78 Hacks for Repurposing Random Old Household Items
Old milk jugs and pool noodles are standard materials for repurposing, but check out what you can do with items like books and gutters.
Pipe Insulation for Baby-Proofing
Pool Noodle Wrist Rest
No More Rusty Garden Tools
Who says practical storage can’t be pretty? This DIY knife block, made from old books, is a cinch to make. Simply pick some unique books in your favorite color scheme and tie them together tightly with twine to create the perfect home for all your kitchen knives. You can even create different color schemes based on the seasons and holidays, making this a versatile hack and one of the more brilliant repurposing ideas around. Need more counter space to accommodate a knife holder? Need more counter space to accommodate a knife holder? Here’s how!
Save Your Containers
Save all your glass and plastic containers for your shop. Glass jars work well for liquids. Clean brushes in an old tin can. Brush on glue from small containers of all kinds. Sour cream/cottage cheese containers work for just about everything. Clear plastic containers are great for miscellaneous storage because you can see what's in them. Just label everything with a permanent marker.
DIY Dog Feeder
Paper Tube Saw Guard
String-Dispensing CD Bins
Power Cord Coilers
Light-Duty Extension Cord Storage
Double-Lid Cord Reel
Pull-Tab Picture Frame Hook
Scour Off Grime with an Electric Toothbrush
Milk Jug Scoop
Grass Seed Broadcaster
Paper Towel Roll Bag Storage
Greenhouses from the Salad Bar
DIY Curtain Rod Rack
Hot Glue Gun Uses: Fix Wobbly Furniture with a Penny
Use a Pool Noodle Inside a Drawer
Oil-Bottle Hardware Tote
Here's a fun little project to keep your screws, nails, nuts and electrical whatsits handy and neatly organized. To make one, you'll need:
- Six quart-size motor oil bottles (empty!)
- One 9-in. x 7-3/4-in. floor made from 3/8-in. or 1/2-in. plywood
- One 7-3/4-in. x 6-in. plywood handle
- Two 3-1/2-in. x 9-in. plywood sides
With a utility knife or snips, fashion the oil bottles into bins with 15-degree angled sides starting 2-1/2 in. up from one side. (If your bottles have hash marks, the 12-oz. hash mark is great for the low end of the angle.)
Saw a handle slot in the vertical piece, and saw 15-degree angles on the sidepieces. Glue and nail the six-pack together. Add solid wood strips along the open sides to keep the bins from falling out and to make it easy to pull one out as needed.
Pie Plate Storage Pockets
Screw cut-in-half pie tins and heavy-duty paper plates to a shop wall and you've got space-saving storage for the sanding discs, circular saw blades and abrasive discs that like to hide in a drawer. Be sure to tape the sharp edges on the cut pie plates to protect your fingers!
Use Soft Socks to Clean Blinds
Onboard Glue Spreader
For years I used my finger to spread glue beads on the edges of boards. Then, in sweaty haste, I'd wipe my fingers on my pants and another pair of nice jeans would become 'work-only' attire. To make the job less messy, all you need is an old credit card (or new, your choice), a 3/4-in.two-hole EMT conduit strap (about 50? at a home center) and two 1/8-in.nuts and bolts. Crook the conduit strap in a vise to level the conduit strap wings with the bottle cap. This way the credit card stays flat when you bolt it on. Drill a couple of window holes in the middle of the credit card so you can monitor the size of the glue bead, then drill bolt holes in the end of the card, snap the conduit strap onto the bottle cap and bolt on the card. Practice applying glue on a scrap board and in a few minutes you'll get it down (pun intended). Be sure to use fresh glue—the lightly bending card will spread it like butter. Want to get really good at edge-gluing boards? This video and these 10 tips teach you everything you need to know.
Safety Glasses Insurance
Protect safety glasses by storing them in an old sock. Hang the sock on the wall in your workshop, and they'll remain scratch-free, dust-free and easy to find. If you don't have a pegboard wall in your shop, it's time to build one! In just two hours you can make a versatile pegboard wall with a handy storage bin beneath.
Wallpaper is making a huge comeback in home design, as long as it’s unique and limited to an accent wall or two. There is no more unique statement than wallpapering with book pages. Once you figure out the basics of hanging wallpaper, you’ll have this unique feature wall complete in no time.
Instead of tossing that cardboard milk or orange juice carton in the recycling bin, cut off the top, wrap it with fabric and use it as a planter for herbs or flowers. For more repurposing ideas, visit Cut Out + Keep.
Mattress Spring Flower Wall
Chicken Wire Divider
This DIYer took an old room divider, tore out the inserts, painted it and used chicken wire to replace the panels. The chicken wire is then used to showcase photos and artwork. Here’s how they did it.
Broken Table Legs
This woodworker took some broken table legs and attached them to a slice of maple and created a small stool. The stool would be a great addition to a kitchen pantry where you may need help with hard-to-reach items or as an extra side table in a den.
Some of the oldest and most hard-working pieces can be transformed into works of art with repurposing ideas. This old cart is now used as a flower planter.
Old Patio Furniture
This table is made from an old trunk. The DIYer attached legs to the underside of the trunk to raise it up to table height and it’s now used on a patio. You might even be able to use these as repurposed end tables.
If you’re really not sure what to do with your old books, perhaps this will shine a little light on the situation. A homemade book lamp will provide the most amazing vintage touch in any room. Just remember to follow the rules of polarity when fixing or replacing a lamp cord.
Window Frame Room Divider
This old tea pot has a new life as a planter. You can get a similar look with an old coffee carafe.
There’s an artist who takes old wooden blinds and turns them into pendant lamps. He got started reusing blinds and other items for projects when he was young. His repurposed blind pendants come in 12 different styles.
Reclaimed Wooden Spools
Another option for DIY furniture projects is converting large wooden spools (usually used for electrical wire) into end tables. These wooden spools are often available online after they’ve served their original purpose. Also, you can cut the spools in half for two smaller tables.
If you come across some old window shutters at a resale shop or garage sale, consider using them as a DIY room divider. Just paint or stain and add some hinges. You can get a similar look with salvaged closet doors, too.
Time for a New End Table
One trend in DIY end tables is to start with a large old clock. This DIY end table started out as an old clock and an end table with a battered top. It’s a neat look for repurposed end tables.
Barn Door Divider
Depending on the room, a barn door can work as a room divider. In just a few days, you can create a sliding barn door to help break up a room for the fraction of the cost you’d pay to purchase one and have it installed.
Here’s yet another project that uses an old wooden pallet. You’ll need some landscape fabric to attach to the back side of the pallet, then fill with soil and plant your flowers. Prop the planted pallet up against a wall or fence.
Sometimes the best thing about a DIY project is making an existing product even better. This modern pendant takes a generic paper lantern and steps it up a notch by carefully pasting circles, cut from book pages, in a scalloped pattern which resembles an artichoke!
Gutters can also be used for creative outdoor water features. Or, like here, gutters have been mounted on a wall for a hydroponic garden.
Cut your cheap downspouts into short sections, about 6 inches long, then stack and bind these sections so you have several rows of openings. You can store these downspout storage slots in a work bag for quick access, or mount them on a table. It’s a great DIY project for hobbyists with supplies that are tough to store and organize.
Swing From the Rafters With Mesh Storage
Catching Chicken Droppings
Got chickens? If you keep a coop, you know that dealing with droppings is a problem. However, if you position a length of gutter under roosts or cages, and incorporate a French cleat, you can catch most of the droppings before they hit the floor.
A hollowed out book is an age-old space to hide valuables, but it also looks great on display as a jewelry box. Get creative and add wooden feet or several stacked boxes for optimum effect. These boxes would also look great in an organized closet space which would make it feel like a luxurious dressing room, even in a small footprint.
There are some great ideas out there for DIY tablet storage, but using an old book is a brilliant way to store your tablet on the go and help prevent it from getting stolen as it perfectly conceals the electronics within.
We all have books that we remember forever. Now you can carry those works wherever you go by creating your own word jewelry. Or if you’ve got an extra dictionary or two lying around, pick some words that describe your loved ones and create custom jewelry as a one-of-a-kind gift. These custom-made gifts will mean so much that whoever receives them will want to find a safe hiding spot to keep them secure.
This quaint pencil holder is a genius DIY project because it is made with the leftover scraps from the previous artichoke light project. Once you adorn your desk with this masterpiece, you’ll want to know all these genius home office organization tips to make your space truly functional.
Those plastic milk jugs can be cut and used as planters. Try hanging them from a fence with wire coat hangers, as shown here.
Hexagonal Chair Bench
Piano Breakfast Bar Island
All you need to create this amazing hidden storage box is glue, a sharp knife and a simple box frame. This is one home security hack that looks as good as it works.
It takes a bit of patience, and a large hole saw to create this well-read planter, but the effort will be worth it for book lovers. Play with different combinations of books and pots, stacking where needed to create a mini garden of words. Wondering what to plant? Here are some excellent choices.
This book-page pennant is an easy-effort craft to do with kids and is endlessly customizable. Simply cut, paste and thread the pennant flags and adorn with whatever lettering you like. Stickers, stencils, and paint are all ways to make this DIY Decor your own.
Alternative to Plastic Bags: Mesh Produce Bag
New Life for Broken Shop Vacuums
Next time an old shop vacuum dies, don't trash the whole thing—just toss the lid and motor, and then use the canister as a roll-around trash can. Just nudge it with your toe to move it wherever you need it.
Organize Paperwork with a Pot Lid Holder
Repurpose a Dresser
Repurpose an old dresser as a printing station. Keep wire baskets near for printer discards and store ink and paper supplies in the drawers for easy access. Drawers also make for a sturdy storage solution for extra notebooks, binders and books. Getting rid of your file cabinets? Use them in the shop! Check out this great, repurposed file-to-tool cabinet.
No longer utilitarian and plain, wall hooks have become an indispensable part of home organization – and good decor. By following this tutorial, you can create this great, vintage-looking coat rack that will be an instant conversation piece in your home. Just be sure to hang it level!