What To Do With Worn, Torn Blankets

Have some old, worn blankets you want to dispose of? Here are a few ideas for recycling these valuable items.

As we sort through stored household items every so often, we typically come across old blankets that are beyond bedroom use. They may be torn, ripped, worn, faded, or stained, but for one reason or another, they don't belong on the bed anymore, undoubtedly replaced by new additions in better condition.

So what should you do with these worn materials? Here are a few ideas that may put them to good use.

1. Cover the patio furniture. When the weather turns cold but you still want to sit outdoors, use your comfortable blankets to warm your seat while star gazing, taking in a soccer game where you have to bring your own seating, or having a late fall yard sale.

2. Throw one in the trunk of the car in case of an emergency. If you run out of gas or the vehicle stops working, an extra blanket may help to keep you warm until help arrives. It may even provide traction for getting out of an icy or muddy rut.

3. Pad the pet's bed. Lay it over the animal's bedding or tuck it under for added support. A blanket can save the cost of a new bed or pet mattress, perhaps twenty dollars or more. If your pet likes sleeping on the upholstered furniture, lay your worn blanket on those pieces until company comes to keep cushions free of pet fur.

4. Tuck in your flower or vegetable garden. Spring seedlings or late harvest produce will benefit from being wrapped or covered with a large blanket. Protect your fragile plants from frost damage with help from your former bed covering.

5. Shore up the furniture. If you have a chair or sofa with a sagging cushion, fold and stuff a blanket beneath it to help hold the cushion's shape and plumpness, at least until you can get it restuffed. If part of the blanket is still intact and attractive, fold it neatly over the back of the sofa for television viewers' or readers' late-night cover.

6. Cushion stored items. Place folded old blankets in the bottom, top, and sides of storage cartons that hold breakable items, like a glass punch bowl, unused china, or porcelain collectibles. The blankets will help cushion these fragile pieces in the event the carton falls or is tumbled from its site while moving or when the kids play nearby.

7. Cover attic or basement windows. If the blankets are in partly good condition, neatly hang the attractive part to show outside these window areas until you can get other window coverings, such as blinds or curtains. With a solid color and neat weave or pattern, outsiders may never guess that your upstairs or lower windows are covered by blankets. Make sure they match if possible.

Rather than throwing away old items like used blankets, look for ways to recycle them and save money at the same time. While some tattered coverings are little more than moth food, others can be salvaged for additional years of useful wear.

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