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How to Salvage Gifts from an Ex

buff out ex-girlfriend and salvage old valentine's gifts #salvage #dremel

In the spirit of love and Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about ex-girlfriends and boyfriends. No, not really. More like let’s get rid of them so we can keep the nice gifts they gave us – guilt-free.

On my husband’s dresser he keeps a beautiful box and in it is a beautiful watch that he never wears. Why? Because it’s engraved, “with love, Sarah.”

Sorry, Sarah, you’re long gone. But does that really mean the watch is off limits?

That’s a gray area of love isn’t it? Do you keep gifts from old girlfriends or boyfriends? I certainly do. Hey, if they’re nice and useful; I say keep it.

However, if there’s a permanent sentiment, that can be a little tricky.

My son received a stuffed animal from a cousin years ago. And one day our babysitter was looking at the stuffed animal and asked, “who’s Ed?” I was totally confused until she showed me the little tag on the toy that said, “Love, Ed” in red marker. I laughed my head off knowing it was a cast-off, well more like recycled, Valentine’s Day gift.

Had my niece realized, I think she would have cut the tag off before she regifted the stuffed animal!

So should you be stuck with an engraved gift from an ex lover, here’s an easy way to salvage the gift and erase the memory of the giver.

How to Buff Out Engraved Gifts


For this job you’ll need a Dremel. I used the Dremel 4000 (aff. link). It already comes with the tools you need for buffing…and a whole lot more!

1. With your Dremel unplugged, select the course buffer shown above and screw into the dremel head.

2. Work on a surface with resistance, like an old towel, so your subject doesn’t slide around and it will protect your tabletop.

3. Wear protective eye wear and work in a well ventilated area

4. Plug in your dremel and carefully touch over the engraved area you want to buff out. See how the attachment works on the metal surface to determine if you need more or less pressure.

5. Work over the area until the engraving has been erased.

6. Switch out the attachments. Apply the soft white buffer to your metal surface to polish it up, fully eliminating any traces of “the ex.”

how to erase engraving on metal #restore

What have you done with old gifts from ex-boyfriends or ex girlfriends?

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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