20 Alternative Ways to Use Hair Ties, Elastics and Headbands

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What can you do with hair ties?  We have some ideas (besides wearing them in your hair!) - read on for a list of 20 unorthodox uses for hair ties, hair elastics, ponytail holders, scrunchies and elastic headbands that just may inspire you to rethink how you look at these everyday objects.  Do you use hair accessories in an unusual way that isn't listed here?  Let us know!

1) Use colored elastic hair ties to make art. Elastic hair ties can be twisted and stretched on nails in wood or pegboard - think '70s string art! Artist Will Hanlon uses basic ponytail holders to great effect - check out his striking works of modern art using hair elastics.  Try this technique using wholesale bulk packs of 2mm, 4mm, or 5mm elastic hair ties - or go big and use skinny elastic headbands instead!

2) Reusable Gift Wrap.  Wrap gifts in reused wrapping paper, a beautiful piece of fabric, a magazine page - really anything - and secure with an elastic headband in place of tape. Then, use a thin ponytail elastic to add a gift tag!  Made of reused paper, of course.  Which brings us to...

3) Value added packaging. Instead of a plain old rubber band, or a paper band that will just get tossed in the trash, give customers a premium packaging experience by rolling up products like leggings, socks, bandanas and more with a scrunchie, elastic hair tie or elastic headband2mm elastic hair ties also make a super premium-looking elastic loop for attaching hangtags to bottles!  Speaking of using hair accessories as packaging, check out this blog post on just this subject!

4) As a stationery component. Skinny and thick elastic headbands make a great binding for notebooks, sketch books, booklets and beyond.  You can also stretch one completely around a book to keep it closed (see above!), or mark a page.  Keep pens and pencils together with a hair tie!

5) Napkin rings. Event planners and tablescaping fanatics know that the best napkin rings are actually hair ties!  Use scrunchies for a simple and quick solution - either all the same color, or mix it up with different colors or patterns!  Another idea is to use a thick (5mm is a good choice) elastic hair tie, and simply tuck something lovely underneath it (a fresh flower, a sprig of herbs?).

6) Chip "clip"! Keep bags of chips, flour, rice, whatever - closed with an elastic headband.  Just roll the bag up and loop it round!

7) Drink markers. Keep a bowl of assorted color elastic hair ties by the drink table at your next party.  Guests can pick a color (or two, or three!) to wrap around their glasses so that there is no doubt as to whose drink belongs to who.

8) Finger knitting. Use ponytail elastics or elastic headbands in place of craft loops for a different look and feel.  Don't know what we mean?  Look here!

9) Make pants bigger around the waist.  Push a thin elastic hair tie through the button hole of your jeans, pants or trousers and loop around the button.  This is a great tip for early pregnancy, or just for after a big dinner!

10) Keep sleeves rolled up.  When doing dishes, cooking, or washing your face, grab two scrunchies to keep your sleeves securely where they need to be!  

11) As a bookmark.  Don't dog ear those pages - wrap an elastic headband around them to keep your place!  The adjustable kind will work for all book sizes.

12) Make a mask.  Got a couple of hair ties and a bandana?  You can make an impromptu no-sew mask!  Just fold the bandana horizontally until it's the right size to cover what needs covering, loop an elastic hair tie through both ends, fold to the center, and loop the elastics around your ears.  Handy with a needle and thread?  Cut a skinny elastic headband into two equal lengths and sew in to your homemade masks.  They're super soft around the ears.

13) Curtain tiebacks.  Grab a scrunchie in a color or pattern that matches your decor, and loop it around a curtain to secure it in place.

14) T-shirt buckle, 80s style.  Remember those weird plastic t-shirt buckles that were used to tie shirts up in the '80s?  Maybe, maybe not?  Anyway... you can also use an elastic hair tie to get the job done.  Tie up your t-shirt to turn it into a crop top, or add a blousy effect.

15) Store rolled-up posters. More gentle than a rubber band, elastic hair ties and headbands are perfect for keeping rolled-up things rolled-up.

16) Make soap in dispensers last longer.  Loop a 2mm hair elastic around the base of a soap pump to prevent folks from using more soap than they really need.

17) Straps for making costumes.  Cut a skinny elastic headband and repurpose it as an arm strap for making lightweight costume add-ons, like wings.  The elastic is soft, since it's completely covered, and you can get them in any color you need (on the cheap!) to match your creation!

18) As a minimalist money clip.  Wrap paper money around your license and credit cards a secure with an elastic hair tie.  Easy peasy!

19) Organize hard headbands.  Here's a tip straight from Threddies HQ - use an elastic hair tie or scrunchie to keep your hard headbands together in a bundle.   After you bind them together, store them in a drawer, or hang from a peg.

20) Slingshot. Grasp an elastic hair tie with your pinky, wrap it around your hand, point your finger and steady it on your fingertip.  When you're ready to launch it at your friend, partner, coworker, spouse, kid, cat, etc, just release your pinky ;)


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