Introduction: 19 Unexpected Life Hacks Using String
There are a plethora of creative life hacks using string--and we're not just talking about cutting wine bottles or PVC pipe...
Here are 19 awesome--and unexpected!--life hacks that we all need in our lives!
Step 1: Get a Ring Unstuck From Your Finger
Did you know you only need STRING to easily remove a stuck-on ring from your finger?
Granted, it's 100% easier to have two people to do this...one with the stuck ring, and the other to tie the string. In the video, however, I show you that it's not impossible to do this all on your own. (NOTE: The process is super easy, but if it looks "complicated" in the video, it's literally because I did it by myself...which then is not complicated, but just takes some finesse, LOL).
*AUTHOR NOTE: Since my ring has a diamond on it, the string was getting stuck a couple of times on the diamond. Again, this is where it's helpful to have a second person, but you can continue forward on your own! Just be aware that if your ring has any bling, be sure to keep the string untangled from it. :) Also, the video has no sound...it's just a visual for if the wording below is confusing in any way.
Did I mention this is WAY easier with TWO people!? ;)
STEP ONE: Cut a piece of string. Mine is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet long. If your fingers are longer or wider, cut your string as long as you need it. If you're unsure how long to cut it, wrap some string around your finger until the string reaches the middle-top of your finger, then cut. NOTE: If your ring is really, super stuck...make sure to have a pencil, a fork, scissors, or any other thing that can help you push the string under the ring for step two.
STEP TWO: Push the first string end (from here forward referred to as "End 1") under your ring. Secure End 1 by holding it down with your thumb or by taping it down to your hand (so your finger is out of the way). Or if someone else is helping you, you can hold it down with your other hand.
STEP THREE: Wrap the string around your finger snuggly (but it's not necessary to do it super tight), going counter-clockwise around your finger (or wrapping away from you). When you get to End 2 of your string (this will be the end that's at the top of your finger), secure it with tape or just by holding it down.
STEP FOUR: Let go of End 1, and unwind the string starting from the bottom (continue firmly holding End 2 at the top of your finger while you unwind). Unwind it in the same direction you used to wrap your finger (counter-clockwise). If you are doing this by yourself, take your time--as aforementioned, it takes a little finesse to keep the top part held while you unwind the bottom part.
STEP FIVE: Once your ring is unwound to the End 2 end of your string (over the knuckle), the ring will now slide right off your finger!
YAY! No more butter, oils, soap, etc trying to get it off. Clean, neat, and it ALWAYS works :)
Step 2: Unlock Your Car Door in 10 Seconds (for Knob Locks)
STEP ONE: Tie a slip knot using a shoe string or regular string. See pictures above for--what I feel is--the easiest way to tie a slip knot.
STEP TWO: With one hand holding either side of the string ends, wiggle the string into the car door starting at the corner that's nearest the middle of the car.
STEP THREE: Work the string down into the car door by "sawing" it back and forth (alternate pulling on the string to the right, then to the left, etc) until you get the string low enough to place the loop of the slip knot over the knob of the lock.
STEP FOUR: Pull the string ends away from each other to tighten the knot around the lock.
STEP FIVE: Pull up on the string ends to unlock the door!
BONUS HACK:If you mess up the slip knot and get a tangled mess of string instead, rub cornstarch into the hardest of knots and it will loosen it up to untangle it! :)
Here's a video from YouTube demonstrating the technique:
(YouTube videos courtesy of: Petr Kolarik CZ)
Step 3: Stop That Annoying Leaky Faucet Sound!
Can't get the plumber to come by and fix your sink for awhile?
Tired of that annoying dripping sound your faucet makes ALL...NIGHT...LONG!?
Stop it now with a simple string tied around your faucet!
STEP ONE: Tie the string around your faucet head, keeping the string to the back of the head so the water drips will catch on it. If your water drips don't "catch" on the string automatically, pull the string into the drip's line to start one drip on it, and then it will be all set.
STEP TWO: Celebrate that you can now get some sleep--and your sanity back!
Step 4: Cut Delicate Foods With Ease (and No Oozing!)
This is a beautiful way to cut delicate foods. You can cut anything from dumplings, to soft cheeses and fruits, to cakes and decadent desserts...you can even level a cake like a pro using string!
STEP ONE: Place the string under the item to be cut, with the ends going in opposite directions.
STEP TWO: Tie the string as if you were beginning a knot (or as if you were starting to tie your shoe).
STEP THREE: Pull the string ends away from each other until you've cut your way through completely.
It's truly incredible that when using this approach, all of your delicious food insides don't ooze out--creating waste! This is so much cleaner then using a fork or knife!
Step 5: Remember Important Numbers (SAFETY FOR KIDS!)
(Pictures courtesy of: etsy.com and positivelysplendid.com)
Make this stylish bracelet with your child and have a peace of mind knowing they can call you if they ever get lost...
Simply string your phone number on a string of your child's choice and have them add any decorative beads they want. Tie the completed bracelet around your child's wrist, and you're done!
You can also use this approach to make bracelets for remembering any numbers (such as a locker combination or a birthday, etc), OR to remember important words such as names, places, etc (using letter beads). OR combine letter and number beads to remember new addresses, etc. The skies the limit! ;)
Easy and fun--but can be life-saving too!
Step 6: Zip & Unzip Your Dress (by Yourself!)
Have you--like we all have--tried to zip up your favorite dress by yourself, only to find that you have to wiggle around, hop up and down, and bend your arm out of socket in order to accomplish it? The same with unzipping a dress by yourself. Ugh...is there no way to stop the madness!?
String to the rescue! ;)
STEP ONE: Tie a string either to a paper clip (which is the best method)* or directly to the zipper of your dress.
STEP ONE (part B): If you attached your string to a paper clip, hook the paper clip to your zipper.
STEP TWO: Grabbing the bottom of your dress with one hand (to create tension), and the string end with your dominant hand, pull the string up. Voila! You're zipped!
STEP THREE: To unzip your dress by yourself, simply reverse the process. Now hold the top of the dress (by the neck) and pull down on the string.
Easy-peasy, right? :)
*NOTE: If you use a paper clip, it can easily be clipped on the zipper or unclipped from the zipper from any which way, meaning you don't have to do a fancy yoga pose to untie the string from your dress when you're done with it, LOL. You can also hang your paper clip and string combo for daily use (if you wear a lot of dresses). BONUS!
Step 7: Cut Rope or String With Itself
If you're ever in an emergency, or you need to cut some string in a hurry for any reason, and you don't have anything sharp to use...simply follow this easy method! It will also work on thick rope, too!
STEP ONE: Mark the place on your string where you need it cut (or eyeball it).
STEP TWO: Stand shoulder-width apart on the string (making sure that the part you need to cut that's marked is NOT under your feet).
STEP THREE: Take the part of the string that you marked and put it under the string between your feet, holding the end of the string up between your legs. Wherever it needs to be cut, this part should be in the bottom of the "V" that's created. (See the second picture for what I mean.)
STEP FOUR: Use a back-and-forth motion to create a "sawing" effect. Continue this until the string has been completely cut through.
Step 8: Enjoy a Break While Still Swinging Your Child
So you're little child wants to swing...again...for the hundreth time in the last twenty minutes. In fact, you can't feel your arms anymore because the blood has completely drained out of them. And if you stop pushing, you know what will happen...the dreaded hour-long tantrum...so you push on....
STOP THE INSANITY! :D
Keep both of you sane while enjoying a much-needed break (or to actually have a sit-down conversation with your invited guests)...
STEP ONE: Attach a long string to the swing that your child is sitting in. Make sure the string is long enough to not pull away from you when the swing goes all the way back.
STEP TWO: Hold the opposite end of the string while sitting in your favorite chair (or better yet, tie the other end of the string to the chair you're sitting in). Go ahead, put your feet up and relax! ;)
STEP THREE: Tug on the string every once in awhile to keep the swing moving, then release to allow the swing to pull backwards.
Ahhh....."So you were saying?"
Step 9: Open Taped Packing Boxes With Ease
I hate trying to open a zillion moving boxes when you can't find your Xacto Knife! Did you seriously pack it!? Ugh...
So, try this approach when packing your boxes to make opening them later a breeze!
STEP ONE: Close your box up after packing it.
STEP TWO: Place string over the top of the box.
STEP THREE:Tape your box like normal, leaving the ends of the string hanging out from under the tape.
STEP FOUR: When you need to open the box, simply pull up on the string end. The string will pull the packing tape right up.
NOTE: Use this approach for every way you tape your box (ie: along the top lengthwise, then along the top width-wise) so all of the tape is easy to pull up.
Step 10: Make an Intruder-Alert System for Your Campsite
(Picture courtesy of: HowToSurviveIt.com)
Use a mousetrap, glow stick, and string to create a visual intruder-alert system for your campsite!
Read more about it here: http://howtosurviveit.com/survival-prepping-hacks/
Step 11: Use String to Perfect Your Putting
They say putting (aka the "short game") is the most important aspect of golf, so why not perfect your game (and score!) with this easy hack...
STEP ONE: Tie each end of a rope or string to the tops of two different stakes. Place one stake in the ground behind the center of the hole. Place another stake in the ground behind you, so that the string is above where your ball is.
STEP TWO: Line up your put using the string as a reference guide. As you pull the putter through, this will help you keep it angled properly to sink the shot.
Practice, practice, practice...and before long, you will have it down-pat from many different angles!
Step 12: Make the Biggest of Bubbles
Do-It-Yourself GIANT bubbles! Need I say more?
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
One 3/8" dowel rod (cut in half)
2 small eye hooks
1 metal washer
Decorating items (like markers, paint, glitter, ribbons, etc)
6 cups distilled water
2 cups Dawn dish soap
10 drops glycerin
Baking dish (such as a 9x13)
FOR THE WANDS:
1. Cut the dowel rod in half, if you haven't done so already. This makes two wands.
2. Screw one small eye hook into one end of each dowel "wand."
3. Cut the length of one arm of string. This will be your shorter string. Now cut the length of your wingspan (from fingertip to fingertip) of string. This will be your longer string.
4. Tie each end of the shorter string onto the eye hooks on your wands.
5. Thread a metal washer onto the longer string and tie both ends of this string also to the eye hooks on the wands.
6. Optional: Have your children decorate the wands. :)
FOR THE BUBBLE MIXTURE:
Mix the water, dish soap, and glycerin in a baking dish. Wait 30 minutes to 2 hours (with the longer you wait turning out better results) to activate everything properly (science stuff, lol). Try to make sure this mixture stays free (as best you can) from dust and other small particles while you're waiting. If these little things get in your mixture, it could make it so your bubble making doesn't turn out.
When the mixture is done sitting (or when your kids can't wait any longer, LOL--shoot, I can't wait any longer!), trail your strings (and washer) through the mix (keeping the shorter string taut), and drag it through the air to make your giant bubbles!!
Step 13: Build a Bow & Arrow (Survival)
(Picture courtesy of: Samuel Funt at survival-mastery.com)
Learn how to build your own bow and arrow using wood and string...http://survival-mastery.com/diy/weapons/how-to-mak...
If you are already stuck in nature (and are somehow reading this, hahaha), or plan to be "lost" in nature very soon, you can simplify this process (or beef it up) utilizing whatever you have to work with ;)
Step 14: Hit the Bullseye in Darts (Even If You're Visually Impaired!)
This hack can be used to better your aim in darts, or if you (or your friend) is visually impaired or blind. Because no one should be left out when it comes to having fun!
STEP ONE: Tie one end of the string to the metal framing in the dartboard, or pin it to the bullseye.
STEP TWO: Hold the other end of the string up with one hand, and with your dominant hand (the one you hold the dart with) touch it to the string. KEEP THE STRING TAUT.
STEP THREE: Use the string as your guideline for helping you aim straight and for helping you hit the bullseye! With practice, you can hit it every time! You can also move the string to different places to practice hitting wherever you want on the dartboard :)
Can you imagine you (if you're visually impaired) or your friend (who's visually impaired or blind) hitting the bullseye every time!? That would be an incredible feat! You could also try this just to have some fun if you run or work at a Blind Camp, or the like. #PureAwesomeness
Step 15: Use Tooth String (aka Floss) As an Umbrella Mender
The next time you need to sew or mend your umbrella when it detaches from the metal spines, use waxed floss so it will last longer! :)
Step 16: Divide & Define a Space With String
(Picture courtesy of: ImprovisedLife.com)
An open floor plan is still promoted as the most ideal living arrangement in home decor...but you don't have to lose your defined spaces or privacy in order to achieve it!
Use string in various ways to create see-through "walls" that help to divide and define your different living spaces. You keep your highly-sought-after open floor plan (since you can still have a clear sight line from one end of the room or house to the other), but you still have that put-together feel (instead of the dreary too-spread-out feel that often accompanies an undefined open floor plan).
Step 17: Flavor Your Soup With Removable Herbs (No Hassle!)
(Picture courtesy of: onegoodthingbyjillee.com)
So you're hunting for the perfect soup recipe, and you finally find it but the recipe calls for some herbs that need to be fished out at a later time...Bummer. Guess you'll have to continue looking, right?
Wrong! (LOL) This easy hack will give you the courage to try it without the hassle!
STEP ONE: Fill the center of a coffee filter with your needing-to-be-removed-later herbs.
STEP TWO: Pull all the edges of the coffee filter up to the top so it creates a type of "money bag" or "pouch" shape.
STEP THREE: Tie one end of string around the coffee filter "pouch" and leave the other end of the string out (tied to the handle of the pot).
STEP FOUR: Soak your coffee filter end in the soup (like a tea bag) and then pull it out when it's done! :) Nice and neat.
Step 18: Tie a Barrel Hitch (Can Someone Say, "Party Time?")
From something small like a soda can, to something large like a bale of hay, use this barrel hitch to hold it all!
STEP ONE: Place the item on top of the string. Try to stick with items that are symmetrical.
STEP TWO: Pull the string ends up and tie them at the top (as if you were tying your shoe).
STEP THREE: Open up the center of the twist you just made.
STEP FOUR: Pull the strings away from each other until you are able to pull them around the lip or top of the item. Make sure to keep at least one of the string ends that's on the sides tight so the whole thing doesn't come undone.
STEP FIVE: Pull the ends of the string up so it tightens the string around the lip/top. Now it can be hung anywhere!
How to use it at a party: If you have an armchair and want to keep your can or glass of pop (or other beverage) by your side, simply tie the ends of it to the arm of your chair. Now it will hang neatly by you for you to drink whenever you want, and you don't have to worry about someone dumping it (or yourself dumping it, LOL)!
Or, you can use this to hang decor for a party, wedding, graduation, etc :)
Step 19: Painlessly Remove Acrylic Nails With Floss
"Say what!? No way! I don't believe it!" Well, believe it...No more acetone soaking for you!
I don't have any acrylic nails on to show this step in action, but try it for yourself and let me know below how it works for you :)
STEP ONE: Use the pick end of the flosser to gently pull up the nail bed end of your acrylic.
STEP TWO: Using the floss end, gently push the floss under the acrylic in the gap you just made and wiggle it back and forth, working it up the nail until you reach the top and your acrylic comes clean off!
**Let me know any other unexpected life hacks you use string for in the comments below...Thanks so much for visiting!**
Step 20: Resources
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Please be positive and constructive.