New Uses for Accessories
Glass Vase as Belt Corraller
It's a cinch to keep belts organized and visible: Coil them into spirals and stack them on top of one another in a large clear vase. (Put favorite belts at the top for easy access.)
Button as Apron Hook
Cooking up a storm? For easy access, attach a button to the front of an apron so you can hang a pot holder or a looped dish towel from it.
Glasses Case as Makeup Organizer
With the cameras flashing and all eyes on you, there’s a lot of pressure to look your very best. Stash extra makeup—think lip gloss and concealer—in an empty glasses case and tuck in your purse for quick touch up’s throughout the day.
Brooch as Bouquet Embellishment
Whether you’ve held onto your grandmother’s keepsake or purchased something special for this occasion, add some bling to your bouquet. The flowers may last only a few days, but you’ll always have the pin—and the memories that go along with it.
Bobby Pin as Small Nail Holder
When working with a too-tiny-to-grip nail, slide it into the grooves of a bobby pin, then hold the end of the bobby pin as you hammer.
Hanger as Ribbon Organizer
Turn a tangle of ribbons into a neat presentation. Hang coordinating colors over the prongs of a tie hanger.
Tulle as Votive Embellishment
Add a feminine and romantic touch to the reception by illuminating tables with an array of small glass votives wrapped in delicate white tulle.
Cotton Balls as Shoe Resizer
Give roomy heels and ballet flats a perfect fit (so you don't pull a Cinderella) by filling in the toe area with some cotton balls.
Ribbon as Shoelace
Let everyone know you march to the beat of your own drum; use colorful ribbon in place of shoelaces. Change when the mood strikes.
Gift Box as Sugar Holder
More lovely to look at than the branded box from the store, but it still slides easily into the pantry for storage.
Bobby Pin as Gift-Card Clip
More than just a hair accessory: Attach a note to a ribbon with a colorful or bedazzled bobby pin.
Hair Clip as Shoe Embellishment
Are those comfy pumps in need of something special for your big day? Attach your favorite sparkly hair clip to add just the right amount of flair.
Rubber Band as Jar Opener
Get a grip on a tricky top; wrap a rubber band around a slippery or sticky lid to give yourself some extra oomph.
Jewelry Box as Coaster
A pretty jewelry box top is the perfect size for most wine glasses. Decorate the inside or add some confetti for a party.
Shoe Boxes as Drawer Dividers
Time for your lingerie drawer to step into line. Cut shoe boxes in half, along the length or width, and fill the resulting compartments with folded briefs, socks, or stacked bras.
Candlestick as Bracelet Holder
Bangles bulging out of your jewelry box? Slip them over a candlestick and let them accessorize your dresser.
Socks as Floor Protector
Protect wood floors. Slide socks onto the legs of chairs and tables so they don’t scratch the floor when you rearrange the room (yet again).
Button as Earring Holder
Travel is best done in pairs (think of Lewis and Clark or Thelma and Louise). To keep a set of earrings together on your next overnight jaunt, fasten them to a button so they won’t get lost in your suitcase pocket.
Contact Lens Case as Travel Spice Holder
Pack small amounts of salt, pepper, and spices for a camping trip.
Panty Hose as Candle Cleaner
Revive a forgotten flickerer. Slide a dusty candle inside a stocking and roll it around.
Felt Pads as Clothing Securer
Help strappy garments stay on hangers. Affix a circle to each end.
Q-Tip as Makeup Brush
Artfully dab on costume makeup without getting your good makeup brushes dirty.
Felt Pads as Cutting Board Anchor
Anchor a cutting board’s corners to make prep work easier and safer.
Cornstarch as Makeup Protector
Balance the oiliness of moisturizing makeup. Brush on a thin layer as a finishing touch.
Deodorant as Blister Preventer
Make breaking shoes in less of a pain. Rub clear-gel deodorant on spots prone to blistering before you step out in a stiff new pair.
Button as Necklace Pendant
Have one special button? Thread it onto a thin chain or a delicate piece of ribbon for a standout necklace.
Sandpaper as Knit Depiller
Wipe fine-grit sandpaper over a sweater in one direction—gently!—to lift pesky pills.
Belt Hanger as Kitchen Towel Hooks
Hook extra dish towels and pot holders on a belt hanger for easy retrieval.
Plastic Drinking Straw as Knot Preventer
For tangle-free jewelry during your travels, unclasp the chain, thread it through a plastic drinking straw, and reclasp. For a shorter chain, cut the drinking straw to the desired length.
Hair Elastic as Tights Bundler
Roll up pairs of stockings or leggings and wrap hair ties around them to keep the rolls from unraveling. It will be easier to find a specific pair on mornings when you're, well, tight on time.
Lint Roller as Handbag Cleaner
Quickly clean the interior of your purse by running a lint roller over the lining. Submitted by: Dotchie
Tissue Paper as Purse Shaper
Help a purse or boots to keep its shape with tissue stuffed inside.
Brooches as Refrigerator Decoration
Instead of tossing out seldom worn or broken brooches, remove the pins with a wire cutter, glue a magnet to the back of each, then use them to mount postcards, children’s artwork, or this week’s grocery list.
Post Earring as Eyeglasses Screw
Use a spare post earring to fix broken spectacles (without resorting to tape). If the tiny screw that connects the arm to the frame of your glasses goes missing, replace it with a stud and secure it with the back for a temporary solution.
Hair Clip as Towel Securer
Maintain some modesty in the locker room. Hold towel in place with a clawlike clip post-shower.
Baby Oil as Necklace Detangler
Rub a few drops of baby oil into each knot and work them gently free with a straight pin.
Bobby Pin as Bookmark
Use a bejeweled hair clip to save your place in the latest thriller. Slide the pin over a few pages (so it stays in place) to mark where you left off.
Bracelet as Napkin Ring
When a plain napkin simply won’t do, break out the bangles and dress up a place setting.
Brooch as Sweater Securer
Adjust the fit of—and add a touch of sparkle to—a loose blouse or shirt by pinning it in back with a brooch. Or turn a cardigan into a form-fitting wrap sweater: Pull one side across the body and pin it in place.
Dental Floss as Umbrella Mender
If your umbrella has detached from its metal spines, tie or sew it back together with waxed floss, which will endure longer than regular thread.
Hair Dryer as Eyeglasses Fitter
Give store-bought plastic eyeglasses a custom fit. Heat them with a dryer, then mold them to suit your face.
Jewelry Box as Drawer Organizer
Those little boxes are so sturdy and tidy that you hate to throw them out, so don't. Instead, clip them together to create a neat divided storage area for pens and pencils, lipsticks, plastic flatware—whatever it is that clutters your drawer.
Nail Polish as Snag Preventer
Keep a snag in your stockings from growing by dabbing it with clear nail polish.
Newspaper as Shoe Deodorizer
Help shoes keep their shape and smell fresh by stuffing them with newspaper after wearing them.
Panty Hose as Candle Duster
Remove dust from candles by running it through the leg of an old pair of panty hose.
Pencil Eraser as Earring Securer
If the backing for one of your studs goes AWOL, slice off a disk-shaped wedge from an eraser. The earring will stay put, even if your pencil looks denuded.
Photo Box as Jewelry Organizer
Organize delicate jewelry by placing necklace chains, charms, and small earrings in individual vellum envelopes inside the box.
Plastic Trays as Boot Holders
Contain rain-boot runoff by placing a tray near the entryway when wet weather descends.
Sock as Wine Bag
Slip a (clean) patterned kneesock over the bottom of a bottle, then knot the top to create a decorative carrier. Better yet, offer your hostess two bottles so she can later enjoy toasty toes.
Soda Bottle as Boot Supporter
Insert an empty one-liter plastic bottle into a tall boot to keep it from sagging, creasing, or toppling over. Bonus: Upright boots create space on your closet floor to fill as you please (hmm…more boots?).
Step Stool as Shoe Organizer
Rest your soles. Store shoes on the tiers of a stool in the closet.
Tape as Shoelace Aglets
Seal the end of a frayed shoelace rather than running out for a replacement.
Vitamin Organizer as Travel Jewelry Box
Pack enough jewelry for a week away. The individual compartments are the perfect place to keep earrings, necklaces, and rings safe and tangle-free.
Wine Bottle as Boot Supporter
Preserve the shape of tall leather boots by placing a bottle into each one's shaft for reinforcement.
Wristband as Coffee Sleeve
Protect your hands from an extra-hot latte by stretching a wristband around the coffee cup so your fingertips don't get burned. (Your tongue is another matter, so sip with care, for goodness' sake.)
Wristwatch as Earring Holder
Keep track of your earrings while you hit the gym (or the spa). Place the studs through the holes on the watch strap and then attach their backs.
Paper Towel Tube as Wrinkle Preventer
Ward off wrinkles in silk scarves by wrapping them around the tube between wearings.
Hosiery as Hairbrush Cleaner
Prevent gunk from settling into your hairbrush by pushing a swatch of stocking fabric over the bristles, so it rests on the base. When the brush needs cleaning, remove the swatch and hair and product buildup will go with it.
Ice-Cube Tray as Jewelry Storage
Each ring, necklace, bracelet, and pair of earrings gets its own cubby when you use an ice-cube tray to organize your baubles. Trays can be stacked in a drawer for a multitier alternative jewelry box.
Mailing Tubes as Fabric Smoothers
To keep a scarf or tablecloth wrinkle-free roll the fabric around the tube then run a length of ribbon through it and tie a bow.
Mitten as Sunglasses Protector
Save your shades from scratches by slipping them into a spare mitten before stashing them in your purse or glove compartment.
Nail Polish as Screw Securer
After tightening the loose screw, dab polish across the top for a longer-lasting fix.
Cooking Oil as Shoe Polish
Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt, then apply a small drop of oil to a soft cloth and rub the surface to remove scuff marks.
Plastic Bag as Shoe Protector
It will never be a fashion trend, but tying bags over your shoes can keep you from tracking mud into the house when you come in, or protect slippers from dirt, snow, or rain when you run out to fetch the paper from the front lawn. (Be careful when walking on smooth surfaces, as the plastic won't give you any traction.)
Ribbon as Umbrella Tie
A rainy day equals wanting to stay in bed, under the covers. That’s rarely possible, but there is a silver lining. You can brighten up a decidedly utilitarian umbrella by tying a pretty bow on it.
Ribbon as Cuff Link
When you’re wearing a French-cuffed shirt, substitute a snip of ribbon for cuff links to keep your sleeves closed. Just slide a piece of ribbon through and tie a knot on each end. They’ll stop your arms from getting a chill and add a little color to a wardrobe staple.
Rubber Band as Earring Backing
When you’ve lost (another) backing to the Bermuda Triangle of jewelry, mosey on over to the junk drawer and cut out a small square from a thick rubber band.