Cool Things to Make Out of Rubber Bands

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Thomas K. Arnold

    About the Author

    Thomas K. Arnold is publisher and editorial director of "Home Media Magazine" and a regular contributor to "Variety." He is a former editorial writer for U-T San Diego. He also has written for "San Diego Magazine," "USA Today" and the Copley News Service. Arnold attended San Diego State University.

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    Rubber bands can be found just about anywhere in the office or home. Those thin, elastic loops of latex used to hold together things like newspapers or envelopes. Once they have served their purpose, the little things are stuck in drawers and pockets. Fortunately, they can be an endless source of amusement for crafty minds and crafty hands.

    Rubber Band Balls

    One of the easiest toys to make, and a real toy, at that, is a rubber band ball--how many boys are there who don't appreciate the wonders of a good "bouncy ball?" To make a rubber band ball, just wrap one rubber band around another, and then another, and then another until you have a ball about as big as a half-dollar in circumference. They bounce better than most store-bought rubber balls and your child can make one as big as he wishes.

    Rubber Band Palm Trees

    Yes, that's right--darling palm trees, suitable for display in any self-respecting home, made of rubber bands. Start with a pair of No. 2 pencils. Wrap them with rubber bands in varying shades of brown or tan so that they are completely covered, top to bottom. Then get a pair of thick green rubber bands, cut them apart into strips about two inches in length and fasten them to the tip of the pencil with more thin brown rubber bands.

    Rubber Band Art

    This one will amuse the kids for hours. Get a square of plywood, two feet by two feet, and map out 10 rows of 10 dots, each about an inch and a half apart, with a felt pen. Grab a hammer and box of two-inch nails and start pounding them in, to a depth of half an inch. You've just built a loom that you're going to spray paint white or black and then hand over to Junior, along with a bucket of multi-colored rubber bands. Let the kid's imagination go wild. You just might be left with something worthy of being hung on the family room wall.

    History of the Rubber Band

    Now that you've had all this fun, here's a little history so you know who to thank for your many hours of amusement. According to the website Rubber Bands...The Answer to Everything, the rubber band was invented in the United States in 1845 by Stephen Perry of the rubber manufacturing company Messers Perry and Co. He wanted something to hold papers and envelopes together. No word on whether he concocted other, more amusing uses, as well....