Crumple bags to fill the bottom of a large pot that's too deep for your plant (but be sure not to cover the drainage hole, if it has one). You can cut down on the amount of potting soil needed, and since plastic packs less heft than dirt, you'll be able to move a big planter around with a bit less grunting.
2 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bag as Gift Wrap
No time to make an emergency pre-party run for wrapping paper? Riffle through your bags to find the prettiest and most colorful―or just ones without writing. Triple-bag the gift, then tie all three sets of handles into a knot. Cut the tops of the loops and fan out the pieces to make a plume.
3 of 34David 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
4 of 34Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Linden Elstran
Cereal Bag as Crumb Maker
These durable bags can take a beating. Fill one up and give it a whack with a rolling pin to make crumbs out of crackers, cornflakes, or candy. Remember to twist the top closed to prevent flyaways.
5 of 34James Wojcik
Zippered Plastic Bag as Pencil Case
Always have your pencils and PTA notes (or toddler’s crayons and doodle paper) in the same spot: Just punch holes along the nonzippered edge of a sandwich bag, then click it into a three-ring binder.
6 of 34David Prince
Paper Towel Tube as Plastic Bag Storage
Contain plastic bags in a drawer or under the cabinet by stuffing them into an empty tube and pulling out as needed.
7 of 34James Baigrie
Zippered Plastic Bag as Compact Case
Fend off pressed powder by storing your purse compact in a securely zipped plastic bag.
8 of 34James Baigrie
Zippered Plastic Bag as Crumb Catcher
Crush graham crackers for a pie crust (without all the mess) by filling a bag, then running a rolling pin over it.
9 of 34Kate Sears
Zippered Plastic Bag as Funnel
To funnel peppercorns into a mill, fill a baggie with the spices, snip off a corner, and pour the pepper through the hole.
10 of 34Antonis Achilleos
Zippered Plastic Bag as Frosting Dispenser
If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a plastic bag to decorate a cake or cupcakes. Scoop frosting into the bag, seal it shut, snip off a tiny corner, and start piping.
11 of 34James Baigrie
Zippered Plastic Bag as Wax Remover
To freeze wax so you can remove it from a tablecloth, fill a plastic bag with ice cubes and cover the wax with it for about 20 minutes.
12 of 34James Wojick
Zippered Plastic Bag as Soup Saver
Stockpile soup by pouring extra portions into baggies, then laying them flat in the freezer. Once hardened, you can stack them up and save them for a rainy day.
13 of 34Rick Lew
Zippered Plastic Bag as Packing Material
Cushion precious cargo in a box. Before closing it all the way, slide a straw into the top, and inflate. Then remove the straw and completely seal the protective bubble.
14 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bags As Wet Umbrella Holders
To avoid dripping water all over your (or anyone else's) house on a rainy day, pop your wet umbrella into a bag as you cross the threshold. You can even tie the handles snugly and throw it back into your purse―unless, of course, your bumbershoot is of Mary Poppins proportions but your carpetbag isn't.
15 of 34David Prince
Paper-Towel Tube as Plastic Bag Holder
Store and dispense plastic bags by stuffing them in a cardboard tube, then place it in a drawer for handy retrieval. A tidier kitchen is in the bag.
16 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bag as Kitchen-Cleanup Aid
For no-fuss cleanup, instead of peeling fruits and vegetables over a cutting board or into the sink, do it over a plastic bag. When you're done, flip the peelings into the garbage and rinse the bag to reuse another day, or simply toss the whole shebang into the trash.
17 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bag as Knee Pads
Need to kneel in your garden to pull weeds, or on the street to change a tire, but don't want to preserve the memory eternally on your pant legs? Grab a couple of plastic bags and tie one around each knee, covering the area that will be exposed to dirt and grime.
18 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bag as Paintbrush Preserver
You're painting the kitchen when an emergency (kid's sick at school; Brad Pitt is Ellen's special guest) calls you off the job. To keep brushes and rollers from drying out, place them in bags, and tie them or wrap them with rubber bands to keep out air. The tools will stay moist and protected for a day or so.
19 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bag as Cookbook Protector
To keep the cookbook clean while attempting that "easy to follow" seven-layer-cake recipe, wrap a bag around everything but the page you're using. Although it won't keep you from (inevitably) spattering the list of ingredients with vanilla extract, the rest of the book, at least, will remain pristine.
20 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bags as Hand Protectors
Fact: There are some things you'd just as soon not touch with your bare hands. Use bags as gloves to handle what's messy (say, chicken carcasses) or just plain gross (like the little "presents" the dog leaves in the front yard), then turn them inside out to trap the offending matter within for easy disposal.
21 of 34Kana Okada
Plastic Bag as Makeshift Rain Hat
A 30 percent chance of rain… hmm. Do you tote around an umbrella (maybe for nothing) or head out sans protection (and risk getting drenched)? Third option: Tuck a plastic bag into your pocket or purse. Then, if you're caught in a downpour, you can use it as an on-the-spot rain hat to protect your do.
22 of 34Kana Okada
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.)
23 of 34Beatriz da Costa
Tissue Box as Plastic Bag Holder
Dispense plastic grocery bags with ease. Stuff your empties into and old tissue box and store under the sink. Then pull out one at a time when you need it.
24 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Beauty Product Storage
For overnight trips, fill bags with single portions of shampoo and conditioner. Protect Q-tips and cotton balls from moisture, or stash powder compacts in bags to prevent spills in your purse.
25 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Office Supply Storage
Use various sizes to collect stamps, paper, and pens for writing notes or paying bills; stow markers to prevent ink stains; or keep paintbrushes moist during do-it-yourself projects.
26 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Prep Bowl
Reduce food-preparation time by storing prechopped ingredients in these see-through bags.
27 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Junk Drawer Organizer
Keep like items stored together in your catchall drawer. It'll make it easier to find loose change or spare batteries quickly.
28 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Record Keeper
Keep receipts handy and wrinkle-free. Corral keys, your phone, and loose change before hitting airport security. Store your car’s insurance card and registration in the glove compartment.
29 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Jewelry Storage
Snack-size bags are perfect for packing a weekend’s worth of jewelry. Bag silver jewelry to reduce tarnishing. Dedicate a bag to extra earring backs.
30 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Clothing Storage
Off-season, maintain clothes by putting them in large bags. When traveling with a child, use a jumbo bag to pack a fresh outfit for her for each vacation day. Stash spare linens underneath a bed; add a fabric-softener sheet for a fresh smell.
31 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Small Appliance Storage
Keep dust off of seldom used cooking tools and small appliances by storing them in a sealed bag when not in use.
32 of 34Quentin Bacon
Zippered Plastic Bag as Manual Storage
Put instructions in bags and tape them to the backs of the corresponding appliances.
33 of 34Rita Maas
Zippered Plastic Bag as Grated Cheese Catcher
Place the grater in a bag and keep it there as you shred a block of cheese. The bag catches all the shavings, and the kitchen counter stays clean. It's just another reason to smile when you say "cheese."
34 of 34James Wojcik
Zippered Plastic Bag as Gum Remover
Remove stuck-on gum. Rub with a baggie filled with ice cubes until the goo hardens, then shatter it with a blunt object and vacuum it up.