Around the holidays, it’s common to have extra bubble wrap lying around from wrapping or unwrapping gifts. Rather than throwing it away, it can be repurposed in a number of ways you probably never thought of before! From keeping your car clean during a snowstorm to cushioning your joints, here are are 10 uses for bubble wrap that will keep it from going to waste.
Restore squashed shoes.
The pair of shoes you plan to wear for your holiday party got squashed in your closet. To restore them, cut two pieces of bubble wrap the same length, and three times the width of each shoe. Roll each into a tube and wrap tape around one end until it’s narrow enough to fit inside the shoe. The wrap will push sunken arches and inverted toes back to normal.
Snow-proof a windshield.
Skip the hassle of cleaning your car windows the morning after a snowstorm. Instead, use bubble wrap to cover the front and back windshield before bed. Just tape each corner, and the snow will settle on top of the wrap instead of freezing to the glass. Then you can just slide the plastic sheet off!
Fashion a comfy bath pillow.
Aah, soaking in a bath is so blissful — if only you had a comfy place to rest your head. No need to shell out for a “bath pillow — just mold a few sheets of bubble wrap into a pillow shape, then tape them together and place behind your head next time you run a bath. The air-filled pockets in the wrap help support your neck so you can truly sink in and relax.
Warm up your pet’s bed.
It’s getting so cold, you worry your pup isn’t warm enough in their bed. The solution: bubble wrap! To do: Slip a few sheets of bubble wrap into an old pillowcase and tuck it underneath your pet’s bed. The bubble wrap will create a barrier that protects them from the cold, plus it adds cushioning to keep them extra cozy while they snooze.
Winter-proof your windows.
If chilly air is seeping in through old windows, insulate them with bubble wrap. Simply spray the inside of each window with water, then press the bubble side of the wrap against the frame. The water helps hold the wrap to the window, keeping warmth inside and cold breezes out!
Avoid hanger bumps in clothes.
You have a beautiful new sweater to hang in your closet, but no more padded hangers. Instead, roll bubble wrap around the hanger and secure with tape. The bubble wrap creates a cushion so you can hang your sweater without the fabric getting any bumps.
Keep necklaces organized.
While packing for a weekend visit to your sister’s house, you worry that the necklaces you’re taking with you will end up in a tangled mess. To keep them organized, place each necklace on a sheet of bubble wrap, roll tightly, and tape closed. The wrap keeps the jewelry from sliding around and getting tangled, plus protects it in transit so it’s ready to wear upon arrival!
Help food stay hot.
You can’t wait to bring your famous casserole to the holiday dinner, but you don’t want the dish to get cold by the time you get there. To the rescue: bubble wrap! When you pull the dish out of the oven, cover it, carefully wrap it in a clean dish towel, then follow with a layer of bubble wrap. Place in a sturdy bag to transport. The bubble wrap acts as insulation and holds in the heat of your yummy dish.
Ward off wrist pain.
Ouch! Between work and online shopping, long days on the computer leave your wrists achy and sore. What can help: Craft a wrist rest by rolling strips of bubble wrap in front of your keyboard until your wrists are at a comfortable height. Secure with tape. The cushiony material will ensure your wrists are properly positioned so you can type without pain.
Protect your knees.
It’s finally time to start trimming the tree for the holidays. The only problem? Kneeling to decorate the lower half of the tree leaves your knees achy and sore. To avoid the ouch: Place three or four sheets of bubble wrap on the floor around the base of the tree. The cushioning will provide a comfortable place to kneel to keep your knees pain-free. (Note: This works great for household chores too!)
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.