9 Simple & Creative Reuses For A Gift Card

AAA Print

This holiday season, when you receive gift cards from those not-so-thoughtful gift-givers (and you know you will), show a little extra thanks. Not only will those heavy duty plastic rectangles get you free stuff, but they'll also serve some nifty purposes around the house. So don't let that cashier keep your card when it's empty. Take it back and get the most bang for your plastic buck.

1. Use it as a straightedge. By keeping a card of two in your workshop, you'll have a sturdy little straight line to help you mark cuts on small pieces of trim and such.

2. Spot-fix a tile floor. Using a towel to smooth out glue below a tile is messy and obnoxious. Instead, snip off the edge of a gift card and use shears to create a zigzag edge on it. This will be ideal for evening out mastic glue when you apply it.

3. Get rid of air bubbles. The durable plastic that a gift card is made of is perfect for leveling freshly wallpapered surfaces, particularly in corners and around tight spots. The straight edge and the thickness of the material will lay the paper down smoothly and bubble-free.

4. Mix/apply glues and putties. We've all done it - used a screwdriver to mix the glue, only to regret the decision later. This time, use an empty gift card to do the work instead. The cornered edges and durability of the material are perfect for working stiff putty until it's elastic enough to use.

5. Scrape off gunk. The soft edges of a gift card are perfect for getting rid of stuck-on materials from hard surfaces. Things like paint drips, candle wax and stubborn labels are no match for the plastic.

6. Help caulk your tub. This is a dual use situation. Use the corner of a gift card first to scrape away old, moldy caulk from joints. You can use another wet corner again later to smooth down any freshly squeezed caulk.

7. Stabilize furniture. Cut the cards to match the shape and size of the bottom leg on a wobbly table or desk. The sturdy material will withstand scrapes and moves. For extra durability, you can attach it to the leg directly with double-sided tape or crazy glue.

8. Mark screw-hole locations. For tough wall spots, rather than risking a mis-drill, measure out the required spacing on a gift card beforehand. Then drill the holes into the gift card and use it as a stencil for screwing the right spot.

9. Create a gift tag. Make a gift into another gift's accessory. Scrape off any remaining gunk or encoding on the back of your gift card, or cover with a sticker. Then use a Sharpie or other fine-tip pen to write your gift tag. Tape or tie to your gift.

There are a lot of things around that house that could use your help, and gift cards may just be the answer. Once your Home Depot gift card is empty, you can still get something out of it. Tell that cashier to rethink throwing it away and instead to hand it right back over to you. This year, keep the gift that keeps on giving.

Last Updated: October 26, 2011
AAA Print

About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for Idealhomegarden.com

Note: The information provided on this site may be provided by third parties. The owners and operators of this site do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and compliance of the content on this site. Such content is not and shall not be deemed tax, legal, financial, or other advice, and we encourage you to confirm the accuracy of the content. Use is at your own risk, and use of this site shall be deemed acceptance of the above.