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Reusing & Repurposing Things You Already Have at Home

Everyone loves a good DIY—and staying eco-conscious at the same time is even better! In this article, I’ll show you ways to turn items you have lying around the house into functional (and even cute) pieces to expand their lives and minimize waste.


1) Glass jars

This definitely has to be my favorite item to repurpose, as you can never have enough storage for small items. After finishing up your peanut butter or salsa, you can simply wash the glass jar with warm water and soap. When it dries, you’ll be able to keep your bobby pins and cotton swabs well-organized. (Pro-tip: If you have glue residue from peeling off the label, soak a paper towel in rubbing alcohol and place it on the jar for at least 5 minutes. Your glue should scrape right off!) If you have an old candle jar with some leftover wax, there’s an easy way to remove that as well. Use a butter knife or spoon to remove as much wax as possible. Then, simply pour boiling water into the jar, leaving some room at the top. The wax will melt and float to the top—remove it, and finish by washing the glass with soap and water. Feel free to use paint markers to decorate your jars and add your own artistic flair.


2) Old t-shirts & socks

Who said that clothes were only meant for wearing? It’s estimated that about 17 million tons of textiles ended up being discarded in landfills throughout 2018. If you have a lone sock that has lost its pair, you can use it as a rag to wipe down dust from surfaces—just in time for spring cleaning! In addition, you can cut up an old cotton t-shirt into squares to serve the same purpose. Another way to repurpose a t-shirt is to turn it into a reusable bag perfect for grocery shopping. First, use fabric scissors to cut off the sleeves and the neckline. Then, turn your shirt inside out and cut fringes at the bottom, making sure to cut through both the front and back layers (starting from the bottom, make cuts about 3 inches upward and 1 inch apart). Tie each pair of fringes (one from the front and one from the back) together; after this step, you will notice that there are small holes between each adjacent knot. To seal the bottom of your bag, tie each front fringe to its adjacent back fringe. Finally, turn your bag inside out again. Cute and easy!


3) Newspapers

Although we live in a digital world, I’m sure that newspapers, magazines, and paper advertisements are still lying around your house. Before you discard these items, try to reuse them in one of these ways! If you’re giving someone a gift, you can wrap the item in newspaper and add a ribbon or a bow for a fancy touch. Another hack for newspapers is that they can be used to prevent fruit from rotting; just wrap up your apple or pear and store it in a cool, dry place. Finally, a Pinterest-worthy way to repurpose magazines is to create a vision board. Simply find pictures of things that inspire you—could be anything from a cute outfit to a meaningful quotation—cut them out, and glue onto a larger piece of paper. Make sure to get creative! Sticking to a color scheme or a certain theme always looks really aesthetic and put-together. You can hang this vision board in your room and look at it anytime you need motivation or new ideas.


Hopefully, you can try one or more of these DIYs to repurpose common household items! These are all super easy and a great way to be eco-friendly during Earth Day and beyond. Happy crafting!


Bridget Corpus

Lafayette '24

sophomore at lafayette!! biochem major & spanish minor :)
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