Turn Trash into Treasures

Tips to transform old, worn-out or ruined items into new and improved items.
Family Features
May 7, 2012
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Turn trash into treasures with these creative ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose old and worn-out items.
Courtesy Getty Images


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Have you ever broken a glass or spilled something on your dining room chair? Who hasn’t? Life is full of “oops moments,” which is why Glad® ForceFlex® Black Bag has teamed up with the Picker Sisters – best friends and interior designers Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen – to celebrate and cleanup life’s wild moments, and then find ways to reuse discarded items.

“We live by the saying, ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure.’ In fact, on our television show, we travel across the country to find reclaimed trash to turn into treasure for our store,” says Hutson. “However, you don’t have to travel far to find items worth transforming into beautiful pieces.”

Here are a few easy tips from the Picker Sisters to help you turn everyday trash into treasures:

Frame it Are you holding onto old magazines, books or maps because they’re too interesting or appealing to toss, or because they’re items of sentiment. Instead of keeping them stuffed away in a desk drawer, showcase them on your wall or mantel by framing them. Framing is also a great way to preserve your treasures for generations to come.

Don’t trash the glass Leftover wine bottles after a dinner party? Remove the labels and wash the bottles, then they can quickly be transformed into a water carafe. Another idea is to cluster several bottles together with fresh-cut flowers and candles, giving you an eye-catching centerpiece. Keep the corks, too, and throw them into a spare vase for a table or countertop display.

Reuse old towels Cut towels that are stained or have simply seen better days into squares for dish rags or rectangles for hand towels to store in the garage to dry your car after a wash. They can also be used for dust rags in the house or as grease rags in the garage or shop.

Create place cards Create color coded place cards from old greeting cards for dinner parties by cutting 4-by-3-inch sections and folding horizontally. Write guests’ names in a metallic pen or add your own stickers or flare to personalize them.

Refresh key pieces of furniture – Looking to freshen up your dining room chairs because they’ve endured their fair share of spills? Don’t throw them out and replace them with new, expensive ones. It may be easier than you think to reupholster the cushions with a fresh, new print, or perhaps something spill-proof. With just a few key tools, such as an electric staple gun, pliers and a screw driver, you can have a fresh-looking dining set. 

Upcycle old luggage Do you have old trunk luggage you don’t know what to do with? Before tossing it, consider using it to decorate your home by creating unique statement pieces. For example, stacking three or four suitcases makes a creative retro nightstand.

Keeping with the theme “trash to treasure,” Glad Black Bag is working with Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanups across the country to collect items that can be turned into works of art. To learn more about Keep America Beautiful or to find a Great American Cleanup near you, visit www.kab.org.








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