Chances are you have a bunch of random old stuff lying around your house that you don’t need anymore. But before you throw those things away, consider giving them a new life with a practical new use! Here are 23 ingenious ways to repurpose old things around your home.
T-shirts wear out over time, but the fabric is still good for various DIY projects. Here are some creative ways to reuse your old t-shirts.
1. Cleaning Rags
Cut up old t-shirts into squares to make reusable cleaning rags. These are great for dusting and wiping up spills. The soft cotton material is gentle on surfaces.
2. Pet Toys
Dogs love playing with t-shirt fabric. Simply tie a knot in an old t-shirt and throw it for your pooch to fetch and chew on. You can also braid or twist strips of t-shirt material to make tug ropes.
3. Workout Headbands
Cut the bottom seam off a t-shirt and stretch the fabric over your head to make a sweat-absorbing headband. This helps keep hair and sweat out of your face during workouts.
4. Crafting Material
Upcycle old t-shirts by using them for crafts. Cut them into strips to weave baskets or braid rag rugs. You can also cut t-shirts into squares to sew patches onto jeans or jackets.
Lonely single socks can be reused in all kinds of ways rather than being tossed out. Get creative with these suggestions for old sock recycling.
1. Dusting Mitts
Slip your hands into an old sock and secure it with rubber bands around your wrist. The sock material attracts dust and lint to easily clean blinds, ceiling fans and more.
2. Dryer Balls
Roll up socks tightly and secure with rubber bands to make wool-free dryer balls. These will help separate clothes and increase air flow for faster drying time.
3. Draft Stoppers
Fill the toes of old socks with rice and tie a knot to create draft stoppers that block airflow under doors to keep rooms warmer.
4. Dog Toys
Dogs love to play tug-of-war and fetch games with old socks. The irregular shape makes them fun and interesting chew toys. Just be sure to supervise your pet while playing.
Don’t send those used bottles to the recycling bin just yet! Give them new life with these clever repurposing ideas first.
1. Watering Can
Poke a few holes in the cap of a plastic bottle to transform it into a DIY watering can for houseplants. This helps direct the water flow.
An empty detergent bottle makes a handy scoop for pet food. Cut off the bottom and decorate it with paint or stickers for fun. The handle makes it easy to pour.
3. Toy Bin
Plastic bottles of all sizes can become building block bins, Lego brick holders, crayon containers and more. Let kids decorate them for the playroom.
4. Bird Feeder
Recycle a plastic bottle into a bird feeder by cutting holes midway down the sides and inverting the top to create a funnel. Hang it outside and watch the birds enjoy!
Whether from pasta sauce, pickles or jelly, versatile glass jars have many diy possibilities for reuse instead of recycling.
1. Food Storage
Clean glass jars make ideal containers for storing dry goods like beans, rice, oats, pasta, granola and more. The airtight lids keep ingredients fresh.
Upcycle jars into homemade candles. Melt wax and add wicks to create beautiful ambiance lighting on tables, windowsills or mantels.
Turn a glass jar into a mini garden! Add pebbles, soil and small plants to create a tiny self-sustaining ecosystem inside the jar.
4. Makeup Brush Holder
Keep vanity clutter at bay by stashing makeup brushes in an old glass jar. The clear sides make the contents visible.
Corrugated cardboard shipping boxes can serve many handy functions before they get flattened for recycling. Here are creative ways to reuse them.
Boxes make great organizers for things like craft supplies, toys, seasonal decor, wrappings, office supplies and more. Use boxes of various sizes tailored to your needs.
2. Moving Caddy
When packing up a room, use an open cardboard box as a portable caddy to easily transport smaller items from place to place.
Let kids make a secret fort or playhouse out of large cardboard boxes. They can color and decorate the outside too.
4. Fire Starter
Dry cardboard burns quickly, making it ideal kindling for starting fires in fireplaces or campsites when crumpled up.
Don’t waste money on plastic cutlery for a party. Repurpose mismatched forks, knives and spoons from home instead with these ideas.
Plastic cutlery can become eyes, noses and other decorative elements glued onto DIY crafts made from recycled materials.
2. Pot Markers
Identify newly planted garden areas by writing plant names on plastic cutlery with permanent marker and sticking them in the ground by each vegetable or flower.
3. Cat Toys
Cats love chasing plastic cutlery dragged across the floor. The lightweight material is safe for them to play with supervised.
4. Wind Chimes
Make rainbow wind chimes by hanging assorted colored plastic cutlery from fishing line. The utensils will click together in the breeze.
Before discarding used tin coffee cans, consider the many ways they can be reused around your home.
1. Pen/Pencil Holders
Clean out coffee cans to store pens, pencils, scissors, paint brushes and other desktop supplies to keep organized.
2. Pet Food Bin
Use a coffee can to hold portions of pet food to take on the go for trips or visits to the park with your furry friend.
3. Organizing Small Items
Nuts, bolts, nails, buttons and other little items won’t get lost if sorted into labeled old coffee cans.
4. Creating Vases
Transform coffee cans into rustic recycled vases by coating the outside in decorative paper or fabric then filling with flowers.
Wash out and remove labels from used glass bottles to reuse them in many clever ways instead of recycling.
A glass bottle becomes an instant vase just by adding water and a fresh flower stem. Use bottles of various sizes and shapes for interest.
2. Bathroom Organizers
Upcycle bottles into bathroom organizers for cotton swabs, cotton balls, Qtips, hair ties, barrettes, makeup brushes and more.
3. Pencil Holder
A tall narrow glass bottle can corral pens, pencils, paint brushes and other slender desk supplies to keep them tidy.
Turn any glass bottle into a mini garden environment. Layer soil, rocks and plants inside to create a self-sustaining terrarium.
Reuse plastic grocery and shopping bags creatively before sending them for recycling. Here are handy ways to give them new life.
1. Trash Can Liners
Grocery bags are the perfect size to line small wastebaskets and trash cans throughout your home.
2. Lunch Bags
Pack sandwiches, snacks and lunch box items inside plastic shopping bags secured with twists or clips.
3. DIY Scrubbers
Upcycle plastic bags into homemade dish scrubbers. Cut bags into strips, roll and tie into knots. Great for dishes!
4. Pick Up Pet Waste
Use surplus clean plastic bags to pick up and contain pet waste when walking your dog. Then toss in outdoor trash.
Random leftovers, cracked lids and mixed sets of Tupperware containers have many other uses apart from storing food.
1. Arts and Crafts
Plastic tubs of various sizes can organize art supplies, beads, glitter, googly eyes, pompoms, stickers and more by category.
2. Office Supplies
Tupperware makes a handy desktop caddy for pens, highlighters, clips, pins, batteries and other small office sundries.
3. Jewelry Container
Store jewelry tidily sorted into compartments of an old Tupperware container with dividers and sections.
4. First Aid Kit
A portable clear plastic container is perfect for holding medical essentials like bandages, gauze, cotton balls, ointment, tweezers and scissors.
Rather than tossing out wine corks after they’ve served their purpose, find new uses for them around your home.
1. Bottle Stoppers
Plug an unfinished bottle of wine with a cork so you can reseal it and save some for later. A cork stopper preserves the wine.
2. Bulletin Board
Push pins into a cork board base hold up notes, photos, cards, lists, recipes and more. Group corks together to make a custom bulletin board.
Add fragrant potpourri inside a glass container topped with a cork lid to scent a room naturally with aromatic dried flowers and herbs.
4. Crafts and Décor
Glue corks together into shapes and objects to make trivets, coasters and edgy décor. Paint them in bright colors too!
Cardboard Egg Cartons
Reusing old egg cartons keeps them from the landfill a little longer. Find new purposes for them with these ideas.
1. Seedling Planters
Egg carton cups are the perfect size to start seeds in before transplanting seedlings into the garden after sprouting.
2. Arts and Crafts
Let kids cut up cardboard egg cartons to make elephants, caterpillars, trains and other fun crafty critters.
3. Fire Starters
Stuff dryer lint or wood shavings into cardboard egg cups with melted wax to create handy fire starters for your next campout.
4. Hardware Organizer
Use cardboard egg carton compartments to sort and store small hardware items like screws, nails, nuts and bolts by type and size.
Old newspapers pile up quickly but can still be reused in your home before sending them for recycling.
1. Wrapping Paper
Wrap gifts creatively in comics and newsprint paper tied up with twine or yarn. It’s budget-friendly and recyclable!
2. Shipping Cushioning
Crumple or tear newspapers into pieces to use as biodegradable packing material inside boxes and packages.
3. Window Cleaner
Newspaper is lint-free and absorptive, making it the perfect paper for streak-free window and glass cleaning.
4. Pet Messes
Lay down sheets of newspaper or shred it to create absorbent bedding for pets or line crates and carriers to handle messes.
Before tossing old magazines in the recycling, repurpose them creatively with these ideas.
1. Gift Wrap
Wrap presents in colorful magazine images for fun recycled gift wrap. Use pretty pictures and cut out words.
Cut and paste magazine images, fonts and words onto cards, frames and canvases to make interesting multimedia collages.
Decoupage magazine clippings in a patchwork pattern onto the tops of ceramic tiles then seal to create one-of-a-kind custom coasters.
4. Paper Beads
Roll narrow magazine strips to form paper beads then string together to make unique stretchy bracelets, necklaces and more.
Toilet Paper/Paper Towel Rolls
Don’t automatically throw away empty cardboard tubes from TP and paper towels. Reuse them cleverly!
1. Arts and Crafts
Let kids decorate empty tubes with crayons, stickers and glitter to make imaginative creations like robots, animals and more.
2. Seed Starters
Poke holes in cardboard tubes then fill with soil to plant seeds. The tubes protect seedlings as they sprout indoors before transplanting.
3. Fire Starters
Stuff dry cardboard tubes with lint or cotton balls then coat with melted wax. After drying, these work perfectly to start campfires or fireplaces.
Stand up TP and paper towel tubes to corral and contain pens, makeup brushes, knitting needles, toothbrushes and other cylindrical items.
Plastic Bottle Lids
Don’t throw away those orphaned plastic lids! Find new purposes for them around the house.
1. Jar Openers
Set a plastic lid on stubborn jar lids while opening to help easily break the seal and unscrew tight caps.
Glue cork pieces, felt or other material to the bottoms of plastic lids to create handy drink coasters that protect furniture from moisture rings.
3. Sorting Bowls
Upcycle plastic lids of various sizes into miniature sorting bowls for organizing beads, buttons, coins, paper clips and more into categories.
Plastic lids with tabs make great wings, wheels and other doodad attachments on handmade crafts, robots and sculptures.
Used aluminum foil can find new life in these unexpected ways rather than getting recycled immediately.
1. Cookware Shiner
Ball up aluminum foil and use it to easily scrub cooked-on grime and residue off pots, pans and baking sheets after cooking. It gets them super shiny!
2. Plant Shiner
Gently rub aluminum foil on plant leaves to buff away dullness and dust to make the greens gleam vibrantly. It won’t hurt or scratch plants.
3. Sharpen Scissors
Fold a sheet of foil several times and carefully cut through the layers to sharpen and hone the blades on dull scissors making them like new!
4. Messy Repair
Temporarily wrap torn insulation around pipes or gaps around windows with aluminum foil as a quick fix to seal out drafts and elements.
Plastic Bottle Caps
Don’t toss away those leftover soda, water and juice bottle caps. Find clever new uses for them all around your home.
1. Knobs and Pulls
Glue bottle caps back-to-back then screw or adhere them onto drawers and cabinets as handy DIY knobs and pulls.
Plastic bottle caps are great for gluing onto projects to make eyes, noses, flowers and other creative embellishments.
3. Game Pieces
Spray paint bottle caps in bright colors to use as pawns in checkers, poker chips and other board or tabletop games.
4. Jar Opener
Set a bottle cap on a stuck jar lid while opening to help easily break the seal and loosen tight caps.
Don’t toss away plastic drinking straws after just one use. Extend their life with these clever ideas.
1. Arts and Crafts
Straight and bendy straws are great to cut up and incorporate into various children’s crafts and science projects.
2. Drain Uncloggers
Use a straw to gently plunge and poke away gunk clogging bathroom and kitchen sink drains. They are skinny enough to fit down easily.
3. Impromptu Spill Cleanup
Bend the last inch of a straw to pick up hard-to-reach beads, pins, sequins and other tiny items that have fallen and scattered in cracks.
4. Stirring Sticks
Sturdy straws work as impromptu stir sticks for mixing paints, pancake batter, sauces, slime or anything else that needs a good blend.
Don’t send old shower curtains to a landfill. Give them another life with these smart uses.
Use a vinyl shower curtain as an impromptu picnic tablecloth spread out on the ground to keep outdoor snacks and meals tidy.
2. Drop Cloth
Protect floors from paint drips and spills by laying down a shower curtain as a budget drop cloth while painting indoors or outdoors.
3. Window Insulation
Seal out cold winter drafts or add an extra layer of insulation by putting up a shower curtain with thumbtacks in problem window areas.
4. Makeshift Tent
Drape and tape an old shower curtain overhead between trees or poles to create a DIY camping fort or play tent for kids.
Don’t throw away worn out pillowcases. Find new purposes for them even after their pillow-covering days are over.
1. Gift Wrap
Use pillowcases instead of gift wrap for birthday gifts, holiday presents or other surprises. Just tie decoratively with ribbon.
2. Decorative Curtains
Repurpose pretty pillowcases into DIY window valances, cafe curtains, or holiday-themed hanging decor.
3. Laundry Bags
Turn pillowcases into handy laundry sorting bags. Use a permanent marker to label delicates, lights, darks, towels, etc.
4. Storage Pouches
Stash toys, craft supplies, seasonal items,Legos, stuffed animals and more tidily inside unused pillowcases closed with drawstrings.
Before recycling used plastic take