12 Extraordinary Uses for Rubber Bands

Mark your place in a book, avoid wasting paint, and solve 10 other frustrations -- with elastic bands!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Stop sliding spoons

Plop! The spoon slipped into the mixing bowl again, and now you have to fish it out of the messy batter. This time, after you rinse off the spoon, wrap a rubber band around the top of the handle to catch the spoon and avoid the mess.

Secure your casserole lids

Don’t spill it! That’s what you say when you hand somebody your lovingly prepared casserole dish to carry in the car on the way to that potluck dinner. You won’t have to worry if you secure the top to the base with a couple of wide rubber bands.

Anchor your cutting board

Do you find yourself chasing your cutting board around the counter when you’re chopping up veggies? Give the board some traction by putting a rubber band around each end.

Get a grip on twist-off tops

Ouch! The tops on most beer bottles these days are supposed to be twist-off, but for some reason they still have those sharp little crimps from the bottle-opener days. And those little crimps can really dig into your hand. Wrap the top in a rubber band to save the pain. The same trick works great for smooth, tough-to-grip soda bottle tops too.

Reshape your broom

No need to toss out that broom because the bristles have become splayed with use. Wrap a rubber band around the broom a few inches from the bottom. Leave it for a day or so to get the bristles back in line.

Childproof kitchen and bath cabinets

Temporarily childproof the bathroom and kitchen cabinets you don’t want kids to get into. Just wrap the bands tightly around pairs of handles.

Keep thread from tangling

Tired of tangled thread in your sewing box? Just wrap a rubber band around the spools to keep the thread from unraveling.

Make a holder for your car visor

Snap a couple of rubber bands around the sun visors of your car. Now you have a handy spot to slip toll receipts, directions, maybe even your favorite CD.

Use as a bookmark

Paper bookmarks work fine, until they slip out of the book. Instead, wrap a rubber band from top to bottom around the part of the book you’ve already read. You won’t lose your place, even if you drop the book.

Secure bed slats

Do the slats under your mattress sometimes slip out? Wrap rubber bands around their ends to make them stay in place.

Tighten furniture casters

Furniture leg casters can become loose with wear. To tighten up a caster, wrap a rubber band around the stem and reinsert.

Gauge your liquids

Hm, just how much finish is left in that can up on the shelf anyway? Snap a band around the liquid containers in your workshop to indicate how much is left and you’ll always know at a glance.

Wipe your paintbrush

Every time you dip your paintbrush, you wipe the excess against the side of the can. Before you know it, paint is dripping off the side of the can and the little groove around the rim is so full of paint that it splatters everywhere when you go to hammer the lid back on. Avoiding all this mess is easy. Just wrap a rubber band around the can from top to bottom, going across the middle of the can opening. Now, when you fill your brush, you can just tap it against the rubber band and the excess paint will fall back into the can.