Bubble wrap is an incredibly versatile product. Not only does it come in a variety of bubble sizes and colors, but it has a number of uses well beyond just packing and protecting your valuables from the hazards of modern shipping methods.
Bubble wrap is a big deal in the geek community for a number of reasons. It’s available in plentiful supply to anyone who frequently does their shopping online, and can provide hours of entertainment while waiting for a big download to complete.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the clever uses of bubble wrap that you might not find listed on the packaging.
Placing a sheet of unpopped bubble wrap under a rug or in a door jam can create a primitive burglar alarm. I can see my wife placing a sheet of bubble wrap in front of the refrigerator to prevent midnight snacking, but at the very least it can alert the family dog to an intruder.
Because it can be cut down to very small pieces, placing a strip on the inside of a door handle can also alert you to a surprise visit by your nosy brother or sister, or at the very least provide a jump and a chuckle from someone as they wonder what squishy thing popped as they grabbed the handle.
Bubble wrap provides an interesting (and easily concealed) sound effect that mimics something breaking or otherwise cracking. In a recent episode of Scam School, magician Michael Ammar demonstrated an impressive trick that uses little more than a piece of bubble wrap and a strip of plastic to pull off. You’ll see the trick 4:42 into the video above.
Stressed out? Grab a strip of bubble wrap and have at it. The act of popping these little air bubbles is a natural stress reliever. It’s a simple action that provides a predictable audible response. Much like a stress ball, it requires little physical action and virtually no mental concentration.
Bubble wrap is such a highly recognized stress relief tool that products designed to mimic the feeling of popping bubble wrap have been developed. An electric bubble wrap keychain could be a fun way to get through a particularly stressful day, or at the very least annoy your coworkers.
Lightweight Portable Bedding
Camping is a lot of fun, but I bet you never considered bubble wrap to be a camping tool. When folded upon itself, simple bubble wrap becomes quite strong — Strong enough, in fact, to hold the weight of a person and keep them off the life-draining cold of the bare ground. Because it’s basically just air, it’s also an extremely lightweight thing to bring with you in mass quantities.
Air mattresses are wonderful, but carrying one through the woods for a few miles is a lot of work. Add the weight of water, food, a tent, sleeping bags, and other camping essentials and you may start thinking about what you can get away with leaving out. Bubble wrap, though bulky, adds little to no actual weight to your pack. It’s also a fun way to pass the time during the long hours away from civilization.
Quality thermoses, double-paned windows, and bubble wrap all have something in common: dead space created by air trapped inside a sealed container. Bubble wrap is an excellent insulator. Putting a sheet of bubble wrap over the interior of a window during the summer can reduce the amount of heat transfer by about half. In addition, it diffuses sunlight and creates a warmer, more inviting natural lighting condition.