4 clever ways to use items you regret buying


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Reprinted from BrightNest.com

Everybody makes shopping mistakes. Maybe you got a little soup-crazy one cold winter day and now have a stack of Campbell’s in the back of your pantry gathering dust.

Or maybe you binge-watched a season of "Mad Men" and ordered a cocktail set that shows up less often than an apology from Don Draper.

Don’t beat yourself up. Here are five of those “oops” items, and easy ways to actually put them to use:


1. Soup Cans

Get this: About 85% of homes in America have Campbell’s soup cans (an average of six per house). The thing is, most people don’t actually eat them. The cans just take up space in the pantry and make you feel a little more prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Don’t wait for the zombies! Try this:

Make a soup can wine rack: Grab a half-dozen or so soup cans. Clean them out and cut off both ends. Spray paint them for a pop of color, lay them horizontally and then glue them together with hot glue or tacky glue. Slide the bottles into the open soup can slots. Boom. Wine rack!


2. Cocktail Shaker

Not hitting the cocktails quite as hard as you planned when you impulse-bought that barware collection? No big deal. If you’re a coffee drinker, these overgrown steel cups can actually improve your life in a big way. If you want some home-brewed iced coffee, but don’t have five hours to let it cool off in the fridge, try this:

Instantly create iced coffee: Brew an extra-strong pot and pour it into your cocktail shaker. Add your ice (and any cream and sugar) then shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Your java should be cool and refreshing.


3. Books

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for reading and everything. But physical books take up a lot of space. And while your first edition of The Old Man and the Sea is worth keeping, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul probably isn’t. Clear up some shelf space and flex your craft muscles!

Try one of these three book DIY craft projects:


4. Coffee Creamer Cup

This item is less of a mistake and more of a vestigial element of dishware sets. Unless you’re big into teatime or formal coffee hours, you’ve probably never used that creamer cup to hold cream. I tried using mine as an extra coffee mug, but that wound up looking pretty silly. Then I tried this and was a lot happier:

Make it a toothbrush holder: The creamer cup is perfect for holding various toiletry items. Plus, this can add a little burst of bathroom character to an otherwise “blah” situation. Tip: If your creamer cup doesn’t match your bathroom decor, give it a quick coat of spray paint.


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