On Blogging Hiatus

If you were once a regular reader, you may have noticed my lack of posts since, oh, October! Unfortunately, life took over my time for blogging. I plan to pick this back up when time allows, but for now, please enjoy the archives (there are many!) and keep on repurposing!

Repurposeful wrapping

I’ve posted on this idea before, but I wanted to bring it up one more time. Child artwork makes great wrapping paper. Not only does it help clear out your cabinet full of salvaged artwork, but it’s a money-saver (no need to buy a new roll for a special occasion), it’s unique and thoughtful, and of course, it’s a green solution for wrapping a package.

Photo by hoyasmeg.2104152944_27eb8892b1


Smaller packages work best when using artwork as wrapping paper. However, if you have several larger pieces that are color coordinated (from the last paint session where your child created 8 different masterpieces), you can easily tape pages together to wrap a larger gift.

Turn it into a project! Gather several pieces of large paper and spend an afternoon creating wrapping paper for the upcoming gift-giving season. You’ll be giving your kids a constructive activity while making cheap and one-of-a-kind wrapping paper.


If you’ve never stepped foot in a thrift store, now’s the time of year to do so. Why? Because Halloween costumes, decorations and accessories abound. Why pay for a brand new costume off the rack (either for yourself or your kids) when you can get a majorly discounted costume at a thrift store? I just stopped into my local shop today and there were several racks stuffed full of Halloween costumes.


Photo by epsos.de.3767729028_6278b420ea


And if you can’t find the pre-made costume you’re looking for, a thrift store is also a great place to find the various pieces to make your own costume. For example, I found a red and gold Christmas table runner in the thrift store today ($4), which is going to make the perfect royal robe for my son’s king costume — his idea, not mine. I plan on going back (without children in tow — thrift store shopping is NOT fun with two kids under 3) to search for a gold belt, material for a white fur collar, a crown and something that would make a good tunic.


I encourage you to make this Halloween repurposeful! Sift through your own closets first and then hit the thrift stores!

Today’s tip is a simple repurposing tip, but it comes in very handy in our house!


We have lots of high-up cabinets in our kitchen wherein we store things that are used only once-in-a-while. And when it comes to having to retrieve one of those items, I get so annoyed at the thought of having to drag over a chair — or worse — a step ladder to reach what I need. No need to tell me I’m lazy — I’m aware, thanks. Most of the time, I can simply use a pair of kitchen tongs to get down an item from a high shelf without climbing to get it.


Kitchen tongs also work well to fish out cars, balls and other small toys from underneath the stove and the couch.

I recently received a forwarded e-mail on the purported many uses of WD-40. As it turns out, this little wonder-in-a-can can be used to remedy lots of little things around the house. The list below is what was contained in the e-mail I received; I simply re-organized the information to read more logically. I have not researched whether the claims below hold true, so if you have any experience in using WD-40 for alternative purposes, leave a comment to let us know!


 Photo by ocean yamaha.3015736627_da224dfd7f


On your car

  • Removes road tar and grime from cars.
  • Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!  Use WD-40!
  • Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
  • Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
  • If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

In the kitchen

  • Protects silver from tarnishing. 
  • Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
  • Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
  • Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
  • Keeps scissors working smoothly.
  • It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor!  Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring.  It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.  Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
  • Removes splattered grease on stove.


  • Keeps flies off cows.
  • Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
  • Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
  • Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
  • Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
  • Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
  • Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.

In the bathroom

  • Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
  • Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.


  • Removes lipstick stains. And, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. 
  • Loosens stubborn zippers.
  • Removes tomato stains from clothing.
  • Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.

In the garage

  • Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
  • Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.

Kids’ stuff

  • Restores and cleans chalkboards.
  • Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
  • WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls.  Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.

Around the house

  • Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
  • Untangles jewelry chains.
  • Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
  • Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
  • Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
  • Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
  • Removes all traces of duct tape.

Alternative health care

  • Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
  • Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.


Photo by futurestreet.


If you’re not a parent or at all grossed out by potty talk, you may just want to skip on to the next post in the blog. I promise not to be offended. If, however, you’re interested in an unconventional way to protect your identity, listen up. When you need to get rid of an old credit card, you most likely cut it into little pieces or shred it before tossing it out. If you’re at all concerned about trash digging and identity theft, there is one more thing you can do to dispose of the card. Save your cut-up card bits for the next time that Junior makes a stinky. Sprinkle the piecesinto the soiled diaper, roll it up and toss it out! The last place an identity thief would want to look for valuable information is inside a child’s diaper — can you blame him?


I must give credit where it’s due. I discovered this idea through one of my bloggie buds, Random Neural Firings. She’s hosting a Zutano baby clothing $75 giveaway that ends on Wednesday, check it out!

Have you caught wind of the hype on upcycling adult t-shirts into shirts, dresses, onesies and pants for kids? I just love this idea! Now, if I was more skilled at sewing, I would attempt this project. But in reality, I’m not and currently, I don’t have the time to try. Thank goodness for the crafty folks over at Etsy!



smarTEE pants baby wear makes and sells the cutest pants from old t-shirts. And for those of you who are more adept at sewing, she also sells patterns!







il_430xN_81328252TheJumpOff makes onesies, pants and cute little dresses out of recycled t-shirts and t-shirt scraps.







And again, for those of you who want to try your hand at sewing your own, one of my favorite blogs, Lil Blue Boo, has a pattern shop for her adorable tee dresses and outfits on Etsy. il_430xN_83204097


Photo by I to Eye.


In one of my last posts, I talked about the wonders of using vinegar, which not only removes lingering odors, but also works great as a natural alternative to fabric softener. One of the other cheap and natural solutions I found is to use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to bleach. If you want to whiten your whites, pour about a cup full of hydrogen peroxide in with your laundry along with your normal washing detergent. CAUTION: Do not use hydrogen peroxide on colors, as it can remove or fade the color.


What natural solutions do you use in your laundry?

This post was originally published on February 27, 2009 at repurposeful.


Want to stretch the use of your dish soap? Looking to reuse an empty spray bottle? I have your answers.



Fill an empty spray bottle (if using a recycled spray bottle, be sure to clean it thoroughly) half full with water. Fill the other half with liquid dish soap. Slowly turn it back and forth (don’t shake it) to mix the soap and water. The next time you need to wash a dirty pan, spray it a few times with your new money-saving soap mixture. You’ll find that you don’t need full strength soap to get your dishes clean and you’ll find that your soap lasts so much longer!


To save yourself even more time, money and to reduce packaging waste, buy dish soap in bulk-sized containers.


This trick also works in the foaming pump dishwashing soap dispensers. When the original mixture runs out, refill it using the instructions above.


Take this One Small Step one step further: If you want more control over the ingredients in your dish soap, consider making your own. It’s cheaper and you’ll reduce waste by not having to purchase new containers. Check out this simple recipe.


 Photo by Conor Lawless.

Once again, vinegar proves to be a wonder-liquid. A while back, I stopped using dryer sheets to cut back on some of the chemicals. It hasn’t been bad, but my biggest complaint is stiff clothes. Enter vinegar. Turns out, a half-cup or so of vinegar in the rinse cycle softens clothes. And don’t worry about remembering to add it– most machines have a rinse cycle receptacle, or just buy the Downy ball and use it for vinegar instead of liquid fabric softener. And no, your clothes do not come out of the dryer smelling like vinegar — the scent evaporates.


Now, if only vinegar could actually fold my clothes and put them away too!