7 Wacky (But Possible) Repurposing Ideas

By Alyssa Goldman, Cheapism.com

Maybe Earth Day is so yesterday, but it's still an opportune time to sort through boxes of old stuff. Aside from getting organized, you might find some items you would otherwise earmark for trash and create an unexpected treasure instead.

Reinvent used rain boots.

Cheapism turned to green bloggers for their wackiest repurposing ideas. Anyone with a little time and patience can try these out and end up with something cute, creative, and fashioned by you. Another positive byproduct: one less item added to the landfill or carted to the recycling facility.

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1. Give old rain boots new life. After five years of wearing the same rain boots, the Creative Green Living blogger decided they were "done in" by holes and cracks in the rubber. Rather than disposing of them and buying a new pair, her repurposing idea called for several roles of zebra-patterned duct tape. She prepped the boots by patching holes and reinforcing weak areas and seams with high quality duct tape, then added a design with the zebra tape. Within 45 minutes, the boots looked spanking new.

2. DIY shelving and storage units. Instead of buying mass-produced home essentials, 1800Recycling.com compiled a list of the best 'Trash to Treasure' Shelving Units and Storage Ideas. If you have a broken guitar hiding in the closet, for example, one repurposing idea involves turning it into a storage shelf. Open it up, paint or paper the inside, add a couple of shelves running across the body, and now you have space for picture frames and books. Another repurposing idea: Make dresser drawers out of vintage suitcases.

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3. Egg carton bird feeder. At Happy Green Mama we found directions for making a bird feeder from egg cartons. Remove the lid and flap, attach string to the four corners, tie them together, fill the cups part way, and hang the bird feeder from a tree or hook.

An egg carton can become a bird feeder.

4. Water bottle made from a jar. To avoid the toxins associated with plastic water bottles, the Creative Green Living blogger searched fruitlessly for one made of stainless steel or glass. The repurposing idea she hit upon involved an old spaghetti sauce jar (any glass jar will do) with a screw-on lid. You'll also need a piece of plastic wrap; nontoxic, water-base paint suitable for metal and stickers or paint pen suitable for glass; a small rubber grommet and a drill; and a stainless steel straw.

5. Cereal box as a magazine holder. With a bit of cutting, the Happy Green Mama blogger turned a cereal box into a magazine holder. Remove the top and cut across the front and back at a diagonal (aiming for the same corner) but stop two inches from the bottom; then cut cross the narrow side. Cover (and reinforce) the box with contact paper. Instead of magazines loosely strewn across the coffee table or sitting in piles on the floor, this repurposing idea gives them a place to call home.

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6. Make envelopes out of magazines. Let your mail stand out among the sea of white envelopes with a festive homemade alternative. All you need is the card or letter to be sent, a magazine page, a glue stick, self-adhesive address labels, and a pen. With some strategic folding and gluing, the mail is ready to go. Don't forget the stamp.

7. Turn your rags into a rug. Turn old towels into a bathmat or an old coat into a rug by following these instructions from Happy Green Mama. This repurposing idea involves more time and effort but adds color and comfort to your floors.


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