Saturday, October 31, 2009

Make a Piñata from old Newspaper

Making a piñata from old newspaper can be a fun way to reduce waste and liven up a birthday party.

You will need: newspaper (torn into strips), flour, water, a balloon, string, paint, tape and candy.

Step 1) Inflate the balloon and hang it in the middle of the room using the string. Make sure what it is hanging from it sturdy and that the balloon is not in contact with anything in the room.

Step 2) Mix 1 or 2 cups of flour with water in a large mixing bowl. You should end up with an opaque white liquid. It should not be clear, nor should it be a paste. You can add more water or flour as needed and exact measurements aren't required.

Step 3) Spread one or two newspapers under the balloon to catch any four/water mixture or paint that drips off your creation.

Step 4) Dip the strips of newspaper in the flour/water mixture and place on the balloon. Start at the top around where the string is tied to the balloon. Your piñata will get heavier as you add layers, so you need to start at where the string connects to the ballon for reenforcement. Apply one layer around the entire balloon.

Step 5) Let the layer dry completely, then apply the next layer. If you don't wait, the newspaper could fall from the balloon in a big mass (worst case scenario) and it will take longer for the piñata to dry.

Step 6) Apply at least 3-4 layers. The more layers you apply, the stronger the piñata will be. If you want to give your kids a real challenge, you can apply 10+ layers, but you may need an adult yo break the piñata.

Step 7) You can make a face, add ears or otherwise modify the shape of the piñata by taking bits of paper and tape to create the desired appendages on the piñata.

Step 8) After the final later has dried, cut a hole on the piñata and add the candy or party favors. Tape the piece of the piñata you cut out back into place, put a couple strips of newspaper over the tape and let dry.

Step 9) Paint the piñata.

Step 10) Enjoy!

Use Toothpaste to fill Holes in Walls.

Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Wikipedia®

Friday, October 30, 2009

Use Lemon and Honey to create a Cough Suppressant

Lemon juice, Honey, and Hot Water to Suppress Cough

1) Boil 8 oz of water

2) Add two menthol cough drops

3) Add 1 tsp of honey

4) Add 1 tbs of vinegar (white/apple)

5) Add 2 tbs of Lemon Juice

Mix and drink

Use Banana Peels to make Houseplants Shine

Banana is the common name for a type of fruit and also the herbaceous plants of the genus Musa which produce this commonly eaten fruit. Wikipedia®

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Use String to make a Flower Pot

Generally, string is a thin, flexible piece of rope or twine which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects. Wikipedia®

Vinegar makes a great Rinse Aid

Use vinegar instead of brand name rinse aids in your automatic dishwasher. Just fill up the rinse aid dispenser as needed. White vinegar works best.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Use Cardboard for Compost

Cardboard is a generic term for a heavy-duty paper-based product sometimes made by pasting together two or more layers of paper. It is used to make playing cards, signs, boxes and other things. Synonyms include paperboard and pasteboard. Wikipedia

Use Potato Chip Bag and Duct Tape to Create Place Mats

-Four 9 oz chip bags (please wash out the bags)
-Once pair of scissors
-One X-Acto knife
-Straight edge
-One roll of 1.88`x 20 yds Duck Brand™ Chrome duct tape
-One roll of 1.88`x 20yds any color Duck Brand™ duct tape
-One roll of 1.88`x54yds clear packing tape (Duck Brand™ Crystal Clear or any kind)

1) Cut the bottom of the chip bags off and cut along the sides of the bags leaving the front and the back of the chip bags.

In this demo, I will be recycling the backs of the bags (the ingredients portion) and using them for another project.

2) Use the roll of packing tape and cover the front of the bags and recycle the back portion of the bag or use them for another project at a later time.

3) Using the X-Acto and the straight edge, trim all uneven edges so that you have straight edges all around. This also includes the wavy part of the chip bag located on the top and bottom.

4) Using the Chrome Duck Brand™ duct tape and your pair of scissors, cut one 14` piece of duct tape and one 10` piece of duct.

5) Using the A-Xcto knife and the straight edge, cut both pieces of chrome duct tape down the center creating four strips (two strips of 14` and two strips of 10` pieces of duct tape).

6) Creating the boarder: Place the 14` pieces of duct tape one on each side (along the length of the bag) and the other two 10` pieces of duct tape on the tops and bottoms
(the width ) of the bag.

7) Using the color duct tape of your choice, leave ¼ of a inch of Chrome duct tape showing and begin to cover the back of the chip bag. Starting with the length side first.

8) Use scissors to cut off rough edges.

9) Cut a 10` piece of duct tape, cut in half (like in step five) and cover the top and bottom of the bag also leaving ¼ of an inch of Chrome duct tape and fold over. Repeat Step 8 as necessary.

To learn more about these type of AltUse products, please visit

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Use Aspirin to give yourself a Facial

Give yourself an aspirin facial for aging skin and to eliminate acne
The Salcylic acid in aspirin makes for a great facial for acne or aging skin. Crush 5-10 non-coated asprin tablets, add small dab of water and plain yogurt.

Use Parsely to Relieve a Black Eye

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green biennial herb, often used as spice. It is common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Wikipedia®

Monday, October 26, 2009

Use a Motor to Generate Electricity

Motor usually refers to either an electrical motor or an internal combustion engine. Wikipedia®

Make a Sandal from an old Tire

Using an old tire, one without steel belts, you can cut a sandal shape and make a good sandal/shoe. Click on the above link to view specific instructions via the actual AltUse.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Use Peppermint Oil to repel Ants

The herb peppermint, a cross between water mint and spearmint, grows throughout Europe and North America.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Green tea leaves can treat Athlete's Foot

Athletes Foot
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant with many uses. Take green tea leaves, put them in hot water to soften them, and apply to your feet for at least 30 minutes each day. After a few weeks it can cure your Athlete's Foot.

Make sure the green tea leaves are not too old, or they will lose their antioxidant properties and not be effective.

Use Witch Hazel as a Facial Cleanser

Witch hazel is an astringent produced from the leaves and bark of the N. American Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana), which grows naturally from Nova Scotia west to Ontario, Canada and south to Florida, & Texas in the United States. Wikipedi

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rosemary Tea rinse for shiny brunette hair

For ultra-shiny hair, brunettes can rinse their hair with rosemary herbal tea. (Those not fortunate enough to have dark hair can use chamomile tea instead.)

1) Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over a tablespoon of rosemary leaves and steep at least 5 minutes.

2) Add 1/2 cup cool to warm water to bring it to a comfortable temperature.

3) Shampoo & rinse your hair.

4) Pour the rosemary tea through your hair as a final rinse. Leave it on your hair for several minutes and then rinse out very lightly.

Your hair will be amazingly shiny.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Remove Splinters with Adhesive Tape

Adhesive tape can be one of many varieties of backing materials coated with an adhesive.


Calming Tea Tree Oil is a great remedy for Athlete's foot.

Add six to eight drops of tea tree essential oil to a large bowl of warm water. Soak feet for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this daily and you will notice the difference.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Use Velcro to Child Protect a Refrigerator

Velcro is a brand name of fabric hook-and-loop fasteners. It consists of two layers: a "hook" side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny hooks, and a "loop" side, which is covered with even smaller and "hairier" loops. Wikipedia®

Use empty Gallon Jug and Chopsticks to Make a Hanging Lamp

Looking to make a lamp that really shines, but need something easy on your wallet? Here’s a bright idea you can make without even leaving your house. Rescue chopsticks from last night’s take-out and a plastic jug from the recycling bin and give them a second life. This time around, there’s a bright future ahead.

A variation of this lamp can be found in the January '07 issue of ReadyMade Magazine. By the way, make sure you light your new creation with one of them fancy low energy CFLs (compact flourescent lightbulbs).

- 2 pairs of chopsticks
- empty gallon jug of vinegar or windshield wiper fluid
- fishing line
- 8 #47 o-rings or small black rubberbands
- hanging lamp - like Hemma from Ikea

- scissors
- ruler
- hole punch
- tack
- non-permanent marker

1. Use your marker to make two lines around the plastic container 1/2` from the bottom and 5 1/2` from the bottom. Then mark 2 vertical lines directly across from each other.

2. To help pierce your container, use a tack to poke a hole outside the area you marked. Then slip your scissors in through that hole. Cut along the lines you marked. Then wash off any marker.

3. Unscrew the bottom disk from the hanging lamp and trace around a scrap from the plastic bottle leftovers. This piece will be sandwiched between the lamp and the screw-on disk. Your lamp will hang from this piece. Cut along the lines you marked making the center diameter slight larger than the marked line. Ours was 1.5` x 2.5". Set this piece for step 7.

4. Punch a hole in each corner of the plastic panels from step 2.

5. Take one panel and slide a pair of chopsticks through the holes. Secure the chopsticks in place by placing rubberbands on each of the ends.

6. Cup the second piece of plastic around the bottom of the first, then thread the remaining 2 chopsticks into the holes of this plastic panel as you did on the other in step 5. Make sure this piece hangs crosswise from the first. Secure in place with rubberbands.

7. Cut four 11` pieces of fishing line. Tie one piece to each chopstick end on the top panel. Then tie the other ends to the `donut` shape you cut in step 3.

8. Slide the "donut" onto the light fixture and screw the light together. Now you’re ready to plug in your new creation. This lamp will shed some new light on scrap materials headed for the landfill.

To learn more about this altuse product and others, visit

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Use Gatorade to help Fuel Veggie Car

A no-mess way to fuel diesel cars with veggie oil. Small plastic Gatorade bottles are threaded to fit Mercedes diesel vehicles perfectly. We cut the end of the bottle off at an angle and use it as a funnel to pour in our veggie oil from 5 gallon cubies.

Use Car Wax to Clean Cloudy Car Headlights

Car wax is used to bring a shine to the exterior paint of a car.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Soothe Jellyfish Stings with Vodka

If you get stung by a jellyfish, urinating on the sting isn't your only option. If you happen to have vodka on hand or be near a bar, you can also pour that over the area of the sting to similar effect.

Use Lemon to treat Dandruff

The lemon is the common name for Citrus limon. The reproductive tissue surrounds the seed of the angiosperm lemon tree. Wikipedia®

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Use Toothpaste to repair a CD Scratch

Stop old cds from skipping
A CD or compact disc is an optical disc used to store digital data like pictures, music, files or programs. They are made of polycarbonate plastic and have a thin layer of aluminum added to make it reflective. CDs are susceptible to scratches, however these scratches are usually on the protective plastic coating, not actually where the data is stored. This means light buffing using a slightly abrasive medium can repair a CD to like new condition. Toothpaste is the perfect medium for this job because it is abrasive but gentle and will not cause further damage to the CD.

Using cotton swab, gently rub the paste into the scratches until they disappear. Rinse with water and dry.

Use a Blue Jean Patch to Repair a Vacuum Bag

An article that is made from blue jeans and is used to cover a tear or hole.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Use Jojoba oil as a Facial Cleanser

Jojoba oil (pronounced "ho-HO-bah") is the liquid wax produced in the seed of the jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) plant, a shrub native to southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico. Wikipedia®

Tea Tree Oil Knocks out Mildew Smell in Laundry

Do your towels or laundry have a musty smell? Tree Tree oil is a natural antifungal.

1) Add tea tree oil to your next load.

2) Use 10-20 drops depending on the size of the load. You can add to your detergent slot.

3) Add detergent and wash.

The load will smell of tea tree oil when wet, but will dissipate after drying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Use Old Mattress to Soundproof a Room

Although a mattress is bulky and is not the most dense material, which impacts sound absorption, it can be an effective soundproofing material. Simply stack a mattress against the walls and go crazy!

Use a Toothbrush to Clean hard to Reach Places

The toothbrush is an instrument consisting of a small brush on a handle used to clean teeth through tooth brushing. Wikipedia®

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Use a Tea tin as a Storage Container

A container used for selling loose tea or bags of tea.

Use a Jersey to Create a Tote Bag

Turn used sports jerseys into tote bags in a few easy steps! These bags are great for groceries or even for the beach. Plus the jersey material comes with airholes - perfect for airing out your beach towel.

- old sports jersey
- webbing or grosgrain ribbon for handle

- needle and thread or sewing machine
- fabric scissors
- straight pins

1. Cut off your jersey at the arms and neck.

2. Turn the jersey inside out. Sew along cut edge. The bottom of the shirt will become the top of the bag.

3. Cut two 18" pieces of ribbon or strapping. Sew as handles near the top of the bag. Sew one handle to each side.

4. Flip your bag to the right side and you're finished!

To learn more about this AltUse and others, visit

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Use an Eraser to store Pins

An eraser or rubber is an article of stationery that is used for removing pencil and sometimes pen writings. Erasers have a rubbery consistency and are often white or pink, although modern materials allow them to be made in any color. Wikipedia®

Use a Milk Jug to create a funnel

One of many uses for a plastic milk jug - quick funnel
I love plastic milk jugs. Since I have kids, we always have at least one in the recycle bin that I can repurpose.

1) Simply cut the spout off to size to use as a funnel...great for refilling ketchup bottles and the like.
2) If the spout opening is too large for your needs you can leave the cap in place and cut a v-shaped notch to guide the liquid where you need it to go.
3) So now you have a funnel for the top half. The bottom half can be used for other things or recycled.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Use Plastic Bags to keep feet warm

Wear plastic grocery bags between layers of socks before going out in snow
1) If you're going into the cold snow, put on multiple pairs of socks.

2) Place a plastic grocery bag between each sock layer.

This can prevent (or at least postpone) the innermost sock layer from getting cold and wet.

Use Glass Jars to Store Pencils

A storage unit made from glass.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Use Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors

Use vinegar and water to clean hardwood floors.
1) Use 1/4 of Vinegar and 3/4 of Water to create a solution to clean your hardwood floor.

2) Mop to and fro until hardwood floor is clean. Also creates a shine that equals that of traditional cleaners but is much less toxic.

Use Beer to Clean Wood

Beer is the world's oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Wikipedia®

Friday, October 9, 2009

Use Lego pieces for Gardening

Lego, officially trademarked LEGO, is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. Wikipedia®

Use Lego Toys to create bowl

1) Gather approximately 40 lego pieces. You may use multiple colors or just one color.

2) Place lego pieces on a cookie sheet or another baking cookware.

3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and melt lego pieces at high heat intensity.

4) Once the lego pieces have melted, remove them from the oven and mold them into the bowl shape that you desire.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Use a newspaper to ripen a tomato

A newspaper is a publication containing news, information, and advertising. General-interest newspapers often feature articles on political events, crime, business, art/entertainment, society and sports. Wikipedia®

Grow Beautiful Flowers with Vinegar

Grow beautiful flowers by adding vinegar to soil.
When watering flowers like azaleas, rhododendrons, or
gardenias, add a cup of vinegar to each gallon of water. The acid in the vinegar will release iron which the flowers will use to grow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Use coffee beans to remove kitchen odor

Put Coffee Beans in your Trash Can to neutralize odor
1) Put whole coffee beans in the bottom of your trash can.

2) Insert the trash bag.

3) The coffee neutralizes the odor. Leave the beans in when you change the bag.

4) Replace the beans when they no longer smell.

Use kitchen Rubber Gloves to remove Pet Hair

A glove (Middle English from Old English glof) is a garment covering the hand. This particular type of glove is made from rubber and used to clean the kitchen. Wikipedia®

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Use Cardboard to hide Desk Cords

1) Use twist ties from packages or vegetables to wrap up lose cords.

2) Label the twist ties (add masking tape if needed) if you need to know which cord goes to what electronic.

3) Take a large cardboard box. Cut one side to fit snugly under your desk to cover what is behind it.

4) Cut wrapping paper or contact paper to cover the cardboard. Tape the paper to cover one side. Slip it under your desk, and voila, no more ugly cords.

It's easy to remove for access to the outlet.

Use Paper Bags to create Matte for Picture Frame

A bag (also known as a sack) is a non-rigid mostly semi-rigid container, made of paper, cloth, plastic, leather, or some other flexible material. Wikipedia®

Monday, October 5, 2009

Use Cocoa Powder Container to make Flower Pot

Artificial flower pot
Materials: Three Cocoa Powder Containers; Paper Bags; Flour Water Mixture; String

1) Cut cocoa powder containers to a size that you desire.

2) Cut strips of paper bags the width of the container. Wet the paper with a flour/water mixture and rap them around the 3 containers that are held together.

3) Wet string in the flour/water mixture and wrap them around the containers. Paint the containers as you desire. The result will be a pot with 3 divisions. Add artificial flowers as you desire.

Use Cinnamon Powder to Prevent Plant Infections

Cinnamon is a small evergreen tree 10-15 metres tall, belonging to the family Lauraceae, and is native to Sri Lanka. Wikipedia®

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Create a Skateboard deck from a Vinyl Banner

Mesh vinyl banner skateboard
1) Cut mesh vinyl banner into smaller rectangles.

2) Laminate the rectangle sheets together with an epoxy resin to form a firm surface.

3) Trace a skateboard design pattern onto the firm surface with a pen or pencil, and then cut along the lines to create your skateboard deck. Mount wheels and you have great campus transportation.

Use Tennis Balls in the Laundry

A tennis ball is a ball designed for the sport of tennis, approximately 6.7 cm (2.7 in.) in diameter and is usually yellow, but in recreational play can be virtually any colour. Wikipedia®