Introduction: Bubble Wrap Todo List

Picture of Bubble Wrap Todo List
Complete those those things you need to do with a familiar strangely satisfying snap.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

bubble wrap (free in the mail!) 
ikea frame ($2.00/pair I think)
something to be a dry erase surface:  dry erase self-adhesive sheets (shown), glossy white plasticky shrinky dink sheets, transparency sheets, glass, something like that (price varies)
cardboard or thin wood for extra backing

hammer and 1 cm hole punch
bubble wrap spacing template (attached pdf)

Update: use a cricut 

Step 2: Trim Acrylic Sheet

Picture of Trim Acrylic Sheet

Trim off about 3/4" off the left edge of the clear acrylic sheet that comes with the Ikea frame.  I'm using a MicroMark miniature table saw to do this, but you could probably use other saws just as easily.

This will allow you to expose a strip of bubble wrap alongside the whiteboard material.

Step 3: Optional: Cover the Acrylic Sheet With a Dry Erase Surface Material

Picture of Optional: Cover the Acrylic Sheet With a Dry Erase Surface Material

For aesthetic reasons, I chose to cover the acrylic surface with dry erase material.  This hides some of the rumply edges of the strip of bubble wrap which goes underneath it along the left edge.

I went even further and punched out a line of 1 cm holes for the bubbles to line up into.  That was quite difficult and took a few tries.  I even went so far as to create a perfectly aligned template using Sketchup (see attached pdf on the materials page), which helped with the alignment a great deal.  Update: this can be done much more easily with a cricut and the svg file provided on the materials page

Tape the dry erase material down on top of a magazine.  Tape the template down over that.  Line up the punch over the holes.  Rap with the hammer two or three times to create a hole.  Carry on like that for 14 holes in this case.

Step 4: Cut Additional Backing Board for Support

Picture of Cut Additional Backing Board for Support

Using the paper insert of the Nyttja frame as a template, cut out a similarly sized rectangle from thin plywood - approximately 3mm thick.  This will provide extra backing which makes it a little easier to snap the bubble wrap.


Step 5: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Cut out a strip of 14 intact bubbles from the bubble wrap.

Align it in the frame alongside the whiteboard surface. 

Lay in the backing board and close up the frame.

Step 6: Epilogue

Picture of Epilogue

Pros:   Completing tasks has just become slightly more rewarding.
A silly idea has been brought to life.

Cons:  Getting the bubble wrap strip to line up properly is a bit finicky.   Creating the template was helpful, and would be an even easier job for a laser cutter, if I had one... (hint hint)

Snapping the bubble doesn't always work.  Sometimes they just deflate silently, which is disappointing.
This would be much better if it were manufactured in some proper way by whoever makes shipping materials.

Thank you and good night.


WienerBeener10 (author)2010-12-03

I love love love your instructable...

lachy2901 (author)2010-12-02

LOL i love it!!!

Kryptonite (author)2010-12-01

Pro tip: Laminated paper works as a dry erase sheet. :D

Kryptonite (author)Kryptonite2010-12-01

...Any ideas how you'd make something for the bubble wrap to slide into so it's easier to refresh it?

foobear (author)Kryptonite2010-12-01

Yeah, that's really what it needs... I don't have any great ideas on that yet. ***thinking***

Kryptonite (author)foobear2010-12-02

Double sided tape? Maybe?

foobear (author)Kryptonite2010-12-02

I don't think I'd want that, cause that would be too permanent. I have an idea for another one though, which I'm going to post as a new instructable, hopefully soon.

foobear (author)Kryptonite2010-12-01


patricianorma (author)2010-12-02

Simple but fantastic!

This is awesome!

cdawisconsin (author)2010-11-30

This might just be the thing I need to get my children to get their chores done. Makes the work a little more fun.

foobear (author)cdawisconsin2010-11-30

Awesome! That was kind of my intention was to have it be a little motivation enhancer. =)

darrenah (author)2016-03-08

Neat idea!! I like it!

xxlauraxx (author)2015-10-29

Ha! This is a great idea. Nice one.

rjones4 (author)2011-09-18


porcupinemamma (author)2011-06-01

First off-you are ingeeeeeeeeeenious!!! Sadly I am not-no tools or know-how. I was wondering... do you think a hacked dollar store frame might work? Do you think I'd be able to slide a new piece of bubble wrap in as needed?

pdub77 (author)2011-05-08

This is outstanding!

foobear (author)pdub772011-05-08

cool, thanks!

kenzi50198 (author)2010-12-29

what happens when the bubble wrap is all popped? what then? cuz i wanna make one of these but i need to know how to replace the bubble wrap.

foobear (author)kenzi501982010-12-29

it needs an easier way to be refillable, some people in the comments have suggested different ways

nerys (author)2010-12-09

as for serviceability this is pretty easy actually.

use TWO ROWS of bubble wrap.

have one row under a wood "plate" on the left that is screwed down or otherwise fastened to "squish" that row holding it in place.

when done you unfasten and replace.

foobear (author)nerys2010-12-26

that could work

peds OT (author)2010-12-09

Velcro the bubble strip to the dry erase board. You lose some coolness but get a more renewable device. I think I can try this with some special ed kids at school to help them complete tasks. Thanks!

foobear (author)peds OT2010-12-26


Crispie J (author)2010-12-25

This will be PERFECT for my ADD 19 year old son! He has zero tolerance for tedium. I asked him what it would take to make dishwashing fun. "Party hats?" he suggested. But I digress. Knowing that he would NEVER go through a complicated process to replace the bubbles, I have come up with a quick and dirty way to facilitate it. I affix the row of bubbles to a white board with adhesive putty (the kind you get for hanging posters). This makes the strips easy to change, as you don't have to add anything (such as velcro or magnet tape) to the bubbles. Also, he will be able to add and reposition strips to customize his list.

foobear (author)Crispie J2010-12-26

great solution!

St Jimmy (author)2010-12-12

Great feeling of satisfaction popping the bubbles after the job's done! Only problem is finding enough jobs to fill the spaces!

ceknight (author)2010-12-10

This is great! Only problem I see is that popping bubblewrap is a terribly addicting thing. I can see myself popping the whole column long before I get the list done...ooops!

CrLz (author)2010-12-03

So cool, very fun idea!

the_prototype (author)2010-12-03

The bubble wrap would be easier to change if you cut off the part of this wood-in-place-holder (I don't know how it's called xP) behind it and put some magnets on it and in the frame, so you can pop that part out easily and change the bubble wrap :)

vsbins (author)2010-12-03


SGutshall (author)2010-12-01

I had this same idea, but for a menu; similar to the way fast food cups have those little buttons you push down. Give someone a menu, and they mark what they want, and they are having fun from the very beginning.

Again, it seem impractical for now to replace a strip of bubbles every time, but this idea has definite potential.

Mike73 (author)2010-11-30

Like you stated at the end:
"A silly idea has been brought to life."

I still find the idea awesome, even though it means a lot of time and effort for only a "silly" thing.
There should be an easy way to replace the bubble wrap strip to make it more usable though :-)

foobear (author)Mike732010-12-01

agreed. I have something in mind, but it'll need a whole new instructable. :)

NachoMahma (author)2010-11-30

. Excellent

depotdevoid (author)2010-11-30

That is a totally sweet idea!

ChrysN (author)2010-11-29

I love it!

Arbitror (author)2010-11-29


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