Few things are as exciting as getting a new piece of jewelry in the mail. You’ve likely been dying to get your eyes on the beautiful stone, metal, or bead creation. But, to finally get that bauble into the light, there’s one thing you have to contend with first: the bubble wrap.
Sure, you could take that bubble wrap and start popping. After all, it can be a bit of a stress reliever. However, if you use that approach, you’re left with a basic piece of plastic, and it’s usually not recyclable.
Luckily, there are tons of things you can do to make use of that little piece of bubble wrap. That way, it won’t have to make its way to a landfill. If you are wondering how you can make the most of that popping piece of plastic, here are ten unexpected ways to reuse bubble wrap.
Cover Uncomfortable Handles
Let’s face facts; broom, shovel, rake, and similar handles usually aren’t very comfortable. In most cases, they are simply wood, plastic, or metal, and might not have a cushiony spot for your hands. Plus, after prolonged use, those handles can even lead to blisters. No one wants that.
But, with a little bit of bubble wrap, you can solve this common problem. Just wrap it around the handle and secure it in place with hockey or first-aid tape. Now, you can maintain a solid but comfortable grip.
Make Fun Art Projects
Bubble wrap can be an excellent tool for art projects. You can cut the pieces into fun shapes, apply some paint, and use the bubble wrap as a fun stamp. With just a little bit of pressure, you can create fun, dotted designs. Plus, if you use washable paint (like the types usually designed for smaller children), you can rinse the stamps and use them again in the future.
Use Bubble Wrap for Beautiful Curls
Many hair curlers aren’t very comfortable. The hard plastics can dig into your scalp, especially if you try sleeping in them.
However, bubble wrap can actually be a great substitute for traditional nighttime curlers. Just roll up small pieces into tubes, wind your hair around it, and secure with a bobby pin or two.
Keep Food Colder Longer
Bubble wrap is an excellent insulator. If you have a bubble wrap baggy, place chilled drinks inside to keep them cool while in transport. Does your child take a lunch box to school? If so, line the inside of the plastic box with bubble wrap to keep chilled foods and drinks from heating up as quickly during the day.
Pad Your Own Envelopes
Bubble mailers can be surprisingly expensive when compared to the cost of regular envelopes. But, if you have bubble wrap on-hand, you can save a bit by using a regular envelope and padding it yourself.
Protect Outdoor Water Faucets
When the temperature drops, outdoor water faucets can freeze. Not only can this damage the spigot, but it can also allow the pipe supplying the faucet to freeze as well. If that happens, the pipe might burst, damaging your property and sending your water bill sky high.
With a little bit of bubble wrap, you can insulate your outdoor spigots. Wrap the spigot in bubble wrap then cover it all with a plastic cup. If there’s enough bubble wrap and the cup fits tightly, you won’t even have to do anything else to keep it in place.
Keep Your Produce Free of Bruises
Produce that is kept in the refrigerator can bruise simply do to the pressure of being placed on a hard surface. But, if you line your shelves and produce drawers with bubble wrap, you can protect your fruits and vegetables from bruising.
The extra insulation also helps keep your food cooler. Plus, if your drawer gets dirty, you can simply pull the bubble wrap out and put in a new piece; no cleaning necessary.
Maintain the Shape of Your Shoes
Bubble wrap is an incredibly flexible material. If you have shoes that don’t see much wear, consider filling the toes with bubble wrap. This gives that portion of the shoe more support while in storage, ensuring it doesn’t collapse over time.
You can also do the same thing with some accessories. Place bubble wrap in handbags and hats to keep them in shape.
If you have items you need to fold but don’t want creases, create tubes of bubble wrap and place it inside the fold, rounding out the otherwise hard crease. This is a great option for travelers too, as bubble wrap is very lightweight, so it won’t weigh down your luggage.
Pad Your Clothes Hangers
If you have delicate or heavy clothing items and you want to keep them in shape, you can use bubble wrap to make your own padded hangers. Just wrap the bubble wrap around the hanger and secure it in place.
Reuse Bubble Wrap During Holidays
While this option isn’t necessarily “surprising,” it’s still worth mentioning. When you receive packages or gifts, stash any of the materials that are in good condition for future use.
Along with bubble wrap, you could collect gift bags, bows, ribbons, and even boxes. Then, when you need to ship or carry a gift safely, you might have everything you need on hand.
Not only is this a great money-saving tip, but it can also reduce waste over and over. If you and everyone you know did the same thing, fewer materials would have to be used. Only the items that are genuinely beyond use get tossed.
How ever you choose to do it, try to keep those bits of plastic out of the landfill as much as possible. Mother Earth will thank you for it!