Reuse Spent Gift Cards (read: Bored in a Hotel!)

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About: I enjoy electronics, software, and DIY almost anything. I love posts that solve/improve/self empower everyday things we normally leave to purchased products. I work as an IT Technician and like to draw, ti...

I'm not sure if this is normal, but in my billfold (yes, "billfold, not "wallet") I can count more than five gift cards for various stores that have less than $2.00 balance left. I also find myself in a Hampton Inn & Suites...which is a fine establishment that I highly recommend...that graciously provides a hairdryer for its guests.

HMMMM??? What's that you say!?!?!

Use said hairdryer with it's insane heat output to mold used giftcards into whatever random widget I may find useful, you say? I believe I will...starting with: Abstract art. Bing, bang, boom. Let's go...

Step 1: Gear

Admittedly, this list is specific to my setup:

1: Hairdryer
2: Ceramic soap dish (some sort of heating base)
3: Unwanted gift card

*At this point, I just wanted to know if the hair dryer would allow a card to be molded at all.
(Hint: It does.)

Step 2: Turn Up the Heat...

As in the photo, turn the soap dish upside-down. (The soap dish is only important to keep the card off any flat surface that would rob the applied heat) After laying the gift card on our newly improv'd base, turn your hairdryer on "high" and direct the hot air directly onto the card, keeping the nose less than one inch away. After about two minutes (or more, depending on thickness), your card should be pliable enough to bend into whatever form you wish.

While the squiggly I made has no certain use, there could be many useful applications for this technique. (I'll add more if I make anything more useful.)

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    14 Discussions

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    doo da do

    5 years ago on Step 2

    Put several in a spiral linked and it would spin in the wind. Just saying recycle.

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    kbeattie

    7 years ago on Step 2

    You could probably use a solder iron to heat the edges and then fuse with another card. Be cautious with fumes though.

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    XxZombiexXkbeattie

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

    True. Pretty much like a plastic welder (not the hot air ones...the really basic cheap kind like I have...pretty much just a wood burner with a wide flat tip). Thanks for the comment, I'll have to revisit this with that in mind. Maybe cut out some shapes and make little sculptures!

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    Iyer2711

    9 years ago on Step 2

    you really were bored, weren't you :D ... but yes, u gave me ideas.

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    XxZombiexXIyer2711

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm glad it got you thinking! Flashj and Checkthegate had some pretty good ideas in their comments.

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    Yep...and if the effort was made to cut the original into a pattern, then formed, and then painted/etc, there could be lots of stylish, original possibilities. Actually...I might just break out the dremel...

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    flashj

    8 years ago on Introduction

    There's an instructable shown just to the right for an iPhone stand, you could probably make one out of this, but I was thinking about a chopstick stand for when you go for sushi, they never seem to have them on the table anymore.
    Or a toothbrush stand for that matter. Thanks for the instructable!

    1 reply
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    XxZombiexXflashj

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Good ideas! I really just made the instructable as a proof of concept to put the core idea out there...many, many possible applications! I'm glad people have ran with it :)

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    sadiecoons

    8 years ago on Step 2

    I never knew you could find something so cool and simple to do, while you're bored.

    1 reply