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Amazing office supplies: 12 unusual uses for rubber bands


The first people to start using rubber were the Mayans, who mixed sap from the rubber tree with plant juices. Fast-forward a couple of hundred years to when the first rubber band patent was filed by the owner of a rubber factory in London in 1845. He intended the bands – made of vulcanised rubber, invented by Charles Goodyear – to be used to hold paper and envelopes together. The simplest of office supplies, the rubber band can be used in a myriad of contexts besides the office environment.

Here are 12 surprising things you can do with them:

1)   Create a makeshift tripod for your phone camera.

1)   Selfie Sticks

Selfie sticks might be all the rage, but you don’t have to go out of your way to buy one. Simply fasten your phone to any sort of pole by wrapping a large rubber band around the pole and your device lengthways.

2)   Make turning pages easier with a rubber band

If you have trouble turning the pages of your book, just tie a small band around the tip of your index finger to get a grip on the page. Not too tightly, though!

3)   Baby proof your cupboards

To make sure your little ones can’t open cupboards, wind an elastic band a few times around the handles of a two adjacent cupboard doors. This only works on double-door cupboards.

4)   Keep your paint pot rims clean

Love a bit of DIY but can’t stand how the rims of your paint pots get crusted with paint? Tie an elastic band around the pot so the band intersects the open side of your pot at its diameter. Wipe your paint on this instead of the rim. 

5)   Remove a stripped screw from a piece of wood

Office supplies to the DIY rescue again. If you’re battling to remove a stripped screw, place a rubber band over it. The grip will help the screwdriver to unscrew it.

6)   Never lose your place in your book again

Using paper bookmarks is all well and good, but what happens when you fall asleep and your book rolls off the bed, losing the bookmark in the process? By putting a rubber band around your book at the edge of the page its open at, you’ll never lose your place again.

7)   Tidy and organise electrical cords

Clean up the jungle of wires that lives behind your TV or entertainment system by neatly rolling the wires up and fastening each of them with a small rubber band. It’s a lot safer that way, too, as it’ll make it harder for children or pets to play with them.

8)   Stop that chopping board from sliding around

Trying to chop veggies on a chopping board with a mind of its own is dangerous as well as frustrating. You can make sure the board never gets away again by putting a rubber band around it on one side. Just make sure you don’t chop through the band!

9)   Prevent clothes from sliding off hangers

We all have those items that refuse to stay on hangers. By winding a band around each arm of your hanger, you’ll create enough grip to stop your shirts falling off.

10)   Get a firm grip on your pencil

If you struggle to write with a pencil because you just can’t get a good hold on it, make a grip by tying a rubber band several times around the area of the pencil you hold on to.

11)    Never get your drink confused with someone else’s again

It’s always awkward when you’re caught accidentally drinking from someone else’s glass at a braai. Invest in some different coloured rubber bands and put them around the base of each person’s glass to avoid confusion.

12)   Patch up a hole on a hose pipe

A hole in a hosepipe is a small but irksome set back when trying to do the gardening. Wind a rubber band tightly around the puncture for a short-term solution. 

It’s amazing how versatile everyday office supplies are. Know any other unusual uses for your office supplies? If your office could do with an office supplies overhaul, get in touch with OfficeBox today and we can advise you on the best solution for your business. 

David Adams
27 July 2017