Make Recycled Gift Tags, How to Use Yarn Bows and More Country Lore

Use recycled greeting cards to create your own gift tags as well as other country lore.

| November/December 1983

  • Like New Toys
    Toys like these can be found at garage sales and thrift shops and can even be made to look like new at a lowcost price

  • Like New Toys

Bill Ickes extends the life of his sandpaper by gluing inexpensive polyester fabric scraps to the backs of the abrasive sheets before he uses them. The Berlin, Pennsylvania reader says that his fabric-backed sandpaper lasts longer, wears more evenly, and is more flexible when used on small, rounded, or odd-shaped objects.

Cold weather is here, and outdoor enthusiasts would be well advised to remember a trick that'll insure warmth and safety as folks journey through the wilds this winter. Barry Atkins of Seattle, Washington wrote about his grandfather's practice of dipping the heads of a dozen matches in melted paraffin wax . . . and then rolling those matches up in a 10" X 10" piece of cloth. The resultant "package" was then dipped into the paraffin and allowed to dry. The waxy bundle can be carried in a pack or pocket. The matches will stay dry (through rain, snow, sleet, or worse), and the wax-coated cloth makes a fine fire starter.

"When our son, Joshua, was 18 months old, I would run myself ragged in a usually vain attempt to keep ahead of his curious fingers. Curtains, electrical cords, plants, swinging doors, speaker covers, kitchen cabinets . . . the list of potential trouble spots seemed endless some days!" writes contributor Gloria Robertson of Nixa, Missouri. "I finally hit upon a simple solution to the problem, though. Yarn! I tied colorful pieces of yarn over and through, up and under, around and on top . . . making pretty bows and secure knots to hold those items in the position I wanted. The safety factor (and my peace of mind) far outweighed my fear of raised eyebrows at the unusual decor . . . and when josh outgrew that roaming stage, I simply clipped the yarn bows and stored them away for our next busy one, Sarah!"

Phyllis Wolff of Franklinton, North Carolina recycles the greeting cards she receives at Christmastime by cutting the pictures on the front into gift tags to use the following holiday season. For each one, Phyllis cuts out a particular shape, punches a hole in the top, strings a piece of crochet cotton through, and then stores the labels until mistletoe-and-holly time rolls around again.

Toluca Lake, California resident Ellen Siegler offers fellow MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers these tips on shopping for nearly new toys and games at garage sales and thrift shops.

Although it's fairly easy to clean up an old dolly's face and clothing, restoring dull, matted hair can often present a problem. The solution? Ellen recommends shampooing the doll's locks in liquid fabric softener, rinsing them well, and then brushing them with a small-toothed rubber brush until the hair dries naturally.

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