During the holidays, I accumulated a lot of coffee mugs from gift sets and after-Christmas sales (especially some hot ones posted on ILoveToGossip like the Starbucks 12 Days promotion and the Wal-Mart 75% off sets. So if you have more mugs than you know what to do with, clear some shelf space and consider these creative ideas.
Make a mosaic. Grab an old towel, a hammer, and a couple of mugs you no longer want. 3, 2, 1—smash! That’s right: those old ceramic mugs can be broken into smaller, tile-sized pieces and then reformed into a fun art deco project. I’m in love with this idea from HGTV (Notice the cute handle in the middle of the tray!) Let your imagination go: stepping stones, flower pots, bird baths, trivets, and more can all be created from smashed mugs.
Use in a re-gift. As all of us know, the holidays can be an expensive time. Between the gifts for bus drivers, teachers, the mailman, babysitter, my dog groomer, and more, I always need at least a half-dozen small appreciation gifts for the holidays. Coffee mugs make the perfect medium for presentation (see above), and I can fill them with all kinds of personalized, fun treats. I fill one with a tea bag, a fancy spoon, and a giftcard to Starbucks for the teacher, one with a packet of gum and an iTunes giftcard for the sitter, and one with several small homemade cookies for the mailman, along with a cute ribbon and hand-written note—and then just slip it in the box!
Repurpose into a planter. Coffee mugs make whimsical planters for succulents, cacti, and other plants that don’t require much water. Simply fill with a few rocks (for drainage at the bottom), rich soil, and your choice of greenery. Place on a windowsill in the kitchen, or group several outside on the patio. Have some old flipflops? Try this make-ya-say-“oh!” idea for flip-flop sconces.
Take to the office. My office mates are forever breaking, staining, or accidentally cracking mugs in the office breakroom . . . so I became the office hero when I placed several mugs from home in the cabinets for general use. It seemed like Christmas all over again at the office! One mate even took a cute (but slightly chipped) mug to her desk to use a new pencil holder. Viola! A new life for an old mug!
Move to the bathroom. The sturdiness of mugs make them ideal for unconventional uses in the bathroom. Two matching teacups on a bathroom shelf are perfect, practical (and pretty!) holders for keeping cotton balls and Q-tips within easy reach. Give one to the hubby to use for holding his shaving cream and razor. Then, place one next to your child’s sink for holding the toothpaste and toothbrush. Wash once a month to prevent filmy build-up.
Upgrade Fifi or Fido’s bowl. After my cat knocked over her plastic dollar store water bowl (for the tenth time!), I got creative. I took an unused latte mug (one that’s rounder in size and shorter than traditional-sized mugs) from the cabinet and repurposed it into a new bowl. Now, she’s got the perfect-sized sturdy bowl for her H2O that doesn’t tip over!
Put them to a couponing use. Use mugs on a shelf to hold certain soon-to-expire coupons, clipped UPCS that are being saved for a promotion, or labels being saved for school (like Campbell’s Labels for Education or General Mills’ Boxtops for Education). These can be kept within easy reach on a kitchen counter, or they can be kept out-of-sight in a closed cabinet. Of course, the handles make these easy to move around.
So what else have you done with old coffee mugs? Share your repurposing tips below in the “comments” section.
This is a guest post by Audrey W. from Texas
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