25 New Uses for Old Things

One aspect of the frugal lifestyle is using things you already have on hand, even if they don’t work perfectly for the task. Rather than running to the store to buy something (and most likely spending a ton), you could try improvising using something you already own. It’s amazing how much stuff we already have to work with, once we’re able to train ourselves to stop running to the store for every thing we think we “need”.

In today’s post I hope to help spark creativity and give you new ideas for looking at the things you already own in a new way. With the ultimate goal, of course, making you rethink your normal spending habits.

Is there something you need right now, that you were planning to buy, that you could possibly create a solution for using something you already have?

I rounded up 25 amazing and creative ways to use old things in a new way. I am very inspired by these upcycling ideas, and I hope that you will be too!

  1. Single Earrings used as Push Pins – via Real Simple
  2. Upcycled Crib into an Art Table – via a Little Learning for Two
  3. Cheese Grater as an Earring Holder – via Simply Frugal
  4. Empty DVD Case into a Coloring Kit – via Stacy Vaughn
  5. Rake Wine Glass Holder – via Country Living
  6. Egg Cartons for Ornament Storage – via Apartment Therapy
  7. Empty Pop Boxes into Can Storage – via Then She Made
  8. Cookie Sheet Serving Tray – via Martha Stewart
  9. Cookie Sheet Magnetic Tray – via Fave Crafts
  10. Wooden Crate as decorative Shelving – via Curbly
  11. Upcycled Sweater Pillow – via Infarrantly Creative
  12. Old Drawers into a Book Shelf – via Country Living
  13. Old Door into a Coat Rack  – via Pinterest
  14. Old Nightstand into Kids Work Bench – via The Frugal Granny
  15. Whisk into a Tea Light Holder – via Minha Casa (use with caution!)
  16. Upcycled Books into Shelves – via Real Simple
  17. Altoids Tin into Pin Cushion – via Felt Magnet
  18. Toilet Paper Roll Wall Art – via Imperfectly Perfect
  19. Shutter Magazine Rack – via My Repurposed Life
  20. Rain Gutter Kids Bookshelves – via Sunshine on the Inside
  21. Plastic Spoon Chrysanthemum Mirror – via Addicted 2 Decorating
  22. Mason Jar Herb Garden – via Camille Styles
  23. Wine Cork Bathmat – via Crafty Nest
  24. Upcycled Spoon Ring – via Through the Front Door
  25. Upcycled Blue Jean Tote – via Denim Do Over

Have you ever upcycled or re-purposed anything?  What did you make?  Which of these 25 projects inspires you the most?

A Homemade Christmas Gift: Statement Tote Bag

I think today’s homemade gift idea would be a fun way to gift wrap a few new books! Learn how to make this statement tote bag over at Knobz.

 

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A Homemade Christmas Gift: DIY Picnic Basket

I happen to think this DIY picnic basket is not only a great Christmas gift, but a perfect wedding present! Learn how to put this DIY picnic basket together over at Lovely Indeed.

 

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A Homemade Christmas Gift: Chalkboard Cheese Stone

Oooh, I know a couple of people that would love this gift! It looks expensive, but it’s really not! It’s easy to do too!

Learn how to make an inexpensive chalkboard cheese stone over at Frankie Hearts Fashion.

 

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A Homemade Christmas Gift: No Sew Rope Coil Basket

This looks way more complicated than it is to make! Perfect gift idea for the organizing enthusiast. Learn how to create this DIY No-Sew Rope Coil Basket over at Alice and Lois.

 

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Easy DIY: Gift Card Envelope

How to Make a Gift Card Envelope Final

Robin from Frugal Family Times sent along the link to her tutorial explaining how to sew a simple gift card envelope!  So cute!

For those of you that give gift cards, how do you like to present them?  Any unique wrapping ideas you can share with us?

Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments

Looking for a frugal Christmas craft to do with the kids? Try making Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments! I think these could even make great gifts for the grandparents. 🙂

A Homemade Christmas Gift: Snowman Donuts

Now this is a cute last minute gift idea! An edible so it’s sure to be appreciated. Learn how to put together these snowman donuts over at I Heart Arts and Crafts.

 

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Scented Candy Cane Play Dough

candy-cane-play-dough

This is such a simple gift idea that is inexpensive and a great way for kids to use their imaginations rather than grabbing for the electronics.  Today I would love to share my Play Dough Gift idea…Candy Cane Play Dough!

You can make the Candy Cane Play Dough and give that as a gift… or you can fill a jar with the dry ingredients and let your recipients make the play dough themselves at home. Either way, I think it’s a fun and unique gift idea for kids.

Here’s how to make Candy Cane Play Dough:

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salt
5-6 drops of peppermint essential oil (or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold water
Red washable paint/watercolor
White glitter

DIRECTIONS
1.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

flour-salt
2.  Add the extract, oil and water and mix until well incorporated.

flour-water

3.  Remove dough from bowl and place on a flat, lightly floured surface. Knead until a soft play dough forms (this takes about 3-4 minutes).

4.   Separate the play dough in half. Set aside one half and place the other in a medium mixing bowl.

dough-balls

5.  Add the red paint/watercolor to the play dough in the bowl and mix until your desired color is achieved. I added about 2 Tablespoons of paint to get a rich red color.

red-dough

6.  Lay both colors of play dough out on your play surface and sprinkle with glitter. Enjoy making candy canes, peppermint “candies”, etc!

glitter-dough

There you have it! A fun and frugal gift idea that kids are sure to enjoy! I’m excited to give it to my daughter, maybe we’ll get to enjoy drinking hot coffee on Christmas morning!

A Homemade Christmas Gift: Beard Balm

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Have you got a bearded man in your life? If so, he’s sure to enjoy this homemade beard balm! With only four ingredients, it’s a breeze to put together! Check it out at Heartful Habits.

 

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