Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Make your own office supplies

by: Jo

Tough economic times require creative solutions to everyday problems…a specialty here at Chica and Jo. One area where we feel everyone could easily cut back is in the office. With just a few quick tips from us, you can be on your way to making all of your own office supplies.


Rummage through your stash of paint cans or ask your neighbors about theirs to find old, white paint. Simply use a small paintbrush to paint over mistakes on your documents. If you find the large gallon containers a bit too cumbersome to use, just pour your paint into old baby food jars.

Staples and Paper Clips

Find your slightly bent coat hangers in the closet. Use wire cutters to cut small sections. Bend the resulting wire into the shape of a staple or a paper clip, depending on what you need. To use the staple, simply push or hammer the staple through the stack of papers. Flip the stack over and hammer down the edges. Careful when using these handmade supplies because the cut edges will be sharp!

Rubber bands

Take old underwear and cut off the elastic bands on the top and around the legs. Cut to the size you need and tie into a circle. An inexpensive solution for all of your rubber band needs.

Post-it Notes

Cut your old junk mail into small squares. Use any pre-chewed gum you might have on hand and affix it to the back of the paper. The gum will stick to almost any surface!


Take the lint from your lint trap and glue it to an old piece of wood. After the glue dries, you will have the perfect eraser for your chalk or marker board.

Dry erase markers

Don’t toss those broken or outdated lipsticks, use them to write on your dry erase boards. The colors are prettier than the markers you can buy in the stores.


All you really need is a lump of graphite to use to write. To find graphite, simply go out into your yard and start digging. If you are lucky, you will eventually find a vein of graphite that you can use in place of pencils. Click here for more details on mining graphite.

If you enjoyed these ideas, find even more at You might also like reading our post about how to raise really fresh lobster. Also, check out this more serious post on being green in the office.

4 comments so far:

  • 1
    Kriscake 04/01/2009 at 9:23 am

    *sigh* You all got me for the second year in a row!

  • 2
    Scot 04/01/2009 at 11:41 am

    The white-out thing had me wondering … the homemade paper clips and underwear elastics made me worry for your sanity … the lump of graphite was the perfect denouement. Well done. :-)

  • 3
    Elizabeth 04/06/2009 at 8:19 pm

    Haha! I thought this was serious up until the chewed gum post-its. :)

  • 4
    Jo 04/06/2009 at 9:25 pm

    We got a lot of you this year! Thanks for your comments and emails, glad everyone liked our little joke.

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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

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