Rubber bands are useful, whether it’s the first use or a reuse. Most folks use rubber bands to contain such items as pens, pencils, markers or plastic forks. Kids seem to enjoy shooting rubber bands. But are there other ways to reuse the pile of rubber bands mounting up in your office desk drawer or kitchen junk drawer? Yes there are. Here are 10 practical ways to reuse rubber bands.
Rubber Band Reuse #1: Quiet the Chimes
When a storm comes up and the wind knocks my chimes silly, I have a solution to quiet the chimes. I take a simple rubber band and run it around the chimes from the bottom up to secure the chimes to the clangor. It pulls them together and stops the music. When the wind ceases, I rescue the chimes from containment.
Rubber Band Reuse #2: Surround the Chips
I close my chip bags with rubber bands, but not in the way you would think. I don’t wind the rubber band around the top of a bag to seal in freshness. I fold the top of the bag over several times and then put the rubber band once around the bag lengthwise. It holds everything in place, keeps the bag contents crisp, and it’s easier to open.
Rubber Band Reuse #3: Rubber Band Balls
You can buy these balls already wound, or you can make your own ball. I’ve heard of folks making their ball bigger than a basketball. Your ball size will be limited by the stretch of a single rubber band. But if you keep your rubber band ball small, you can play catch with it, bounce it anywhere, or store it in your desk drawer. When the rubber bands on the outside of the ball become brittle or you use them up, you simply add more to the ball as you get more.
Rubber Band Reuse #4: Jar Openers
Those wide rubber bands that come on celery or asparagus and great for opening lids. If you put the rubber band around a lid that won’t budge, you can get a better grip on it.
Rubber Band Reuse #5: Level Markers
Rubber bands make useful level markers. If you want to know how much fluid is left inside a bottle–without holding it up to the light or looking down the bottle neck–you can mark the volume level with a rubber band around the bottle. That way it only takes a quick glance to see how much product you have available.
Rubber Band Reuse #6: Craft Resources
If you are into tie-dying, rubber bands are essential. Rubber bands are tightly wound around hunks of fabric, and then the fabric is dipped in a dye-bath. Where the rubber bands are wound, the dye won’t penetrate the fabric.
Rubber Band Reuse #7: Donate to Teachers
Classroom teachers have no difficulty finding uses for rubber bands. Student art projects and posters make it home easier when contained with a rubber band. And there are always popsicle sticks, markers, and assorted other items that need to be gathered together and organized in a classroom.
Rubber Band Reuse #8: Pastry Bag Closer
Pastry bags can be clamped closed with a rubber band to help keep the frosting in the bag while you are decorating. You can focus on the detail work instead of trying to keep the frosting from squeezing out the other end.
Rubber Band Reuse #9: Clothing Gripper
If you secure rubber bands around the shoulder areas of a hanger, your clothing won’t slide off the hanger as easily. Rubber bands are cheap, and they won’t harm your clothing or show marks.
Rubber Band Reuse #10: Donate to Delivery
Consider how you got your stash of rubber bands in the first place. Did they come into your home around your morning paper? Did they come to your work station in mail delivery? However you came by those rubber bands–with the exception of food service–you can donate them back for reuse. Give them back to where they came from. They can always go another round or two.
Never again will you wonder if rubber bands have any practical use beyond fastening items together in a drawer or plastic tub. Now you know 10 more practical ways to reuse or recycle rubber bands.