We’ve stumbled across some more practical, simple and effective tricks that can make life easier now as well as during a crisis. They remind us that solutions to many problems are often right below our noses, and involve little more than everyday, ordinary items that we most likely have lying around. Take a look the examples below, and see how you can put them to work for you.
Pants Button Replacement
The next time you lose a button on a pair of pants, backpack or any other essential item, consider using a key as a temporary replacement. All you need to do is take a piece of thread and needle and thread it through where the button used to be and wrap it around the eye of the key a few times. Then, simply pull the material closed, and use the head of the key as a makeshift button. If you don’t have thread and needle handy, you can also tie off the key to the adjacent belt loop and achieve a similar result. While this may not be the perfect solution, it will get the job done in most cases.
Plastic Bottle Cap Dispenser
If you ever need a dispenser with a long point, such as what’s on a ketchup, glue or honey bottle, consider using a plastic drink container and lid. Remove the lid from the bottle and heat its underside with the flame of a lighter. Heat it to the point where it softens enough to manipulate but doesn’t turn to liquid and start to bubble. Take a toothpick and carefully start moving it around the center and pushing in gently at the same time.
The plastic on the lid will bulge outward and create a funnel-like point that can be pierced with the toothpick when finished. The trick is to find the sweet spot in terms of heat and softness in order to make this idea work, but it won’t take long to get the hang of things. All you need to do is pour the liquid you want to use into the bottle, attach the lid and squirt as necessary.
Container Vacuum Head
You can create an improvised nozzle for a shop vac or vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment out of almost any type of container. All you need to do is cut the container in half, straight down from the center of the top to the bottom. Cut two perpendicular slits on one of the sides that is long enough to insert the hose. Cut a notch out of the long edge of the material opposite the side where the hose will be attached. This notch is so that the stuff you’re trying to vacuum is able to get sucked into the attachment.
Feel free to experiment with different sizes and material until you find the strongest and most efficient one for your needs. All you need to do is put some tape around the hose and the attachment to prevent air from leaking, and you’re good to go.
Gun Magazine Pull Tab
If you have a zip tie, some scissors and duct tape, you can rig together a pull tab that can give you a little more leverage when trying to remove a stubborn magazine clip. This can help you to save time when it matters most, and it only takes a few seconds to put together. First, cut off the ends of the zip tie, and then cut it down the middle. Each strip will form the basis for the loop that you will make, so try to choose ties that are at least 4 inches long.
Peel off two strips of tape that are long enough to center the zip ties, arch over from one side of the clip to the next, and reach at least ½ inch above the bottom on each side. Take two more strips that are about an inch shorter than the first ones, and stick them, sticky-side down, over the side with the zip ties. Attach the sticky side from the longer tape to the outside of each side of the clip. Next, take a couple of strips of tape and use it to wrap horizontally around the bottom of the clip to hold the pull tab in place. Give everything a good squeeze, and add more tape as necessary to make the fitting as secure as possible. All you need to do is pull the loop, and the clip should come right out.
We’ll keep an eye out for more tricks to bring your way, and feel free to share any ideas that you stumble on as well. Remember, the more tricks you know now can make life a lot easier during a crisis later.