From creating spectacular works of art to coming to the rescue in an emergency. We round up the best ways we have found to be creative with that little piece of nylon!
The definition of ‘creative’ is the use of the imagination to think of new ideas or to create something original. At cableties-online, we’ve taken our favourite ideas and split them into creative (artistic), inventive (clever) and practical (why didn’t we think of that?).
Practical uses for cable ties
Temporary child-proofing solution – families with babies and toddlers are used to securing cupboards containing harmful items, but as children grow up and eventually leave home, our need to do this diminishes. However, for anyone who has young visitors (even for a few hours), it is important to secure those cupboard doors to keep little fingers out. Pass a cable tie through two cupboard handles and secure or tighten a cable tie around two adjacent door knobs for the same result. This is a great idea that can be applied to any cupboard that holds precious or breakable items too. Releasable cable ties are perfect on this role, or use regular nylon 6/6 ties and simply remove with scissors when finished.
(Image Credit – Erin Huffstetler)
Installing baby gates – staying on the theme of child-proofing, installing stairgates cannot be avoided once babies start to crawl and climb! Pet-owners, too, understand how handy they are to stop dogs from accessing any out of bounds areas in the home. Sadly, though, many models of stairgate have fixings that can cause unsightly damage. This can easily be avoided by attaching the gate with cable ties, avoiding screw holes completely.
(Image credit – Diply)
Sink and drain unblocker - do members of your household have long hair? Do your sinks get blocked on a regular basis? A great, chemical-free way to unblock sinks is to take a long cable tie (or several shorter ones linked together. Snip notches into both sides of the cable tie with scissors or a sharp knife. Then carefully push the cable tie down into the drain, rotate it and then carefully pull it back out – any offending debris should come out with the cable tie.
Packing Christmas away – have you ever tried to pack an artificial Christmas tree away in its original box? If you have, you will know what a thankless task this is and will probably have the war wounds to prove it! Bring those branches under control by securing the tree with cable ties. They can be pulled tight enough to get the tree back into the box, without damaging the branches. Likewise, voluminous tinsel and decorative beads can also be tamed with a cable tie for easier, space-saving storage.
Inventive ways to use cable ties
Bubble mixture wands – when young visitors start to get bored and you need a fun distraction for them, reach for the dishwashing liquid and a cable tie. Make a loop at the end of a longer cable tie and voilà! This is a great solution when you have just one bottle of bubbles in the cupboard but several children – a quick way for each child to have their own bubble wand, but remember to make the loop small enough to fit into the bottle!
Make the most of a small garden – when your garden is modestly sized but your planting ambitions would do well at Kew Gardens, it’s time to think vertically. Use the balcony or verandah railings of a small plot to display pots and planters secured with cable ties, not forgetting the drainpipes; heavy duty cable ties can be used to attach pots to downpipes to add interest and colour. If you’re tight for space to display hanging baskets, then why not attach them to fencing or railings too?
Mobile phone rest – when referring to a ‘how to’ video, a recipe or a series of images stored on your mobile phone, it can be frustrating trying to hold your phone without spoiling your viewing. A cable tie fastened at each end of the phone, with the heads of the ties facing towards the edge of the phone, will allow you to prop the phone up so you can watch without having to hold it. (Main image credit – familyhandyman.com)
Being creative with cable ties
Truly creative people can take something like the lowly cable tie and simply transform it into a work of art and we are always in awe of the work we see being produced.
Andi Regan – Andi is one such talent who uses cable ties in her work. Her 3 dimensional organic sculptures, including butterflies and jellyfish, were born out of her passion for recycling something that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. However, possibly her most spectacular creation was a wearable, full length dress which made from 20,000 individual cable ties and took upwards of 5 months to complete.
Cassette tape and cable tie bag – anyone over a certain age is bound to have an old cassette tape hiding in a box somewhere in the attic. The Errant Stitch joins them together with cable ties to make tote bags, purses and much, much more. Something functional and attractive can be repurposed from old memories and save them from being skipped. It might be time to go up into the loft!
Funky lampshade – a great use for our coloured cable ties is a contemporary lampshade that would look great in a teenager’s room. Made from the frame of an existing lampshade with the addition of some steel mesh netting, the lampshade can be made to coordinate with any colour scheme. Full instructions can be found here
(Image credit – Mikeasaurus)
Our complete range of nylon cable ties can be seen here, and if we have stirred the creative or practical in you and you fancy having a go at one of these great ideas, check out our blog Creative uses for cable ties for more inspiration. Send us a picture and you may find yourself in one of our blogs! Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org