Monday, June 1, 2009

Reusing Household Containers

Last week it was time to make new batches of paste and methyl cellulose and I was pleased to discover a couple of containers from my stash that were the perfect sizes and match beautifully! Aside from patiently waiting for their new use, they have something in common -- olive oil! The paste container was a Fleishmann's olive oil spread container, and the quart jar was for Kraft Mayo with olive oil.

After my olive green excitement, I took inventory of how my container saving habits have come in handy. This is our cinnamon sugar shaker, formerly of Parmesan cheese fame.

I'm pretty sure this was originally a tomato can. I hang my pva brushes, bristle down, from the edge of my bench, but this tin snugly holds the rest of my brushes. I like how the ridges on the tin are similar to the crimped ferrules of the paint brushes. I didn't quite know how to describe the silver part on the brushes, so "crimped ferrules" is the result of googling "paint brush anatomy".

The crimped ferrule look alike is all covered up on this old soup can.

An empty Puffs box was turned into tape central.

Some paste paper covers my jar'o'pens.

We live in a place that doesn't offer recycling services, so until we find a plant, a stack of jars and cans is growing under our sink! We are focusing on the second part of the recycling mantra -- Reuse! I also have a healthy pile of flattened household cardboard boxes that I use for packaging all of my sold items from Etsy and Ebay. Rhonda Miller's Earth Day post provided a link for the Trans-Canada Etsy team's blog on which Laura Bucci shares a post about making mailers from cereal boxes. I usually make mine a little differently, using the box continuously and hiding the tabs on the inside of the package. Next time you need to send something, I highly reccommend this, it's very satisfying!


  1. I love all of your inventive uses for things! Reusing is wonderful because it takes less energy than recycling. I think this would make a great Storque post for Etsy. It might inspire people to organize their studio in an Earth-friendly way, too!

    I'm going to check out the link you shared to cereal box mailers. Have you seen the how-to for paper bag mailers? Basically the artist just sewed her paper grocery bags into envelopes, sometimes using plastic bags to make waterproof liners.

    I've been thinking about posting to my blog about reuse, too. I have a growing collection of breath mint containers made from #6 plastic, which is not recyclable in my county, that need a new use. I also plan on making a flower vase out of an old hairspray can as soon as the spray runs out.

  2. Although I also graduated from SCAD, I'm not always the most creative. I love all of the ways you resuse your household leftovers! I never thought of reusing a Kleenex box for organizational purposes. =)

    Also, may help you to find a location that accepts recyclable products in your area. However, although it looks like reusing is much more fun!

  3. Thank you, Erin :) I had not seen the how-to for paper bag mailers, but what a great idea. That is such sturdy paper, I can see how it would work really well. I've seen some tutorials on using #6 plastic for Shrinky Dinks. I wonder if you could stick your whole mint container in the toaster and come out with something mini and functional. I'd love to see a photo of your new flower vase!

    Allie, it's amazing how many uses one can devise for Kleenex boxes after developing a mild guilt complex about throwing things away! :) earth911 is awesome! Thanks for sharing the site.


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