Embroidery Floss Saves

Do you have hanks of embroidery thread left over from projects completed or abandoned long ago? Well dust them off and take a look around your house to access new ways you can use them.


Gift Wrap

Use several strands of embroidery thread to wrap small gifts & then tie into a generous bow on top.

Braid embroidery floss into long strands to use as ribbons to wrap gifts.

Homemade tassels using embroidery floss can be used in place of a bow on a gift.



Sewing Projects

Take a look through your stash of embroidery thread next time you need the perfect color of thread for a hand-sewn project or mending session.

Braid one or more colors of embroidery floss together to use as ties, trim, belt loops, button loops …



Twist or braid together six strands of embroidery thread. Dip the ends in glue to stiffen them & when the glue dries you have a new set of shoelaces.



Braid embroidery floss into a long strand, then braid that strand into your hair, use it as a hairband or wrap around a ponytail.



Home Decor

Braid one or more colors of embroidery floss to use as curtain tie-backs, to trim upholstered furniture, lampshades or pillows …

Take a plain basket from ordinary to extraordinary by weaving four or more strands of embroidery thread through the baskets holes with a large eyed darning needle.

Homemade tassels using embroidery floss added to curtain tie-backs and other home decor projects.

Resurrect a Damaged Vase

If Your Vase is Simply Ugly

Paint it! Paint it white. Paint it a bright color. Paint it with metallic. Any way you do it, you’ll be amazed at how elegant the end result is!

(The vase at the left is one of the creations shown at My Two Butterflies.)

Reface a Metallic Vase

If you have a vase with metallic decorations that have worn away in spots it’s quite easy to resurrect.

What You Need

  • gold-leaf kit (or silver or copper leaf)
  • scissors
  • 2 small, soft paintbrushes

What to Do

Dip a paintbrush in the adhesive from the gold-leaf kit and paint loose, slightly irregular strokes 1 to 2 inches wide to cover the outer rim of the vase. Set aside for an hour while the adhesive becomes tacky (it will turn clear).

Cut sheets of gold leaf into 1- to 2-inch strips. Press the gold leaf onto the adhesive. Peel off the paper backing. Dust away any excess gold leaf with the clean paintbrush.

Apply the sealer and let dry for 30 minutes.

You can use the same technique as above to recover the damaged section, but you may find that after metal leafing the rim, that you’re happy with your vase again.

Quickie Repair: Use a metallic ink pen to fill in damaged spots on your vase.

Repairing a Cracked Vase

If you’re not worried about the vase holding water then you can use quick drying super glue to repair it. If possible, spread the super glue over the crack on the inside of the vase. Let it dry and then fill with water to check for leaks. If it still leaks then spread another layer of glue over the crack, again from the inside.

If you want the vase to hold water follow the procedure above but use a two part epoxy instead of quick drying super glue.

Fixing a Broken Vase

If your vase is completely broken you can still save it from the trash can. Choose your weapon, quick-drying super glue or two part epoxy, depending on whether or not your vase will be holding water.

Dry piece your vase together without glue to get an idea of how you’ll glue it together.

Assemble your glue of choice, painters tape (which is better than masking tape as it won’t leave a sticky residue on your vase), rubber bands big enough to fit snugly around your vase and a shallow pan filled with sand.

Glue your vase together one piece at a time. Depending on how your vase is broken you may glue it together one piece at a time, allowing the glue to dry before adding another piece to your vase puzzle. Use your rubber bands, painters tape and pan of sand to hold the vase together while it drys. The pan of sand allows you to rest the vase in a reclining or sideways position while the glue dries.

Decorating With Game Pieces

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Decorating with game pieces, using games that you no longer play or that are missing pieces is a great way for quick and easy decorating. And decorating with recyclables is eco-conscious and costs zero dollars. Way to go – you!


Scrabble Bookshelf Labels

If you have a scrabble set that you no longer use, or that is missing tiles you can use the tiles you have to label your bookshelves. Attach the tiles to the shelves with removable mounting tape.

Picture Frames

Scrabble Picture Frames

Use Scrabble tiles to spell out a message or the name of the person in the pic. Attach to the frame with removable mounting tape.

Magnetic Alphabet Picture Frames

Use magnetic alphabet pieces to spell out a message or the name of the person in the pic. Attach to the frame with removable mounting tape.

Game Piece Picture Frames

Use the above idea to attach small game pieces that are appropriate to the person(s) in the pic or the room that the picture is in.

Recycling Projects Using Large Cans

There are so many things that you can do with large cans. They’re great for organizing, storing, building blocks for children, crafts … There are so many things that you can do with large cans that we wanted to start this page to give our readers some ideas. If you have a project or idea for using large cans that we haven’t listed here, please feel free to leave a comment.

Decorate Your Recycled Can

You can cover the outside of your recyled can using any of the items or methods below:

  • wallpaper sample or scraps
  • decoupage pictures
  • decorative napkins
  • aluminum flashing
  • mosiac using broken dishes
  • mosiac or glue on buttons
  • mosiac tiles
  • paper mache
  • gift wrap
  • construction paper
  • book cover
  • decorative contact paper
  • paint


Cut a thin rectangle out of the lid using a craft knife. Decorate your new bank however you like.

Craft Storage

Store craft & sewing supplies in large cans with or without a lid. Use labels or pictures to identify what’s in each can.

Flower Vase

Set a jar or water glass into a decorated can.

Hanging Vase

Paint or decoupage as many clean aluminum cans as you will want for vases. Punch a hole near the top of the can with a nail and fill half way with water. Hang on picture hooks and place flowers or greenery in each can.

Kitchen Utensil Holder

Prepare plaster-of-paris or cement according to package directions. Pour 1 to 2-inches of plaster into utensil holder to make it more stable. Allow to dry before adding kitchen utensils!

Magnifying Waterscope

Use a can opener to remove both ends from a large can. Cover the sharp edges on both ends of the can with strong tape such as duct or masking tape to protect your child and prevent the plastic wrap from tearing. Stretch plastic wrap over one end of the can and secure with a rubber band, then wrap tape around the can to secure the rubber band. Tip: to get a better view line the inside of the can with anything black, such as black paint, craft foam or construction paper.

Dip the covered end of the can into the water and look into the can from the open end. The pressure of the water against the plastic wrap curves it, making it into a magnifying lens!

To make your waterscope more fun place objects in the water to view or take your waterscope to a tide pool.

Make Life Easier

Keep your small survival items in a large coffee can stored in your trunk and/or in a convenient place in your home.

As a campfire cooking utensil you can boil foods in the can and place the aluminum lid directly on your coals as a fry pan.

Store candle stubs.

Use cans for mixing custom paint colors then just snap the plastic lid on to store. Don’t forget to dab a bit of paint on the outside of the can to make finding the color you want easy. If you’ll be storing your paint for longer than a week or two seal the lid with tape to make it airtight.

A plastic lid from a large can will make your next painting job less messy. Cut a slit in the center of the lid and pull the paintbrush handle through the slit so that the brush is on the side of the lid with the lip. Dip your brush in the paint and slap away at the wall just like you normally would only this time there won’t be any drips down the handle of the brush or splatters on your hands or eyeglasses.

Pantry Storage

Store opened dry goods in cans that have reusable plastic lids such as empty coffee cans. Leave them right in their paper or plastic bags, just drop into the can & label, or pour into can, cut label off original container & tape to can.

Safe Bank

Glue a few of the original potato chips to the inside lid of the can. Keep it in your pantry as a safe place to store valuables. Few burglars will even bother to glance twice at the can, but if they do they’ll see the potato chips through the lid and hopefully won’t bother to open the can. As further insurance instead of gluing chips to the lid you can put your valuables inside, then stack chips on top of them. It will be harder for you to retrieve your goodies when you want them but they will be safer from prying hands since the can will look and feel more like a real potato chip can.

Tip: don’t use this method to store heavy valuables as the can will feel too heavy and be a dead giveaway that there’s more than potato chips in it.

Safe Mailer

Use an empty container with its original lid to mail cookies, other baked goods and breakable items. Just fill with goodies, securely tape the lid in place, wrap in plain paper, address and mail. Don’t forget to label your package “Fragile”, although I label all my packages “Breakable” and “Glass” to ensure they are treated gently.


Turn two 1-pound coffee cans upside down so that the plastic lid is on the bottom. Leave the lid on as it will help to protect your floors. There are several ways to attach foot or hand holds:

Spread epoxy glue on the bottom of two old shoes or sandals that are large enough for your kids to put their feet into. Attach shoes to the metal top of the now upside down coffee cans. When epoxy is dry your kids can put their feet inside the shoes and take off.

Using a nail poke two holes, one on each side of the can about half and inch from the top. Thread several strands of ribbon or string that have been braided together, or some rope, through holes in cans. Tie a knot inside the can. Kids can stand on the cans and hold onto the rope handles. They’ll need to practice lifting each foot with the corresponding rope to be able to walk in their stilts.

Cut an old belt into six-inch lengths so that you have 4 lengths for each pair of stilts. Nail one end of each length to the top of each can so that there are two straps on each can that are spaced so that a child can slide his/her foot into them. You might want to start by having your child stand on a pair of cans while you position and mark the straps. After nailing the straps in place (without the child’s feet in them!) turn the cans over and bend the nails down.

Wine Rack

This project can be made using aluminum or cardboard cans. I used a mix of coffee canisters and oatmeal canisters. Give them a rinse. Spray with three coats of paint. Let dry completely.

Use just a bit of tape at the mouths of each canister to connect three canisters together for the base. Do the same with two cans for the second tier. Glue each row of canisters together with clear silicone or any other strong glue, then glue the row of two cans to the row of three cans and top the two can row with one can. When glue is dry, remove the tape and you have a wine rack for FREE – whee!

more great recycling ideas