A few months ago, I mentioned in this space a method of making an elegant frame out of a beer can. Several disappointed readers have asked whether there is anything similar that might be used by non-beer- drinkers. So here is how to make a teetotalitarian picture frame out of a soft drinks bottle.

It's very simple. For a postcard-sized picture, you'll need a two-litre bottle. All you need do is cut a slice from the middle of the bottle to the required depth (having taken care to drink the contents of the bottle first), then, using either a cold iron or brute force, squash it flat.

The picture may then be cut to a tight fit, and slid into the frame. By ensuring that the frame is not totally flat, you will enable it not only to stand up on its own, but to create a pleasant, bowed effect on the picture itself.

If you started with an opaque plastic milk bottle, you may find it suitable for framing pictures of any hideous aunts you may have, or you may prefer to use it to make a useful plug remover.

Just slice a section from the middle of the bottle, and cut holes for the plug's prongs. Insert the plug from the inside, then plug it in. You now have a handle to pull it out by.

Bawn O'Beirne-Ranelagh