Make Something New from Something Old

| 8/19/2010 4:38:11 PM

Yes — that means recycling. But it can be so much more! I spend a lot of time rummaging in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS archives looking for neat, unusual and unique projects built by our readers. What amazes me is how folks even imagine remaking a particular piece of “trash” into a usable product.

Check out this pet door — a little sheet metal, some canvas and magnetic ribbon, and your pet has a new door to use. Or this handy candle heater — can you envision a situation where you would need a little heat (in an ice-fishing house, a deer blind or maybe in a vacation cabin when a storm comes in and the temperature drops dramatically)? A few tin cans, a couple cups of sand and some candles. Voilà! You have a heater. This is why some folks have garages and basements that are filled with used, leftover and otherwise-useless stuff — so they have the raw materials for an urgent DIY project, without having to go to the store.

We’d love to know about the most inventive project you’ve made from repurposed materials. Tell us about it in the comments section below.

8/26/2010 4:20:46 AM

I am making rabbit bags as gifts (For the men)for Christmas this year, I had the twine and the rings (used old key rings), but I needed a one inch netting needle and a two inch gauge, so I jumped on my bike looking for something to use to make this out of, low and behold I found a large flower pot floating in the stream, and with in a sort time I had my first rabbit bag. (rabbit bags is a hunting net that is placed over a rabbit hole to catch rabbits as they come out).

Vicki Mangum
8/25/2010 4:01:50 PM

We placed steel posts 2' in the ground and then lifted a pallet over them to hold the pallet in place for an instant fence. I have a friend who used this same concept and packed adobe mud in the pallets and built a comfortable chicken coop. Why not a house to live in? After the strong walls are up one can put some "skin" on the inside and outside walls. I have lost 127lbs. I am using my "fat clothes" for material to make my greatgrandson and granddaughter some clothes. I take a picture of me with these clothes hanging off of me and then a picture of the children's clothes. I put each set of pictures on the same page in a scrap book along with space for a picture of the child in each outfit. What a memory book? I am going to also make a few quilts out of the scraps of this material as well. I am saving old tuna fish cans to oil paint decorative scenes on and will fill the inside with candle wax and a wick. This is almost the same concept as taking an old gallon paint can and setting up a candle system in it for a "Stove in a Can" for camping or when the electricity goes out.

8/25/2010 2:50:56 PM

We made our top-bar-beehives almost entirely out of old wooden pallets.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters