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Creative Uses for Free Stuff

Updated on November 17, 2011

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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    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

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


    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 6 years ago from Florida

      I hate cleaning the microwave ;)

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 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??

    • OfTheHeart profile image

      Stephanie 6 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!

    • profile image

      The Fastionista 6 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!

    • L a d y f a c e profile image

      L a d y f a c e 6 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!

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 6 years ago from Florida

      I love the guest basket idea!

    • ashleydickerson profile image

      ashleydickerson 6 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.