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How to Make Useful Items out of Old Junk

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017

How to Make Useful Items out of Old Junk. One way to do your part for the environment is to make useful items out of old junk, rather than throwing things away. By prolonging the lifespan of an item you'd normally toss, you keep it out of landfills that pollute our land, sea and air. Before you throw something in the trash can, look it over. Perhaps you can make it useful again.

Wash food cans rather than throwing them in the trash. Use a small sander or Dremel tool to remove burrs and sharp edges. Save a number of sizes to create stacking/nestling toys for small children. Donate sets to local groups such as day care providers, shelters or churches.

Shred old newspapers, junk cardboard and vegetable peelings to use as garden mulch. Toss in egg shells and used tea bags. All of these items can feed your flowers, rather than rotting in a landfill.

Use large items to landscape in creative ways. Partially bury a bed frame and plant flowers where the mattress would go to make your own "flower bed." You can create beautiful arrangements by planting flowers, vines and ferns in old toilets, boots, buckets, sinks and more.

Break old flower pots, bricks and walkway stones into 3-inch pieces. Line the bottom of new flower pots with the pieces to create optimum drainage for your plants.

Tear old, stained or worn fabric into 2-inch strips. Braid strips together, sewing new pieces end to end. When the braid is several yards long, you can sew it together into a throw rug, animal bed or boot mat. Using this method, you can reuse clothing, curtains, upholstery, towels and old bedding.

Look at items closely before throwing them away. Ask yourself if the item has value (in its current state, dismantled or combined with other products) before discarding it. When in doubt, set it aside for a few days while you brainstorm. Talk to your family about the importance of recycling and reuse of products.

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