34 Super Smart Uses For Rubber Bands (That EVERYONE Should Know!)

34 Super Smart Uses For Rubber Bands (That EVERYONE Should Know!)

Do you always keep some elastic bands to hand? If not, why not - they have so many uses throughout the home and are able to solve a whole host of problems.

Check out our list of smart uses for rubber bands below, and you'll never look at them in the same way again.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in June 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2019. 

1. Stop tea bag tags falling into a mug

elastic bands on mug

If you use tea bags with a string and tag, you'll know how frustrating it is when they fall into the mug and get all soggy. Keep it outside your mug by placing an elastic band around it. So simple yet so effective!

2. Paint an immaculate French manicure

Use an elastic band as a great French manicure cheat. Pull the band over your nail and use it as a template - easy! It works on alternative Frenchies too, I love this green version from Paper Raindrops.

3. Prevent paint from dripping from a brush

If you're tackling some DIY over the Summer, stretch an extra-large rubber band across the paint tin before you get to work. You can use it to wipe off any excess paint from your brush.

4. Elastic band paint stamps

If you have some thick rubber bands, and a restless kid to entertain, why not try painting with elastic bands?

5. Stop a door from locking

Ever been locked out? It's such a pain! By putting a large rubber band on your doorknob, you can prevent the door from locking. Check out our other article to find out how it's done.

This is a really useful tip if you have kids or pets.

6. Open a stubborn nail polish bottle

rubber band to open nail varnish bottle
Get those nails looking gorgeous.

Get a good grip on the handle of stubborn nail polish by wrapping an elastic band around it. Don't think about throwing away a stuck bottle before trying this hack.

P.s It works on other bottles too.

7. Prevent apple slices from browning

Got a fussy eater who won't eat their fruit unless it's cut into slices?

You can prevent cut apple pieces from browning by reconstructing the apple and holding it together with elastic bands.

8. For smart packing

If you want to save space when packing, the key is to roll your clothing. With rubber bands, you can go one step further by securing all those rolls to keep your case nice and tidy.

9. Glass decoration

You don't need t spend a fortune to make your Summer party special. Use coloured elastic bands to hold dainty flowers around cups for special occasions.

10. Alternative food clip

Run out of food clips? No problem! Simply roll down the packaging and secure the bag with a rubber band - it'll keep all your snacks nice and fresh.

elastic band food clip
No clips? No problem!

11. Pump dispenser portion control

If your kids or roommates like to go crazy with the hand wash or shower gel, take action! Wrap an elastic band around the neck of the pump and it'll reduce the amount of product dispensed.

12. Keep slippy chopping boards in place

If you have a slippy chopping board, keep it in one place while you're chopping by securing elastic bands on either side.

13. Make your jeans fit better

Are those jeans feeling a little tight? You can loosen off the waistband by looping a rubber band through the buttonhole.

Whether you're pregnant or just have a food belly, this tip will keep you comfortable at all times. 

14. DIY mobile phone holder for the car

Who needs a fancy hand-held device holder when you can attach your phone to the air vents in your car with just an elastic band! Stay safe drivers...

15. Create a toothbrush holder

diy toothbrush holder
Keep yours away from the kids'!

It may not look amazing, but if you're looking for a functional toothbrush holder, you can fashion your own by crossing elastic bands over a cup. A classic student fix if ever we saw one!

16. Make your hangers slip-proof

We just love this genius tip. Keep flimsy or wide-necked clothing from falling off the hanger by wrapping elastic bands around the ends. No more morning irritation!

17. Make beautiful striped lanterns

Here's another really nifty way to use those rubber bands for budget decoration.

Wrap around empty jam jars and paint over them to create a pretty effect when tea lights shine through. This one's great for Summer parties.

18. Use rubber bands as a seam guide

Sewing can be tricky, especially if you're in a bit of a hurry. Help yourself be accurate and speedy by wrapping an elastic band over the machine to make a seam guide - it'll keep you right on track!

19. Slip-proof glasses for kids

elastic band on glass for grip
This'll make things easier for those little hands.

Glass tumblers can be perilous in the hands of little ones so make them child-proof by wrapping several elastic bands around them. It'll help kids keep a tighter grip so parents won't have to watch on anxiously.

20. Use an elastic band to remove a stripped screw

Stripped screw? Don't panic - place an elastic band over it and use a screwdriver as normal to tackle it.

21. Drinks measure

If you're throwing a party, keep your guests from getting too merry too quickly by wrapping elastic bands around the bottom of the cups to act as spirit markers.

22. Make an elastic band bouncy ball

elastic band bouncy ball
Hours of fun!

One of the most enchanting and time-consuming uses for elastic bands is to build a bouncy ball. Head over to Kidspot to learn how to make your own - it'll keep the kids busy for hours on end!

It's also a nice project to have on hand at work to give your eyes a break every now and then.

23. DIY notice board

Make a pretty and cheap DIY notice board by wrapping colourful elastic bands around a piece of wood or photo frame. You can keep receipts, tickets and other pieces of paper neatly tucked into it so your room (and handbag) remain clutter-free.

24. Make a makeshift tripod for your camera or phone

Use an extra-large elastic band to secure your smartphone or camera to various household object to act as a tripod. You could use the legs of a chair, tent poles or even an umbrella.

Wannabe YouTube stars, this one is for you!

25. Wrap around a hose to seal small holes

If you don't have any duct tape to hand, wrap an elastic band as tightly as you can to cover any holes in a rubber hose. It'll save on water, and get the job done faster too.

26. Make some fabulous jewellery

Rags to Couture has shared some amazing tutorials for making your very own, bright and quirky jewellery from rubber bands. These look so amazing and would make any ordinary outfit pop.

27. Open a stubborn jam jar

Pop an elastic band around a stubborn jam jar or bottle and, just as with those tough nail polish bottles, it'll help you to grip it better.

28. Keep your shower caddy in place

Keep a shower caddy attached to your shower head with just a quick loop of an elastic band - easy!

29. Prevent a spoon from falling into a pan

Stop that spoon from falling in a boiling pot by wrapping an elastic band around the end. It'll grip to the sides and prevent it from slipping in.

30. Keep books safe when travelling

elastic band around book
Keep those precious pages safe.

If you like to carry a book around with you, don't forget to wrap an elastic band around it to protect the book from opening and the pages creasing, especially if it's one you treasure. It also serves as a bookmark - handy!

31. Keep an Apple remote in one place

Are you forever misplacing your Apple remote? We blame their sleek and small design. Wrap a rubber band around it to help grip it to your surfaces and make it stand out more.

32. Hold lids in place when transporting food

Spilling all that food you've lovingly prepared is every cook's worst nightmare. Pull rubber bands over the lids to prevent any food spillages in the car on your way to parties and other events.

33. Flick through papers quickly

If you have a large amount of reading to do or need to proof-read a long document, wrap an elastic band loosely over the tip of your finger to help you flick through the pages quicker. It'll help prevent any paper cuts and you won't need to wet your finger with your tongue - gross!

 34. Make a DIY catapult for the children (and BIG kids)

We had to end on something fun to show you just how amazing plain old elastic bands can be! You can learn to build a homemade catapult with rubber bands in the video above which the kids will no doubt love.

Now you can really make the most of all those rubber bands. What's your favourite thing to do with them? Let us know in the comments below.

Anushka F


A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

Follow me on X
  1. Author Eleanor on June 8, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I love these tips, Sarah. Keep them coming. .... I send them to my family and will send this one across the world. Brilliant!

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Oh amazing, thanks Eleanor. Really happy to hear the tips are going around the world!

    2. Author George on February 11, 2019 at 12:10 am

      My favourite rubber band trick is brill. One of the most awkward wrapping to open is a packet of chocolate digestives. So I cut the end of the packet with a knife, eat 2 or 3 biscuits, then I fold the end over and wrap an elastic band, end to end, around the packet. This stops the rest of the digestives going soft. :-)

    3. Author Joanne A on February 11, 2019 at 9:31 am

      That's a great tip, George!

  2. Author JOHN JOHNS on June 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I wrap a elastic band round a drill bit so that I can drill to the correct depth, just move the band up or down to whatever depth you require.

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Very handy, I had not thought about that!

  3. Author Sylvia Leaver on June 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Very useful tips, thanks. One I would like to add is that you can wrap a rubber band round the end of a pencil to create an easy to use rubber for rubbing out pencil marks.

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      oh that's a great tip, thanks for sharing Sylvia!

  4. Author Susan Bowden on June 8, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I use rubber gloves for opening jars etc. You can make rubber bands from worn out rubber gloves by cutting the cuffs to any width - very useful if you need something strong. Also, our postie leaves a trail of rubber bands!

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      That's a marvellous tip, thanks Susan. I will definitely use that one! Haha, there are rubber bands everywhere when you start to notice...

  5. Author Jan on June 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Some great ideas here. Knew about opening bottles, but not much else. Thanks

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Oh the opening bottles and jars is a classic! Really pleased to hear you like the new ideas.

  6. Author alan H Audley on June 8, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    very very useful information thank you

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Alan, I'm really happy to hear that!

  7. Author Sarah Spicer on June 8, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    these are all fantastic ideas, some i knew about . most i didnt!!!

    1. Author Anushka F on June 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Oh amazing, thanks Sarah!

  8. Author Carole Dunn on August 18, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Ask your postman for any spare elastic bands. They use them to bundle the mail together then usually just threw them down.

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Great tip Carole, thanks for sharing :)

  9. Author Joyce Crabtree on August 18, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Great tips. Keep them coming.

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 21, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Joyce! Glad you enjoyed them.

  10. Author Melanie on April 4, 2018 at 8:43 am

    My latest use for rubber bands is to keep the shower head in position on the slide rail. Until I get the thing fixed, it does a great job of holding the head at the right height - just tied them round the rail tightly underneath the slider.

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 18, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Melanie, Not an everyday use, but a great one nevertheless. Thanks for sharing - we hope you get the shower fixed soon!

  11. Author brian drage on April 4, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Wrap phone charger lead around the charger and secure with an Elastic Band

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 18, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Brian, Brilliant tip - thanks for sharing! :)

  12. Author pauly on April 4, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Tried the Popista link, no good, domain name for sale ? ?

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 18, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Pauly, Sorry about that - I've added a new video in which shows you how to make the catapult at home.

  13. Author Louise Comb on April 4, 2018 at 10:16 am

    I love reading your tips. There are some great ones here. I've often used an elastic band to help open jar and nail polishes. It works well. Wish you had some tips to help me remember the others - LOL

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Louise. Thanks a lot for your kind comment - great to hear you're enjoying our tips! Luckily for you (and your memory!) you can always refer to our tips on the blog - we aren't going anywhere :)

  14. Author Christine Wilkinson (Mc Dermott on facebook!) on April 4, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Love all the tips, have shared on facebook, I keep all your emails on my computer so I can check out what I need whenever!!! Love the elastic bands suggestions, especially for tight days in my jeans if I have eaten too much that day!!!! You are brilliant, keep up the good work, all your home tips are marvellous, thank you!xxx

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Hi Christine, Wow, what a lovely message! This has put a smile on all our faces on this dreary Friday. We're so glad you enjoy our tips and thank you so much for sharing our stuff on Facebook. Have a slice on us - you deserve it! :)

  15. Author jay on April 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I use elastic bands in the freezer - close the bag of peas, beans, Quorn mince - whatever - fold or roll the top, then secure with an elastic. Stops the contents spilling all over the place. I also use them wrapped around all jars to stop them slipping through my fingers. They can be used as plant ties - cut them to make a strip and voila, you have a flexible plant tie.

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 6, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Jay, This is a brill idea - saves the need for proper clips too! Thanks a bunch for sharing your ideas :)

  16. Author speedy on April 4, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    love all the tips, here is another one. Roll up reusable shopping bags and stop them getting in a mess by wrapping a band around each one. keep them in car boot, main bag, buggy or pram. Saves on space too.

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Speedy, What a great tip! I have a special holder on the wall for my plastic bags, but this sounds like a great idea for the car. Thanks for sharing :)

  17. Author Amanda Bennison on April 5, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Some brilliant ideas-Thankyou!If you don't have an elastic band to hand or you are elderly or don't have a strong grip to open sealed jars use a bottle opener to release the vacuum on the jar- usually find one on a can opener.Makes it much easier to open!

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 6, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Amanda, This is a really useful tip - thanks a lot for sharing :)

  18. Author Lorraine duffy on January 11, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Good tips.the numbers for the tips are a bit mixed up tho lol.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 14, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Hi Lorraine! Thanks for pointing that out, we've now corrected it. We're glad you enjoyed the tips!

  19. Author janet woodford on January 11, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    where can I buy your gorgeous owl mug ???

    1. Author Joanne A on January 14, 2019 at 9:24 am

      Hi Janet! The mug is from a company called puckator. Unfortunately, I can't see the exact mug on their website anymore, but you might find something else you like!


Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *