Christmas lights and hanging them up

I was just browsing through Facebook today and noticed one of my friends had already posted a photo of their CHristmas tree in their living room and I was SHOCKED!!! It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and you are posting a picture of your tree? On a good note, it was just decorated with a fallo theme and didn’t have the full Christmass theme going on yet. Of course, the Christmas tree does have a varied past.

Made me start thinking about what I should be doing for Christmas lights this year and how I should keep them up. It seems if I want to get creative using zip ties would be a smart way to hold them on to something securely. You see, I kind of scored about 3,000 lights from a yard sale for about $10. They even included 2 rubbermaid containers which alone were worth more than the price. I expected some of the lights to not work but it seems ALL of them miraculously still work. Hard to believe I know.

Looks like my kids will be excited to have the yard lit up with lights BUT I will be unhappy with the power bill at the end of the month I am sure. Of course I would rather have an artificial tree and just buy an oil fragrance lamp that has the scent of blue spruce, cinammon, sugar cookies, or pumpkin spice. When do you put your tree up for the holidays? What are your favorite holiday scents?

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Keeping bags safe through Airline terminals – TSA approved

If you want to see if your bags have been opened or not at an airport just lock together the zippers with inexpensive cable ties.

backpack security cable ties

Simple TSA security using cable ties.

We know that TSA screens every passenger’s baggage before it is boarded on the belly of your flight. While their sophisticated equipment lets them to electronically screen most bags, there are random moments when they need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal “master” keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. Of course if you have one of these keys, the lock is pointless. I prefer keeping it simple myself.

This way if the zip tie is removed once you get to your destination you know the TSA has opened your luggage.  Now, if you discover something is  missing from your luggage you can file a claim with your insurance with proof.  TO make things easier, take a photo of the contents of your bag with your smartphone and then you have more proof of what was in your bag during transit.

If you ever wander what other uses cable ties have, check out are crazy list over here. Sometimes zip ties are used in hazing, and end up making the news in a negative way.

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Cable Ties used to keep Public Trasportation safe?

I have to mention this article since it is INSANE. In Singapore “experts were just quoted at saying they “believe the use of cable ties to secure rail claws on the MRT lines is acceptable”.  Ummmmm… WHAT? IT seems that what hold the rails down was slowly being doslodged by the movement of the train.  Someone came up with the “bright idea” that using zip ties to hold the claws in place seemed like a good solution.

cable ties singapore MRT train lines

Does this cable tie solution look safe for the Singapore MRT Train Lines?

Another expert came out and said, “cable ties may be subjected to wear and tear over time.”  Really? It doesn’t take an expert to figure this out.  Do they a train to crash to figure this one out?

High ranking officials felt using cable ties is a “prudent solution” until there is a more permanent way to secure the claws and keep the third rail operating in the mean time.

The experts pointed to vibration tests where claws did not dislodge with the cable ties on. Dr Huang Xianya, who is an expert in Inspection and Failure Analysis at Tuv Sub PSB Singapore, suggested that the crack in the third rail on December 17 could have developed several months before. This weakness made the structure more vulnerable to vibrations, causing the supporting rail claws to dislodge and third rail to sag.

Dr. Huang Xianya has said this before, “”I always tell my clients that I must tell the truth, whatever it is. Our conclusions must be independent and unaffected by others,” said Dr Huang, who has been in this industry for 40 years and is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering’s 11th edition published in the United States.

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100 uses for nylon plastic ties – part 3 of 10

As I continue walking around in my day to day life I keep have more and more ways to fix things with these little nylon blessings from God:

  1. Repairing the metal ring of your basketball net.  You see the net is held onto the ring with these little metal pieces of steel, when they get old they fall off and you can repair them with a zip tie.
  2. Keep the hubcaps on your car attached to the old steel wheels. Of course stainless steel cable ties would last longer.
  3. Locking up the fridge at night so your teenagers can’t keep eating your food.
  4. Safely lock your airport luggage  knowing that if it needs to be inspected the TSA only costs you a few pennies to destroy your nylon lock. Luggage cable ties are perfect for this.
  5. Cheap collar for your cat or dog if the old collar is getting to tight.  Just make sure it’s a wide cable tie.
  6. Lock up your backpack temporarily when going to an after school practice.  At least it is a mild preventative measure to keep students from messing with your stuff.
  7. These ties also can easily hold windscreens on fences at home or on tennis courts.
  8. After finishing a day on the water you want to keep all of your ropes organized from your tube, kneeboard, wakeboard, & water skis.  Use a cable tie to keep them all together over the winter and not have a hot mess to undo when spring rolls around.
  9. I had a tarp rip off the kids playhouse and ended up just using some zip ties to secure the tarp to the wooden crossbeams.  Cheap and easy.
  10. Need to hold that newspaper insulation around your  hose bib during the winter down in the south? Just use a zip tie and it will stay on!!
backpack security cable ties

Simple backpack security using cable ties – just clip to remove

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100 uses for zip ties – part 2 of 10

It’s the list that never ends……. it goes on and on my friend…… (sorry, that song was in my head and just would not go away until I wrote this down)…..

  1. Need to repair a whole in your chain link fence?  Just use some heavy duty wire ties to loop it up.
  2. Do you use chicken wire to keep your chickens in at home? (eggs are getting pretty expensive you know…) Use cable ties to repair any small holes you may have and keep the wire in shape for longer.
  3. Dryer Vent cover rip off? I had this happen…… Pulled out the lint filter from my dryer and the faceplate with handle ripped off.  Tried to gorilla glue it and it failed. I now have to zip ties on each side that I use to pull it out….. Hey…. leave me alone it works….
  4. Keeping your watch on if you break the metal piece that goes in the wrist strap. OK, this is unsightly but it is a temporary fix until you get a new wrist band.
  5. For women, use cable ties instead of a hair band to keep your hair in a pony tail, or pig tails, or braid…. whatever….

    cable ties hair band accessory

    Cabe Ties can help women in a bind….

  6. You can cable tie cardboard to a Nikon lense to act as a lense shade if none is easily available.
  7. Create a luggage rack on your SUV by using cable ties to attach 1 x 4’s perpendicular to the roof runners.
  8. Ever had a link break on a chain?  Just use a couple black cable ties to connect the pieces and make sure the “repair” is not in plain site.  People will assume the chain securing your gate/door is still not worth the trouble.
  9. Replace your shoe laces with 6-7 zipties through each vertical eyelet. Most of us rarely untie our shoes anymore and this is a quick and easy fix.  You might want wider zip ties for this one.
  10. A cheap wedding ring? That’s right, there is an artist, Ambre France, that is making cool rings out of these.  Hey, even in today’s economy you can afford to pop the question now 🙂
unique cable tie engagement ring

Unique cable tie engagement ring

Which one of these have you ever done? Which one is the strangest to you? Feel free to submit any ideas you may have!

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100 uses for cable ties – part 1 of 10

I decided to create a comprehensive list of every way people today have used zip ties (gtet them here) that I can think of.  In third world countries it seems to have become a basic building block in construction.  Here in the states zip ties have become the widely used assistant with duct tape for the lazy man’s repair job. This is not about using ties for art…. That will be a WHOLE different post!! Let me know if I am missing something.

  1. Keeping your cheap Wal-mart hubcaps attached to your car.
  2. Attaching Christmas lights attached to your house, trees, bushes, or most anything at home.
  3. Keeping tomato plants upright in your garden, attached to their steel cage.
  4. Temporary child locks – ever had the grandkids down during Christmas and just needed certain cabinets locked up while they are in town? Cable ties can take of this quickly and cheaply.
  5. Broken toilet handle? Just open up the back of the toilet and fix that metal chain with some handy cable ties…..Great thing about this, nobody sees it.
  6. Transporting bicycles on the top or back of your car?  Use zip ties to prevent the wheels from constantly spinning and assist your tie down straps with extra strength.
  7. Locking a safety handle on your push lawnmower so you don’t need your hands clutching it the whole time.
  8. Holding your audio, video, & power cables together behind your sound system and TV?
  9. Controlling that mess of cord behind your desktop computer and printer (of course with wifi printers the mess is less).
  10. They can used to seal LARGE helium balloons that are used for landscape photography.
cable ties bike rack

Cable ties prevent tire spin on a bike rack

More to come….. each post I do will consist of 10 new uses for cable ties….. AND each post will get a little crazier with unique applications.

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