How To Reuse Old Clothes For Inexpensive Halloween Props

How to Reuse Old Clothes For Inexpensive Halloween Props

OK, granted it might be a bit of a reach easily putting your hands on a old Halloween Costume with a witches hat and a long grey wig around the house. That said, it is the Halloween season and most homeowners have a pair of old gloves, some unused fabric, unwanted shoes, odd bits of  lumber and fasteners and an old broom lying around. My Norwegian grandparents never threw anything away and their Ballard homes (including the garages, basements, and canning cellars), were always neat as a pin with those amazing glass jars held in the line up by the single screw in the lids. But I digress. . . .

Many of us would have the bulk of this in the pile for the trash, Goodwill, Salvation Army, or some other charity. One can always wait for the Halloween overstock sales where you can buy previously un-obtained essentials when they have reached the prime of their shelf  life.   A local neighbor of mine installs this on the phone  pole in front of his house annually. Every year it never fails to garner giggles and admiration from the passersby.

I know some will consider this is a stretch for a green post.  However I will never underestimate the value of unexpected humor and whimsy!  My personal touch would be the addition of an obvious outdated cell phone (before it goes to charity) in one of the gloves.


Look where you are going

Let me know if you want to know the location in our local Seattle neighborhood. I am new to blogging and block the comments as a newbie, but feel free to give me a ring and I will let you know the intersection if you would to see this “masterpiece” in person!

Great Opportunity to Safely Dispose of Old Paint

Great Opportunity to Safely Dispose of Old Paint

Update 11:00am Monday 10/17/2011

Reed painting had an overwhelming response and has informed me that they reached their capacity on Saturday. You still can contact them if you can put the recycled paint to a good use. They plan on having another drive in the future or to look up another location where you can safely dispose of your unwanted paint you can find your answers on line.


This Saturday Oct 15th is the first day Reed Painting will be taking latex paint from homeowners for recycling and reusing.  This local company is providing a valuable service as it allows us to recycle the paint that is in our basements, garages and sheds and know it to will be put to good use one again.

Word is out, get there early!

The organizers have asked me to pass on the following information:

“ Due to the overwhelming response so far it is estimated that the paint drive will not run the full week – people with donations are encouraged to come this Saturday. When we have reached capacity we will have to close the drive.”

“We do need to put the recycled paint to good use so we need people that are interested in taking some for community service projects or even individual projects. It will take some time to go through the paint but it will be available soon for use. We have donated to churches, schools, the Sheriff’s Dept for graffiti removal and artists for mural painting – to name a few.”

“ We are a painting company that specializes in residential interior and exterior painting, as well as cleaning services such as gutter cleaning, window washing, power washing and even holiday lighting.”

“Lastly, we are active in community service and strive to promote environmental conservation. We use NO and LOW VOC Paint and can use recycled paint at a customer’s request. The paint is high quality.”

The drop off site in located off Stone Way and Aurora roughly in the Wallingford and Fremont neighborhoods not too far from Green Lake.  What a great public service these independent contractor is offering. To learn more about them and this paint drive you can contact them here.



Save A Tree

Save a Tree

Save A Tree

Or several!  The City of Seattle just posted a website where one can opt-out of phone books and unwanted catalogs. Just go to the website, and spend about 5 minutes and you won’t be throwing those not-even-opened phone books in the recycle bins any more. This site can take care of advertising that is thrown away each year. Not only phone books but unwanted catalogs too. It takes about as much time to sign up and let the advertisers know you’re not interested as it does to carry the dead weight from your doorstep to your recycling bin.

This service is only available in a precious few cities. We are lucky enough to have this option,  let’s all show the rest of the country how well this can work.

It’s Time To Kick That John To The Curb

It’s Time To Kick That John To The Curb

Have an Old John spending too much time in your bathroom? Toss out that expensive no-good lout and find a more charming, less demanding and one that’s better with budgeting!

Dual Flush for even more efficiency

Most people don’t put much thought into the porcelain bowl in the bathroom, but something we take for granted can take up a large portion of our utility bills. The Saving Water Partnership is offering homeowners in a certain income bracket rebates to throw out the outdated 5 gallon guzzler for a more efficient one. In the City of Seattle we know that our home Combined Utilities bills keep going up, and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. For every dollar we spend on water, we will spend about two dollars more for the sewer charges. It’s as if we use one gallon of water and pay for three. This is a great opportunity to make the switch and perhaps even upgrade to a nicer toilet. Many functional commodes are well under $80.00, and of course there are plenty well beyond the price range that will add beauty to any bathroom.

Are you resistant change because of an experience with a so-called low-flow toilet a decade or two ago? Well, they have figured out the physics since then, and quite often one might find the new toilets work much better than the old ones. They operate just fine with gravity now and don’t need to sound like a Lear Jet fly-by.

While you are at it, you might want to consider replacing your showerhead at the same time for a real improvement with your utility bill. Once again, the showerheads work very well.  Some even have a valve so you can shut off the water and not have to readjust the temperature if you are into the “Navy” style of showering.  As an added bonus, some heads have a feature that allow you to easily clean out the accumulated scale to make sure every shower has the perfect pressure and water flow.

Typically most homeowners can replace the showerhead or add an aerator. The weekend warrior can usually handle the toilet replacement (even if it takes 2 trips to the hardware store). If you think you would need a professional plumber, why not get the neighbors involved? Most toilet replacements take more time for the plumbers travel time then for the actual job of replacement. So why not line up several neighbors on the block for the same time on the same day and make it worth everyone’s while? Remember to keep checking the City of Seattle website and your utility bills for recycling of the old toilets.

Old John doesn’t have to be completely out of your life. You might see him recycled into the next roadway or highway project.