+ Tips and Tricks

New Uses for Old Things, Part III

I can’t remember the last time that I actually printed a photo, or for that matter, carried one around with me.  But recently, a well-meaning person gave me a set of three leather photo envelopes as a gift.  For weeks, they sat on my counter still in the plastic as I wondered what I could possibly do with three leather photo organizers. Here is what I came up with:

Budd Leather Photo Envelope ($27)

Tiny Evening Clutch.  The envelope is just big enough to hold a blackberry, my ID, a credit card and a lip balm.  So it’s a good substitute for an evening clutch provided that it has a clasp to close it.

Receipt Organizer.  When I go on business trips, collecting and organizing my receipts becomes a cumbersome task.  After a few days on the road, I am positively drowning in paper.  A leather photo envelope is the perfect place to store all of your receipts until you return home and can sort through them all.

Travel Jewelry Bag.  Whenever I take a trip, my necklaces, earrings and bracelets all end up in a tangle in the bottom of a Ziploc bag.  However, on my last trip, I taped the clasp end of each of my necklaces to the outside of a photo envelope.  I then folded them over the top and let the pendant ends fall into the envelope.  No tangling, no mess.

You could also use the envelope to transport hair ties, bobby pins and barettes in your purse or luggage.  I hate just tossing bobby pins into my bag since they usually end up scattered everywhere.

Cord Storage.  I often travel with my iPod and camera.  This means headphones, iPod cable, and camera cable all have to travel with me.  Coiling them and placing them in once of these envelopes means that I can keep everything together and not have to spend time untangling my headphone cord.

So how would you use one of these leather envelopes?  Leave suggestions in the comments.


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  1. Whitley says:

    My mom uses these envelopes as a wallet when she travels in Europe since the bills are shorter and wider as opposed to American dollar bills.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  2. Meg says:

    During campaign season, I have a few of these in my bag – one for personal reciepts, one for campaign-related reciepts, and one for bank deposit slips, checks to be deposited, and bank reciepts. I also have a smaller little leather envelope that I keep extra business cards in. I hate sticking them in a random pocket of my purse, they always get bent or dirty on the edges.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  3. jen says:

    i use these take the guilt out of birthday giftcard cop-outs. i hate giving gift cards because they feel so last minute and impersonal. the presentation in one of these envelopes helps to make up for that.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  4. Ms. B says:

    Jen – what a great idea. I live somewhere that shopping is at best a challenge and gift
    cards are a staple gift to send. Thanks for the idea.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  5. Anna says:

    Love the idea of using this for receipts! Maybe someone will randomly give me three leather photo envelopes. fingers crossed

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  6. Katie says:

    I gave these as graduation gifts to my high school friends. Trading wallet sized senior portraits is a tradition at my school, and the little pockets were easy to personalize with notes written on business card sized pieces of paper.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  7. R says:

    Maybe you could use them to hold stationary and stamps for last minute cards/thank you notes/etc.

    September 30, 2010/Reply