by Janetha on September 2, 2011

in random rambles

i recently got an email from real simple (love that mag!) and it contained an article that was full of new uses for old things. a few that caught my eye…

(source: all photos that aren’t mine were taken from

ladder as a towel rack.


uhh.. genius! this is probably my favorite one. in my master bathroom, we can’t seem to keep a towel rack up. we have drilled several holes and tried to get one to stay, but the walls hate us and there are no logically placed studs. we have also tried to use those command hooks, but the towels are too heavy and we are left with patches of torn-off paint. behold, the mess that is my bathroom wall:


towel rack fail. i think i need to find a cute ladder!

wine rack as a magazine holder.


we don’t drink wine in our house, but we do have a TON of magazines.


i subscribe to way too many magazines and they sure pile up. this is such a cute idea.

paper clip dispenser as a bobby pin holder.


WHY did i never think of this?!? my bobby pins are in a messy, tangled heap in my bathroom drawer. it’s so annoying. i need to get a paper clip dispenser STAT.

file folder labels for cord identification.


super smart. i need to utilize this idea in my office. i am always tracking a plug back to the unit it came from. since the cords somehow always manage to get tangled, this can be a hassle. the simple labeling of each plug is a no brainer—another WHY did i never think of this?!?

earrings as push pins.


this is such a cute idea! i have gauged ears, which means i have NO use for regular earrings.


why not repurpose them and use them for push pins? way cuter than your standard thumb tack.

coat rack as jewelry holder.


cute and efficient. this is a great idea. i am so bad when putting necklaces away, they always end up tangled in my jewelry box.


a cute coat rack would not only solve the tangle problem—it would add a little character to the room.


i did a little repurposing of my own this morning! we had chicken enchiladas for dinner last night, and this morning i had ENCHILADA EGGS!


it was marshall’s idea, actually. i took three egg whites and scrambled them with the insides of one of the leftover chicken enchiladas. i topped the eggs with greek yogurt and hot sauce and breakfast was served.



HAPPY THREE DAY WEEKEND! i will pop in sometime or another, i am sure. if you are getting out of town for the holiday, travel safe!


1. do you have any new uses for old things to share with the class?

2. any fun labor day weekend plans?

xo. janetha g.

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Mary (A Merry Life) September 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

paper clip dispenser as a bobby pin holder. = GENIUS.

earrings as push pins is a good idea too. I have a bunch of earrings that have lost their mate.

Thanks for sharing such good ideas. :)

Sweet and Savvy September 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I also subscribe to what feels like 1000 magazines! They pile up every where and I hardly ever use them for any other purpose.

Diana September 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I love these ideas! SO much! I am just moving and determined to make the most of my space and live life at least somewhat like an adult, so I will definitely be putting a few of these to use – thanks for posting!

Heather @ Better With Veggies September 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm

So many cute ideas – I love the file folder labels for cord organization & earrings as pushpins. I still use my earrings, but sometimes you end up with only one…. :) I found a similar idea on pinterest recently re-using silverware trays for jewelry organization, which I thought was really cool:

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List September 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I like looking at all your jewelry….all of my jewelry is 10 years outdated and currently housed in an old cigar box…
maybe retro chic?

Missy S. September 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

This post actually made me giddy! Oh this exciting life I lead. Anyway paper clip dispenser as bobby pin holder seriously going to get one now! thanks for everyday life useful posts.

Felicia September 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Pet peeve alert! You have STRETCHED ears, NOT gauged.


Janetha September 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hmm.. we say gauged here in Utah. Never heard anyone say stretched! However, I hate it when people refer to their earrings as “gauges”–they are just earrings.

araceli September 3, 2011 at 12:46 am

My ears are gauged as well. I always figured that gauged and stretched were the same.

AceRunn September 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

Yep, they are called “gauged” here in the Mid-North-East too!

Sarah September 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I love the wine rack/magazine idea! Mine seem to pile up in a mess before I can read them.

I have a wood ladder similar to the one in the picture I got from Z Gallerie a few years ago (used to hold blankets, now holds towels). When moving across the country, the ONE thing my boyfriend and I wanted to make sure made the move was that ladder – love it!

Does using an empty fruit basket as an accidental junk mail holder count as re-purposing? ;)

Janetha September 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm

For sure! Actually one of the things on the list was using a high chair that attaches to the table for junk mail :P

Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers September 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Ooooo! I like the coat rack/jewelry holder idea! Trust me, our ladder would look so funny as a towel rack (typical ugly silver kind of ladder)

Janetha September 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Hahaha–awesome visual :)

Bridget September 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Just curious about the gauged ears — why do you do that? Is it just to enable wearing more interesting (and perhaps heavier) earrings? I see that all the time on people I don’t know and I haven’t had the nerve to ask! I never noticed before in your pics that you have that too.

Janetha September 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I think you can actually wear more interesting earrings with regular earrings! The only downfall to my ear holes is that I can’t wear a lot of super cute earrings I see in stores. However, I do love the earrings I do wear, so it’s a win :) I gauged my earlobes for fun as a kid (when I was 14 I started) and then slowly stretched them bigger and bigger until I got to where I am today. Marshall’s are also gauged–his are pretty big. I think it’s just something you do if you like the look of it. Just like if you like the look of curly hair you’d maybe get a perm or if you like the look of a nose ring you’d pierce your nose. Totally personal preference–no other reasoning behind it!

jessiker September 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm


Brooklyn @ Veggie Table September 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I mean seriously…why in the beep haven’t I thought of these things before…earrings as push pins?!?! ladder as a towel rack?!?! Ahhh I love this post – thanks for sharing! Happy long weekend!

Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs September 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I love articles like these but they always leave me feeling dumb because I never think of things like that.

The bobby pin thing is pretty awesome. Same with the earrings. I have a huge stash of missmatched earrings that I don’t want to get rid of.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I love the wine rack holder for magazines. keeps them visible yet discreet..and organized!

Never knew you had gauged ears. I thought they were but wasn’t for sure, for sure. I know you only have one tat :)

I save all my old glass jars and use them for food storage (i.e. reduces amt of tupperware i need to buy) or for cotton balls, qtips, or anything random.

Clare @ Fitting It All In September 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm

<3 Real Simple. In college I used one of those plastic craft containers (usually for beading I think?) for my jewelry. And now I use cute beer koozies as pen holders:)

Mara Shorr September 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I do this now and it works SO well! I own 4 from Target, and you can see from the top what’s in them, all nice and organized. I have yet to find an “expensive” box that works as well :)

Erin @ The Grass Skirt September 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I love all of these! I use a silverware organizer to organize and store my jewelry. It works like a charm!

Matt @ The Athlete's Plate September 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I’m hanging out with the lady friend this weekend :)

Enjoy your holiday!

Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

okay this is COOL. Just like you ;)

Love the ideas!! I do the jewelery/coat hanger thing, and it totally rocks. score! I am now going to do the pushpin/earring idea–thanks!

Kelsey September 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm

SUPER FUN post! I always love new fun ideaS!!!!!!!!!!!

Ali Mc September 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

WHAT GAUGE???? mine are a 2g and have been for 10 years now :) YAY

PS: Colin is a woodworker and he made me my necklace holder just like that coat rack <3

janetha September 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Mine are a 0

Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy September 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I love that magazine. The problem is I always get a million fabulous ideas from it am awful at following through. However the wine rack is genius and I just happen to have an extra one, and I’m hunting down and extra paper clip holder at work first thing Monday morning.

BroccoliHut September 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Aha! Love this! My sister gave me a wine rack for my birthday last year, and it still sits beside me EMPTY. I do have a ridiculous number of magazines lying around though…

maria @ a life to Bragg about September 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I JUST organized all of my necklaces onto a coat rack in my closet! I love it! And I also love the idea of the bobby pin holder thing, I have the same exact problem and it drives me CRAZY. I’m super type A about our house though haha ;)

Therese September 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Ok first off…HI!! I missed you!!! I am so excited to see how you do with this Jamie Eason challenge. I am doing P90X now, but you know I love a good workout challenge so hers could be my next adventure :)

Did I mention I missed you?!

Kristina @ spabettie September 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm

what IS it with bathroom walls!? bizarre, that has happened in so many places I’ve lived. current baths = NO towel racks. ;)

bobby pin holder – great idea!

in my old house I used a beautiful wrought iron gate as a pot rack – hanging from the ceiling. I loved it, and it was HUGE! :)

Missy September 2, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Real Simple is so good – but it makes you feel real dumb because when you see it, it just makes sense and you wonder why you have not thought of it already!
I once saw a jewelry rack made from pretty drawer pulls put into a coat rack – it was very lovely as well.

I wondered one time why you said you couldn’t wear “regular’ earrings – now I know!!

Sophia September 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Ooh I used to subscribe to Real Simple, too. But considering that I’m a college student living in a rented apartment right now, I gave it up for Los Angeles Magazine.

I collect empty jam jars, and use it for “mugs” and candy jars. they’re awesome because you recycle them, they last forever, and they insulate heat or cold!

Errign September 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

My labor weekend plans so far seem to consisit of reading your blog in a bar…hardcore or totally sketch, I’m not sure!
I’ve never repurposed anything – I’m not crafty!

Lisa @ I'm an Okie September 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

This is like Pinterest DIY board heaven.

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 3, 2011 at 12:20 am

I love the coat rack for jewelry one! That’s such a great idea. My necklaces are all tangled in a drawer. Might have to pick up a coat rack this weekend :)

Jessy September 3, 2011 at 3:38 am

Janetha, I’ve seen you mention spaghetti squash on your blog a few times – how do you prepare it? My mother’s friend brought me one (I’ve never tried it before!) and I have no idea how to prepare it. Bake it, cook it?

janetha September 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I have a post coming your way with a tutorial!

cathy September 3, 2011 at 5:55 am

cool ideas, j! thanks for sharing! real simple magazine IS the best for easy and interesting ideas. i love the ladder and the earrings as push pins ideas the best.
this weekend: labour day weekend feels like new years to me, so i am looking forward to doing some cleaning and organizing and decluttering, believe it or not. and i’m working!
have a super long weekend!!

Lindsay@ biking before bed September 3, 2011 at 8:03 am

My favorite one is using a beer koozie to hold a can of guys shaving cream. Then it doesn’t leave those nasty rust rings in the shower!

janetha September 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Oh! Good one!

corey @ Learning Patience September 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

That is a great idea for a bobby pin holder….
Have a wonderful holiday weekend – off to go surfing!
xoxo from Tobago

Danielle September 3, 2011 at 11:09 am

LOVE THESE!!!!!! I just told my husband about the paper clip holder/bobby pin holder and he practically hugged me. My bobby pins are all over the house!

Lee September 3, 2011 at 11:43 am

I love Real Simple. It’s the best combination of things that I am interested in.

I’m going to Las Vegas for the weekend (or really until Wed). I’ve never been.

Jess@atasteofconfidence September 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I love the earrings as pushpins! I have so many that I lost one of or that i don’t like anymore:)

Katie September 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I love the wine rack magazine holder…so good! Also, the bobby pin thing – genius, indeed. I keep mine in an old Altoids box, but the it’s not nearly as convenient as that.

Allison September 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

So many great ideas! I did a little repurposing myself this past week and got crafty in my classroom- old coffee jars are now arts and crafts holders [markers, pens, etc.]! I totes am gonna use the bobby pin holder idea and earrings as tacks!

holly September 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

my dearest janetha bean,

i just caught up on ALOT of your posts…and it was the best way to spend a 2:30pm saturday afternoon, let me tell you! loved the tahoe recaps. the recipes (want to make those sundried tomato turkey balls…possibly tonight for my dad?), the fun (LOVED this post! well, actually i just really love real simple mag), the farmers market (i need utah peaches in my life), soooo jealous you got to lunch with teri (<3 both of you), am so happy just how loved you are by marshall, your family, friends and blog friends and just am so glad things seem to be going well for you. i love you so much, and can't WAIT for the day we get to hang out again. get yo asses to wisconsin!!!!


Jackie @ That Deep Breath September 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

These are fantastic ideas!! I seriously need to get a coat rack for my jewlery…it’s a mess. I used to use an old baton from when I was little and just hung my necklaces on it but they got super tangled up.

Betty September 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I have a coat rack at my parents house when I was in high school for necklaces!! Such a great use!!!

I love love love the idea for Bobby pins, I have too many cause 1 out of every 3 get ‘stretched’ (can’t think of the correct term for that right now) because my hairs so damn thick!

janetha September 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I know exactly what you mean by stretched bobby pins. UGH.

kathleen @ the daily crumb September 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

i love these ideas! especially the jewelry. my husband is almost at his wit’s end with my necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc. strewn about our dresser! the magazine holder is also super clever!!

momma b. September 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Wow I love these ideas and I can’t believe we have never thought of them (because you know who smart we are)!!! The earrings as push pins is my favorite…..I always wondered what to do with those left over earrings that don’t have a match… if you can just figure out what to do with those miss matched socks hmmmmm!!!

fittingbackin September 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Great ideas!

I didn’t know you had gauged ears! I’ve never had my ears pierced – i’m weird!

I’m SO doing the bobby pin thing – they’re all over my house!

Naomi September 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

umm i am LOVING those ideas!! esp the earrings as cork bvoard pins! I also think there is an earring in that photo that I have in my ears as we speak! LOL

I have so many hair elastics I would love to find a creative way to keep them organized and handy so I dont find one in every cabinet and drawer I open!!

enchilada eggs…love it!

Ananda September 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

My sister and I both subscribe to about 5 magazines each and whenever we see each other we trade the ones we have already read…. I still have a lot of magazines around my house but not nearly as many as if I subscribed to all 10 publications. Plus we also give them to mom after we’ve read them, so our subscriptions get a lot of mileage. Good thing our mom doesn’t mind reading older issues.

I always wondered about your ears. What gauge are they? I think that gauged earrings are funkier/cooler than most regular earrings.

janetha September 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I love the trading idea! My ears are a zero.

Mara Shorr September 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

What about an over the door coat hanger for your towel problem? Like this: We bought one at Home Depot a few years ago when I needed a coat rack at my office. No holes required!

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