19 Clever Uses for Rubber Bands

Bunches of scallions on a cutting board

 ErikaMitchell / Getty Images

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, et cetera, 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 a good all-around little helper. 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

Rubber band around apple
 © Melissa Breyer

2. Make a Makeshift Tripod

Rubber bands
 Flickr/Ric e Ette

3. Turn Regular Jeans into Maternity Pants

Rubber bands

4. Wrap Around a Hose to Seal Small Leaks

Rubber bands

5. Create a Gripper to Conquer Stuck Lids

Rubber bands
 © Melissa Breyer

6. Keep Books Closed in Your Bag

Pencil in book
Elodie Giuge / Getty Images

7. Tame the Wily Measuring Tape

Rubber bands
 Flickr/Unhindered by Talent

8. Craft a Statement Necklace

Rubber bands

See how to make a rubber band chain necklace here, and for more inspiration look at these incredible creations.

9. Keep Ribbons from Unspooling

Rubber bands
 © Melissa Breyer

10. Make a Rubber (Band) Duck

Rubber bands
 Flickr/ jdsmith1021

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

11. Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

Rubber bands
 Flickr/James Britton

For rubber band egg dying, see this step-by-step tutorial.

12. Improvise an Impromptu Wrist Strap

Rubber bands
 Capt Kodak

13. Keep Bags and Packages Sealed

Rubber bands
 © Melissa Breyer

14. Portion Control Pump Products (Especially Good for Kids who Can't Get Enough)

Rubber bands

15. Hang Fliers Without Tape or Adhesives

Rubber bands
 Flickr/Eric Fischer

16. Make a Rubber Band Ball (That Can Double as an Eraser)

Close up of white rubber band ball
Andy Roberts / Getty Images

See the how-to (with video) here.

17. Prevent your Cutting Board from Slipping

Rubber bands

18. Force a Long-Exposure on a Vintage Camera

Rubber bands

19. Keep Tack of Treasures

Rubber bands around vintage postcards
 Marion de Man / Getty Images

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