The simple rubber (or elastic) band is one of those nifty little items that costs next to nothing and yet has so many uses. There’s always a bag of them in our junk drawer, and I also make sure my office drawer has a plentiful supply, too. But just how versatile is that modest rubber band?
Well, I thought I’d do a little digging. Myscha listed 8 great ones already. I have my own uses of course, and they represent a good chunk of the following list. But I wanted to know how other people use them. I was genuinely surprised at some of the responses I got.So here then are 52 uses for rubber bands, ranging from the tiny one that hardly fits over a marker pen, to the giant one that you swear could double as a timing belt.
1. A hair tie.Something I still remember from my days in the mosh pits. In college, when money was tight, I didn’t want to blow money on hair ties. A simple rubber band does the trick, but it can take a few hairs with it as you pull it out.
2. A diversion.So, you want someone to look the other way, maybe so you can sneak out, hide a present or just pull a prank. Fire a rubber band across the room and aim for something that will amplify the sound as it hits. As your victim turns to look, move and strike.
3. An eraser.Hey, it’s made of rubber after all. Grab a few rubber bands and create a small rubber band ball. With enough rubber bands, you’ll have something sturdy that can erase pencil just as well as your standard eraser.
4. A sports-glasses holder. If any of you have to wear eyeglasses but play sports, you’ll know how annoying it is to have your glasses fall off, especially as the action heats up. Simply cut a rubber band in half and attach each end to each arm. If you have made it tight enough, the glasses will cling nicely to your head without pinching. When the game is over, just cut it off and throw away.
5. An eyeglasses safety strap. Same as above, only make it much longer. Now, if you have to remove your reading glasses, your new safety strap will let them hang neatly on your chest until you need them again.
6. A poster scroll. Perhaps the most obvious use, but still worth mentioning. Simple slip a rubber band over a rolled up poster to keep it rolled up. BUT, not too tight. It will leave indentations that will run the full length of the poster if the rubber band is too small.
7. A handle grip.Easy enough. Just wrap several wide rubber bands around the end of a pole to create a comfortable grip. I used this method to make a hiking stick more comfortable.
8. A mafia wallet. Well, not just the mafia, but a lot of wiseguys don’t like to carry wallets. Instead, they use a money clip or in some cases a rubber band. Wrap it around your stash of Benjamin Franklins. Or, if you want to contain your ID as well, put the cash between your driver’s license and credit cards, and then wrap the bands around that.
9. A humble reminder. Just put a small rubber band over your little finger (not too tight mind you) to act as a reminder for something important. That’s if your smart phone is a piece of junk that has no calendar.
10. A candle dewobbler.Is your lovely candle wobbling in the candle holder? Just put a rubber band around the base and it will fit nice and snug.
11. A glove softener.We’ve all done it, or at least, most young baseball players have done it. A brand new glove is stiff, so after beating it with a mallet and rubbing in shaving cream, wrap a big rubber band around it. Then let it sit.
12. A mail storage system.Hammer two parallel rows of nails in the side of a cabinet or the back of a door, and stretch rubber bands between them to hold mail. You can also stretch bands over a piece of plywood for a cheaper version of the French ribbon board.
13. An overbite cure.I’m skeptical on this one. But apparently, when stretched between opposite ends of the upper and lower jaw, over a period of time, the force of a rubber band can correct a minor overbite.
14. A remote control saver.Wrap a big rubber band around the top and bottom of a remote. It will protect it from a fall, and it will stop it scratching up the coffee table.
15. An Easter-egg decorator.Just wrap rubber bands in different directions around the eggs before dunking them in egg dye. Cool patterns will appear.
16. A cheap ruler.For this one, use a bigger rubber band, stretch it out and run your pencil along it. Simple, but certainly not perfect.
17. A liquid economizer.Wasting precious soap, detergent or lotion? Wrap a rubber band tightly around the neck of the dispensing pump to limit how each “squirt.”
18. An electrical insulator.Make wires safer in an instant. First, turn of the power, then wrap a rubber band or two around any exposed wire to protect yourself. This is a temporary measure obviously.
19. A finger exerciser. If your fingers are in need of some stretching or rehab, this is a cheap way to work them out. First, bunch all of your fingers together and place them through the center of a rubber band, one with a lot of tension. Next, spread your fingers and let them contract.Now, repeat.
20. A flower arranger.For simple organization of your blooms, use a rubber band to keep flower heads together. Cut the stems to just above the height of the vase for best effect.
To be continue
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