Savvy Surfer Life Hacks #004

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Welcome to week 4 of our Savvy Surfers Life Hacks. This week we’ve got 5 fantastic hacks, all with the theme of repurposing.

At Vintage Cash Cow we’re all about retro recycling, so what could be better than reviving your old things and reusing them in new, useful ways.

We absolutely hate waste, it’s just so rubbish (groan). In fact, our business is all about reducing waste and revolves around the prophecy that one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.

Repurposing turns things into other things, which we think is downright awesome. So come on guys, recycle like there’s no tomorrow!

Don’t Replace – Repaint

Upcycled furniture

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Just as we all tend to get a little bit tired and worn from time to time, so can your things too. But don’t bin something that’s looking a little jaded, give it a new lease of life by giving it a quick lick of paint.

You’d be amazed how a new coat of paint can really freshen up old furniture, like an old chest of draws or bedside table, for example. If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can change the colour too.

Changing the colour can dramatically change the appearance of an item, making it feel like a brand new piece altogether – all without having to decipher any cryptic flat-pack furniture construction manuals and without breaking the bank either.

For those courageous daredevil DIYers out there, you can always crank it up a notch by turning your hand to “upcycling”. Upcycling is the term given to the art of transforming one object into another object. The internet is full of wacky projects that you can get inspiration from.

Suitcase hall table anyone? Cuckoo clock coffee table?!

Cassette Case Phone Holder

Cassette tape case phone holder

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We LOVE this life hack because it repurposes an item from the bygone days with a fresh modern twist. It represents our Vintage Cash Cows values of being beneficial, enjoying old things, simplicity and coolness!

Mobile phones have taken hold of our lives with the fervour of an epidemic. Love them or loathe them, they’re certainly here to stay, so we’ve got a helpful hack for you today that combines classic culture with the modern marvel.

Trying to follow a recipe online whilst baking, or watching a show on your phone can be tricky and tiresome without a stand for your mobile phone. You can create a retro rest for your phone, quickly and cheaply by simply using an old cassette case.

Take out the tape, open the cassette case right out, fold the front of the case back on itself and hey presto you now have a handy phone holder that is not only super useful but it also looks fab. The “genius” comments are bound to come flooding in when your friends and family see it.

Tights Hair Ties

Tights hair ties

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Messy hair days snare us all at some point and having a heap of hair bobbles to hand, is one way to rectify the problem. But buying, replacing and keeping hair bands in lots of locations can amount to an expensive exercise.

Laddered tights and stockings are the lament of some ladies, and men’s, lives. Recycling old pairs of tights with runs is the perfect way to parry this pesky problem.

All you have to do is cut the legs of the stockings into strips using a pair of scissors. The elasticity of the tights means that they roll up into an ideal cylindrical, round shape, that is peerless when it comes to putting your hair up in ponytails, buns and whatever other style that you fancy. The thicker the hair, the thicker you should slice your sections of tights.

Hair ties made from a pair of tights

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You can even colour coordinate your super new stocking scrunchies by using tan or nude colours for light hair and black or barely black for darker tones.

If you’re more of a headband wearer, then the top of a ruined pair of “shaper tights” works really well as a recycled and fashionable way to keep your fringe and flyaways off your face.

We promise that once you’ve used this hack once, you’ll never go back to buying conventional bobbles again.

Stale Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs from stale bread

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This is a classic waste not want not food hack, that salvages old stale bread that would otherwise end up in the dustbin or be thrown to the birds.

Once bread has passed its best, (but before it’s gone all green and mouldy and started growing mushrooms all over itself) put it in a food processor or blender to make your own homemade breadcrumbs.

Stale bread is actually really easy to grate with a simple cheese grater if you don’t own a food mixer, or can’t be bothered to wash it up afterwards. Because the bread is slightly hard, it will rasp satisfyingly down the grater and create perfect crumbs.

Store your new breadcrumbs in a zip lock freezer bag, or a freezable container, and they’ll be ready to use whenever you need a nice crunchy topping or a crispy coating for your cooking.

And because they’re small and dry, they won’t freeze into a big clump, so you can take out and use just as much as you need each time. You don’t even need to defrost them before you use them. Simple, fast and free, that’s right up our street!

Tennis Ball Holder

Tennis ball holder

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If you want a whimsical and amusing way to reuse an old tennis ball, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Old tennis balls can bring both fun and function into your life by following these simple steps.

Instead of throwing out an old tennis ball, carefully cut a 3cm slit where you want the mouth to be. On the opposite (back) side, make a small incision so that you can poke through a suction cup. Next stick on some googly eyes to bring your ball to life and Bob’s your uncle, you’ve now got a handy place to hang your keys, hold your post, or even replace your old tea towel hook.

The suction cup means that you can stick your new ball friend anywhere that you like so that he can be ready to help wherever needed. And if you want to name him Wilson, à la Tom Hanks in Castaway, we promise not to tell a soul!

We hope that you loved today’s repurposing hacks and have lots of fun salvaging and saving old things.

If you’ve got your own recycling and reusing hacks that you want to share, please send them into


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