Free Bench From an Old Door?

A neighbor gave me an old door, and I ‘upcycled’ it into outdoor seating. I painted the door with some leftover paint from a prior project and used some cement blocks from an old building foundation to create a ‘bench’.

It’s made a nice addition to the play spot for my children. They can sit or lie down on the bench or they can all sit in the middle and play a game; there is enough room for 5 or 6 kids. The door is heavy, so it’s not going to break and the blocks hold it up nicely. The kids can’t move it around in the yard – it stays put!

(tip submitted by MW, TX)


Rustic Door Handle

My husband and I recently visited friends who have a cabin up in the mountains. They have a habit of using whatever is at hand for their needs instead of buying something.

The ‘Mr.’ had made the neatest handle for their front door and we thought it was something to share with others.

He had taken a fairly thick tree branch with a curve in it, cut it to length, sawed the two ends nice and flat and using brass screws, fastened it to the front door above the knob.  It’s been on the door for quite a few years and looks like it’s always been there. He said it was cheaper than buying a $25 door handle for a place they use only a few times a year.

(tip submitted by KH, MT)


New Use for Egg Cartons

When I organize desk or kitchen drawers where things like small screws, rubber bands, paper clips or even marbles seem to collect, I cut the tops off of egg cartons and then use the cups to store the different items in separate slots. If they tear, just transfer the ‘stuff’ to another carton and toss the ripped one.

(tip submitted by NW, WY)


Home-made Glass Cleaner

Mix together ½ cup rubbing alcohol, ½ cup household ammonia and 7-½ cups warm water. Mix well, pour into a spray bottle and spray the window with the cleaner and let it sit on the pane for 20- to 30-seconds and then wipe clean with crumpled up newspapers.

Make sure to turn the paper over to another direction after each wipe.

This recipe has been around for decades and my family has always used it. Works great!

(tip submitted by JH, IA)

(Penny says: Mom didn’t have spray bottles, she just used an old rag and put a good amount of cleaner on the window and let it set.)


Fleas ‘Be Gone’

We recently purchased a ‘new to us’ doghouse at a yard sale.  When we got it home, a neighbor told us how to get rid of any fleas without harsh chemicals.

All you need is some dishwashing detergent, some water and a light source. We took an old table lamp with the flexible neck, put in a 100-watt light bulb and set it over a bowl of water with about 6 – 8 drops of dish soap in it in the middle of the dog house, and let it sit for two days.  (We used an extension cord from the house to get to the doghouse).

The fleas are drawn to the light and after a while they fall off of the bulb into the soapy water (they can’t get out because the soap holds them down).  The fleas drown, and you can now use your doghouse.

(tip submitted by KF, SC)


‘Magic’ Tea Leaves

Every year, we plant at least 200 onion sets because we eat them all year long. Our onions were dying in the garden because maggots had infested them.

I saw this hint somewhere and tried it. Dig the row you want to plant the sets into; next, sprinkle tea leaves in the trench. Now go ahead and plant your sets.

We plant some at least 4-inches deep for the best green onions and many more are planted at a shallower depth for the mature keepers.

Used tea leaves would work. I buy the loose tea in a box, or use the larger tea bags.

(tip submitted by ES, WY)