We all know that when you’re feeding a crowd at a cookout, paper plates can save you a whole lot of cleanup time, especially over this Labor Day weekend. But that’s not the only way these disposable, sturdy helpers can come to your aid. Here’s just a small sampling of other chores that paper plates can perform for you:
In the Garden
- Say “adios” to ants – Whether the tiny rascals are traipsing into your house or making mischief at your barbecue, serve up ultra-safe ant bait on a paper plate. When the bait’s all gone, toss the plate into the compost bin, or bury it in the garden. You’ll solve your pest problem and improve your soil at the same time.
- Make sticky traps for flying bugs – Poke a hole near the edge of the plate, and thread a piece of wire through it. Coat the paper surface with corn syrup or petroleum jelly, and hang the trap on or next to a plagued plant. Every few days, remove the bug-covered plate and replace it with a fresh one.
- Make a quickie bird feeder – Use thumbtacks to attach heavy-duty, pressed paper plates to your wooden porch railing or other sheltered spot and scatter a handful of black oil sunflower seeds in each one.
Around the House
- Catch paint drips – Before you start painting a ceiling, poke a hole in a paper plate and push your brush handle through. Then you’ll be sure that the paint will dribble onto the plate and not on your head.
- Cushion your china – When ceramic plates are stacked on a shelf, the bottom of one can scratch the surface of the plate below. To keep that from happening, put paper plates between them.
- Play the learning game – Flash cards are great teaching aids, but they can work even better if your spice up the action. How? Just write or draw the relevant letters, numbers, shapes, or words on paper plates. When the student gets the answer right, he or she can celebrate by flinging the plate across the room, Frisbee-style!