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Published Sep. 16, 2009

Self-adhesive photo corners

Original purpose: Creating scrapbooks.

Aha! use: Attaching a gift card. Neater and more attractive than Scotch tape (but just as easy to apply), they make even the simplest wrap job look impressive.

Reward: A prettier present.


Original purpose: Smoothing splinters.

Aha! use: Sharpening shears. To hone dull blades in a pinch, just snip a piece of sandpaper a few times.

Reward: Scissors cut paper.

Paper-towel tube

Original purpose: Corralling the cleanup staple.

Aha! use: Storing and dispensing plastic bags. Stuff them into a cardboard tube, then place it in a drawer for handy retrieval.

Reward: A tidier kitchen is in the bag.

Baking soda

Original purpose: Leavening breads.

Aha! use: Removing product buildup from hair. If daily use of mousse or gel is weighing your locks down, add a pinch or two of baking soda to your shampoo once a week.

Reward: Getting squeaky-clean strands is a piece of cake.


Original purpose: Providing light when the power goes out.

Aha! use: Releasing a stuck zipper. Smooth the way by lightly rubbing a candle along the teeth on both sides.

Reward: No more cursing your purse.