Champagne Boxes Make Chic Storage, Plus More of Our Editors’ Best Repurposing Advice

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candle holder holding roses and pencils

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Perhaps it’s my Libra need for balance showing, but when I realize an item in my home is turning out to be pretty but not personally useful, my first instinct isn’t to donate, it’s to repurpose it. And my cozy 700-square-foot one-bedroom’s lack of kitchen storage gives me ample opportunity to experiment. I’ve abandoned my search for a flatware tray that fits the too-skinny drawers (seriously, whose idea were they?), for one. Instead I’m using an etched-glass ice bucket as a makeshift utensil holder to keep my countertop looking elegant and clutter-free. I’m not the only Domino editor who loves to give something old new life—here are a few more ingenious ideas.

For Scented Candle Containers

Store Odds and Ends

I put mine in the freezer so the wax remnants harden and can be scooped out effortlessly. Then I use the clean glass vessel to store jewelry, office essentials, or any other random, hard-to-organize items that might tempt me to create a junk drawer.

Drink Up

My favorite way to rationalize splurging on a fancy candle is if it comes in an equally fancy vessel. Clear glass naturally becomes a drinking cup. I boil some water in it, then pop out the wax after it cools. Oh, and instead of dropping the wax bits in the trash, I’ll break them up and toss them in a wax warmer to enjoy every last bit of scent. —Morgan Bulman, associate shopping editor

Display a Bouquet

I use my old candleholders as vases. The Buly candleholders are ideal—they’re super-expensive and made of heavy marble, so I feel like it helps justify the price. I love putting poppies in them. —Linda Denahan, photo director

Upcycle and Personalize Gifts

I use Homecourt’s candle vessels for plant propagating, and gift them to friends on their birthdays. —Julie Vadnal, deputy editor

For Leftover Bedding Drawstring Bags

Stow Out-of-Season Garments

Not all bedding tote bags are created equal, but I couldn’t bear to part ways with a particularly well-made plastic one that held a set of Sobel Westex pillows. The sturdy, ropelike handles make it perfect for stowing out-of-season clothing and bedding on a tip-top closet shelf. 

Sort Your Recycling

I use the zippered bags from Girlfriend Collective to collect my contact lens packaging before I recycle it at my eye doc’s office. —J.V.

Gift Carrier

I definitely use old bedding bags as gift totes. Fold up robes or napkins in them, attach a little greenery or a bud to the ties, and slip a card inside. —Samantha Weiss-Hills, deputy shopping editor 

For Fancier-Than-Usual Containers

Gloss and Show Off

I hold on to substantially made shoe/clothing/jewelry boxes to repurpose as storage in my closets, kitchen pantry, and living room console cabinets. Go the Mod-Podge route to really seal the deal with a glossy sheen. Some of the boxes I’ve repurposed are so lovely to look at, I like to leave them out instead of tucking them away. —Liz Buxton, shopping director 

Stow Utensils

I have a vintage pot that was my grandmother’s, and it’s virtually not usable any longer. But it’s cute (and sentimental) enough to keep, so I wanted to find a place for it. It’s just the right height to store utensils in the kitchen. —S.W-H.

File Away Docs

A champagne box is the ideal spot to store various work-related papers, random business cards, menus, or brochures I want to keep and reference later. It doesn’t look too office-y, and the warm wood is a nice blank slate to layer with. —S.W-H.