Posts tagged "foam"

How can I reuse or recycle a baby changing mat?

baby-changing-matWe’ve had an email from Jess:

What can I do with a baby changing mat made from foam?

Like with all baby stuff, my first thought is to pass it on if you can – they’re usually used for such a short period of time that they tend to stay in pretty good condition. Pass it on through a baby group, a charity shop, Freecycle/Freegle or something like an NCT nearly new sale.

Aside from that, changing mats are just flat wipe-clean foam cushions so could be useful in lots of situations. If the covering is completely sealed & waterproof, a small child might prefer to sit on it in the bath rather than the hard surface of the bath itself. If the covering is punctured or just water resistant, it’d still be splash-proof, so you could fold in half and use it as a kneeling mat for you while bathing Junior, or it could be used as a bathmat when they get out. Similar, it would be great as a kneeling mat/cushion in the garden.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle flip-flops?

flip-flopsWe’ve had an email from Hannah:

What can I do with old flip flops?

I’m presuming Hannah means the cheap foam ones that are omnipresent in the summer but sadly disappear into the dark, dusty backs of cupboards as soon as autumn arrives, never to re-emerge.

Because, toe-thong aside, they’re pretty much just foam shapes, a lot of the suggestions for foam drink holders and foam swim float will apply here too such as floor protectors under furniture legs, cut up/carved for foam stamps, or used as knitwear blocking boards or boards for macrame. If they’re not too, um, footy, they could maybe also be used as a fun noticeboard – a few pairs walking along the wall would be super-fun :)

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle beanbag filler?

beanbagWe’ve had a message on the Suggestions page from Jing:

Help! I have a beanbag which has flattened over the years and so I want to know a) what recycled stuff to refill fill it with and b) what to do with the useless little squished styrofoam bits.

Craft suggestions, if there are any, might be helpful for other people but please can I have suggestions that don’t mean I have to handle the styrofoam; I have a deep and ridiculous fear of the stuff and can’t bear touching it, looking at it, or the squeaky noise it makes when handled. Odd, I know, but as fears go it’s pretty harmless.

Yes, the feel and sound of the styrofoam balls is pretty ick-worthy – but those little foam things are surely useful for something…

In the (admittedly not many) flattened beanbags I’ve seen, the flattening tends to be one of two problems: either the bag has lost some filler or, particularly in the case of more structured footstool-esque beanbags, the fabric has lost its tautness and gone floppy. It doesn’t tend to be the filler that’s the problem – because the balls are so springy and tiny. Adding some more filler or reducing the size of the beanbag would solve the first problem, but the latter would need a new cover – essentially making a new beanbag for the old filler.

As for other uses, I’ve used beanbag filler for juggling balls but the styrofoam stuff doesn’t really have the right weight to it to be used on its own in there. It would be ok in (well sealed) soft toys though.

Some people use it in potting soil to aerate it – instead of perlite – but there are pollution/chemical leakage issues with that so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Any other suggestions? Any suggestions on recycled things that could be used in the place of more shop-bought filler?

How can I reuse or recycle foam drink holders?

foam drink holderWe’ve had another suggestion from Leigh of the scarves and name-tags. She wonders what she can do with

those hideous foam things that are supposed to keep drinks cold.

I have like 8 of them but i never drink pop or beer.

They’re one of those annoying promotional things like bottle openers which tend to appear in your possession before you have a chance to say “no, thanks” to the person giving them out.

I’d keep one or two around to use for their insulating properties – keeping a bottle of water in your bag cold (and not leaking condensation everywhere) or if they’re big enough, using around too-hot coffee cups. But what can Leigh do with the rest?

Any ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle foam floor underlay?

Foam underlayWe’ve had an email from Dan:

Hi. I saw your page about laminate floor and I wondered if you knew what I could do with the foam underlay. We bought a giant roll but only used half of it. What can we do with the rest?

As with the flooring itself, eBay or Freecycle might be the easiest options if you just want to get rid of it.

Aside from that though, I guess it could be used in the same was as thin foam sheeting or foam shelf liners from supermarkets – as packaging, insulation around pipes or for making wine bottle/can sleeves to keep them cool.

Any other suggestions?