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Originally published Friday, January 3, 2014 at 8:09 PM

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Repurposing old items can give new life to household objects

Recycling is a good thing to do, of course. But you can also repurpose items and use them yourself.

Scripps Howard News Service

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Recycling is a good thing to do, of course. But you can also repurpose items and use them yourself.

Take, for example, an old mattress spring.

Attach a full-, king- or even crib-size mattress spring to the wall and you have a message board. Clothespins can be used to attach the messages or the pictures you wish to display.

Or it can be used to hang clothes — just put the clothes on hangers and hook the hangers to the springs.

Do you have an old wooden ladder? Separate it and use the side with the rungs on the wall. Hang the rungs vertically on the wall, and you have an instant bookshelf or knickknack rack. And since the ladder is made of wood, you can paint it any color that suits your decorating needs.

Did you injure a leg or foot and have to use crutches? And are those crutches stored someplace (just in case)?

They can be used to create a standing shelf by removing the rubber caps at the bottom and sawing off the round pieces of wood that the caps were covering. Attach hinges to the bottom. Flip the crutches so the arm supports are on the floor and the hinges are facing the ceiling.

You can now add shelves where the hinges are and through the middle where your hands grabbed the crutches.

Old suitcases are great for repurposing. An end table or nightstand can be made by simply attaching the suitcase to a four-legged backless stool.

You can also use an old suitcase to make a dog bed. Open the suitcase and place a cushion inside. Or take the top off the suitcase and use the bottom with a cushion inside.

Old umbrella hooks can be used to make a coat rack. Cut off the hooks from the umbrellas and attach them to a board. Attach the board to the wall, and your hooks are ready to use.


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