Ways to Recycle Plastic And Cloth Items For Home Use

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Many items at home are made of plastic and cloth. Many of these items can be recycled for further use in the kitchen, garden, or as decorative items. Here are some suggestions

Bottle caps

When your children have lost some of the checkers from their game, make substitutes by painting 12 soft-drink bottle caps red and an equal number black. Add a few extras of each color just in case some of the new ones get lost again.

Plastic mesh bags

Use a plastic mesh bag from oranges or other produce to contain baby bottle nipples and caps for washing in the dishwasher.

Hold a plastic net bag and put it in the bottom of the kitchen soap dish. It keeps the soap dry and serves as a handy pot scrubber that does not collect the junk it scrubs off.

Plastic berry baskets

Plastic berry baskets are ideal for holding small objects, like baby bottle caps, that usually end up on the bottom of the dishwasher. Put them in one basket, put another upside down on top and secure both with a rubber band. No more “lost” bottle caps!


Luncheon or dinner tablecloths, cut and hemmed, become wonderful kitchen towels. Since the tablecloths are normally linen or excellent-quality cotton, they’re lint-free.

When a large tablecloth turns frayed along the edges, cut it into runners for the dining room table. For a festive touch, sew on inexpensive trim from a fabric store. The runners look really pretty on the table and are easy to iron!


When white bed sheets wear around the edges, do not throw them away to use as rags. Easily cut and sewn, they can be recycled to make pretty curtains for nearly any small to standard window. Floral, pastel, striped or plaid sheets make attractive no-iron curtains as well.

Fabric scraps

Save scraps of fabric from sewing projects. The prettiest ones make quilt patches, cushion covers and the like. Sew together the less pretty bits, like scraps of pellon, plain muslin and quilt filling, for potholder padding. Covered using gingham squares and bound with bias strips, these pretty pot holders make attractive Christmas gifts.

Rather than throwing away extra inches of fabric from shortened skirts, create belts, scarves, sashes, pocket handkerchiefs or headbands to match the outfits the material originally came from or to contrast with others.

Old cushions

The flat, rectangular foam cushions from discarded modern chairs make great extra sleeping pads for visiting children, TV-watching floor cushions, bed pillow props for those who like to read in bed or exercise floor mats. When not in use, the cushions can be stored out of the way under a bed.


When your kids outgrow their sandbox, do not discard it-put it to good use. Take out some of the sand, fill it with rich soil and turn it into the kids’ first veggie/flower garden or one for yourself.


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