34 Creative Ways to Use Rubber Bands

Rubber bands make for sturdy grips and cheap alternatives to some pricey items.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
Rubber Bands

Rubber bands can be used for sturdy grips and cheap alternatives to some pricey items. Find out which household objects you can revamp with these versatile heroes.

Household Helper

1. Open a Stuck Jar or Bottle
For a simple but effective grip, wrap a thick rubber band around the rim of a jar lid or bottle top and then twist. Plastic wrap and rubber kitchen gloves work well as grippers, too.

2. Prevent a Cutting Board from Sliding
A rubber band wrapped around the board will create enough resistance to stop any counter glide. Safer and easier!

3. Keep Tea Bags in Place
Whether you’re brewing a single cup or setting a jar out for sun tea, this trick can keep your tea bag tags from sinking into your beverage. Simply wrap a rubber band around the rim of the drink’s container.

4. Track Ingredient Levels
Have canisters or other kitchen containers that are difficult to see inside? Keep track of how much is left by securing a rubber band around the outside to mark the level of whatever’s inside. This little trick works well for paint containers, too.

Buy Now

5. Hold Lids in Transport
Bringing a dish of food to a party or potluck? Rubber bands can help you secure lids to a slow cooker or other dish. If there is a knob in the center of your lid, simply loop a rubber band from the knob to each side handle.

6. Keep a Candle (and Wax!) in Place
Candle not quite fitting snugly into its holder? Wrap a rubber band around the candle’s base for a tighter fit. Secure a band a little higher up to stop any wax drips from moving past the candle onto your furniture.

7. Corral Craft Ribbon
If you have rolls of ribbon around for crafting or wrapping gifts, you know how difficult it is to keep them from unspooling. Solution: Wrap them with a rubber band to keep the ribbon in its place on the spool until you need it.

8. Save Your Chargers
Charging cords for phones or other devices starting to wear? Wrap a rubber band around the cord to protect the vulnerable spots and stop wires from fraying more. You can also slip a colored rubber band or two around the main part of a charger to spot it as yours versus your spouse’s or kid’s.

9. Make a Grip
Wrap rubber bands around pens and pencils, tools, walking sticks, and sports equipment to create a more comfortable hold. Super helpful for those with arthritis!

10. Build an Eraser
Create a small rubber band ball by wrapping bands. Once it’s sturdy enough to rub on paper, it will erase pencil just as well as your standard eraser. Bonus: It makes a great stress ball to squeeze!

11. Glide Through Papers
Counting or sorting a large stack of papers? A few rubber bands wrapped comfortably around the tips of your fingers will make the job a lot easier. This little tip will help prevent paper cuts, too. Try it when reading an old book with not-so-crisp pages as well.

12. Slow a Leak
Thick rubber bands wrapped around a leaky hose or pipe can buy you a little time (and save money) as a temporary fix.

13. New Life for an Old Broom
Don’t throw it away quite yet! If the bristles are starting to feel tattered, tighten them up by wrapping large rubber bands halfway up the bristles.

14. Make a Mop or Broom Work Harder
With a large rubber band, secure a dust cloth to a long-handled broom or mop to clean high places. It’s an amazing tool that works just as well as expensive store-bought contraptions!

15. Loosen Up a Baseball Glove
New gloves can be super-stiff—especially for a child’s hand. Just a little loosening up can help a lot. After conditioning with olive oil or petroleum jelly (two of our Who Knew? Heroes), place a baseball inside the glove’s pocket. Then wrap a big rubber band around the glove to hold the ball in place. Simply let it sit or tuck it under your mattress overnight. Use the glove daily, and repeat the process of oiling and banding for about a week, until the glove is more flexible.

16. Protect TP Rolls
If your toddler or fur baby likes to unroll or shred your toilet paper, you’re not alone. Simply slipping a rubber band around the roll will keep it safe from curious hands and paws.

17. Prevent a Door from Locking
Wrap a large rubber band around the knobs on each side of the door, crisscrossing the band at the side edge of the door to cover the lock. This tip may come in handy if you have kids or pets who could accidentally trigger a lock.

Decorating And Entertaining On A Dime

18. ID Wineglasses
Having a party? Put rubber bands in different colors (or even shapes) to good use! These are perfect for slipping around the stems of wineglasses so your guests can tell whose glass is whose. Slip in a flower or other small charm or item as a decoration or party favor.

19. Better Flower Arranging
To help keep flowers where you put them, simply group with rubber bands around the stems.

20. Decorate a Jar or Tin
Wrap multicolored rubber bands around an old can or jar. Use it to hold flowers, pens, or even hardware—whatever you want to contain in a fun way. You can also space out some bands a bit and tuck in little touches such as dried flowers or cinnamon sticks.

21. Easy Curtain Pullbacks
Use a rubber band that matches the color of your curtains to keep them pulled aside.

22. Elevate Your Egg Decorating
If you enjoy dyeing Easter eggs, here’s a simple way to add patterns: Just wrap rubber bands around them before dipping into the dye. Wherever you place a rubber band will remain white. Try stripe and plaid patterns. This trick works for any kind of craft painting as well.

On-the-Go Solutions

23. Hands-Free Phone Holder
Thread a rubber band through the top of your car’s AC vent, then pull it out through the bottom. Secure both ends around your phone at the top and bottom. The bands will hold the phone in place, ready to view for driving directions.

24. The Smartest Packing Technique
The secret frequent travelers use: To fit the most in your luggage without smashing and wrinkling, roll your clothing and secure with rubber bands.

25. DIY Tripod
Crisscrossed rubber bands can fasten your phone to a chair, bicycle handlebars, or wherever you’d like to enable fun photos or video.

26. Protect Books
Whether in your bag or your kids’ backpack, books can get damaged when pages fly open. Keep books closed by wrapping a rubber band around them.

27. Makeshift Splint
Use a rubber band to firmly secure an injured finger to a support you have on hand, such as a stick.

28. Create A Wrist Strap
Flashlight, camera, or other item missing a strap? Simply loop and tie a rubber band to make one.

Cosmetics And Clothing

29. Slow Pumpables for Kids
Pumps that dispense soap, shampoo, and lotion can make it too easy for kids to take too much. To reduce the amount, just wind a rubber band around the neck. This simple step will control how far the pump can move and how much it dispenses—and stop the sink mess.

30. No More Shower Drops
Shampoo bottles and bars of soap can get slippery to handle in the shower. Wrapping a rubber band or two around them will give you a better place to grip.

31. Simple Nail Template
You can give yourself a French manicure without a lot of fuss and save the $20 to $40 salon charge. Wrap part of a rubber band over your nail to use as a guide, leaving just the nail tip exposed to paint.

32. Eyeglasses Prone to Slipping?
Looping a rubber band around the end of each side can help them grip better and stay in place.

33. Hangers That Hold
Wrap rubber bands around the pointed ends to grip and keep tops from sliding off.

34. Get a Little More Give in Jeans
Make the waist of your jeans stretch a little farther by looping a rubber band through the buttonhole and over the button. It’s a great quick fix for early pregnancy months or even just after a big dinner.

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.