Clever ways to repurpose everyday items.

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chopsticks-with-ribbons
Credit: Levi Brown

1. Ribbon Holder

After you untie the ribbons from those birthday presents, coil them around a chopstick, secure with a piece of tape, and store. The ribbons will stay neat and untangled until they’re ready for regifting. (Bonus: The curling variety will unravel already twirled.)

2. Batter Swirler

Up the ante on the bake-sale brownie: Dab caramel (or peanut butter or cream cheese or raspberry jam) on a chopstick, then swirl it through the batter to add the flavoring with a professional-looking flourish.

3. Kebabs

Serve bite-size pieces of fruits, vegetables, or grilled meats on chopsticks for fast, easy finger foods.

4. Seed Dowel

Save your mani: Plant the tip of a chopstick into potting soil to make small holes for sowing seeds.

5. Kindling

Store those extra takeout chopsticks (the ones that haven’t touched the Peking duck) by the hearth to help kick-start a blaze.

6. Back Scratcher

A chopstick is skinny enough to slip under the neck of an itchy wool sweater, long enough to reach elusive points on your back, and discreet enough to keep in a desk drawer.

7. Magazine Bookmark

Wedge in a chopstick to hold your place in that scintillating story.

8. Peanut-Butter Scraper

If you must have the last bit of peanut butter in the jar—inaccessible by knife or finger—scrape it out with a chopstick.