March 6

Clever Ideas

Posted by lori . 22 Comments


I love a clever idea. Several weeks ago, I did a post, New Favorite Notions, and Veronica of Yes I Know, My Dogs Look Funny, mentioned that she stores and organizes Bettina and Blue’s collars on a pants hanger she picked up at Target.

Collar Holder Front

It has 5 different “levels”…

Collar Holder Back

…and the hanger arms swing out to allow you to hang your pants, or slip your martingale collars on.

Collar Holder Arm Open

I thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Then I thought, “Wonder what other clever ideas my friends have for using something intended for one purpose for something entirely different?” Here’s what you told me:

Madi’s Mom of Madi and Mom Down Home in NC immediately thought of a Welch’s Concentrated Grape Juice can used as a biscuit cutter by her mother-in-law, Grandma Margie.

Biscuit Cutter 1

Madi’s Mom still has that little can. Here’s what she told me…”We have been married for 43 years…she was using this can when we were dating, so it is probably 45 years old.  My daughter used to marvel at the precise size of each biscuit and often helped Grandma cut them. My mother-in-law, Margie, was a dear lady. I also treasure two of her handwritten recipes, especially  the one for gingerbread.”

Biscuit Cutter 2

Madi’s Mom also remembered that, “Grandma Margie was the person who taught me to put a few holes in the bottom of juice cans and cranberry sauce cans to get the contents to come out whole.”

Daisy, Bella & Roxy of Downunder Daisy mentioned that some of their mom’s pottery serving bowls have ended up as hold-alls for loose screws, paper clips, rubber bands and anything else she doesn’t want to throw out.

Clever Idea Bowl

Georgia Little Pea’s mom also had a great idea for re-purposing…”I use our old quilt covers or extra fitted sheets as Georgia’s bed covers. They’re big enough to be used 4 times over (4 different sides) so saves washing.” Georgia Little Pea’s blog is Little Dogs on Long Leashes.

Sue of Graceful Greyhounds mentioned that dolly pegs are ideal for wrapping ribbons round. Not only a great idea, but I learned that dolly pegs are what I call old-fashioned clothespins.

Dolly Peg

Urban Hounds hasn’t made one yet, but said that she loves the Kindle (e-reader) covers made of old books. Chick-Lit Designs has a bunch of cool covers and you can find tutorials online if you want to make your own.

Jay of The Depp Effect had several great ideas…”We use a pretty but cracked mug to hold teaspoons near the kettle, and also a placemat under the mugs when we make tea, to catch the drips.”

Tea Station

“We also use those free plastic grocery bags for peeling vegetables into, so once you’re done, you can pick the whole thing up and empty it into the compost bin – or if you don’t have one, into the waste.”


Another suggestion from Jay is something I do…”I’ve always got old tee shirts and towels, torn up into squares, under the kitchen sink to use for rag. A filthy cleaning job? No problem, use a rag and throw it away when you’re done.”


Jay also mentioned using free data CDs for coasters, and had this tip to dust meat…”pop the flour, seasoning, etc. into a Ziploc bag with the meat, give it a shake, and then when you’ve taken out the meat, you can just throw it away and voila! No clean-up! You can use washed-out previously used bags if they’ve only been used for relatively clean things, which is more environmentally-friendly.”

Sugar of Sugar The Golden Retriever told me this…”Mom always uses a mug (especially if it’s nice or odd) as a pencil/pen holder. Mom recently bought some picture frames (one of them has a flat back. She loves to drink coffee (she likes it hot and drinks a lot). Guess what she’s using as a coaster?” Isn’t that adorable! Of course, anything is adorable with Sugar’s cute face nearby. Do you see what the flowers are made of?…coffee sleeves.

Sugar's Coaster

Lynne of Dip-Dip and The Bridge might have the most unique idea for taking something intended for one purpose and using it for something entirely different. She uses yarn for plants.

Cacti 1

Well, she works a little crochet magic on the yarn first.

Cacti 2

Thank you, to everyone who submitted these great ideas. I also want to mention that at the very last minute, I emailed everyone (except Urban Hounds & Georgia Little Pea) and asked if they had the time, would they send me a photo of their idea. I hoped that I would get a few, but since I waiting so late, I would have completely understood if I didn’t get any. Everyone, EVERYONE, replied back to me. Bloggers are the kindest people. Thank you all, again!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 8:38 pm and is filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

22 Responses to " Clever Ideas"

  • Ann Paws says:

    All of those are great ideas! I really love those crochet cacti – very cute!

  • Daisy says:

    Fantastic ideas. We could use some of those plants….SHE forgets to water sometimes!

    We’ll have to remember some of those.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  • Thank you for including our recycling idea. I would have taken a picture because even I hardly understand what I wrote LOL. Like Jay, we use our old Tshirts as G’s towels, floor cloths and rags. And I peel and chop vegies and meat using old shopping bags, and I sometimes marinate meat the way he dusts his. Great minds? 🙂

    I am gobsmacked at the number of collars Bettina and Blue have!

    • lori says:

      I didn’t email you because I knew you were away helping your brother. I understood what you were saying. Of course, ideas that get me out of doing laundry are always crystal clear to me.

  • Woof! Woof! Wonderful Clever Ideas. Actually 3 of them is common in our house especially re-suing the grocery plastic bags from the stores. Madi’s moms’ idea is interesting… wish to see an actual biscuit. Golden Thanks Lori. Mom plans to do a makeover of that picture frame, after being used a a coaster. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  • Kat says:

    Very clever! All good ideas, but I was particularly smitten with the coffee-sleeve flowers.

  • Madi and Mom says:



  • genjiscorner says:

    Very cool collar hanger. Greyhounds seem to be collar collectors 🙂 Love Lynne’s crocheted cactus. Finally, a cactus the boys won’t pee on.

  • Some GREAT ideas here – and it’s interesting how more than one of us share the same tips, isn’t it? I see Georgia Little Pea has several in common with me.

    Love the cacti – they’re so funny and sweet. The cookie cutter is a stroke of genius, and the picture frame coaster, too! I wonder, do you need to run a bead of silicone round between the frame and the glass to prevent spills seeping inside?

    Thanks for including me, Lori! I was very happy to provide you with pictures. 🙂

    • lori says:

      A bead of silicone is a great idea. I think Sugar’s mom plans to recover this particular coaster as a frame one day.

  • stella rose says:

    those are just great ideas!
    stella rose and mags

  • Those are some great ideas! Love the collar rack – that is more collars than I have seen in a lifetime 🙂
    Great post Lori.
    Lynne x

  • Patty says:

    I loved seeing all the ideas. This was a fun post!

  • Finn says:

    Bloggers are the greatest people. And so creative! I love Madi’s biscuit cutter!

  • What a bunch of fun ideas! We don’t have that many dog collars, but if we did…

  • Jen says:

    I didn’t know those were called dolly pins either. I’ve heard of using an old tuna can for biscuit cutting, but a juice can leaves so much more room to hold on to!

    What a great post!

  • Fern Reed says:

    For now all I can say is WOW WOW WOW. Some really good ideas!!! I will read this again and again and bookmark it!!!!! Thnaks to all!!!!!

  • Fern Reed says:

    I am dyslexic!!!!

  • Sue says:

    Fab ideas. Already use some of them. Love the first one, but can’t show Polly, as she doesn’t have that many collars:)

  • Wow really cool ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • I LOVE the collar one! I just ordered Nola a Rubit (clip that holds her tags) so I can switch her collars around more, and of course get more of them!
    Nola’s Mom

  • These are ALL great ideas! Thanks for the ideas – going to have to work on the collar hanger for sure this weekend.

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