Entertainment New Uses
Parchment Paper as Musical Instrument
Make a kazoo by folding a piece of parchment or wax paper over a comb’s teeth (the paper should hang over about an inch).
To-Go Container as Paint Palette
Even a starving artist eats takeout sometimes. Use the plastic top from a to-go container as a palette for mixing colors; when you’re finished, just toss.
CD as Ice Scraper
Too cold to hunt down the real deal? Use a jewel case to clear the frost from your windshield.
CD as Invitation
Make jazzy (or rockin’) invitations. Jot down party details on the shiny side and mail the CD out in a cushioned envelope (postage: about a dollar).
Poker Caddy as Pencil Organizer
Dialed back on late nights? Corral some clutter with that poker caddy. Glue a poker chip to the bottom of each slot, then close the gaps on the sides with playing cards to create compartments for stray pens and pencils.
Beer Can as Noise Maker
Cut down on drinking? You can still start 2012 off with a bang—or at least a rattle. Drop a dozen coins into a clean, empty beer can and seal the opening with tape. When the clock strikes 12, shake some noise.
TV Remote as Hiding Place
Curbed your TV watching? Remove the batteries from an old remote and stuff the empty compartment with emergency cash, a spare key, or anything else you need handy (but hidden).
Book as Word Scramble
For the kids' table: Cut out 30 or so words from old children's books (the fonts are larger) and challenge them to form sentences with the pieces.
Address Labels as Bookplates
Stick or tape them on anything you don't want to lose: books, magazines, umbrellas, Tupperware containers, cell phones, the stapler on your desk at work. That way your stuff will see many happy returns.
Jewelry Box as Game Piece Storage
Store game pieces, play money, or other priceless rainy-afternoon distractions.
Coupon as Grocery Store Game
Ward off temper tantrums in the supermarket by handing out unneeded coupons and have your kids go on a scavenger hunt. First one to spot five items gets a big prize (okay, a pack of bubble gum) at checkout.
Button as Board Game Piece
Is your Monopoly game missing its top hat? Replace wayward board-game pieces without missing a beat (or a turn).
Jewel Case as Recipe Card Holder
Easily display a recipe card during meal prep by opening the CD case and bending it back as shown, then place the card (after cutting it to fit, if necessary) on top.
Storybook Pages as Placemats
Add some character(s) to a table setting by sandwiching favorite storybook pages between lamination sheets (available at office-supply stores). Catchy text and colorful pictures (think Dr. Seuss and nursery rhymes) are especially attention-grabbing.
Toothpaste as CD Cleaner
To restore a damaged CD, apply a dot of non-gel formulat toothpaste to a cotton cloth and rub in a straight line from the center of the CD outward, covering any scratches. Rinse off the toothpaste with water.
Twister Mat as Tablecloth
Protect the dinner table during a kid’s party, so right-hand-red Kool-Aid spills and left-hand-blueberry pie blobs don’t become permanent features.
Kitchen Timer as Board Game Timer
Keep games fair. Replace the sand timer in a board game with a much less subtle kitchen timer. (The dinging will keep the game moving.)
Penny as Replacement Game Piece
Replace a missing piece of your family’s favorite board game. Just remember: No fighting over who gets to be president!
CD as Candle Plate
Catch messy candle drippings. Rest a pillar candle on top of a CD placed shiny-side-up to reflect the glow.
CD as Drink Coaster
Stop wet glasses from leaving messy tracks on the tabletop. Truth is, some CDs are more useful as coasters.