19 Clever Uses for Rubber Bands

Flickr/Larry Rosenstein/CC BY 2.0

Whether you call it a binder, elastic, lackey band, laggy band, lacka band or gumband, all we can say is blessed be the rubber band.

We have Stephen Perry to thank for the ubiquitous rubber latex loops -- in 1845, Perry patented the use of india rubber for use as springs in bands, belts, etc., and also the design for elastic bands by slicing sizes of vulcanized india rubber tube. Perry invented the rubber band to hold papers and envelopes together, but its uses have multiplied into untold applications.

Which is good, because most of us have rubber bands coming out of our ears. They sneak their way into our homes via bundles of mail and the newspaper, bunches of produce and cut flowers. And then they seem to multiply, like rabbits, in the junk drawer.

So what to use them for? They're not as sleek a hack as binder clips, and they don't have the same repair integrity as duct tape, but they are the perfect in-a-pinch solution to many problems: Think providing the simplest means for an easy fix that might otherwise deem an item unusable.

Aside from that, they are genius for storage and organizing, they can be a wonderfully irreverent craft material, and they're just the perfect all-around little helpers. There are as many ways to use a rubber band as your mind will conceive, but here are 19 right off the bat.

1. Prevent a sliced apple from browning

© Melissa Breyer

2. Make a makeshift tripod

Flickr/Ric e Ette/CC BY 2.0

3. Turn regular jeans into maternity pants

Flickr/reebob/CC BY 2.0

4. Wrap around a hose to seal small leaks

Flickr/Just_Ice./CC BY 2.0

5. Create a gripper to conquer stuck lids

© Melissa Breyer

6. Keep books safe and closed in your bag

Flickr/Symic/CC BY 2.0

7. Tame the wily measuring tape

Flickr/Unhindered by Talent/CC BY 2.0

8. Craft a statement necklace

Flickr/RURONG/CC BY 2.0
See how to make a rubber band chain necklace here, and for more inspiration look at these incredible creations.

9. Keep ribbons from unspooling

© Melissa Breyer

10. Make a rubber (band) duck

Flickr/ jdsmith1021/CC BY 2.0
Online rubber band duck tutorials are far and few between (read: nonexistant) but for you crafty ones, this crocheted duck how-to is as good a place as any to start.

11. Tie dye Easter eggs

Flickr/James Britton/CC BY 2.0
For rubber band egg dying, see this step-by-step tutorial.

12. Improvise an impromptu wrist strap

Capt Kodak/CC BY 2.0

13. Keep bags and packages sealed

© Melissa Breyer

14. Portion control pump products (especially good for kids who can't get enough)

Flickr/chilsta/CC BY 2.0

15. Hang fliers without tape or adhesives

Flickr/Eric Fischer/CC BY 2.0

16. Make a rubber band ball (that can double as an eraser)

Flickr/Accumulata/CC BY 2.0
See the how-to (with video) here.

17. Prevent your cutting board from slipping

© Melissa Breyer

18. Force a long-exposure on a vintage camera

Flickr/imwearingcons/CC BY 2.0

19. Desperate times call for desperate measures: Make your phone hands-free

Flickr/labspics/CC BY 2.0

Have more uses for rubber bands? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Cleaning | Crafts | Do It Yourself | Repair