20 June 2013

Being Thrifty is Nifty: Ways to Repurpose Everyday Household Items


Even if you are not a creative soul, there are so many ways to re-purpose everyday items found around your home. Chances are that once you start, you won’t want to stop. Once you see the things you can create and the money you will save, you will discover a win/win situation in the art of re-purposing.

More than likely, you are like everyone else who has followed many a fad while decorating and then redecorating your home over the years. This probably has resulted in a garage full of miscellaneous items from your colourful art deco phase to your stainless steel era. Many of these items can be successfully re-purposed.

•    Stainless Steel Paper Towel Holder – An old stainless steel paper towel holder may not fit into your new black and white only kitchen theme and is sitting helplessly in your basement. You can find many uses for a stand up paper towel holder. For one, you can use this once-adored kitchen item to hold all of your bracelets. For another, you can use these stand up paper towel holders to stock your craft tape and ribbons. Or you can get a spray can of black or white enamel paint and paint it!

•    Preserving Jars – If you went through your home preserving phase and cannot seem to find the time to continue this process, those mason jars sitting in a box in the garage are useful for many things. You can store your sewing materials such as buttons, bows and spools of thread in a colourful array on top of your sewing machine. Your sewing materials will be organized while looking good at the same time. Mason jars are also great for storing half-open packets of pasta. We all open up various types of pasta for different recipes and find ourselves with a ripped open packet of pasta in the pantry. The mason jars filled with that pasta will look great and be accessible and handy when you need to use them. They make great tea, coffee and sugar canisters on the bench. Use them in the bathroom to store guest soaps or cotton balls.

•    Champagne Buckets – Every one of us probably received a champagne bucket as a wedding gift decades ago (we did – and we’re not even drinkers!). These champagne buckets are wonderful for making centrepieces for special occasions and the during the holiday season. Rather than let them sit on the top shelf of the hall cupboard, why not fill them with fresh flowers or seasonal picks from the craft store and have them be the focal point of your next occasion, or just to pretty up the diningroom table.

•    Wicker baskets – There is probably not a soul around that has not bought an overabundance of wicker baskets that are just sitting around the house. These are great for placing miniature soaps and initialed hand towels in your bathroom. These can also serve as napkin holders on an end table if you are hosting a party. Placed on top of your entry table, wicker baskets make a great catchall for your keys and your mail. Gloves will never be lost again (hopefully) if you place a wicker basket at the top of your stairs for everyone to grab a pair and go. I have one on top of the microwave to hold the dish cloths. There is another one next to my desk to hold shopping bags and another one in the family room that holds my knitting needles, patterns and whatever project I’m working on. They also make great flower pots on the verandah – sit pot plants in them for an instant facelift.

These are just a few ideas for re-purposing household items. If you look around, you will be sure to come up with many of your own.

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