Category Archives: Repurpose

How to reuse birthday candles

One of my very first posts was sharing with you how to extend your reach when you need to light a candle in a tall jar. Here’s another reuse idea along the same vein. Got old birthday candles? Especially the fancy long ones like Cheerlites? They work great for lighting candles that are too far down a jar for your fingers to reach. Plus it’s a nice way to use up old birthday candles without having to debate whether it’s green or gross to reuse old candles on a fresh birthday cake.


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Cool Chandelier

Made of repurposed Prescription Bottles.

Photo taken on Valencia Street, San Francisco.

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Valentines’s Day Fun

This year I started what may become a new annual Valentine’s tradition for us.

On Zakka Life I read about a simple and awesome way to turn envelopes into heart pouches. For weeks now each time I got something in the mail I trimmed down the envelope to make it into a little heart pouch.

On Valentine’s Day I numbered each of the heart pouches. Co-incidentally I had made enough to have 1 for every year of my Sweetie’s age so there were 39 in total. Then I wrote out scavenger hunt clues, famous quotations on love, and flirty little notes. Each heart got a slip of paper and then were placed around the house in scavenger hunt fashion.  The only rule being to find the hearts in numbered order. From 1 to 39.

I started off by putting the first several hearts in plain site in our entry way on the stairs. The note inside Heart #1 said “Roses are red, violets are blue. See if you can see #2.” Of course Heart #2 was on the next step up so it was easy to find. Heart #2 said “I love your hazel eyes, use them to find #3”. After he saw that Heart #3 was just on the next step up he said, “oh these are easy”. Ha ha. Little did he know they were about to get more difficult to find.

After I had initiated the game with easy ones the next 10 hearts became progressively more creative with the clues and the hiding places. By the time he got to Heart #20 I had changed it up by putting a little chocolate in the heart pouch. For #21 he had to find me and give me a kiss to get the next clue.

After that the rest were either quotations on love or flirty notes and compliments from me to him. The were hidden around the house Easter Egg hunt style, partially hidden in plants or under a magnet on the fridge.  A little bit of effort required but relatively easy to find. The final heart pouch had a clue to find a heart shaped box of See’s candies.

We both had a lot of fun. I could see that he enjoyed  the scavenger hunt and that he was really touched by the effort that I put into it. He told me that his favorite quote was “Age does not protect you from love but love, to some extent, protects you from age.” by Jeanne Moreau.

And the only materials I used in the entire thing were envelopes that were already on their way to being recycled, scissors to cut the envelopes and the little pieces of paper, a red pen to write down the notes and a red marker to number the hearts. It was also really great using the recycled envelopes because it diminishes the sense of obligation to keep the hearts. We used them, enjoyed them in the moment, and now feel free to keep the memory and release the stuff.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


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Three new uses for address labels

We all have them, right? A page or two of address labels with your name and address sent to you by a well-meaning charity soliciting donations. After I call up the charity to request that they put me on their “do not mail” list I’m left with more address labels than I can ever possibly use. So here are three creative ways to repurpose those labels.

(1) Cut off the postal address and simply use the Name part of the label. I’ve found this very useful for labeling my coffee mug, my leftovers in the community fridge at work, or anything where you just want to make sure people know this item belongs to you.

(2) Tape. Just peel off the pieces and use the old trick for making non-double sided tape into double sided and it’s great for wrapping presents or securing packages that you mail.

(3) Cleaning between the keys on your keyboard. Just floss the sticky side around your keys to pick up lint, crumbs, and dust and keep your keyboard clean.


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What to do with old T-shirts – Part 2

Picture 073, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

After I cut up old T-shirts in squares for casual napkins I had lots of T-shirts strips left over. I simply tied the ends together in double knots and strung them up in the entry way to welcome home my special someone who had been away for a couple days. Totally silly but it made him smile. 🙂

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What to do with old T-shirts – Part 1

Picture 038 tshirts (2), originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

We all have them. T-shirts that are no longer in our wearing rotation. What to do with them aside from donating to Goodwill? Well we definitely try to minimize our use of paper towels but it’s a work in progress. I got to thinking that if I cut up old t-shirts into squares – similar to the size of paper towels, that these would make good reusable napkins. So some pinking shears and an hour later and Voila. I have a brand new set of casual napkins. We’ll probably only use them for everyday and not for guests. Nevertheless, I love them.

Don’t they look pretty all folded up?


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Whimsical Repurposing

Picture 027 repurpose art, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

I love art that comes from repurposing things that would otherwise be trashed. Awhile back I was in the charming town of Capitola walking around enjoying the houses by the riverwalk and I was completely enchanted by this whimsical art.

I love every single thing about this tree. It’s a tree stump, instead of tearing it out they made it a gorgeous lawn sculpture. The miniature houses and shingles and decorations are all enticing and adorable and upon closer inspection are mostly found objects repurposed into art.

Simply marvelous!

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