye on anything, including yourself!!
      When thoroughly dissolved and cooled, pour lye slowly over cooled melted grease, which must be in earthenware or enamel container., not metal.

      stir until lye and grease are thoroughly combined. add 1/2 cupful household ammonia and 2 tablespoonfuls borax dissolved in 1/2 cupful water.

      Stir until thickened into a honey-like consistency then Pour mixture into an earthenware mold to harden for several hours. Cut the square into cakes before it becomes quite hard. Store the soap cakes in a dry place to harden for about 6 weeks.

      The older the soap, the longer it will last, as it becomes harder with age.

      We use salt shakers to sow (tiny) seeds in the springtime, just fill the shaker and sow!

      We use “Holy” socks on the end of our swiffer mop

    • #459495

      My husband laughs at me but I use my old cd holders to hold my bagel sandwiches for work

      when i decorate cakes for birthdays i use lifesavers candies to hold the candles.

      we have a lot of sports fanatics in the house, you can repurpose old tennis rackets into mirrors.

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    • #459515

      Banana boxes, got them free from the store to use as moving boxes. Then re purposed into temporary book shelves until I could get proper ones.

    • #459540

      We are turning used veggies cans (the big ones) into yard luminaries for winter. We cleared the labels dotted the picture and will punch the holes with nail and hammer than add candles that are laying around for cute cheap (free) yard decorations

    • #459544

      Took a Milk Can and made a flower stand out of it

    • #459543

      We recycled an old mini wheelbarrow fur our cats toys^.^

    • #459560

      I made a chair pin cushion out of a 2 liter bottle of pop. A shabby christmas tree out of a renuzit gel air freshner container. a jewelry stand out of mismatched tea cups and saucers.

      altered many glass jars for storage. shoe box storage caddy. I have altered large tuna fish cans for some awesome shabby storage of my lace trims. I have altered books into decorative pieces for the home.

      and the list goes on lol.

    • #459580


      Soak orange peels in vinegar for two weeks in a sealed mason jar or old mayonaise jar. Then pour the vinegar into a spray bottle. Use for cleaning or bug spray.

      This is great for ants!

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    • #459608

      one ugly headboard+one beat-up table+ an amazing carpenter with vision (with a little help from his side kick, me) = a really pretty creation just for my mom’s birthday 🙂
      .

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    • #459636

      We found an old cast iron statue of a Greek woman that my husband turned into a fountain in our backyard, complete with small pool.

    • #461344
      Avatar for LissLiss
      Keymaster

      [b101][/b101] Congrats to ZeniaHess for her lucky Post!

    • #459819

      There are so many different things we repurpose around here. The one that I like the most is I turned my old changing table into a recycling station. I took it–it has 2 shelves and then the top.

      I got milk boxes from the grocery store and covered them with shelving contact paper I already had. It made it so much easier to sort my recyclables. I was able to keep it in a breeze way right outside my kitchen door.

      It really solved a problem because I didn’t have room in my kitchen for a recycle bin.

      Also I save the lids off of things like pb jars and use them on top of pint jars for storage or freezer instead of buying the ball plastic ones.

      If you buy coffee in plastic containers they make great canisters for everything from nuts and bolts to flour and the like.

    • #459872

      i don’t have a headboard for my bed and i was tired of looking at the bare wall. while i was away my hubby took an old courtain and hung it behind the bed. he also took a round hanging part off a wicker chandelier fixture and cut it in half, added tissue paper and some led lights and made two sconce light fixtures for either side.

      at the top he took a piece of curtain from the bottom and cut it and made a long half moon light for the top as well. dyi to the max, all with old stuff we had laying around to throw out or give away. gotta love turning old into new.

      now for the holidays i took left over christmas balls my sister was gonna pitch and made a small christmas tree for my bedroom, i even put my fav hello kitty on top.

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    • #460098

      I have a small business that grew out my turing trash into zipper pouches. I repurpose trashed wrappers (cookie, candy, gum, chip, snack, laundry pods…) and old maps and sheet music–just about anything that will tolerate my sewing machine!

    • #460110

      I cut the bottom off a gallon bleach bottle and make a canvas cover for it, so that it fits inside and out, and put pockets on the outside. I store some sewing tools in it, and my husband uses one for his shoe polishing equipment. The next one I cut up will become the washable liner in a cute lunch tote.

    • #460119

      I am making orange extract and lemon extract both by zesting the skins, putting the zest into half-pint jars, then covering it with vodka. After 2 months I will strain it. I love the orange extract in buttercream frosting on oatmeal cookies, and I often put a teaspoon full in my hot tea along with honey.

      I may try grapefruit extract next!

    • #460132

      I love making rugs with the fabric strips left from my quilting, old sheet sets, and t-shirts. I make them using a modified toothbrush. Now I’ve even started using my thinner strips of fabric leftovers–selvages and such–and making doll rugs too.
      Picture is a rug I’ve finished last week.

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    • #460144

      I took an old wooden picture frame with its glass cover intact that someone had made for me. It had been sitting in our storage for…well…a very long time. Luckily, it already had a matte border around it.

      Using some handy scrapbook paper, letters and materials, I created a weekly chore chart for my hubby and I. We utilize a washable marker…as we do a chore that day, we mark it off the “list”. At the end of each week, I take a paper towel and clear the glass off.

      To make it blend more into our home, I used our decor colors. Most people don’t realize it’s a chore chart until they look again!

    • #460396

      I made earring holders out of foam covered with tissue paper. They are easy to see when I open my jewelry box.

    • #460473

      Do the peels cut back on the vinegar smell? I think I am going to try this for a window cleaner. I used to wash my floors with vinegar and that kept the ants away in the house.

      Yes, it did smell for a few minutes until the vinegar was dry. I hate chemical cleaners.

    • #460477

      Yes I think it does. I hate chemical cleaners too I am allergic to most of them.

    • #460520

      I store all our household tapes in a DVD “cakebox”. The spindle keeps the rolls together and covered. I have duct tape, clear and colored shipping and package tape.

      I can also dispense what I need from it by just pulling on the end, and it won’t roll off the table.

    • #460521

      I got almost a full pint of orange extract from orange peels I covered in vodka for 1 month. First I strain it then filter it. It would cost over $30 if I bought the premium brand from the spice store where I shop.

      Next I will make my own Grand Marnier and triple sec. I have a disinfectant orange cleaner I use on my wood cutting board by making it with orange peels and vinegar. Today I will be straining and filtering about 7 or 8 ounces of lemon extract from peels.

      I can also make essential oils from the peels.

    • #460526

      I took an outdated ceiling high entertainment center, painted it white, put curtains on it, put it in my kitchen (it is older and does not have a lot of cupboards) and use it as a pantry.
      I replaced my bathroom vanity and hated to get rid of the old one. I took the broken door off, put a fabric curtain on it, put my bread machine on top and I store all my flours, yeast and other bread making supplies under it. I make a lot of bread, dough cycle then in the oven.

      I folded a wire clothes hanger and hang it in the garage to hold plastic grocery bags for recycling.
      I took an old barbecue grill (the bigger the better and turned it into a cheese smoker.

    • #460545

      I am going to try this one, as I hate the cost of Orange flavoring and this would make a great add to my spice cabinet.
      Could you tell me how many oranges you had to use, to make this flavoring? I see it is a pint so how many oranges did it take to fill that jar?
      Tomorrow is grocery shopping day, so I am going to buy me some oranges and start this then.
      Thanks for the inspiration.

    • #460557

      That is a great idea. I love to bake and use them all of the time but they can be expensive. I may have to make my own.

    • #460624

      The number of oranges will depend on their size and how thick their peels are. Different varieties will yield different amounts. It should take about three to fill a half pint jar, and the peels should never have any of the white pith on them.

      I put the peels in jars as I eat them; they needn’t all go in at once. However many there are, just keep them covered in vodka or grain alcohol. Start your countdown day when the jar is full of both peels and alcohol, and on the 30th day, pour it all through a strainer and discard the peels.

      Then filter the extract through a coffee filter. The last step may take a while, as there will be some fine sediment collecting in the filter, but the resulting liquid will be perfectly clear and bright. Make yourself a pretty label!

      I keep mine in hot sauce bottles I kept for this purpose, but if you have a Hobby Lobby near you, they sell lots of pretty bottles. It is nice to have orange, lemon and grapefruit extract that cost me nothing except a bottle of inexpensive vodka.

      I also make my own vanilla by the pint, both with vodka and brandy for incredible flavor in cakes, puddings, etc. It is far, far better than any I could buy. For the nearly $10 that a 4 ounce bottle of Penzey’s vanilla costs, I spend the $10 on a bunch of vanilla beans from Beanilla dot com and get quarts of it.

      The beans are reusable, too.

    • #460695

      I dry my orange peels and when I get enough put them through a food processor or blender. Make a fine powder and use it instead of extract.

    • #460808

      I use plastic containers such as hint bottles, animal cookies bear containers mayonnaise jars or any other type of plastic to store dry items in like macaroni, beans, or popcorn in. This way I can see each item and save on space and spillage in my cabinets.

    • #460820

      I was wondering how to punch holes in cans for luminaries, until I came across directions in the books I was using for Girl Scout ideas. It said to freeze water in the cans prior to punching to keep the cans from bending and losing shape. I did put the cans in tubs to control the water that melted while the holes were punched.

      I couldn’t think of another way to fill the can before punching.

    • #460871

      I took an old patio coffee table with plastic wicker looking wrap and cut and un-wound it down to the bare metal and sanded it down and spray painted it matte black (.96 cents at Walmart) and I had a wrought iron/ glass look coffee table for the den. Matches my wrought iron décor. I took an old hanging chandelier, spray painted it black and put solar lights into the light bulb holders and hung it up on my back deck.

      No plugs, instant lights when darkness comes.

    • #460927

      I have cut the top off of a tissue box to store milk storage bags in the fridge. Outside I have used a mailbox to put items I need for gardening. I have used an oat meal container to put my sons hot wheel cars in as well.

    • #461032

      We used to live in an apartment building. One night while walking the dog I saw a broken chair laying (in several pieces) on the ground next to the dumpster. I don’t know what came over me, but I looked at the back of that chair and knew that I needed it.

      I took it home with me and stretched a piece of lace that I had in my scrap pile across the front of it and around the sides, where I used a staple gun to secure it, and I had myself a brand new earring hanger. I put a few “cup” hooks on the side so I could hang some of my necklaces and hung it up on my wall. Everyone who saw it loved it!

      I got lots of compliments on it before I gave it away and moved cross country… Not bad for someone else’s ‘garbage’ and a scrap of lace I wasn’t sure how to use.

    • #461274

      I love to re use things for my crafts.

      I use old cd’s to make Christmas ornaments, magazine pages cut into strips make beautiful roses and flowers for scrapbook pages. I also use old water bottles as small funnels, old address labels as stickers to identify my daughter’s belongings. I do many more crafts and recycling projects with my Sunday school class.

    • #461430

      I had an old wood bowl that I cut holes into and a slot and now I use it as a yarn bowl, to keep my balls of yarn under control while knitting!

    • #461873

      I create light weight vases for my crocheted or paper flowers by cutting the top off a creamer bottle, then punch holes around the top edge, and crochet a cover from bottom to top, making sure to crochet into the holes I punch up top sometimes I have to put some marbles or rocks down in the bottom of the vase so it won’t tip over, but this works really well 🙂

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks Repurposing Old Items into New Things!