Don't junk it ... use it More readers' ideas creatively recycled

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Indy Lifestyle Online
This week, another instalment of readers' own uses for things that might otherwise have been thrown away. The illustration shows three ideas of Mrs C Thomas of Worthing, West Sussex. Starting with a four-pint milk container, you slice off the top for use, with the lid off, as a funnel, or with the lid on as a scoop for pet food or seed compost.

Meanwhile, the bottom section makes a dish for soap or Brillo pads, and can even be used as a pastry cutter for jam turnovers or small Cornish pasties. Finally, the middle part may be cut into strips with pointed ends, to be used as seed tray markers. Or, says Mrs Thomas, you can leave it intact to be used as a cuff to protect small garden plants.

Following our earlier ideas for things to do with beer cans, Mike Mitchell of Manchester offers some recycling for those who prefer the bottled variety: "Drink 200 bottles of your favourite beer or soft drink," he begins. You then nail the metal bottle-caps upside down in neat lines to a rectangular piece of wood about a foot square and an inch thick. Place outside kitchen door as an effective mud-scraper. Hose down occasionally to clean off the mud.

Finally, a decorative idea from Ms Lee Campion: "When Dad is doing his carpentry, that nice little pile of sawdust can be recycled. Just mix it with paste, then roll one teaspoonful into a ball. Pierce the ball with a matchstick, then let it dry. Rub over with sandpaper. Brush with paste sealer. Dry. Coat with gesso (available from an art shop).

"Now paint it any colour you like, make a dozen more, thread them all on to a leather thong and you have a prizewinning do-it-yourself necklace." And Ms Campion really did win a prize for such a concoction recently.

Bawn O'Beirne-Ranelagh

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