Sunday, 25 December 2011

Spent your iTunes gift card? Repurpose it

There are too many plastic cards in the world. I got another one this morning from my son, who gave me an iTunes gift card, for which I was very grateful, of course. I scratched off the panel, keyed in the code and logged the credit. This left me with a useless plastic card. I gathered some simple tools:

You can see here a steel ruler, a manual single hole punch and a craft knife. The first step is to use the ruler and the craft knife to make some deep cuts along the top and bottom of the card that do not quite run to the sides, like this:

Each of the four corners now needs an additional cut, to join the ones you have made to the long edges, at a slight angle:

Once you have made all of these cuts, you can gently flex and then snap out the two edge strips. This can be tricky if your cuts aren't deep enough, so you may need to go back and use the knife to make them a bit deeper. You'll be left with a sort of bone-shaped card and two thin strips you can throw away.

Next, use the hole punch to make a hole at each end of the card. This takes a bit of strength and risks ruining a less than sturdy hold punch. You could use a drill to achieve the same effect.

Finally, use the knife or some strong scissors to make little V-shaped joins from the holes to the short edges.

Have you guessed what it's for yet?

Yes, it's a headphone cable tidy, which can double as a cable shortener if you only wind part of the cable around. Given the fragility of your average headphone cable you might want to take a nail file or emery board to any rough edges before you use this.

I gave this to my gift-giving son this morning. You see, his new headphone cable was so long he was in danger of tripping over it.

Happy Christmas everyone.
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