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?

DIY Foaming Hand Soap Refill

DIY Foaming Hand Soap Refill

We love foaming hand soap at our house. I find it lasts quite a long time and washes off hands easily. Which is great for my daughter, who loves to wash her hands, but doesn’t always take the time to rinse all the soap off of her hands.

Purchasing foaming soap refills can get quite expensive. But if you know how to mix up your own DIY foaming hand soap refill, you can save a ton! Especially if you go through lots of soap like we do at our house. 🙂

All you need to make your own DIY Foaming Hand Soap refill is four things:

  • Foaming soap dispenser (You can use an empty soap bottle if you have one)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TBSP Castille Soap
  • 2 tsp scented body wash

DIY foaming hand soap refill

  1. Add the castile soap and body wash to the soap dispenser.
  2. Add the water and shake well.
  3. Pump and enjoy!
This will be a huge money saver for you and it’s so easy to change the scent for different seasons!

Easy DIY: Glitter Shoes

DIY glitter shoes

I think that creating these DIY Glitter Shoes is a wonderful and fun way to transform an old pair of shoes!

See the full instructions over at Simply Whisked!

Have you got a frugal DIY idea that you’d love to share with others?  Submit your idea here!

DIY Dollar Store Craft Caddy

I  love this dollar store craft caddy and it’s such an easy project to put together! You could whip it up in no time and paint it in any color to suit your taste. Not only is it good for organizing craft supplies, I think it would be very handy for BBQ’s, picnics and outdoor entertaining events to hold cutlery! You could even put put the caddy to use organizing stationary supplies on a desk, in the shed for small tools and for holding makeup brushes. Really, the uses are endless!

Dollar Store Craft Caddy

dollar store craft, frugal craft, easy craft, simple craft, DIY, organization

Here’s how to make this easy Dollar Store Craft Caddy:


  • 4 wire/metal pencil holders (found in office supply section at Dollar Tree)
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Hot glue, glue gun
  • Spray paint in choice of color and finish

craft caddy collage


1. Begin by placing the wire pencil holders on a piece of newspaper. Spray on 2 coats of spray paint in your choice of color or finish. Allow to dry for one hour.

2. Cluster the four pencil holders in a group. Press them close together so they touch. Wrap a length of twine or ribbon around the holders.

3. Add some hot glue where the holders touch. Just a small dab will do and will help keep the foursome together. You can also add a dab or two under your length of ribbon.

4. Tie the ribbon or twine in a knot securely.

5. You can now add your crafting supplies to each cup and display for use.

I love this dollar store DIY craft caddy and it’s such an easy project to put together! You could whip it up in no time and paint it in any color to suit your taste.

Homemade Fire Starters

Get your summer fun underway with these homemade fire starters! Perfect for the backyard bonfire or the weekend campfire!

Get your summer fun underway with these easy homemade fire starters using items you have on hand already! Perfect for the backyard bonfire or the weekend campfire!

Don’t throw out that dryer lint quite yet! These homemade fire starters will put that lint to use and two more items you most likely have on hand already! Really, all you need is some lint, toilet paper rolls and wax paper.  They’re ridiculously easy AND are a great way to “recycle” materials you already have.

Here’s how to make Homemade Fire Starters:


  • Dryer lint
  • Toilet paper/paper towel rolls
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors

Get your summer fun underway with these easy homemade fire starters using items you have on hand already! Perfect for the backyard bonfire or the weekend campfire!


1. Remove the lint from your dryer lint trap
2. Cut your paper towel rolls into thirds or leave toilet paper rolls whole
3. Stuff your paper rolls with the dryer lint, but don’t pack it in too tight
4. Cut a 6″ piece of wax paper
5. Place your paper roll in the center, wrap the long sides over each other and twist the ends
6. Trim the ends of your wax paper if you’d like

TO USE: place one of your fire starters under a few pieces of kindling and light the end of your wax paper

** Lint is very flammable, store in a metal box

Get your summer fun underway with these easy homemade fire starters using items you have on hand already! Perfect for the backyard bonfire or the weekend campfire!

20 Recyclable Ways to Wrap Gifts

Recyclable Ways to Wrap Gifts

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there always seems to be gifts to wrap for one occasion or another! I know that I happen to enjoy when I’m given a gift and I can tell the gift giver spent a little bit of time making the wrapped gift look beautiful. Interesting wrap does two things:

  • It gives the recipient of a gift the feeling that the giver went the extra mile.
  • Even though wrapping paper generally gets ripped to shreds, it add more suspense to the surprise.

So when it comes to your loved ones, friends, or even business associates on any special occasion throughout the year, think twice before you settle for some cheap wrap from the dollar store. Think outside the box!

The truth is, there are plenty of recyclable materials around that make crafting your own wrap easy with barely any cost. Wrapping can even become great projects for kids.  Take a look at these recyclable ways to wrap gifts:

  • Flowers or flower petals. How awesome and sweet smelling would this be!
  • Old family photos you don’t want anymore.
  • Photos printed out from a digital camera.
  • Old posters are great for wrapping.
  • Leaves. New or just fallen there’s no cost, no problem finding them (depending on the time of year), and they are biodegradable.
  • Old mail: Most of it goes into the recycling bin but there could be some great pieces to cover a gift. For example, make an envelope for a check out of old bills!
  • A collage from newspapers and magazines.
  • Cereal boxes: remember the prize in the box when you were a kid!
  • Old fabrics, cloths or clothes the recipient of the gift can reuse or donate.
  • Toilet and paper towel rolls. Cut up and paint them creating an unusual texture with their cylindrical shape.
  • Tea bag wrappers. Tape them over the box of a new kettle.
  • Carpet samples or leftovers from an installation make a furrier presentation.
  • Old cassettes: stack and glue them together making a box for a gift.
  • Reuse old greeting cards.
  • Egg cartons. Need I say more? Paint them, glitter them, just go wild with them.
  • Old sheet music for a musical surprise. You could even write out a song as part of the gift.
  • Paper bags can go a long way when wrapping.
  • Milk or juice cartons: wash out, decorate and use them as a gift box.
  • Maps. These can be great for travel related gifts like a new bike helmet or backpack.
  • Scraps from a wood shop, metal shop, or printing company. There’s usually a lot of waste at these venues that can easily be converted into something useful like wrapping up a gift.

While some items listed above are simple to use as the main wrapping material others may need some help being attached. If you’ve chosen one of the latter here’s a suggestion:

  • First use newsprint or other recyclable material to encase a gift. Older used wrapping paper will also do and it’s the perfect time to recycle it.
  • Apply the chosen material such as flower petals, leaves, or photos with, glue, tape, or string, as you see fit.

Good luck gifting, wrapping, and making others happy! Do you have any other creative wrapping ideas to share?

DIY: Frugal Fall Bangles

Frugal Fall Bangles

Gather your supplies and give these easy Frugal Fall Bangles a try. They are simple to make and easy to enjoy!

If you are looking to warm up your wardrobe this fall, these frugal fall bangles are perfect. Easy to make and inexpensive too, they are fun to make on girl’s night or when you are just in the mood for a fun DIY. Here is how a trip to the craft store and a few basic crafting supplies can help you get the job done!


  • Assorted bangles (plastic, metal, wood all work well)
  • Assorted twine, ribbon, yard, or even burlap strips
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue, glue gun


1. Cut a long length of ribbon/twine/burlap of your choice.
2. Add a tiny dab of hot glue to the end. Press it to the inside of the bangle. Hold in place until secure.
3. Start wrapping the piece around the bangle. Pull tightly as you do to avoid wrinkles or bulkiness. Lightly overlap as you wrap.
4. Once the bangle is covered, cut the ribbon/twine/burlap to fit. Add a dab of glue and press to the inside of the bangle. Hold in place until dry.

If you wish, you can cover the entire bangle. Or, like we did with the gold bangle, leave part of it exposed. The contrast in colors and textures is actually quite pleasing!

Gather your supplies and give these easy frugal fall bangles a try. They are simple to make and easy to enjoy!

Gather your supplies and give these easy frugal fall bangles a try. They are simple to make and easy to enjoy!

5 Creative Ways to Use Those Fallen Leaves

5 Creative Ways to Use Those Fallen Leaves

Creative Ways to Use Those Fallen Leaves

Are you up to your ears in leaves? If your yard is wooded or home to numerous trees, you might find yourself overwhelmed this fall season. So what exactly can you do with all of those leaves beside rake them? Well the good news is they do have a few fun uses! Take a peek at these 5 creative ways to use those fall leaves, in ways that are both fun and frugal!

1. Craft a scarecrow.

Fallen leaves are perfect for stuffing and filling scarecrows. Save leaves so when you are ready to craft your scarecrow, you have plenty to create the body, legs, arms, and of course head. Leaves make perfect stuffing material and fill up the scarecrow nicely.

2. Make giant yard pumpkins.

Buy orange yard waste bags found at your local home improvement store. Some are plain orange while others might have the pumpkin faces already on them. No worries if you can’t find one with faces, you can always add your own with black marker. Simply fill the bags up with leaves, then tie the top for yard pumpkins that make the perfect outdoor fall décor.

3. Craft spooky ghosts.

Take white trash bags and fill the bottom with a handful of leaves. Twist the bag and tie it to create a round head shape. You can use a black marker to craft a face of a ghost directly onto the bag, and then add string for hanging. Place the ghost in a tree or porch for a spooky effect.

4. Make spooky yard spiders.

Take a black trash bag and fill it with fallen leaves. You can then use white paper to craft eyes and attach them with craft glue. Painted PVC piping can make legs as can long cardboard tubes or even pool noodles. These don’t hold up well outdoors and are best used indoors for décor.

5. Create a leaf fort.

Find a large cardboard box that can be used as the fort’s main foundation. Cut a square to enter. Spray the box with spray adhesive and apply the leaves to the outside of the box. One or two layers is sufficient. When you are done you should not be able to see the box and it will look like the entire piece is made from leaves.

Did you ever think that leaves could provide so much fun? Start raking up those fall leaves and then give these fun ideas a try and see all the ways you can put those fallen leaves to use. You are sure to enjoy lots of family fun with very little cost to you. Happy soon to be fall!

Turn a Broken Brooch into a Pretty Necklace

Dans le Townhouse_Brooch Project Quick & Thrifty

When Tanya from Dans Le Lakehouse found a pretty (but broken) brooch for 25 cents at a yard sale, she knew she could do something with it. With some chain, two split rings and needle nosed pliers, the broken brooch became a pretty necklace!

Check out her simple thrifty project here!


Have you got a frugal DIY idea that you’d love to share with others?  Submit your idea here!

6 Ways to Turn Your Trash into Cash

6 Ways to Turn Your Trash into Cash

Turn Your Trash Into Cash
Did you know you could be throwing away money each month, right into your own trash can? There are many items tossed into trash cans each month that are worth cash and can help put a little extra change into your pocket. Take a look below at 6 ways to turn your trash into cash and make a little money off of items you would normally throw away.

1. Wine corks.

Wine corks have become quite popular with crafters lately. If you drink wine, set your wine corks aside. You can sell them on eBay or Etsy, where crafters are paying around .25 and up per cork. If you host a party or have been collecting corks over time, you could enjoy a real pay day!

2. Aluminum.

Don’t pitch aluminum cans. They’re worth cash! Take it to your nearest recycling center where they will count your cans and pay you the going rate. It is a quick way to get rid of the aluminum and make some cash in the process. With the money I get from bringing in our old cans, I like to put the balance into my daughter’s piggy bank.

3. Magazines.

Back issues of magazines are quite popular on eBay. If you have magazine subscriptions, sell your back issues on eBay to buyers in need. Niche topics are especially hot (crafting, hobby, fashion) and bring in a great price. So don’t toss those old magazines, sell them.

4. Newspapers.

Don’t toss those old newspapers before checking them for coupons. When you toss coupons, it is like tossing money. Instead, check each page one more time and make sure there aren’t any savings you want to clip and take advantage of.

5. Glass bottles.

Glass bottles are another hot item with crafters. If you have glass bottles, especially colored glass, wine bottles, or especially decorative bottles, see about selling them first. Etsy or the hobby section on Craigslist or Facebook Buy & Sell groups are perfect for getting a few bucks per bottle.

6. Scrap metal.

Most things that are metal (including cars, bikes, appliances, cans, file cabinets, BBQ grills, etc.) can be recycled for cash. To find out how much you can make, google “Scrap Metal Pickup” for your local city to find someone that will pick up your scraps.

See how easy it can be to turn your own trash into cash? Keep these tips in mind and you can make a little money off of the items you normally just toss away. So, how much cash is lurking in your trash? Take a peek and see which items you can weed out and get a few dollars for.

Do you have any “trash” items that you regularly like to turn into cash?