I don’t make this stuff up, people. There are folks out there who are so resourceful that they reuse the pickle juice left when all of the dills are gone. I would have never thought about repurposing pickle juice, but a loyal reader wrote in asking, “I hate to just dump out the leftover, flavorful pickle juice — so now I have four jars worth of pickle juice (sans pickles) in my fridge. Any ideas?” Personally, no — I had no clue! But here are a few ideas that I dug up.



Photo by ayalehs.


Re-pickle. They won’t be exactly the same as before, but you can put fresh or blanched veggies in pickle juice to soak up some of the flavor. Be sure to refrigerate. You can also pickle hard-boiled eggs in the leftover juice.


Liven up homemade bread, potato salad, bbq sauce, hummus and more! Add a dash (or more) of pickle juice to some of your favorite recipes… go ahead, be bold and experiment! You might just like it better than the original.


Marinade or salad dressing. Add pickle juice to a marinade recipe or use it on its own — same goes for salad dressing. Although I think you might want to add a little oil to it for salad dressing. Just a thought.


Chime in! Have you reused leftover pickle juice? Leave a comment and let us know how!


…doubles quite nicely as a drying rack.



And did you know, that an old table cloth work great as a drop cloth for kids’ painting projects? 


And when you’re done with said art project, be sure to keep all large pieces of artwork to use them later as wrapping paper for gifts. We did this recently for another child’s birthday party gift and the unique wrapping paper was a hit with kids and parents.


Happy art-making!

It’s been a rough and busy week. Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be back with more repurposeful ideas very soon!

My kitchen drawer contains a couple of pot holders that I’ve held onto for a few years too long. I really should throw them out. Really. But I can’t turn my back on repurposing!


After searching the ‘Net far and wide, I could find nothing on alternate uses for old pot holders. I did find one set of instructions for revamping old pot holders by stitching on new outer fabric. I also found a TON of ideas for creating pot holders out of recycled, repurposed and reused materials. Check it out:


Repurposed materials turned pot holders


Old sweater into a pot holder.


Old stockings/tights/panty hose into a pot holder.


Old socks into a pot holder.


Old jeans into a pot holder.


Old t-shirts into a pot holder.

If you haven’t yet discovered the blog There I Fixed It, well then you’ve been missing out. In the site’s own words: “We celebrate these iconic images of mankind’s eternal struggle to hammer square pegs into round holes (with duct tape.)” You’ll find some of the most hair-brained (not very often that I get to put that phrase in writing) and jury-rigged “fixes” that you thought previously impossible. Why am I telling you about this on repurposeful you ask? Because the site has a section devoted entirely to recycled and repurposed materials.  For example:




I rest my case.


I encourage you to go over and check out the rest of the ridiculous resourceful solutions to the everyday problems.

I have found that placemats, which I rarely use on my table, have such versatile uses. And today, I just discovered a new one! You can take an old placemat — cloth or vinyl — and use it to line drawers. This is especially helpful for kitchen or cosmetic drawers that tend to get pretty yucky after a while. When it’s time to clean it out, just lift up the placemat with it’s contents, empty it out onto a clear countertop and shake the placemat over the trash can. If it’s really dirty, wipe it with a wet cloth or throw in with a load of laundry.


I’m adding this post to We Are That Family’s Works for Me Wednesday (WFMW) series. Go check it out to find more helpful tips!

A reader recently wrote in asking for ideas to repurpose a leaky garden hose. To my surprise, there are quite a few!


hosePhoto by dno1967.


Furniture. If you’re skilled, like this artist, try your hand at using a hose to make a new chair.


Refashion a handle. Works well for anything heavy — a bucket, luggage, a box with a homemade handle. Cut a section of the hose and slit it down the side. Slip it over the handle and use duct tape or electrical tape to secure it shut. This sounds a lot like something my Grandpa would do.


Garden hose wreath. Pull out your crafty hat for this one! Take a look at some examples here and here.


Leaky, holey hose? If you can’t beat em, join em! Make a soaker hose for your garden.


And, quite possibly one of the best ideas: fix it! After all “repair” is considered the 4th “R” after reduce, reuse, recycle.


Have you reused an old or leaky garden hose? Leave a comment and tell us how! 



Fave 5 links: 8.9.09

(a day late, but nonetheless)

Around the U.S. right now, many kids and their parents are preparing to go back to school — some even as early as tomorrow! In honor of that, I thought I’d give you a few links to green, frugal and repurposeful back-to-school resources and ideas.


From clothing to lunch box ingredients, learn a few simple ideas for greening up your school kids (and college kids too!).   {Low Impact Living}


Make it your goal to pack a no-waste (or at least less-waste) lunch box.   {the daily green}


Learn how to be a frugal back-to-school shopper with these tips and ideas.   {suite101}


More great frugal tips, like “buying in 3s”… check it out!   {Frugal Dad}


And one just for the college kids — smart tips for all parents and college-kids-to-be.   {Frugal Dad, again}

Before you jump to conclusions after reading the title, let me explain. Of course you have to label your kids’ school supplies — it’s practically the law! Not to mention, it helps prevent lost lunch boxes, backpacks, etc. The problem, however, is that when you use a permanent marker to label your child’s name on a lunch box or backpack, it can’t be passed down to a sibling or to another family (if you sell or donate it). Not very repurposeful!



Instead of marking up a backpack or lunch box with a permanent marker, consider this:


To label a lunch box or backpack: Take a small piece of scrap fabric from your stash or from an old white t-shirt and cut out a rectangular strip large enough to write your child’s name on.  Use a permanent marker or to write your child’s name. You can attach the strip either by stitching it directly onto the backpack or lunch box with a needle and thread, or by looping it on a handle and stitching the fabric closed on one end. If the thought of needle and thread scares you, you can take a small safety pin and attach the fabric to the inside of the backpack or lunch box, in a spot that won’t be touched by little hands.


I’m adding this post to We Are That Family’s Works for Me Wednesday (WFMW) series. This week’s theme is back-to-school. Go check it out to find more helpful tips!



Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.

At some point in your life, you end up with a set of sheets that are just too ragged to throw on a bed — even your own bed. You can always cut them into rags, but that would make for A LOT of rags. I keep an old top sheet in the back of my car. It works perfect for throwing down a picnic blanket, lawn blanket for concerts, a towel for impromptu visits to a lake or creek or getting drenched in the rain, and it works well to lay in the back of the trunk to contain messes from groceries or visits to the hardware store. When it gets dirty, I wash it and return it directly to the back of my car.

What do you do with old sheets?