• “Restore the shine on dull buttons by painting them with a coat of clear nail polish. I’ve renewed the buttons on my cardigan several times this way. I think it also strengthens the threads holding the buttons on.” — R.H. in Maine
• “Turn a regular bra into a racerback strap with a simple paperclip. Just tuck both arm straps into the paperclip and adjust the point on your back where they come together. This has saved me when I had a nice tank top under a light jacket but then wanted to remove the jacket without my straps showing.” — A.J. in California
• A paintbrush makes it really easy to clean out the crevices in your car. You can tape it to a ruler to get a longer reach and use it between the chairs and the center console, where there are a lot of crumbs but it’s hard to reach.
• “I found an all-plastic mattress cover, meant to be a protection against spills or wetting the bed. I use it instead to protect my outside picnic table when the kids are doing messy crafts, like painting or working with glue or dyes. Because it’s a fitted sheet, it grips the table in any amount of wind, so it never flies up. I can hose it off to clean up, and when it’s dry I just store it until next time.” — M.W. in Minnesota
• Thrift store pillowcases make an excellent dust cover for stored purses and bags. They can be trimmed to size, if necessary, and tied closed with a bit of string.
• “ For fun pancake shapes, use a turkey baster. Fill it with pancake batter, then spell or draw on a heated and oiled pan. Just make sure your letters are backward to start with; they look better when flipped!” — E.L. in Washington
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