Just uncovered the “New Uses For Old Things” section of realsimple.com. The ideas offered are categorized by room, so it makes it easy to sort through, and yeah, a bunch that they highlight are kid-related projects, but I also found lots of really simple and innovative ideas that just about anyone can take advantage of (missing: “use a screw to remove a wine bottle cork” idea). OK, but anyways, here are some things I’m itching to try:
I stumbled across this recipe for DIY modeling dough using dryer lint that I just have to try out (mostly because I’m really curious about how the final product feels and molds).
Try it for yourself and let me know if the kids like it. To make the modeling dough:
- Place 3 cups (shredded) dryer lint into a pot
- Pour in 2 cups water.
- Stir in 1 cup flour.
- Add ½ teaspoon vegetable oil.
- Stir continuously over low heat until the mixture binds together and is of a smooth consistency.
- Pour onto a sheet of wax paper to cool.
Here’s a interesting idea that I’m sure is not unique to Real Simple, but definitely will help to solve some storage problems I’ve been dealing with. My collection of bags, purses, clutches, etc is all organized in a closet, but what would be even better is if they were hanging in clear view. I dig their idea to use bathroom curtain hooks to help keep baggage on display and will post some pictures when do an install.
Another neat project I found is this one for melting old crayons together, a.k.a. making a mega-rainbow-crayon. The recipe calls for a cupcake paper 2/3 filled with spare, paper-free, crayon bits. “Baking” in a cupcake tin at 275-degrees should melt the crayons in a quick 10-minutes. The molten mixture should be cooled, and then put into the freezer to complete the re-solidification, but what you’ll be left with are some radical zig-zag edged crayons. Might be a fun kids-birthday-party project, and really, who doesn’t have extra crayons (even I do, as an adult, for some reason).
One more for good measure. Since I’m a total bibliophile (especially collecting used books from garage sales, most of which I admittedly never read), I loved the idea of using a dryer sheet in between book pages to help prevent and/or correct that dingy old book smell (DUH, so smart).
There are loads of other ideas on the site (700+ total, allegedly!), so check them out and let me know if you find something awesome – I obviously only scratched the surface by mentioning these ones!