Whole Living Daily

10 Re-Uses for Those Little Bread Tags

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A few weeks ago I issued a challenge: Suggest an item you'd like me to find a clever way to re-use. Amy was the first to take me up on that offer and she tried to stump me with, of all things, bread tags. You know, those little plastic tabs that come on bags of bread and bagels and nets of potatoes and produce. To be honest I was stumped -- at first. But with a little creativity I came up with ten clever reuses!

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1 These little tags have more uses than you think!

2 Not sure which cord is attached to which appliance? Label it!

3 Bedazzle with beads and use it as a wine charm.

4 ...Or customize your wine charm, with one for each guest!

5 No more lone socks. Clip mated socks together.

6 Reseal bags of food, like frozen veggies.

7 Keep your pattern while knitting by adding a tag.

8 Mark what's growing in your garden.

9 This tiny tool can be used to scrape off stickers.

10 Hit 2 reuses with one tag: A cellulose sponge wrapped in a reused plastic produce bag, secured with a tag, works as a great scrubber sponge!

11 Don't you hate when you can't find the end of a roll of tape? Use a tag.

12 Keep your hair ties organized easily.

13 Find a rubber band when you need one.

14 Label spare keys (no more "What does this open again?")

Plant Identifier: Slip a tag on a garden fence to identify peppers from parsley and pansies from petunias. If you need more help with your garden project Martha can help with that.

Wine Charms: Stop wondering whose drink is whose at your next get together by turning the tags into wine glass charms. Simply write the guest's name on the tag before slipping it around the stem or make each charm unique with a little bedazzling by gluing on a funky bead.

Scrubber Sponge: Save money by turning an ordinary sponge into a scrubber one. Slip a plain sponge into a produce or onion net bag and use a tag to clip it closed.

Elastic Storage: Whether you want to clip rubber bands together before tossing them in the junk drawer or hair elastics together before tossing them in the vanity drawer you can use a tag to keep them organized.

Tape Marker: Never lose the open end of a roll of tape again! Prevent an open end of the roll from sticking back on itself by using a tag to mark the spot.

Mini Scraper : These little tags are perfect for scraping things like baked on gunk inside the microwave, stickers from products or even paint residue on a window.

Knitting Placeholder: Need to mark stitches in your knitting project to keep a pattern straight? Slide a tag onto the needle so you know where you are in the project.

Mate Socks: Keep socks matched throughout the laundering process by clipping pairs together as you take them off. Do you already have an unmatched sock? Check out this crafty sock project.

Cord Label: Make it easy to tell the lamp cord from the printer cord by writing directly on the tag then clipping it to the cord.

Mark Keys: Use a tag to mark spare keys before putting them away. We all think we'll remember what the key opens but you know we never do.

What other household items do you hate throwing away but aren't sure how to put to good use? I take requests!

Jamie Novak, The World’s Most Relatable Organizer, is author of "Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure—And Save the Planet While You're at It." Please visit her website at JamieNovak.com.

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Comments (55)

  • now find a use for the sturdy little bags that are inside cereal boxes; I hate to have to throw them away but can't think of a good use for them!

  • I accept your fantastic challenge Elizabeth look for ideas in the coming weeks...Jamie

  • Okay, I've been collecting these things forever and so far have only made a piggy bank out of it. I love them!!


    These are the smaller 11.5oz containers that have red bottoms and black lids. The surrounding label comes off and using a 12x12 scrapbook paper you can make a new label to tape onto it.

    We go through one a week! Thanks and have fun!!
    ~ Nickalli

  • I reuse tops: tops to coffee containers, tops to medicine bottles, any top that is smooth. I use them under planters to catch the water, under drippy things like olive oil or honey, and under a little spray bottle that I have Neutrogena oil in. I reuse Maxwell House cans because they have a handle. They are great for in the garden. Scooping dirt or using to water something.

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  • Today I used a plastic bread tag to hold the looped wire of my headphones. This worked perfectly - no more knotted headphone wires.

  • Regina you inspired me, I tried a tag on my Skype headset and you're right- no more tangled wires! Thanks!!

  • I love those coffee container lids too. Hmmm just may have to write something about those - thanks for the idea!

  • Some good ideas, thanks! Now, what about the twist ties or plastic thingies that come with plastic trash bags? I prefer to tie my garbage bags closed, but what do I do with all of those things that come in every box?!

  • My son's school (in South Africa) can ‘earn’/donate a wheelchair through a programme which Rotary runs. They are required to collect 50 kilograms of the plastic tabs/clips on the bread packets.

  • hahaha! love it - so many good ideas :)

  • bread tabs actually make great guitar picks.

  • COOL! I always end up with those things on my kitchen floor - now I can think of ways to use them! And like Christie, I use plastic tops to catch water or wax underneath plants or candles...and of course, plastic bags from the grocery store for trash bags, always...(sorry, I buy groceries a month at a time - too much to take enviro-friendly bags to the store - at least I re-use!)

  • Birthcontrol dispensers (particularly OrthTriCyclen). They seem like such a waste of plastic.

  • I have a customer who comes in to our shop and asks for the bags from new hard drives and motherboards. He makes fly fishing lures from them.

    Great idea!

  • I am a teacher and I once collected a whole stack of bread clips and put about 15 into an empty film canister and used them with my class who were learning to count, add etc . Each child had their own film canister with a set of counters that fit under their desk , in a pencil case etc ready for them to use in maths.

  • [...] wonder what to do with those left over little bread tags? (Very [...]

  • Anyone who sells things on a small scale might find a way to use Bread Tags just as they were intended for sealing bags - possibly even used bags. The only constraint is customers will guess what's happening and have to be customers who like recycling. I hope to use some to keep shoes in bags instead of boxes.

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  • I am always amazed at the great ideas people come up with to divert waste from going to the landfill. Great ideas, I especially like the wine charms.

  • In South Africa you can mail your bread bag tags to PO Box 215 Noordhoek 7979. There is an organization that sells them to a recycling place and uses the money to buy wheelchairs. Or you can mail me on zkvlei@mweb.co.za

  • This weekend while at the laundromat, I read in a handyman magazine: suggested using the bread tabs to mark and identify CAT5 wires in ones terminal box for all of the low voltage wires (ie: home security, telephone hardwire, CCTV cable, coax cable, etc)

  • [...] For some more ideas, visit Whole Living Daily for their top 10 [...]

  • You can also collect different colors and then use them as poker chips. I used to be a nanny and taught the kids (ages 3, 5, & 8) to play poker using a large bag that their mother had been collecting. The 5 year old went to his Montessori school and announced to his teachers that I'd taught him how to play poker - they thought it was great!!

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  • I use bread clips on thongs that keep pulling thru. U no how the pluggers of thongs pull thru when not expecting it. U just take one and clip it around the stem of the plugger once u put it back thru. Like new........

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