Looking around my own apartment I can see piles of junk that have collected throughout the year. Why do I keep all of this stuff? Maybe I’m just a packrat or maybe the environmentalist in me cannot bear to throw things out. Either way, I need to make a change.

Pile of old newspapers

Everyone has a few old newspapers laying around that either have been or meant to have been read. If you just cannot fit newspapers into your car because all of your other recycables take up the space, then here are some alternative uses.

  • Fun Uses

PAPER MACHE. Cheap, fun and not just for kids! Paper mache can be used for all sorts of projects. For halloween or a themed party, paper mache is a creative and oiginal way to make your own mask. For birthday parties or bachelorette paties make unique pinatas. Paper mache can also be used to make banks, boxes and toys. The great thing about making paper mache is that all of its ingredients are already in the kitchen. If you don’t have glue you can substitute flour.

HATS. This idea I got from Gilmore Girls. In season 4 of this show Rory participates in a “Yale Daily News tradition” of making hats out of newspaper.  (photo from Luke’s Diner)

  • Practical uses

CLEANING. I uses old newspapers as a substitute for paper towels. They’re pretty good for soaking up grease or spilled liquids.

PACKING. As a college student, I’m constantly on the go and in transition from campus, home, and apartment. Save your packing newspaper with your boxes so you never have to search last minute for ways to keep your shot glass collection from busting.

Bottle caps

 Maybe it’s just me but bottle caps are adorable. They come in different colors; each unique in design. I tuned 21 in January and ever since I have collected bottle caps from my drinks and my friends’.  I plan on using them for some purpose some day and here are some ideas I have:

PICTURE FRAMES. Making a picture frame and putting a nice picture of you and a friend/significant other is an intimate gift that shows you care; and it’s light on your wallet. I have a few friends that are not 21 yet and thought this would be an original gift that stands out from the shot glasses and drinks she won’t remember she had the night before. However, my gift offers the opportunity to  showcase her classy behavior for years to come.

TABLE.  A friend of mine knew someone who used bottle caps to decorate a table. I believe he glued them to the table and then covered it in a clear, hard surface such as plexiglass.

JEWELRY. It’s as easy as punching holes and tying string. Making a one-of-a-kind bracelete for a friend or for yourself can be fun. Show off your beverage of choice!

Old Clothes

Want to reinvent your wardrobe? Summertime usually means summer clothes shopping because Grandma made you stuff your face at Thanksgiving, Christmas (or insert wintertime holiday here), and Easter. Instead of throwing them away or shipping them off to Goodwill consider these alternatives:

DOG TOYS. I learned how to do this at one of my Circle K International meetings (no not the gas station). Take an old t-shirt and cut it into strips horizontally. Then stretch the stips as far as you can. Afte the prep is over with simply make many thick braids and tie a knot.

QUILT. If you are expecting or know someone who is, this is a neat idea if your mom kept all of your baby clothes. I’ve always wanted to make a quilt out of band t-shirts. Quilts are great because they can be made from many differently designed material and still look amazing. My mom has a quilt made out of patches of jeans.

PURSES. Recenlty looses some of that junk in your trunk? Take those now baggy jeans and make them into something useful again. We’ve all seen the purses made out of jeans at stores and town fairs. W hy pay $15 fo something you can do yourself?  Add studs, gems, and paint to make your creation stand out! The How-To part of the video begins around 1:05

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