The humble, sometimes overlooked but not forgotten, rubber band gets the spotlight with this tribute to 60 uses for this simplistic miracle of science. Many uses you will most likely already know about, and hopefully others will shed a new light. In either case, I hope you enjoy these practical and sometimes whimsical uses of this handy doodad. And in grand frugal tradition, may carrying one around also save you money.
#1 Hair Tie – When no scrunchie is readily available, a rubber band can double as a pony tail holder.
#2 A Diversion – If bored enough, this is one of a few ways for self-entertainment. Pull and release to sniper someone from afar.
#3 An Eraser – It should be obvious that rubber bands are rubber, so why couldn’t it be used to erase pencil marks. Wrap a couple or three into a tight ball, and it’ll work as well as any ordinary pencil eraser.
#4 Sports/Safety Glasses Holder – If you need glasses while playing sports, then you already know what a pain it is to keep them on. Make a rubber band chain connecting the ear pieces so that the glasses stay snuggly in place while you play. This trick is also great for swimmers goggles.
#5 Reading Glasses String – Similar to use #4 except that the you simply make the chain longer, thereby allowing your glasses to rest around your neck when not in use.
#6 Poster Holder – Most any store-bought poster comes rolled and rubber banded so it ought to make sense to store them the same way. You can store wrapping paper the same way. But because wrapping paper is meant to tear easily, put something soft or plastic between the wrapping paper and the rubber band.
#7 Handle Grip – Wrap some rubber bands around the end of mops and broom handles and walking sticks or anything else you have a hard time gripping for some extra leverage. This tends to make the handles more comfortable to hold too as well as less slippery.
#8 Wallet Alternative – Hold together an old, falling apart wallet; or ditch the wallet altogether. Wrap some rubber bands around cash and credit cards to keep them tight and tidy.
#9 A Humble Reminder – Similar to the old tie a string around your finger routine, a rubber band can serve the same purpose to remind you of an important task. But if you value your finger, don’t wind too tight.
#10 Candle Dewobbler – If you have a candle that’s supposed to set down in a holder but doesn’t quite fit, fix the wobble by putting a rubber band around the base, and make the fit more snug.
#11 Glove Relaxer – Baseball gloves are stiff. New ones require a lot of exercise and oiling. Or you can pound at it with a mallet and condition with shaving cream. But when you’re not playing with it or fighting with it to make it soft, wrap a rubber band around it to relax it for a natural curve.
#12 Baseball Hat Fixer – We love baseball caps, especially on bad hair days; but new ones have the beak being hard and flat and straight. To give that beak the classic sexy curve, store it with a rubber band wrapped around it.
#13 Mail Holder – Hammer two rows of nails to a cabinet or back of door or wherever you want to store mail. Then, stretch rubber bands between them. I use this method myself as a way to hold outgoing bills before I send them off.
#14 Cure For Overbite – This one seems unusual, but is tested and true. A rubber band looped over opposite ends of the upper and lower jaw, over time, can correct a minor overbite.
#15 Remote Control Saver – By wrapping a rubber band around a remote control, you effectively prevent breaking if it falls and also save your coffee table from scratches.
#16 Easter Egg Decorator – Inventive and fun, wrap a few rubber bands in varying directions around an egg before dipping in color. When dry, remove the bands to reveal a unique pattern.
#17 Poor Man’s Ruler – Need a straight edge on the fly? Stretch a rubber band, and a line drawn along the edge is guaranteed to be straight.
#18 Soap Saver – I say soap saver, but really this trick can be used on any liquid dispenser with a pump. Tightly wrap a rubber band around the bottom part of the pump, so that when you press down, the rubber band prevents the pump from going all the way down. This prevents wasteful overuse of the soap or relevant contents, making this tip an economic one.
#19 Wire Insulator – Before doing this trick, make sure whatever wire you’re handling has no power running through it. In other words, unplug it. Put some rubber bands around any exposed wire to protect yourself from electrocution. Please note that this is only a temporary fix.
#20 Hand Strengthener – Whether you’re treating your arthritis or simply looking for a way to occupy your hands, you can put your fingers through the middle of a rubber band and flex your fingers outward. The resistance provided by the rubber band can actually give strength back to weak hands.
#21 Flower Arranger – A rubber band can be handy for keeping flowers grouped together in a vase.
#22 Tame Unruly Houseplants – Kin to use #21, a rubber band can sometimes be used to tie up bushy or unruly houseplants.
#23 Jar Opener – No, a rubber band can’t open a jar by itself, but you can put one around the rim to give yourself more grip on the hard to open jars.
#24 Button Hole Extender – This probably isn’t exactly a pretty solution, but it is cheap and effective. Loop a small rubber band through the hole on a shirt or pants and the other end around the button; particularly handy for tight shirts or for giving your belly more room after Thanksgiving.
#25 Tighten Bad Slats – The slats under a bed can become loose over time. Put some rubber bands around the ends for a more secure fit.
#26 Caster Tightener – I have this problem with office chairs; you go to pick up the chair for any reason, and the caster just falls off. To keep the caster inserted snuggly, wrap some rubber bands around the tip and reinsert.
#27 Drink Marker – Rubber bands can be a cheap and fun way to keep people from mixing up drinks at a party. Use a variety of colors for show. Also, this tip is handy where swapping alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks could be a concern.
#28 Koosh Ball – Knot a whole bunch of colorful rubber bands together, leaving the looped ends free and wiggly. Snip the looped ends and you have super cheap koosh ball for fun.
#29 Liquid Marker – Sometimes we keep foul-smelling or toxic liquids such as paints or cleaners on hand just in case. However, we don’t necessarily want to open said containers to see how much is left. Use a rubber band on the outside of the container to display how much is left. Then, just move down the rubber band after each use.
#30 Paint Brush Scraper – When painting, place a rubber band, top to bottom of the paint can so that the rubber band is stretched over the opening. This way you can wipe the brush on the rubber band instead the lip of the paint can. Makes for less mess.
#31 Universal Organizer – This should be obvious, but we want to cover all the bases afterall. Whether it’s business cards, pens, whatever; keep them grouped up with a handy rubber band.
#32 Sliced Apple Saver – Perhaps you cut up an apple but then decide not to eat it right away. Put the slices back together giving the appearance that the apple is whole again, and then wrap it up with a rubber band. The apple will oxidize only half as fast.
#33 Bag Sealer – I’m a Ziploc man myself, but a rubber band is honestly more practical. Wrap a rubber band around cereal bags or open chips or any other bag to keep its contents fresh.
#34 Folder Holder – Big envelopes can sometimes be difficult to stay shut. Put a rubber band, in each direction, around the envelope for secure storage.
#35 Cable Organizer – Anyone with an entertainment center knows that a plethora of cords for those electronic devices can quickly start to look like a mass of spaghetti. With a little help some rubber bands, you can easily shorten and organize those unruly wires.
#36 Childproof Doors – Though not completely childproof, rubber banding cabinet doors can act as a powerful deterrent. Stretch one between two adjourning knobs and let the band do the rest.
#37 Broom Reviver – As brooms get older, the bristles tend to bush out. Use a rubber band about half way up the bristles to tighten them up again.
#38 Toilet Paper Protector – Children and cats are fascinated with toilet paper. Use a rubber band around the roll to curb their curiosity and save yourself the headache of rewinding the roll.
#39 Shower Grip – This is not a grip for the shower but rather the items in the shower. Place a rubber band around shampoo bottles and body washes to give some extra grip to those slippery containers. Also wrap one around that disposable razor to prevent slippage.
#40 Spoon Stopper – Spoons and other utensils sometimes have the tendency to slip into large bowls and whatnot. Wrap a rubber band around the handle to keep the spoon from slipping down into the mix.
#41 Pencil Grip – If you find yourself writing a lot, relieve sore fingers by placing a rubber band around the pencil. It’ll be more comfortable and let you hold the pencil more easily.
#42 Slingshot – Falling under the category of uses while bored, launching projectiles with a rubber band can be as fun as shooting the rubber band itself.
#43 Loose Lid Fixer – Got a lid that doesn’t quite fit securely anymore? Wrap a rubber band around it.
#44 Rubber Band Art – All you need is a peg board and pegs or maybe a piece of cardboard and thumbtacks. Create the pattern you want by stretching rubber bands between the pegs, and then hang it.
#45 Wax Catcher – Create a lip on your candle to catch wax from dripping by looping multiple rubber bands over each other at the bottom.
#46 Slip Resistant Cutting Board – No need to wrap the cutting board, just set the cutting board on top of some rubber bands to keep it from sliding as you cut.
#47 Rubber Thimble – Just as effective as the metal ones and sized to fit, a rubber band or two around the finger can save you from pin pricks.
#48 Stress Reliever – At one time or another we’ve all made a rubber band ball to throw and bounce around, but that ball can also serve as a stress reliever when repeatedly squeezed.
#49 Leak Fixer – A rubber band won’t “fix” a leak, but a strong fat rubber band can provide a temporary fix or at least slow down a leaky hose or pipe.
#50 Tie Dye – In my opinion, tie dye is timeless, and making your own can be so much fun. Bunch up the fabric and tie off with rubber bands in a pattern or keep it random, and dye away. When you’re done, you’ll have your own unique wearable art.
#51 Jump Rope – Connect a whole ton of rubber bands together in a long chain, and you got yourself a jump rope.
#52 Tupperware Transporter – Even if your to-go container has a nice fitting lid, anything can happen as it bounces and slides in your car on your way to a party. Simply secure that lid with a rubber band and eliminate the fear of spillage.
#53 Bungee Cord Alternative – Though not as strong as bungee cord, a rubber band is significantly less expensive and sometimes just as useful. So for light weight tasks, consider using rubber bands in place of bungee cords.
#54 Fun Suspenders – Rubber bands probably won’t hold up your pants, but a chain of colorful bands can make a fun outrageous statement to your outfit.
#55 Cat Toy – No cat can resist the call of a rubber band flying across the room. However, please make this supervised play time as cats tend to want to eat the rubber band.
#56 Quick Adhesive – This is by no means a permanent fix; however, melting a rubber band can act as a decently strong adhesive for most quick repairs.
#57 Homemade Guitar – The quickest and easiest way to make your own guitar is to take an empty tissue box and stretch some rubber bands around it. No muss, no fuss, and just strum away.
#58 Napkin Holder – Spruce up those cloth napkins or silverware setting with a colorful rubber band tied around it.
#59 Ceiling Fan Chain Extender – I say ceiling fan chain, but this is also handy for lights with a short chain too. Just add some rubber bands to the end of the chain until the new chain is comfortably in reach.
#60 Bracelet – So what do you do with a rubber band when it’s not in use? Wear it as a bracelet of course. With so many colors and thicknesses, to call it a fashion statement is not far-stretched.