Recycle, Reduce, Re-FAB!

Diycreativity Tivismall

I’ve always been a fan of learning how to get a little more bang for my buck. I blame it on my penny-pinching southern upbringing, where my parents had a special talent for wringing a dollar dry, down to the last cent.

As a child, my brothers and I often found new uses for old things most people would consider trash. Empty wrapping paper rolls transformed into elaborate tunnels for our Hot Wheels cars. Old shoeboxes were reincarnated as decorative storage boxes. We were crafty – we had to be – and we enjoyed our creative recycling efforts.

Creative recycle shouldn’t end in childhood. Here are a few ways I “re-fab” seemingly useless items or items with another purpose.

-Extra buttons: You know those “replacement” buttons you get when you buy a new shirt, dress, etc? Do not throw them out! Even if you never have to replace a button, they make great decorative items. I recently crocheted a wrap and used a few of my orphaned buttons to embellish it.

-Empty tissue boxes: I use my empty facial tissue boxes as dispensers for plastic grocery bags as well as decorative tissue paper.

-Old watch boxes: My empty watch box, a clear, hard plastic container, makes a great protective keeper of the phone charger, headphones and USB flash drive I keep in my purse. It’s compact and sturdy enough to keep these items from being crushed in my overstuffed bag.

-Dustpan as ice scrapper: Now I can’t take credit of this one. My husband deserves that honor. On those cold winter days when my windshield is covered with ice (or on a couple of days this winter, snow) my husband comes to my rescue by gently using our dustpan to clear my windows.

Finding new uses for old things isn’t a new concept, nor one my brothers and I invented, although we’d probably claim it if asked. Real Simple magazine, one of my absolute favorites (after Carolina Parenting Inc. publications, of course), has a section appropriately titled “New Uses for Old Things” which is great for new ideas. They have a suggestion for using ice cream cones to bake cupcakes that blows my mind!

What are some ways you make new uses for old things? I’d love to hear them.


Tivi Jones d.i.y. creativity— Written by Tivi Jones, Marketing Coordinator for Carolina Parent, writer, author and founder of d.i.y. crea|tivi|ty, a new blog that offers Triangle residents information and how-to’s on the coolest d.i.y. trends.




Categories: DIY Creativity