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Monday, January 10, 2011

Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes

Don't laugh. Okay, go ahead and laugh when I tell you I repurpose the cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Your laughing will stop once I tell you how. Your eyes will widen and you will think to yourself "Why didn't I think of that?"

The best repurposing, reuse, or things to do with tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls: Roll the plastic bags you get when you buy fresh vegetables around your fingers starting with the bottom side. When you have it rolled into a neat ball, shove it into either cardboard tube.

Wait. You shoved it into the paper towel tube too far and can't reach it to get it out? No problem. Put the tube against your lips and blow. The plastic will come out the other end. I haven't counted how many plastic bags the paper towel roll can hold but it's a bunch. I simply keep shoving bags in knowing that I will be able to get them out by blowing through the tube.

We don't do it but I bet you could even use the paper towel tube to hold plastic grocery bags.

I use both toilet paper and paper towel tubes as candle molds. I set the tubes upright on a plastic picnic plate and seal around the bottom of the tubes with plumbers putty. After the melted wax has hardened, I cut the top edge of the tube down far enough for me to pinch with my fingers and tear. The cardboard gives the pillar candle a rustic look.

Both paper towel and toilet paper tubes are toys for my two guinea pigs, Dolly and Molly. They enjoy shoving the tubes around their cage and chewing on them. Caution: They are not good for ferrets who like to poke their heads into small holes. Their little heads will get stuck. Do not give tubes to ferrets!

I also shove Timothy hay into the tubes so the two cavies have to work to get their treat.

Hold on. Are you still laughing?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Repurposed Wine Bottle: A Special Homemade Gift

Lighted Wine Bottle or Wine Bottle With Lights

She loved it. This is how I will start today's blog about decorating a used wine bottle for repurposing as a gift.

When I handed the hand-painted, bow-adorned, filled-with-Christmas-lights wine bottle over to my best friend, I explained, "You see, it's filled with Christmas lights," then I plugged it into the socket over her kitchen counter.

"Ohhhh, I love it," she cried.

"And I used enamel glass paint to paint the leaves and dragonflies," I continued.

"Hon, look," she beckoned to her husband. "See what Deb made for me? It lights! This is sooooo cool. You should sell them," she told me.

"Not in Lawrence, I can't. No market but I'd like to try here in Bonner (Springs, KS)," I said.

The conclusion is the hand painted wine bottle I turned into a lit decoration was a marvelous hit which surprised me, somewhat. I felt a bit humble giving her something I had made but on the other hand I was proud of the nice looking piece. And now that I know there's a chance such a project could be desirable, I will make more and add them to my inventory of homemade gifts to give and sell.