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Recycling and re-using old pails

Recycling and reusing old pails

Photo: Paul Phillips

Recycling and re-using old items? Finding new used for everyday used items? My family knows that I try to find new uses for everything! My poor husband lives in fear of what I will try to do with his old disposable razors. (Silver Christmas angels?) But Christmas angels aren't the only home decor accessory you can make with old items around your house (I can hear your husband applauding as we speak!). Here are some more conventional, yet still creative, ideas:

  1. Curtain rods. When is a curtain rod not a curtain rod? When its a pot rack! You can easily make a pot rack out of that black metal curtain rod (the kind that sits atop decorative rod holders). Just attach the rod holders to the wall within easy reach, attach the rod, and slide on circular hooks. Your pots and pans can be hung from the hooks for a space saving pot rack!
  2. If you don't need a pot rack, try mounting the curtain rod in your bathroom for a family-sized towel rod!

  3. Terracotta pots. Bring those big terracotta pots in from the patio, clean them up, and use them to hold towels in your bathroom. Simply roll the towels and insert on end in the pot opening. Or place a tray atop the pot next to your tub and use as a table on which to place toiletries, towels, and soaps within easy reach.
  4. These pots can also be used for an extra side table for a chair or sofa. Place a round piece of glass on the top of the pot. The inside of the pot can be filled with pretty rocks, Christmas ball ornaments, or whatever your imagination can envision!

  5. Pillowcases. Change the look of your decorative pillows by putting them in pretty pillowcases! Fold over the extra length of the case and sew or pin down. Then attach a pretty costume jewelry pin or button. One idea is to visit your local thrift store. The stores often have vintage coats that fasten with one large fancy button. It is worth buying the coat just for the button! I have a collection of large bakelite coat buttons used for decorating pillows!
  6. Those pillowcases can also be used in your bathroom for laundry. Simply sew a loop on the side seam of the pillowcase about 3 inches from the opening. Use the loop to hang the pillowcase from a hook on the wall or hung over a towel bar. Add a name tag and each family member can have their own laundry bag. Its a great way to keep the bathroom dirty laundry free!

  7. Sandpails or buckets. Pails are great storage ideas. You can paint each pail and add the name of a family member. Then hang each bucket on a coat hook fastened to the bathroom wall. Each pail can hold the family member's toothbrush, individual creams, washcloth or other personal items.
  8. The same idea can be used in the dining room to hold individual place setting of tableware, napkins, or placemats. This idea makes it easy for small children to help set the table. The items for each family member are separated and ready for placement on the table.

I give you these ideas with one caveat: recycling and re-using old items in your home can become addicting. Soon even your husband may live in fear of what you may re-purpose next! Pssst! Don't tell him, but I have a great idea for those soda cans!

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