DIY projects involving woodworking can be challenging (depending on your skill level), but also pretty rewarding—resulting in an actual physical thing you made yourself. But all that cutting, screwing, sawing, sanding and drilling can also make something else: a giant mess.
As thoroughly as you sweep, it seems like there’s always some sawdust left. But instead of dumping it, you might want to save your sawdust and use it for some of these household hacks, coming to us courtesy of Donna Boyle Schwartz of BobVila.com.
Make your own trail
Turn your yard into a mini-park, complete with your own trails—all thanks to sawdust. “When scattered strategically in your garden or wooded lot, sawdust can create a natural pathway while also reducing soil erosion and preventing weeds,” Schwartz writes. Bonus: scatter some sawdust on slippery sidewalks during the winter to get some tractions.
Safely throw away paint
It’s not easy to get rid of paint. You should never pour it down the drain, Swartz says, and most city and local governments don’t permit residents to dispose of paint in the garbage. That is, unless, you fill the rest of the paint can with sawdust and let it sit until it hardens. Then, it’s possible to throw the whole can in the garbage without contaminating everything.
Fill in cracks and gaps in wood
If you have holes, cracks or gouges in something made of wood, steal this trick from floor refinishing pros and fill them in using sawdust. Here’s what to do, per Schwartz:
Create some sawdust from the wood you’d like to patch, then grind it into a fine, flour-like consistency. Mix the sawdust powder with wood glue to create a putty, and use it to fill in the damaged areas. The color of the DIY filler will be an exact match for the wood.
Plant some mushrooms
If you’ve gotten into gardening and growing your own fruits and vegetables, you may have considered adding mushrooms to your list of crops. According to Schwartz, mushrooms love wood—which is why you see them growing on downed logs and fallen tress out in the wild. Bring the wood to them in your garden, creating a mushroom bed using a combination of sawdust and organic compost, and keeping it moist.