Repurposing Boxes as Organizers

Boxes and boxes and boxes!

Ever go grocery shopping at a wholesale warehouse such as Costco or Sam’s Club? Sometimes, you end up with boxes of stuff because of the large quantities they sell! Sure, you can recycle them, but why not put them to some good use if you have needs for containers.

1) Organizers for Recycling and Others: Wouldn’t there be some better use by  separating them out to be recycling organizers for your glass, metal, plastic, and paper recyclables? Of course aside from organizing your recycles, you could use different size boxes to hold bath supplies, dry food packages, etc. I put my cooking oil and cooking supplies in a small cardboard box with no flaps. The box will catch the oil if there is an oil leak and it also helps me keep all my cooking supplies organized so I can just reach for them in the same general area when I cook.

2) Storage/Organizer and Moving: Some sizes are perfect for storage. The boxes with notches (such as those holding fruit) tend to be nicely stackable!  In addition, there are holes on the ends you can use as handles to put your hands through, making them rather easy to move.

Stackable Apple Boxes

Stackable Apple Boxes

3) Trash Boxes: Some sizes are even great for mini garbage cans.  Just put a garbage bag in and voila!

Reused Waffle Box as Trash Can

Reused Waffle Box as Trash Can

4) Packages: Package boxes with flaps can be reused for mailing packages. You can use shoe boxes for this too.

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Worried about your containers looking ugly and advertising for orange juice, fruit, and what not? Fear not! You can remedy this by simply getting something like  wrapping paper, wall paper, or scrap book paper to cover the outside of the boxes! By decorating boxes this way, you can simply even just leave them as decorative props!

Now, guess what? You can do this with tissue boxes too!

Take for example, this empty Kleenex tissue box. I happened to need something to hold maps and bus schedules, so I cut along the diagonals on the top of the tissue box and then taped the sides inside the box. Since there were already flowers on the box, I didn’t feel the need to rewrap it and I didn’t mind the “Kleenex” on the bottoms of each side.

Tape flaps inside the box.

Tape flaps inside the box.

Kleenex Brochure/Pencil Holder

Kleenex Brochure/Pencil Holder

 

Dead Tennis Balls? Free Chair Leg Cushions

“It’s dead. Garbage.”

NOT!

Dead tennis balls are balls that have depressurized and are flat, thus making them terrible for tennis. Instead of just tossing the balls into the garbage, you can use them in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, tennis racquets don’t seem to be as versatile. Definitely don’t do what Number 18 did here.

Reviving the Dead Tennis Ball

Share your tennis ball uses! What do you do?

1. Chair Leg Cushions: Using tennis balls to cushion your chairs prevents them from scratching the floor or getting stuck in holes/dents in the flooring. It also makes sliding the chair quieter, so you won’t have to worry about hearing that screeching noise again! You won’t need carpeting either!

Here’s how: Cut an X into the ball with a knife. I used a Swiss Army knife because I didn’t want to use a kitchen knife on it. You want to cut through the rubbery layer and make the X wide enough so you can insert the chair leg into the ball through the X. If you cut the X too big, your chair leg will wiggle and it may fall out of the ball. Then insert your chair leg in! Repeat for your other chair legs, and you are done!

Tennis Ball Chair Shoe

Tennis Ball Chair Shoe

2. Door Handle Cushions/Door Stops: Similar to the chair leg cushions, dead tennis balls can also cushion your door handle hitting the wall. You can either put the ball on part of the handle or just place it against the wall.

3. Toys for Pets – Flat tennis balls can be chew toys and throw toys for pets.

4. Tennis Ball Chair: Apparently, Gabriel Coch and Hugh Hayden decided to create a tennis ball chair since tennis balls are not degradable. Interesting concept! Compare Coch’s chair  and Hayden’s chair. Are they comfortable? What do you think?

Coch’s Chair

Hayden’s Chair

5. Batting/target practice: Hang the tennis ball up with a string, and you can bat at it without it going too far or use it as target practice!

6. Scruff remover: Gizmodo shares that tennis balls can be placed on the end of a broomstick and then rubbed against walls to remove scruffs!

7. Storage: DoItandHow  cuts a slit in the tennis ball and uses it to hold objects such as envelopes, towels, key, pens, and even a bottle. MANIkordstudio offers various tennis ball coin wallet designs.

Do It and How’s Tennis Ball Helper

MANIkordstudio’s Tennis Ball Coin Purse

8. Jar Openers/Better Grip: Since the tennis ball is rubbery on the inside, if you cut the tennis ball in half, you can use it to help open jars or to get a better grip on any other items.

9. Garage Parking Position Indicator: Gizmodo also shares that tennis balls can be hung from a string on your garage ceiling so that it touches the windshield when your vehicle is in the correct parking spot.

10. Dryer fluffers: Clean balls in the dryer will bounce around in the dryer as the dryer is spinning and help fluff laundry.

11. Weights: Fill tennis balls with sand, coins and create your own DYI weights! In addition, Gizmodo notes that Minnesota kids use filled tennis balls as pucks.

12: Stress Ball: You can even use the tennis ball as a stress ball. If it’s too hard to squeeze, make a slit in it to help depressurize it even more.

13. Dulling Hammer Force: If you put a tennis ball on the end of the hammer, it will soften the blow.

14. Massagers: Fill up a couple of tennis balls in a sack or sock and then move it back and forth. Kudos to DYILife on this one.

15. Childproof Doors: Gizmodo states that placing a tennis ball over a door knob keeps small children from opening doors. I’m not really sure how this one works.

16. Pool Cleaners: DYILife shares that floating tennis balls in swimming pools allow the balls to absorb the body oil, which causes the “shiny oily sheen” on the pool water. Thus, oil is removed, cleaning the pool.

Pizza Perfume – Say What?

For the polls below, if you vote “Other”, please write your explanation in Comments so everyone can see it. Thanks!

Admittedly, this post is not about a DIY project although I was requested by a coworker to make pizza perfume. Clearly, since I do not have the knowledge to create pizza perfume (besides smearing pizza on someone or ordering so much pizza to make the pizza smell cling to someone’s clothes), I did the next best thing: googled to see if one existed. Lo and behold, miraculously, pizza perfume does exist!

What do you think about it? Crazy? Is pizza perfume something only one gender would prefer smelling? One of my female coworkers was utterly repelled by the idea while one of my male coworkers decided it was the “best thing evar” because he would be able to smell pizza on girls. Note that he didn’t say he wanted the perfume as a cologne on himself.  Share your thoughts? Would you want the perfume/cologne on yourself, on someone else, or no one!

Pizza Hut released its “Eau de Pizza Hut” in Canada in 2012 after receiving a huge response to a promotional call for people to suggest names for the scent of “the smell of a box of Pizza Hut pizza being opened.” [Source Link]  Apparently, Pizza Hut thought it would be a romantic idea to release Pizza Perfume/Cologne in the U.S.  this year for Valentine’s Day!  As the Huffington Post reported, only 72 packages were available due to the perfume being part of a limited edition romantic package.  So, what did it smell like? Ironically, samplers said cinnamon buns….

OMG! Overripe Bananaaaaas! Oops!

~ B A N A N A S ~

Click that link!

….Well, now that you have that song stuck in your head, you must have figured out what this post is going to be about! Bananas!

What do you do if  you discover bananas that you had forgotten you bought two weeks ago? Well, here are some ways to use these bananas, provided they aren’t spoiled and have mold growing over them… or flies making homes of them.

Now, if you want to use them for later, you can just shove them in the freezer. The banana peel will turn completely black. However, the bananas will still be usable.

1) Banana Smoothies

This requires no skill whatsoever and only really needs a blender or food processor. Via a relative, I had access to a small blender, which was only big enough to make a cup or so of smoothie at a time.  It was a Bella Cucina Blender, and I didn’t put ice into the smoothie because I was not sure if the blades would break.

Bella Cucina Blender

Smoothies are as simple as just dumping banana slices and cold water into the blender and mixing it! Add some slices of strawberry, and voila, you have banana and strawberry smoothie!

Banana Smoothie Ingredients:

  • Sliced banana pieces
  • Sliced other fruit pieces (Optional) (Raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and other berries their size are small enough that they do not need to be cut.)
  • Cold water (If you have ice, then it can just be room temperature water). If you are not lactose intolerant, you can add milk instead of water.
  • Ice (Optional)
  • Yogurt (Optional – I find that adding yogurt brings out the flavor of the smoothie more.)

Instructions:

  1. Slice your fruits and ingredients. If you are using ice, make sure your blender/food processor can break the ice without breaking down.
  2. Depending on how thick you want you smoothie, you will vary the amount of ingredients. If you want a more water-y smoothie, put less fruit in and more water… or just add more water compared to the fruit. The more fruit there is, the thicker the smoothie becomes. Howeve,r you can’t have the smoothie be too thick. If you don’t put enough water, your blender may stall because it gets too dense to mix the ingredients.
  3. Put the ingredients into the blender.
  4. Turn on the blender/mixer and let it run until the smoothie seems alright. With the Bella blender, I blended in increments of 30 seconds. It was done by 1 minute. Of course, this time will vary depending on the mixer you use and the amount of ingredients you put in.

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2) Banana Bread

There are plenty of banana bread recipes out there. I have done chocolate chip cranberry banana bread, chocolate chip banana bread, plain old banana bread, peppermint chocolate chip banana bread.., which I modified due to lack of ingredients. However, when I previously made banana bread, I did not have an over excess of 7 bananas to get rid of.

So, I decided to get creative, and I ended up with Family Spice’s Chocolate Almond Banana Bread with a few modifications because I did not have the same ingredients, and I was too lazy to go out and buy the ingredients I did not have. Note that if you use Family Spice’s original recipe, it is most likely healthier than what I’ve come up with.

Chocolate Almond Banana Bread

Chocolate Almond Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour (bread flour might work better)
  •  6 packs of hot cocoa powder(I used Swiss Miss, but any other cocoa mix works…. or you can also melt a whole lot of Hershey bars)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • A dash of salt
  • 1 cup over-ripe bananas, mashed (I mashed about 3 whole bananas)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Almond pieces (Almond slices look nicer, but I didn’t have sliced almonds, so I chopped them into pieces with a large knife)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix all the wet ingredients (bananas, water,olive oil, egg, vanilla extract). I did not have an electric mixer or whisk, so I just used a straight wooden turner. )
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time to the mix. Add sugar, baking soda, flour, cocoa powder, almond, salt. (Having a mixer will make combining the dry and wet ingredients faster and easier.)
  4. Reserve some chocolate chips and dump the rest into the batter.
  5. If you don’t have a nonstick pan, apply non-stick spray to a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. I just lined the inside of the pan with aluminum foil. Parchment paper may be better.
  6. Pour batter inside.
  7. Top with reserved chocolate chips.
  8. Bake bread in oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  9. Let the bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

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3) Banana Cupcakes and Cookies!

Of course, if bread is possible then cookies and cupcakes are possible too! Below are banana pumpkin cupcakes. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to locate the recipe I used, but if I find it, I will upload the recipe.

Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes

Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Chiquita actually has banana recipes for all stages of a banana’s life. Click the blue box with the wheel of bananas and then select your stage of banana!

Read about more banana bread recipes in December’s blog post.