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"Repurposing" things - what have YOU done? Or what do you have that needs a purpose?

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"Repurposing" things - what have YOU done? Or what do you have that needs a purpose?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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ouraggieouraggie Forumite
175 posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
In the spirit of reducing landfill, examining clutter and also being OS and saving outlay I am thinking it might be interesting to share our ideas about ingenious re-uses of things that were lying around the house, things no longer needed for their original purpose or things that originally entered the house as packaging. Also, I guess we all have things we can't think of a use for.

My re-purposed items
1. Recently made myself a nice set of jars to hold paper clips, staples etc in my office by removing the labels from 6 empty English Provender chutney jars. (These were much admired by my niece as they have rose-gold lids which is apparently most fashionable).
2. Re-purposed a surplus pack of elastic hair ties. I move these from my right wrist to my my left wrist when swimming, so I can remember how many lengths I've done. a flowery canvas shopping bag to store all the gardening gloves, secateurs etc in one place. This now hangs by the back door.

Ideas needed: I have a collection of 9 small 50ml plastic pots in a nice shade of pink. These held some Garnier moisturizer from Poundland. Absolutely no idea what to use them for, but far too good to chuck away. Any suggestions?


  • happydays89happydays89 Forumite
    304 posts
    The motor burnt out on our dyson,we used the hose on our pond filter because it needed a longer hose and spare bits I sold on eBay.

    I find some of the clips on YouTube great for ideas,I watched a clip about cleaning burnt bits off your iron with a paracetamol tablet ( tried it,it works)that led to lots of videos to watch.
  • C_JC_J Forumite
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    ouraggie wrote: »
    Ideas needed: I have a collection of 9 small 50ml plastic pots in a nice shade of pink. These held some Garnier moisturizer from Poundland. Absolutely no idea what to use them for, but far too good to chuck away. Any suggestions?

    Since you’re a gardener, how about using the empty pots for storing seeds in? I’ve started using empty plastic vitamin bottles for this - I peel the labels off and use a Sharpie marker to label them with the variety of seed and any sowing instructions. Keeps the seed dry, and they’re quite compact so easy to store.
  • ancientofdaysancientofdays Forumite
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    Our age, do you sew? I keep that type of pot to store different colours of small buttons.
    I was jumping to conclusions and one of them jumped back
  • NonnadilucaNonnadiluca Forumite
    307 posts
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    A couple of very tall hollyhocks were battered down by the recent rain: OH had the genius idea of using the stems as support canes for some phlox that were falling over. It's brilliant, they're strong enough to do the job well and blend in. I was well impressed!
  • PipneyJanePipneyJane Forumite
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    I've recycled pump-action hand-soap bottles for use with body wash, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and washing-up liquid.

    We buy our washing-up liquid in 4.5L bottles*, so it has to be decanted into something before it's usable and a hand-soap bottle is ideal. Each refill of the bottle is mixed with vinegar to combat our notoriously hard water - 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 washing-up liquid. (If I don't do that, all the glasses go milky.) Three squirts does a sink-full of dishes.

    - Pip

    * Each bottle lasts over 2 years.
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' " o:)

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  • I repurposed an old pallet that a neigbour was throwing out into a compost bin for the garden; I've wanted one for ages but hated the idea of buying a new plastic one :-) Works great and looks properly hippie, I'm very pleased with it
  • YorksLassYorksLass Forumite
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    Brilliant idea for a thread, ouraggie. Here's a few of mine.

    I use a redundant earthenware treacle-glaze biscuit barrel (no lid, it broke) as a holder for my knitting yarn to stop it rolling all over the floor. It's quite large so easily holds the bigger 100g balls of wool.

    I buy my yarn online and it comes packed in plain white organza drawstring bags. Some I use as laundry bags and the others have been cut up and re-sewn into smaller bags to hold loose F&V when I go shopping.

    A tall round plain glass vase has been re-purposed as a kitchen utensil holder that stands on my kitchen worktop. Much too large for flowers but ideal in its new role.

    We recently bought a new suitcase on wheels so the old one (not on wheels) now stores my fabric stash and it fits neatly under the bed in the spare room.

    LIke AoD, I use small glass herb and spice jars as storage containers for buttons.

    DH recently got 2 new T-shirts and there was plain white tissue paper in the packaging, so that's been ironed out and will be used for wrapping presents, tied up with the ribbons that I cut out of clothes that don't need hanging up.
    Be kind to others and to yourself too.
  • horsechestnuthorsechestnut Forumite
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    The clear plastic punnets that strawberries etc come in are good for using on your dressing table for keeping small items together and of course everything can be easily seen.
    A bit more effort, but I used the fabric from a good quality broken umbrella to make a shopping bag. Cut it open, separate the triangles, sew them tip to base -which makes an oblong. Trim it to size and use the trimming to make the handles. I have a shopping bag with "The Dog" logo on display, so of course it looks expensive, is water proof and folds neatly into my handbag.
    I also use the ribbons from new garments if they are not needed to hang up the item. Add to home made gift tags the are cut from old greeting cards.
  • jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    When my daughter recently wanted to buy a funnel for filling her bird seed holders more easily, I suggested she made one from an empty fizzy drink bottle - cut off about halfway down and turn the top part upside down - she was amazed and delighted with her ‘free’ funnel! :)

    Now, just to find a use for the bottom half... :think:
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  • TigsteroonieTigsteroonie Forumite
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    Discarded white pipe - gutter for new shed
    Worktop offcut - workbench for new shed.
    Curtain tie-back hook - tool hook in new shed. (Seeing a theme?)
    Various jars & tins - storage for new shed.
    Door from old shed - gate/door to close off area behind shed from access.

    Glazed breadbin which lost its lid - will be a planter.
    Deep plastic food tray with clear lid - will be used for seeds.

    Fireguard - had several uses after original use, such as protecting newly seeded lawn, currently acting as extended guard on upper bunk bed to stop son reaching over to monitor camera.

    Two deep chrome planters which came as bases to bubble tubes, one is now part of a homemade water feature outdoors, the other will be used for herbs shortly.

    We never throw anything away that could be useful :D I have to admit to being a bit of a scavenger. Offcuts of wood from B&Q are taken and stored for future use. One team's discarded tech at work went into our team's cupboard, saves us bothering IT for a new mouse etc.
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