One of my favorite sections of “Real Simple” magazine is the “New Uses for Old Things” – This is where their writers divulge all sorts of GENIUS alternative uses for simple things around your home. For example, using a plastic Easter egg as a goldfish snack container in your child’s lunch box, or wrapping a door handle in aluminum foil to protect it from paint when refinishing a door.
Over the weekend, I found my OWN new use for an old thing: felt pads!
I think I pulled my stash of these cheap little lifesavers out at least three times over the weekend. If I hit a wall while working on a project, I usually came to the conclusion that I needed another felt pad – It got to be almost funny…
First of all, yes, they work VERY well for the purpose they are intended: protecting floors from sharp, scrape-the-dickens-out-of-wood-if-you-move-it furniture legs. We have already deactivated the weapons of mass destruction that are the new TV stand legs using the pads:
Those bad boys were like KNIVES to the floor! Luckily, our brave little felt pads now take the brunt of it and actually make moving the TV stand a heck of a lot easier – The legs seem to glide over the hardwood floors now!
New Normal Use for Old Thing score number 1!!!
One of the other things that felt pads are great for is to stop door handles from banging into and damaging a wall – In our case, this involved a gate in the kitchen that had the potential to put quite a divet into our freshly painted brown focal wall in the kitchen.
This BEAUTIFUL, hand-crafted gate that my father built for us to keep the dog in the kitchen when we aren’t home has a metal arm on the side that’s against the wall in the photo above. The metal arm catches on a clasp when shut, but when open, it bangs into the wall. No good.
New Use for Old Thing score number two!!!
The next project came about after a Friday afternoon trip to the thrift store with my sister, where I picked up these fun storage drawers for $3 each!
After a quick clean up of the gunk using some AMAZING goo-remover John had on hand…
…we had a nice, shiny drawer!
The only problem was that they were wobbly to say the least – The only original “feet” were the two on the front half of the green drawer (seen two pictures up). How did we get out of this conundrum, you ask? Why felt pads of course!
I pulled the only two functioning feet off of the green one, took two felt pads and stuck them together…Like so:
And stuck the sticky side onto the bottom of one corner – I repeated this in all four corners of the two drawers. 16 felt pads in all…Good thing they are cheap!! (I think it only cost about $5 for the huge pack I pictured at the beginning of this post)
Now the storage drawers will sit nicely level on their counter/shelf/table (wherever we decide to put them), and they are at the right height so that the metal drawer hardware (seen as the bent metal tongue in the photo below) won’t scratch on any surface.
Semi-New Use for Old Thing score number three!!!
Our final use is probably the strangest…But it still managed to work like a charm!
In anticipation of our guests for the birthday party on Saturday night, I put together a quick little upstairs hallway arrangement – Something homey (and free since I was able to use things we already had).
It’s temporary until we can find a table that better suits the space, but it serves its purpose for the time-being and offers a great amount of light!
Speaking of light…Although you can’t see it in the photo above because the light bulb glare washes it out, the lamp shade is a tad too small – Just enough so that the light bulb sticks out the top. Here’s a slightly better shot:
All it needed to be fixed was a little lift under the inside rim of the lamp shade.
I stared at it for a few seconds until the image of felt pads started dancing in my head…See in the bottom of the picture above? I was already well on my way to fixing this issue when I took the “Before” shot
After sticking four pads around the inside of the lamp base to lift the shade about half an inch…
…we were back in business and light-bulb-exposure free!
New Use for Old Thing score number four!!!
Some of these tricks may not be relevant to your home (I doubt many people have a weird lamp shade issue like mine), but hopefully you can relate to just how useful such a small thing can be!