More than 130 years ago, tailor Jacob Davis convinced a Gold Rush merchant named Levi Strauss to help him sell work pants reinforced with copper rivets. Now, jeans cost as much as a used car. So it pays to recycle 'em-like we do.
RELATED: 5 Creative Reuse Ideas including a ladder-plant shelf, clawfoot tub-feet bookends, and more
1. Make a nail pouch. Cut away the pant seat but leave it attached to the waistband. Hold the seat to your waist and fasten the waistband in the back. Fill pockets with nails.
2. Hold Your Pencils. Cut out one back pocket and nail or glue it to the side of your shop cabinet as a pencil holder.
3. Repair a Rust Spot. Got a hole in the floor of your old beater? Buy a quart of liquid fiberglass, dip a swatch of denim in it, then smooth it over the hole. Once it cures, the fabric will become a rigid patch.
RELATED: 10 Uses for Carpet Scraps
4. Bolster insulation. To close small gaps around framing, soak cut-up jeans in a mixture of borax and water. It will dry into
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
More than 130 years ago, tailor Jacob Davis convinced a Gold Rush merchant named Levi Strauss to help him sell work pants reinforced with copper rivets. Now, jeans cost as much as a used car. So it pays to recycle 'em-like we do.Read More »from 10 Uses for Old Blue Jeans
Holiday wreaths can be as unique as the DIYers who hang them. Even if you're not the craftiest person on the block, you'll be surprised to learn what you can achieve with a wire or foam wreath form (you can pick these up in just about any shape from the Maine Wreath Co.) and a little imagination.
Too busy to crank out a gorgeous wreath in time to ring in the holidays? Well, you can go ahead and buy most of the handmade beauties featured here, too.
Shown here: The TOH Antique Tool Wreath
Dried Herb and Flower Wreath
This mixed-herb wreath is a fragrant collection of dried plants. The bright red color comes from chiles de arbol, interspersed with bay leaves, Mexican sage, marjoram and more. You can get the look by drying herbs and arranging them on an affordable wreath form, which you maybe able to find in the craft aisle of your local discount store.Read More »from 6 Creative Ideas for DIY Holiday Wreaths
A living wreath of fresh herbs for cooks to pick from as they prepare holiday meals makes a great hostess gift.
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Mon, Dec 6, 2010 7:09 AM EST
We don't mean to be kill-joys during the most joyous time of the year, but the stats don't lie: According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 12,500 of you have to leave the company of your loved ones to rush to the emergency room due to holiday-related accidental injuries. Here are some common holiday dangers that are overlooked by distracted holiday revelers more often than you might think. Take a look, know the warning signs, and you'll be the first to know if you, your loved ones, or your pets are victims of a toxic Christmas.
1. Christmas Tree Mold
If your sniffling and sneezing coincide with the arrival of your freshly cut Christmas tree, you could be reacting to skyrocketing mold spore counts. If you must have a real tree in your home, prevent allergic reactions for guests and loved ones by hosing your tree down, spraying it with a mold-resistant sealant like M-1 Sure Cote, and allowing it to dry before bringing it indoors.Read More »from 5 Most Common (and Totally Preventable) Holiday Dangers
Mold spore counts might be
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Dec 3, 2010 10:41 PM EST
In a perfect world, we'd carefully unwrap gifts and save the paper for reuse next year. But tearing apart wrapping paper is about 98 percent of the fun of unwrapping holiday gifts, isn't it? Still, gift wrap accounts for much of the 25 percent spike in waste during the holiday season. Meanwhile, according to The Use Less Stuff Report, reuse of just two feet of ribbon per family would save enough of the trimming to tie a bow around the entire planet. That's a whole lot of ribbon.Read More »from Save some cash (and the planet!) with these guilt-free gift wrapping ideas
If the mounds of colorful wrapping paper on your living room floor make you feel a little guilty-wasteful, even-here are a few creative reuse ideas to ease your conscience.
The repetitive patterns of wallpaper are very similar to that of wrapping paper. Check your garage or closets for wallpaper scraps or samples you may have leftover.
Create a reusable "Hollywood box" by wrapping a lid and box separately, or cover an old shoebox to put your gift into. Your box will be so pretty that the receiver is sure to
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Dec 3, 2010 5:23 PM EST
Admit it: Your stash of gift wrap and ribbon is a jumble in the back of your closet. But if you've got a bookcase with removable shelves, you've got a place to wrangle rolls of paper, tape, and crafts supplies.Read More »from Every Wrapmaster's Dream: Create a Pegboard Gift Wrapping Station
RELATED: Guilt-Free Gift Wrap: Creative Reuse Ideas for Pretty Holiday Packaging
1. Screw a frame of 1x strips inside the back of the bookcase (this one kept its partitioned bottom shelf).
2. Then secure the bookshelf to the wall with deck screws driven through the framing into the wall studs.
3. Fasten ¼-inch pegboard to the frame with cabinet screws.
4. Paint the whole unit.
5. Once it's dry, add hooks and accessories (Aubuchon Hardware has a good selection), and you've created a tidy work area that keeps wrap within reach. __Sal Vaglica, This Old House
RELATED: Editors' Picks: 23 Great Gift Ideas for Every Budget, Every DIYer
RELATED: 12 Tools to Cure Wrap Rage: Cutting Implements That'll Rip Through the Most Impenetrable Packaging
Rocking horses, toy chests and dollhouses are just a few of the classic gifts generations have treasured. Now you can give all the pint-sized DIYers on your list those same classic gifts, and make them yourself with the help of these DIY toy kits. They're perfect for kids of all ages, and will be treasured for years to come. The best part? All these gifts can still make it to your door by Christmas.1. Farmhouse Dollhouse
A Vermont Farmhouse by Real Good Toys is as pretty as the real thing. And if the seven-room home isn't big enough for the serial renovator in your kid, the site also sells additions that add two rooms to either end of the house. Just like the homes old-house lovers hope to own, this farmhouse comes with real wood shingles, wood floors, interior crown molding and a spacious porch.
About $153; SimplyKidToys.com
2. Toy Chest Kit and Pattern
TOH has showed you how to make a toy chest with your kids before, but if you don't feel like cutting the wood yourself, optRead More »from 5 Classic DIY Gift Ideas for Kids
Not quite sure what to pack your gingerbread toolbox with this year? Believe it or not, the tools aren't that different than the ones you use on your real house. This Old House has compiled a list of the top 6 tools professional and award-winning gingerbread artists use on their creations. You may already have most of them on-hand.
Read More »from The Ultimate Gingerbread House-Making Tool Kit
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Dec 1, 2010 7:11 PM EST
Ann Bailey of Cary, North Carolina, never baked a day in her life until she decided to enter the National Gingerbread Contest. Bailey's inspiration came from a Shingle-style home in New Bern, North Carolina. Bailey used royal icing, marzipan, and gum paste to create this scene in a little over two months. A Dremel junior tool attachment, which resembles a sander, enabled this chef to sand out all the windows and doorframes. The shingles were laid using a ruler and a paring knife, to ensure that they were all about the same size. The topiaries and Santa figure were created with gum paste.
Enter the 2010 Gingerbread Contest for YOUR chance to win!
The Sugar Castle, displayed in the historic Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco, took over 400 hours to create. Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francios Houdre was inspired by European architecture and used a variety of tools for this construction, including X-Acto knives, glue guns, and rulers.Read More »from Top 10 Most Amazing Gingerbread Houses You'll Ever See
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Wed, Dec 1, 2010 6:20 PM EST
1. Christmas FortressDominic Luberto's home in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, causes quite a stir; especially among neighbors who don't care for this bright holiday display. Luberto's lights aren't without fans, though. Local news stations have covered and photographed the place for special holiday coverage. The yard featured everything from traditional snowmen to Winnie-the-Pooh figurines.
2. Lights for a CauseAlek Komarnitsky recreates a version of this display every year. All of the figures and flashers are synced to software that allows you to manipulate the Lafayette, Colorado, display via the Web. Why? Through his over-the-top display, Komarnitsky hopes to motivate people to donate to the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research; both of his children have been diagnosed with the condition. Visit komar.org to get in on the fun.
3. Creative CandylandNot sure if you can tell, but Patricia Farmer in Alexandria, Virginia, has an extensive collection on yard Read More »from Top 12 Holiday Decorated Houses You Can Probably See From Outer Space
Sure, it keeps food fresh, but plastic wrap is a handy multitasker outside the kitchen, too.Read More »from 5 Uses for Plastic Wrap
1. Preserve paints and spackles
Cover paint, patching compound, or putty with a layer of plastic wrap (making contact with its entire surface area) before replacing the container lid to keep it from drying out. Click here for tips on personalizing your home with paint.
2. Keep utensils in order
When packing for a move, wind plastic wrap around trays of silverware and utensils. If they're overturned in transit, you won't lose any pieces. For more great kitchen ideas, see TOH's best products of 2010 list.
3. Carry a bulky package
Twist a long sheet of plastic wrap tightly to make a rope. Wrap the rope around a package, and knot the ends into a slip-proof handle.
4. Store a paint roller overnight
Wrap a wet paint roller several times in close-fitting plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge. The paint will stay fresh for the next day's use.
5. Make temporary booties
Protect newly finished