Last Summer we re-purposed some wooden pallets from the library’s loading dock and turned them into vertical gardens behind the Children’s Department.

Since that time I have seen thousands of projects using recycled pallets. Who knew?

It’s amazing the creativity that some people have. When I think of recycling, reusing or re-purposing something it is usually something along a much simpler line. Like this from Mindfully Frugal:
Instead of buying expensive disposable paper cleaning pads for the Swifter, just use old cloth diapers soaked in a little soap and water – throw them in the washer when you are through and reuse. Of course I’m even more frugal…I don’t buy the Swifter. I just get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floor with a bucket of soapy water and an old rag.
I’ve noticed a another re-purpose “fad” having to do with cans. When I was coming up we recycled cans in three ways.

1. We used them to cut out biscuits (or sugar cookies).

2. We used them as stilts we called “Tom Walkers” – I don’t know why we called them that.

3. We used them – along with a gob of Dippity-Do Gel – to curl our hair.

Now, however, people are doing all kinds of crazy things with cans. Again, who knew?

Starting at the top left and working my way across each row :

Okay, cans as planters isn’t a new discovery and I can see how it might be practical to start a plant in one. Once the plant was thriving, I’d want a pretty clay pot though.

Cans screwed into a piece of plywood and used for storing cooking utensils…I’m not liking. However, I use a big ceramic cookie jar with no lid that just sits on the counter by the stove – so what do I know?

Cans for a kids bowling game? well, kid crafts are usually pretty tacky anyway so who cares.

Painted cans used as planters pegged to a brick wall might be alright if you didn’t have the yard space.

Empty – what? paint cans? – used as a chandelier….oh, good Lord.

Painted tin cans bound together with fabric and used as a pencil caddy…not practical because the fabric would eventually become undone and you’d have cans scattered everywhere.

Painted cans as candle holders? Kinda pretty, but how hot is that tin can going to be if you light the candle?

Soda and beer cans turned into bracelets? Cool …..if you are eleven years old!

Tin can lids used as wall covering? Do you WANT people to know just how bad your cooking is?  You’d be telling the world “I only eat out of cans!” This is not to mention the safety factor. How nasty do you think you’d be cut if you tripped over your little dog and fell into the wall?

Now I’m going to show you 4 can projects I don’t want you to ever do. Seriously. Because if you do, then everyone will know that you have waaaaayyyyy too much free time and they will start asking you to volunteer on fundraising committees or to chair your civic league. You will thank me for this.

1. Knitting or crocheting a cover for a tin can. Even if you are just cutting off the sleeve of an old sweater you already own and are wrapping it around the tin can – it’s too much.  Really.

2. Taking an empty tuna can and sticking wooden clothespins on it and then planting grass seed in it.
Really? (By the way, what is it with all this planting of grass seed too? What about a flower?)

3. They are selling this painted tin can on Etsy for $6.25 ….but wait don’t buy it because

you can get FOUR of them for $23.00 …..a savings of $2.00!
Somebody has hit upon a money-maker! Are there really are enough foolish people out there who would pay that much money for a painted tin can that someone else ate beans out of. Please tell me NO.

And finally this …

That’s right, a dipped can. Everybody is dipping everything. I say if you dip it, why not just go ahead and paint the whole thing. Dipped – to me – just looks unfinished.

So go ahead and dip your wooden spoons, your teacups, your hair, salad bowls, dressers, planters, shoes, chairs, wedding dresses, candle holders, necklaces and every big block of raw wood you find. The only thing that can be improved by dipping is strawberries in chocolate!

Images from these dot coms: crafthubs, stephbong, fashionplaceface, dotandbo, laybabylay sripemag, tostyling, rosabeltrandesighn, glambistro, stephsilverboxes, vorstellungvonschoen, scraphacker

Finally, the last part of my rant about re-purposing fads is MASON JARS. Mason jars were invented to hold and store food. (If you want to make a shelf out of a pallet, go ahead.)

Once the food is eaten from jar, you can wash it and drink from it too. And that’s alright.
I’ve had many a glass of ice tea or lemonade from a Mason Jar — and YES something stronger as well.
If you want to pay $8.00 on Etsy for a mason jar that has been wrapped with a strip of burlap that’s been stamped with a pink heart -go ahead- just don’t let me see it.
If you want to put your buttons in a jar and make a little padded pincushion on the lid that’s kind of cute and I can see where that might work on a shelf next to your sewing machine.
The soap dispenser is silly though – why not just refill the plastic one you already have? It won’t break on the tile floor.
Why waste your time dipping mason jars in metallic paint to stick your flowers in? Just use a tin can. (see above)
Lamps and Chandliers should be elegant. Go ahead and use a jar for cut flowers or to plant a group of bulbs.  A jar is like a vase.
But really – besides food and drink – the only thing a mason jar is good for is to keep matches dry on a camping trip.
Who would do this
When you could do this?
There ARE some things that should not be recycled, repurposed or reused. Just throw it away.
From Regretsy Website


For me, nothing escapes being a paper weight at least once.


Born to read, forced to work.

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