Do you have leftover paint from a room makeover? Wine corks from a recent holiday party? Sharpies and markers sitting around waiting to be used before they dry out? Wrapping paper leftover from opened presents? Don’t throw any of these out or recycle them. You can give them new life with these do-it-yourself ideas for your leftovers.
Freshen up storage shelves and terra-cotta pots with paint. You could paint the inside of the shelves while leaving the outside and front untouched. It’ll make the color pop. Genevieve Gorder uses bright-colored leftover paint on bathroom and kitchen fixtures. After painting a couple of layers on the fixture, finish it off with sealant.
She also paints the insides of glass jars that can be used to store things. Got crayons, pencils, and pens all over the house? Store them in these colorful glass jars.
Now that you’re done celebrating, put those wine corks to use as a memo or bulletin board. All you need is a picture frame and glue gun. Be sure to keep the backer board that comes with the frame. Start by putting a row of corks all the way around the edge of the inside of the frame. Don’t glue them just yet.
You could put two corks in the same direction, then the next two can be turned to face the opposite direction. The corks may be different sizes, so pair up same-size corks. Once everything is in place, get out the hot glue gun and glue the corks’ back and sides. Once done, you can use thumbtacks or push pins to stick things to the board.
Are the handles of canape or cheese knives broken or need a new life? Break off the handles and replace them with corks. Now you have a wine cork acting as the handle and adding character to the short knives.
That paint you have left over? Paint wine bottles to give them a whole new look. Or fill them up with small candy like M&Ms, Skittles, candy corn, or jelly beans. (After washing and drying the bottle, of course).
You can create a chalkboard painted wine bottle. Use chalkboard paint to create a label on the bottle. Once dry, label it with chalk. The next time you fill it with different candy, just erase the chalk and write the new name. The chalkboard paint can be used on glass jars too.
The list of DIY ideas for fabric is huge. A quick search yields phone cases, bookmarks, napkin rings, rag quilt, glasses case, pencil case, and so much more. Turn plain white light switch covers into colorful ones by covering them with scrap fabric. Put the light switch cover face down on the back of the fabric. Trace around the edges leaving an extra half-inch of space on all four sides.
Mark an “X in the center of the switch hole. Cut out fabric on all four sides, but don’t cut out the hole yet. Get some Collage Pauge from the hobby store. You’ll use it like glue to attach the fabric to the switch plate. Brush the plate with Collage Pauge and center the fabric square over the plate. Be sure to align the hole. Smooth the fabric with fingers.
Flip the switch plate and put Collage Pauge on the edges. Fold the extra edges over the back of the switch plate. Smooth down. Now, cut the “X” and fold back the pieces just like you did for the exposed edges. Brush the entire plate with Collage Pague and let it dry. Use the tip of a craft knife to open up the screw holes.
Sharpies and Markers
Shop the dollar store for plain cups, plates, and dish towels. Turn them into DIY art. Find a picture you like, make a copy of it. Lay the dish towel on top of it. You should be able to see the design through the towel and trace it.
Got access to an overhead projector? You could project an image onto plates, cups, towels, and any other blank household item. You could mark up seat covers, pillows, lamps, and even plain white light bulbs. Another option is to use stencils. As you work on items, you might want to do a section at a time to avoid smudging your hard work.
Wrapping Paper, Ribbons, and Rolls
Use leftover wrapping paper as a liner inside drawers to add a little color and life to dull drawers. Turn the rolls and toilet paper rolls into table decorations. Paint the rolls and add scraps of fabric to create turkeys, mummies, snowmen, Santas, or a favorite animal.
Shred the torn up paper and turn them into packing paper when you ship something or to protect holiday decorations stored in a box. You probably have cords all over the house to keep your electronics charged. Put a bunch of empty toilet paper rolls into a box. And now you have a TP roll organizer for storing cable.
The ribbons from wrapping gifts can gain a new lease on life as a decorative trim on lamps. Wrap the ribbon around the lampshade to cut it the right size. Once done, use a hot glue gun to secure it in place. You can also use ribbons on throw pillows and picture frames.
Keep forgetting which wine glass is yours, but you don’t have wine charms? Turn ribbons into colorful wine charms. Tie them around the stem of the glass and there you have it. They can also add color to zipper pulls. Cut small pieces of ribbon to tie around zipper pulls.
Browse Pinterest boards and you’ll see so many possibilities for DIY with leftovers. Next time, you’re about to trash or recycle leftovers, refer to this article or search the Internet first to get some DIY ideas.