Dear Readers: Many of you wrote in about a recent column concerning recycling old keys. Here is what some of you said:

* I once read about a church that needed funds for some project. They formed a “key club.” To join, you had to donate your old keys. They sold them to a scrap-metal business and earned the funds they needed. -- Carol in Ohio

* The locksmith that I use recycles both the old locks and the keys. -- Barbara, via e-mail

* Give them to a preschool or kindergarten teacher. They are great for counting, patterning, grouping, comparing — the list goes on and on. -- Penny in Ohio

* I used them to recognize staff where I work. I used a small label to put each name on a key, then tied the keys with narrow ribbon to a tree-branch centerpiece labeled “Keys to Our Success” for a staff-recognition party. -- Sondra, via e-mail

Thanks for all the great ideas, and keep them coming! If you have other “key” hints, I’d love to hear more! -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: While traveling, I couldn’t keep the shades shut in the hotel room. I finally used the pants hanger in the closet to clip the shades closed.

Also, after my postcards to friends arrived smeared, I placed clear packing tape over the message portion after I finished writing — clean and legible! Thanks for your great column in the Abilene Reporter-News. -- Jaide in Abilene, Tex.

Very inventive hints! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We did not get a headboard when we purchased our bedroom furniture set. I decided to make my own. I had my husband cut some wood to size for me. I purchased some inexpensive padding and a complementary fabric that I liked. I covered the wood in the padding and then stapled the fabric around it. It turned out great, and the best part is that I made it myself. -- Janice in Hawaii


Dear Heloise: The simplest and most reliable way of getting books and other items that were loaned out returned is to have a logbook and pen handy. I keep mine in a drawer near the front door. I jot down the person’s name, what was borrowed and the date it was loaned. Sometimes even six months later, I can track down the missing item that was a little overdue and secure its return. -- Pat G., La Jolla, Calif.


Dear Heloise: I enjoy all your hints! Years ago, I sewed clothes for two daughters (when they were in high school) and a son (when he was small). I’m still sewing odds and ends of projects, and just the other day I figured out how to use a home product to make the points in collars easier. I took the ink container out of a ballpoint pen, and wow! In nothing flat, I have the corner turned and pointed. Thanks. -- A Reader, via e-mail

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate