Creative Uses for Free Stuff

Hello, My Name is Danielle and I am a Pack Rat

I simply cannot turn down free stuff. Come on, it's free! They are just giving it away, how am I supposed to say no? I can't. At the same time I hate clutter. I move a lot so what to do with all the random free stuff I collect? There is actually a lot of great ways to use those free (way too big) t-shirts, hotel shampoo, conditioner, body wash and shower caps that find their way into my home.


The best (by that I mean easiest!) way to get rid of random freebies is to donate them to homeless shelters, women's shelters or non profit organizations. I assume most people have figured this out, but I had to include donation! I do not recommend donating to for profit/independently owned thrift shops or Goodwill because they tend to charge ridiculous prices for donated goods. But that is just my opinion!

Shampoo and Conditioner Uses

Every time I travel, I always take the shampoo bottles from the hotels home. (Yes, I even stash the daily bottles so the hotel will replace them.....) Here are a few ways to use up that stash of shampoo.

  • Save for a rainy day. Forgot to buy shampoo? Time to break out the hotel shampoo! (or carry with you the next time you travel)
  • Clean a dirty hair brush. Douse your brush in cheap shampoo and soak in hot water. Rinse and repeat until your brush is like new!
  • Mix with hair dye to freshen up your hair color. A few drops of your preferred hair dye helps liven up your color. Shampoo and rinse like you normally would.
  • Work shampoo into fabric to help pretreat stains before machine washing.
  • Ran out of shaving cream? Use conditioner instead. It will moisturize your skin and prevent cuts
  • Use great smelling shampoo as a bubble bath in a pinch
  • Use shampoo to wash your car.

Shower Cap Uses

Apparently people still use shower caps. So much so they are still included in hotel toilitery kits. Here are a few ways to make use of them!

  • Use in shower to keep hair dry...oh, wait...CREATIVE USES.
  • Use to cover hair if you dye at home. A shower cap will prevent the dye from getting on your clothes and hold in body heat which helps color set.
  • Cover casserole dishes to travel or in the fridge. (the little elastic bands work great on any size).
  • In the winter, use them to protect small plants from the frost.
  • Place over a paint pallet to keep paint from drying out.
  • Loosely cover spaghetti sauce or soup in the microwave to prevent splattering.
  • Use on one each foot as shoe covers to protect shoes or floors from dirt.

T Shirts

I am a crafter at heart, so I have a million uses for too big t-shirts. Here is just a few.

  • Cut off the sleeves and neck of the t-shirt, then stitch the waist shut to make a quick reusable grocery bag.
  • Use old t-shirts you love and cannot part with to make a quilt. No experience necessary. Use cardboard to make a square stencil, stitch all the squares together and use an old sheet as a backing.
  • Cut up too large t-shirts to make cute tops or skirts. Look up "t-shirt surgery" online. (I have another hub in the works on this one!)
  • Cut shirts into strips then braid together. Stitch a bunch of braids into a bath rug. (Again, I'll have tutorial for this very soon!)
  • Cut into large squares to use as rags.
  • Cut into thin strips (about an inch) braid and add a bit of elastic to make a cute head band.
  • Upcycle into yarn for knitting or crocheting.

How do you use freebies?

Waste not, want not, right? What creative tips do you have to use up freebies? I would love to hear them!

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Comments 8 comments

ashleydickerson profile image

ashleydickerson 5 years ago from N. Myrtle Beach, SC

I also love freebies! These are some truly great ideas. One of my faves for mini-shampoo and toiletries from hotels is to use them yourself when you have guests. I take a dollar store basket, roll up a wash cloth and put in a couple of the toiletries and something they can then keep (like a mini hand sanitizer, or a little candle) and voila, I'm Martha Stewart worthy.

danielleantosz profile image

danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida Author

I love the guest basket idea!

L a d y f a c e profile image

L a d y f a c e 5 years ago from Canada

I LOVE THIS! You already know I'm into making things, that last part about the t-shirts is awesome! You're a girl after my own heart! Using a shower cap to cover dishes in the fridge? Brilliant!

Has to be one of my favourite hubs on here. Thanks for the info :) I look forward to reading some more of your stuff.

And now I go to search for "t-shirt surgery". Wicked!

profile image

The Fastionista 5 years ago

Great hub! I'm a sucker for those free T-shirts too, and I adore your idea about using them as reusable grocery bag - that's brilliant! Voted up, useful, & awesome. Cheers!

OfTheHeart profile image

OfTheHeart 5 years ago from New York

I like this hub! I love all the ideas for using a t-shirt. I think it's the best item to make different things with. I never thought about donating freebies. Great idea!

Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Thailand

LOL ... some great suggestions. The one about the shower cap for spaghetti made me laugh! How did you think of that use??

danielleantosz profile image

danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida Author

I hate cleaning the microwave ;)

princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago

Haha The idea of stitching up the waist of a t-shirt to make it a bag sounds amusing. Nicely done!


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