1 of 15Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran
Tennis Ball as Homemade Weights
Lift weights in the comfort (and privacy) of your living room. Make a small slice in the ball and fill with pennies.
2 of 15Photos: Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran
Tennis Ball as Neck Massager
Give yourself a tension-relieving rubdown. Place two balls in a sock and lie on the floor so that the balls are under the base of your neck. Gently nod your head up and down.
3 of 15Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran
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.
4 of 15James Wojcik
Soda Bottle as Pasta Measurer
Said good-bye to soda? Fill the mouth of a dry 20-ounce bottle with uncooked spaghetti; the opening holds enough for a hearty single serving.
5 of 15James Wojcik
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.
6 of 15David Prince
Button Bag as Pill Carrier
When you’re on the go, leave the bulky pill bottles in the medicine cabinet and place only what you need in a plastic bag. You can keep your daily dose all buttoned up.
Laura Graham Stockton, California
7 of 15Frances Janisch
Contact Lens Case as Pill Storage
Easily transport non-prescription pills without all the bottles. Pop it into your handbag and you'll have a headache remedy handy when the man in seat 7A drones on about his herniated disk. Plus you'll keep pills out of contact with everything else in your purse
8 of 15Beth Galton
Ginger Root as Burn Soother
Soothe blisters and burns by applying fresh ginger juice directly to the sore spots.
9 of 15Charles Maraia
Lemon as Sore Throat Soother
Relieve a sore throat. Cut a lemon in half. Skewer one half over a medium flame on a gas stove or an electric burner set on high and roast until the peel turns golden brown. Let cool slightly, then mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Swallow the mixture.
10 of 15Beatriz Da Costa
Rubbing Alcohol as Ear Dryer
Evaporate water from your ears by using an eyedropper to insert a few drops of rubbing alcohol into each ear canal.
11 of 15Mark Lund
Bean Bag Animals as Ice Packs
Console an injured kid with a comforting ice pack. Chill a beanbag animal in the freezer and apply it to a little one’s wounds.
12 of 15Gemma Comas and James Merrell
Rubbing Alcohol as Ice Pack
To improvise an extra ice pack, mix one part rubbing alcohol with three parts water and freeze in a zippered plastic bag.
13 of 15Dana Gallagher
Tea Bag as Bug Bite Soother
A smart way to soothe itchy mosquito bites: Place a cold, used tea bag on the sting and let it sit for five minutes. Tea will help ease sunburn, too: Brew a pot and pour it into a bath of lukewarm water. Soak until you feel relief.
14 of 15James Wojcik
Dryer Sheet as Gym Bag Deodorizer
A sheet at the bottom of a gym bag will help keep odor down.
15 of 15James Wojcik
Electrical Tape as Racket Cushion
Add extra oomph to your backhand by making your racket more comfortable to grip. Simply wrap the handle with electrical tape for additional (colorful) cushioning.