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?

Baby monitors can come in handy long after the days of listening to the sound of sweet little baby whimpers (I can say “sweet” because I no longer have a little baby). Before you sell it in a garage sale or give it away on Freecycle, consider the other ways in which you can use a baby monitor.


Sick child. If your child goes to bed with a fever, upset tummy or other illness, put a monitor in her room before she goes to bed. Often, when kids are sick, they may talk in a more quiet voice or not recognize when they need to call you in for help. With a monitor in the room, you’ll be able to hear quiet cries for help, a coughing fit or [worse] vomiting, which you may not have heard otherwise until later.


Guests. We’ve had a lot of babies come through our house recently. It’s nice to have a monitor on hand when guests bring little ones. That way, adults can peacefully enjoy some downtime in another room or outside without worrying about hearing their children.


Somethin’ in the oven. Like many of you, I’m a multitasker. So it wouldn’t be unusual for me to pop something into the oven then head outside to do some yardwork while watching my kids play in the back yard. And, oh yeah, maybe I would catch up with my Grandma on the phone too. Which means, of course, that I would most likely forget about whatever I threw in the oven. But… if I turned on the oven timer and plugged in the monitor in my kitchen, I could take the portable receiver outside to hear the timer. Et voilà, no burned cookies!