Don't know if you're a gardener or not, but if you are, those plastic bottles work GREAT as part of a homemade (read: CHEAP!) irrigation system! If you have new or baby plants/herbs that need a lot of water, you can use the regular small size water bottles....just cut the bottom of the bottle off, dig a hole next to the plant that is big enough to bury most of the bottle, drill or poke a few holes into the plastic, and bury it neatly next to your plant. The open (bottom) part of the plastic bottle should be close to being flush with the ground. During dry spells, just fill it with water and it will percolate slowly into the ground and feed the roots of the plant, without having to turn the hose or the sprinkler on for hours on end.
You can also use the larger 2-litre size (pop) bottles the same way, say if you have a tomato garden....just "plant" a few bottles here and there among the plants in the same way (top cut off, a few holes drilled into the plastic, and buried in the ground). One warning though, if using the larger bottles, secure a piece of fine-mesh screen over the opening to the bottle. Birds can accidentally fall into them. Found this out the hard way!!!
These make great storage for seed beads because you can see all your colors at a glance. (leevalley.com sells them cheap in multiples in neat little aluminum boxes), but they also make sweet little teeny shadowboxes. The clear glass lids make them very versatile. I have glued tiny things or quotes inside them, and then mounted them on canvas. They are incredibly tiny windows that are really interesting to look at.
My husband is a cigar smoker and I found myself with the same question......what to do with all these cool boxes? Currently I have them stacked to the ceiling and labelled with all my various art "junque"......beads......pebbles......buttons.....wire.....found objects....threads.....watch parts....you name it.
Really liked the idea someone had of making a wall of shadow boxes with them! I have used them as shadow boxes, but never thought of making a wall of them. They could be used as storage AND display...how cool!
Other than the obvious (I'm sure you've seen those cigar box purses people are making and selling at outrageous prices!), they also make very cool personalized gift boxes. If it's sort of a "blah" box, I sand the lacquer off and paint it, but for some of the really gorgeous ones I just make a personalized copper plate with copper wire and things soldered on to it. It could be a name, or a quote, or just a meaningful word. I also save the fancy cigar bands that come with the cigars, and have decoupaged the boxlids with the bands. Most of them are metallic papers, so if you apply a little paint and hit them with a heatgun, they start to look aged and very intriguing.
I have also made a "Zen garden" out of a really teeny wooden cigar box. I filled it with pebbles, sand, and moss from a recent vacation on Lake Huron, and put it on my desk at work. Whenever I feel the need, I can just open the lid to the box, and move and arrange the rocks and things around. Somehow, just being able to touch those beautiful things reminds me of how peaceful it was there. For anyone who loves dirt and rocks and sand, cigar boxes can make really, really cool "portable" Zen gardens!
Hi, I'm new here and this is my first post (scary). I'm really having fun reading the posts and I'm amazed at the wealth of creative ideas here!
Re: beach/sea glass. I have obsessively collected beach glass for years, along with miscellaneous small driftwoods, pebbles, and sand. Mostly I embed these things in plaster on small canvas panels and in the greeting cards I make, but I have also seen beach glass used to great effect in mosaics (instead of broken tile/ceramic), as tabletops and things, or embedded in hypertufa birdbaths and benches for garden art.
I also recall seeing in a magazine years ago where beach glass could be used in a bathroom, heaped up in a pretty clear glass dish and a few drops of essential oil sprinkled on it (with a sea or marine-type scent). The idea was that when the bathroom is all steamed up from a shower or bath, the oils would melt on the beach glass and scent the room. Haven't tried it, but it sounds like a great idea.
Also have a friend-of-a-friend who very painstakingly "tiled" the floor of her new walk-in shower with beach glass and small smooth stones. It was heavily grouted and each piece was very carefully chosen so that there were no sharp edges, etc. The end result was absolutely amazing and a unique treat for the feet when stepping into the shower!