Our Readers’ 45 Favorite Handy Hints
Over the past 50 years, readers of The Family Handyman magazine have shared thousands of clever tricks with their fellow homeowners. Here are some new and best classic hints.
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Coffee Bag Ties
Small bags of fancy coffee have heavy-duty ties to keep them airtight. The ties are handy for securing small coils of electrical cable and rope. They’re usually fastened to the bag with just a dab of glue, making them pretty easy to pull off. — reader Joe Gemmill Plus: Quick and clever kitchen storage ideas.
Wine Cork Caulk Saver
Synthetic wine corks are great for sealing partially used tubes of caulk. Drill a 5/16-in. hole into the cork about 1 in. deep. The cork fits perfectly and makes an airtight seal. — reader Susan Claussen Plus: Expert tips for caulking.
Six-Pack Shop Organizer
Six-pack cartons are useful for storing and transporting items like spray paint, lubricants and caulk. — reader Gerald Fitzgibbon
My house has round ceiling registers for the air-conditioning system. In the winter, we’d get cold air falling from the registers. Rather than put up with the drafts, I sealed the registers with those clear plastic saucers that you put under flower pots. I temporarily glued them in place with White Lightning SEASONSeal Clear Removable Weather Stripping. It’s a rubbery sealant that you apply with a caulk gun and peel off in the spring. — reader James Herrrenknecht
A Sticky Solution
To keep my square from sliding on slick material when I’m trying to mark with it, I stick vinyl picture-frame bumpers on the back. This holds the square in place while I draw a pencil line. — reader Kelly Hicks
Plus: Learn how to hang artwork and wall-hangings straight and level.
Topsy-Turvy Door Painting
Luminous Light Switch
Long Reach Shears
Tennis Ball Parking Guide
No-Slip Seat Cushions
Touch-Up Without Cleanup
No need to mess up a brush to fix a wall wound. Just dip an old washcloth in the paint and throw it away when you’re done. A washcloth leaves the same texture as a paint roller, so your repair will blend nicely. Here are tricks for storing paint brushes overnight.