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10 Ways to Repurpose Repurposing Projects That Aren’t Trendy Anymore

Tired of your mason jar lanterns or ladder shelves? With our tongue firmly planted in our cheek, we came up with brilliant new uses for the repurposed stuff you love using for DIY projects. Brace yourself.

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Mason jar lanterns turned into canning jars

Glass Mason jars, with their signature Ball branding, have become ubiquitous among DIYers in the past decade or so. Some people even eat and drink out of them! Our favorite repurposed mason jar project is to string them up, pop votive candles inside, and hang them on the patio as outdoor lanterns. But here’s an ingenious trick we recently got wind of (wink!): When you submerge Mason jars in boiling water, their lids form an airtight seal, making them perfect for long-term storing and preserving of foods like fruits, tomatoes and jam. Mind blown!

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Colander planters used to strain pasta

What’s better than a repurposed colander for planting succulents, flowers or foliage? Not only does it look pretty, but it’s the perfect size for roots to grow freely, has evenly distributed holes for drainage, and even has handles for easy hanging. But get this: Those very traits make it perfect for another household task—straining the water out of freshly cooked pasta! Just place the colander in the sink, dump your pot of pasta inside, and watch that boiling water run right down the drain. Voila—dinner is served! Add more value to your home with these easy upgrades.

Photo: Courtesy of Rustoleum

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Pallet coffee table turned into containers for shipping products

Pallets make for beautiful coffee tables. The solid wood can be stained or painted any color you please, and they’re already designed for storage, so no fancy carpentry is involved when building one of these babies. But we came up with an idea that we’re thinking of copyrighting before any product manufacturers think of it: pallets would be the perfect vessel for safely shipping and transporting goods. We could see them holding everything from foods to medical supplies. Shh…don’t give away our idea! Learn how to break down a pallet without injury.

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plantYulia YasPe/Shutterstock

Ladder shelves used to access hard-to-reach spots

Lean a repurposed ladder up against the wall and you have surfaces to showcase everything from plants and flowers to books and knickknacks. Or you can use your ladder shelves to hang towels and spare blankets. If your ladder is sturdy enough and can bear your body weight, you can might even consider climbing on it! Why? To finally reach that burnt-out lightbulb you’ve needed to replace since last year, for starters. Or to reach the corners of the walls where they reach the ceiling — you know, the spots your paint roller couldn’t quite access. Yes, you’re welcome.

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old muffin tin storage solutionvia Melina Gillies

Muffin pan drawer organizers used for baking

It’s so funny that the tins we love to use to organize the drawers in our craft rooms, workshops and home offices are called “muffin pans,” because those little round cubbies that are ideal for sorting buttons, paperclips, nuts and bolts are also the ideal size for baking muffins! Cupcakes, too. Plus, they’re usually made out of aluminum or stainless steel, which are oven-safe. A stroke of domestic genius, for sure. Here are 23 annoying noises you hear at home, and how to fix ’em.

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PVC pipe wine rack used for plumbing projects

Break out a hot-glue gun and some PVC pipes from the hardware store, and you’ve got yourself the perfect, repurposed DIY wine rack. And why not? The pipes come in a range of sizes to fit an assortment of bottles — even magnums. They’re made of polyvinyl chloride, so they’re strong and durable. Plus, they’re relatively cheap! But check out this bright idea: we suggest using PVC pipes for at-home plumbing projects, too. They’d make great drainage pipes — you can even use them to replace your metal ones! Then try these super-clever PVC hacks.

Photo: Courtesy of PVC Fittings Online

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Shutter mail organizer turned into window treatments

Wooden shutters were perfect designed to organize incoming mail. Their built-in slots let you prop up envelopes and easily sort through them. You can either lean the shutters against or affix them to the wall, and they double as pretty charming decor elements, to boot. In fact, they’re so pretty, we think they’d look wonderful on windows! Think about it: they’re just the right size, and their slats open and close — the perfect filter for sunlight.

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Photo: Courtesy of Weekend Craft

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Clothespin clips used to hang clothes out to dry

What a beautifully designed clip — the perfect clamp for holding on tight without doing damage and a neat little coil that withstands repeated use without breaking. We can safely string them up to show off our Polaroids, glue them to a panel and use them to hang gloves by the door, or on bulletin boards to hold important messages in place. Then one day our dryer broke, and we were stuck with a pile of wet laundry — so we got creative. We installed a pulley system outside our window and strung a rope through it. We called it a “clothesline.” Then we used our clothespins to hang our wet clothes in the open air to dry. Know what? They smelled so fresh when we took them back inside! These are the 9 things all DIYers should have on hand for quick fixes.

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Family Handyman

Knob coat hooks used to open and close cabinet doors

We scored some cute little knobs the other day — and just in time! As the weather cools off, we need somewhere to hang our coats. So we drilled a few holes, hammered anchors into the wall, and screwed those knobs right in. But then we got to thinking: if the knobs came ready to be screwed into the wall, what if we screwed them into the doors of our kitchen cabinets, too? The cabinets would be a heck of a lot of easier to open, that’s for sure.

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Mirrored vanity tray used to see your reflection.

While putting on makeup one day, we looked down at the mirrored tray we keep our cosmetics on. We saw a romantic piece of decor and a great, easy-to-clean surface for powders, perfumes and jewelry. Everything at the ready for busy mornings. But we also saw another thing: our own reflection! We’ve seen it before, but this time we couldn’t help but wonder: what if we hung the mirror on the wall and used to look at ourselves while we got ready? It certainly helped get the eyeliner on straight and apply lipstick without using our cell phone camera. We think this hack is about to change the makeup game — stay tuned! In the meantime, check out 50 incredible DIYs!