A lot of great ideas guys. I was in the process of compiling a list of items I have used for a few FB forums I'm on, but for some reason the post would disappear as I was adding pics or text, so I gave up. I will post it here when I have some time.
You guys are pretty creative!
I am always looking for uses for everyday items on my layout. Here are a few things I have come up with:
The trees in the above photo are made from weeds from our garden. I dried them out, sprayed them with 3M adhesive then put them in a bag with foam ground cover.
The pavement in the above three photos is asphalt shingles turned upside down. Some paint and weathering make a pretty convincing road.
I made bales of scrap metal out of aluminum foil. I made a 1" x1"x1" box out of wood. I pack the foil into the box and out comes a bale of scrap metal. The junk cars are aluminum foil burnished over model cars from the layout. The shell is then trimmed, painted and dented to produce junk cars.
The chain link fence is made from window screen. I cut it diagonally and fastened it to brass post that I soldered together.
The watermelons are ball bearings that I painted and attached to "mohair" vines. The tomatoes are shotgun shot that are glued to "mohair" plants.
The "coal" in this coal yard is creosote harvested from the chimney of my wood burning stove. I have also used the creosote and ash to weather various items.
The brush along the right side of this scene is "mohair" packing material. An elderly friend used to work for a local manufacturing plant that packed their product in this material (back in the 1950's, if I recall) He told me it was called mohair. He gave me several sheets of the material, which I have put to good use on the layout. The oil tank is a piece of 2" PVC pipe.
For anyone who eats at Cracker Barrel, their "Barrel Burger" comes with a wooden pick to keep the burger together and the pick is topped with a little decorative wood barrel. The barrel is of course just about the perfect size for O gauge once the pick is cut off. You just need to make sure the wooden pick is safely put away in a pocket before the server clears the table after the meal.