50 Great New Uses for Common Items

16 07 2010

I was looking at realsimple.com the other day and stumbled across an article that was quite inspiring.  50 all-time favorite new uses for old things.  I was so impressed that I thought I would list a few of my favorite items for your inspiration as well.

Here are some favorites-o-mine:

A Twister game mat makes a spot-on tablecloth for a child’s birthday party: Sticky spills and icing wash right off.

A toothbrush’s bristles lift away stray threads of silk from fresh ears of corn quickly and efficiently.  Perfect for this time of the year!

At a party, stash ice in a colander set on top of a bucket or a bowl. Water will drain out, and guests will get only the solid stuff.

Pick up interesting cardboard coasters at restaurants and bars you visit along your travels. Punch a hole near the edge, thread some ribbon through, and voilà: homemade gift tag.

Transform a six-pack holder into a condiment tote that’s ideal for summer picnics.

Forget unruly plastic bags that seemingly regenerate under your sink. An empty tissue box keeps them neatly corralled and ready for use.

A giveaway shower cap becomes the perfect wrapper for shoes when traveling, preventing them from dirtying clothes packed in your suitcase.

A hard plastic soap case is the perfect size to protect a camera stashed in a carry-on bag.  I used to own a Pantex camera that fit into an Altoids case that would go everywhere in my purse.  On a couple different occasions my purse ended up missing, only to be found later with no money.  However, no one ever touched the camera because they assumed it was just mints.  Perfect way to protect your valuables!

No more worries of camisoles and sundresses slipping off hangers when you wrap the ends with rubber bands.

A binder clip serves as a key chain/money holder you can clamp to your waistband for a purse-free morning walk.  As an avid runner, I have no idea why I never thought to do this.  Perfect-o!

No more oops! moments when painting, if you cover doorknobs and hardware with aluminum foil.

This one is for my dad: Gardeners can go easy on their jeans with homemade knee pads. A couple of plastic bags tied on keep them grime-free.

The cardboard tube from a spent roll of toilet tissue is a wonderfully simple tool for keeping extension cords tangle-free.

Stick a sparkler in Play-Doh, then light it up. The container protects hands from flying sparks, preventing burns.

Give Easter eggs a year-round use (and save on resealable bags) by filling them with snacks like crackers or Cheerios.  With a baby on the way this is a perfect idea.

A paint chip strip makes a dandy place card: Cut off a length of two colors, then fold.  Recently my best friend and I went crazy at the store with paint chips.  She felt so guilty about all the leftovers this would be a perfect solution for years to come!

Liberally apply cooking spray to both sides of a plastic or metal shovel before clearing away snow, and ice will slide right off instead of building up.

Give cocktails extra pop with lollies in complementary colors subbed in for stirrers.

Check out the entire article here.  All photos are complements of realsimple.com.