Extra bubble wrap? It works great in crafts, as insulation and much more.

bubblewrap.jpg Good ol’ bubble wrap. Popping it is always great for a simple, mesmerizing break from life. But then when you’re done popping it, you’re left with a limp piece of plastic. Rather than channeling your inner five-year-old, leave your bubble wrap un-popped and put it to creative use in other ways. From insulation to craft projects, there’s a use for whatever amount of old bubble wrap you have. Insulate your plants The air and plastic combination of bubble wrap makes the material a prime insulator. You can wrap or cover potted plants on colder nights if you don’t want to bring them inside just yet or don’t have the space. Lightly wrapping the plant itself and securing the bubble wrap with tape is an acceptable method. A go-to gardening tehnique is to insulate the planter by wrapping it in bubble wrap to protect the soil and roots from the cold. Make a greenhouse You can even make a gardening greenhouse out of bubble wrap. You can find a detailed tutorial here. This design comes complete with a wooden frame. Protect your valuables Remember to reuse bubble wrap with its intended purpose in mind: keeping things secure. As long as you treat it well (try not to pop it), you should be able to reuse it for a long time. You can use it for moving fragile items, keeping fruit from bruising in the crisper by lining the crisper with bubble wrap or wrapping the fruit, keeping items safe when you are shipping them and storing items like ornaments safely. Stuff handbags and shoes If you have some handbags and shoes you want to keep in pristine condition, consider stuffing them with bubble wrap. That will keep them from collapsing and creasing while you transport or store them. Insulate your food Bubble wrap also works as a great insulator for hot and cold food alike. Line coolers or bags with bubble wrap for a makeshift insulated container. Add ice for colder items. You can also just wrap hot dishes with bubble wrap to keep food warm. Keep food fresh You could also wrap your food in bubble wrap. It’d be a more insulated version of cellophane. Just make sure to wash the bubble wrap. Wrap your homemade items with it You can also use it as a basic wrap for home items. If you handmade some soap, for instance, wrapping it in bubble wrap is a good way to keep it protected. Insulate your windows Another option is taking advantage of bubble wrap’s insulating effects by putting it on windows in the winter to keep out the cold. It’s a greener method than covering a window in new insulator film. In older homes with poor insulation, you could also line the edges of windows with bubble wrap. Plus, it could increase privacy since bubble wrap isn’t perfectly transparent. Insulate your bed If you don’t mind your bed crinkling at night, you could place the bubble wrap between the comforter and top sheet to increase the warmth of your bed at night. Yet another creative use for bubble wrap’s insulating effects. Make bubble wrap curtains You can even make some curtains out of bubble wrap. It makes good shower curtains, since it’s waterproof. You can even hang it from doors for an artsy, unconventional feel. There’s a picture of some here. Put it on your windshield One tip floating around the internet is to put bubble wrap on the outside of your windshield in the colder months (painter’s tape should hold it nicely). That will keep frost and ice off your windshield in the winter. The wrap will also act as an insulator against hail. Make a bubble wrap sign Here’s where things get crafty; bubble wrap mixes great with paint. It’s even been used in typography signs. You can see a sign here. The artist just used needles to inject paint into each bubble. Use it in painting projects A great project for kids is to use the bubble wrap as a stamp. Kids just dip the bubble wrap in paint and stamp it onto paper for a fun pattern or background in craft projects. This paper plate snake is a good example. Let your kids go nuts Kids will have fun with this bubble wrap road. The crafter just taped bubble wrap onto the floor with painter’s tape and her little tyke can run across it and run cars on top of it. The gratifying popping just adds to the fun. Keep it for collage projects You can also have bubble wrap on hand for collage crafts. There’s a creative use of it here, where bubble wrap was cut out and used as the body of a jellyfish. Stuff it with colorful items If you have the kind with the giant bubbles, you can always stuff the bubbles with creative items and frame it. That will create a unique gift or wall hanging in your own home. You could fill the wrap with fabric, smooth beads, crafter’s paper, glitter or whatever comes to mind that fits. Make some corn A clever idea for fall is to paint the bubbles yellow, orange, brown and black individually to mimic Flint corn. You then cut the wrap into a corn shape and wrap with a brown bag to mimic the husk. You can see it here. When in doubt, return it When you have so much bubble wrap that you don’t know what to do, see if your local mailing store like UPS will take it. There’s a good chance they’ll gladly reuse it. Give it away online Along the same lines, you can list it with Craigslist under the “free stuff” section or list it over at Freecycle. That way, your bubble wrap is going to someone who definitely needs it. See if local crafters can use it Another option for a bubble wrap surplus is to see if local crafters can take it. Your local craft store may host crafting classes and could put it to use. Otherwise, check with artist shops, crafter’s circles or artist co-ops. They may be able to turn the wrap into something beautiful, or even just use it for shipping their wares.