Without its help, you'd show up to job interviews and weddings looking like you just rolled out of bed. Your iron makes quick work of pressing your clothes, but don't banish this simple tool to the closet when you're not dressing to impress. The combination of heat and weight makes an iron a handy assistant for a variety of around-the-house projects. Oh, yeah — it can also help you whip up a pretty great grilled cheese.
Makeshift Panini Press
The parents who buy irons for their college-bound kids may not realize it, but there's a good chance that those irons are going to be used more to make midnight snacks than to press shirts. We're not saying you should use an iron to cook quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches. We're just saying... you could. As long as the food is entirely wrapped in foil, pressing a hot iron against each side for a few minutes will cook it without damaging the iron itself.
Your grandmother would be so proud! You can hem your own clothes at home, even if you don't know which end of a sewing machine is up. Special iron-on hem tape was made for you. Use it for simple hemming projects and the heat of the iron will seal it in place, no sewing required.
You're a responsible adult, and you've got the paperwork to prove it! And because this is how the world works, the next time you spill coffee or red wine, it will almost certainly land on the closest Very Important Paperwork. Prevent disaster by picking up some laminating pouches. Slide a document inside, cover it with a towel and run your warm iron over the towel to seal the edges of the laminating pouch. Try it first with a blank piece of paper before bringing an iron near your Social Security card.
Pull Dents From Carpet
So you moved a piece of furniture for the first time in a long time, and it shows. Serious dents in your carpet won't just fade on their own. Give them some help by placing a clean towel over a dented spot. Using the steam function on your iron, hold the iron just over the covered dents. Remove the towel and gently lift the carpet fibers with a thin object, like a credit card or the edge of a butter knife.
Create Canvas Art
Want to save a child's art forever, without paying to get it professionally printed and framed? Try a DIY route. Scan the picture onto your computer and print it on printable iron-on transfers. Next, iron the design onto a canvas tote bag, or iron it onto a plain art canvas to hang on a wall. It'll last forever, even after the little artist is all grown up.
Press Flowers for Posterity
When someone you love gives you flowers, it's painful to toss them in the trash after a week. Save those precious petals forever by pressing them between wax paper. This works a lot like making art with crayon shavings. Sandwich the flowers in a single layer between two sheets of wax paper. Cover the paper with a dishtowel to prevent scorching and press a warm iron on top for a few seconds at a time. Check the flowers between each pressing until you're happy with how they look.
Crayon Stained Glass
When the weather outside is crummy, bring some sunshine and color indoors with a craft that kids will love. Use an old cheese grater to turn crayon chunks into shavings. Lay out an old towel on a table and place a piece of wax paper on top. Let kids arrange the shavings on the wax paper and top with a second sheet. Place a piece of newspaper on top of that and slowly run a warm iron across the newspaper to melt the crayon shavings below. Glue the edges of the wax paper together display the "stained glass" art in a window.
Maybe you're making family T-shirts for a Disney trip, or advertising your own business. Maybe you're taking a Halloween shortcut and your kids' costumes will be limited to themed T-shirts this year. (No judgment.) The point is, all you need to make a personalized shirt in minutes is a plain shirt, an iron and some iron-on transfers. Buy pre-designed transfers, or create your own message using individual iron-on letters.
Minimize Dents in Wood
Dents add character to old wood. But if you'd rather keep your new, smooth table character-free for now, an iron can minimize small dents that occur. Cover a dent with a damp washcloth and gently run a hot iron above the dented spot, not quite making contact with the table itself. Check the table every few seconds to make sure you're not damaging the surface. After a few minutes, the dent should be less noticeable or gone altogether.
Remove Heat Stains From Wood
Rings belong on your fingers, not on your coffee table. And yet, your guests ignored your coasters and their coffee mugs or teacups left damp, dark rings on a wooden table. The same method that pulls dents out of wood should also minimize the appearance of those unsightly circles. For this job, place a dry cloth over the marks and hold a hot iron just over it for about 30 seconds. The rings should disappear as if by magic.