Bubble. Whether you call it cushion, pack, sheet or wrap, you probably know what it is.
Made of plastic sheeting covered in air-filled pockets, we’ve all used bubble to protect things during a move or safely ship items sold on eBay. Created in 1957 and trademarked as Bubble Wrap® by Sealed Air Corporation, its use as a packaging material that protects and cushions during shipping and storage is well-known.
But did you know it’s often used for more than just packaging? Check out these 4 unexpected uses for bubble cushion (and a not-so-unexpected one):
Canadian artist Bradley Hart uses sheets of bubble as his blank canvases. Injecting each cell with acrylic paint colors, he shows the uniqueness of bubble by transforming it into beautiful works of art. Take a look at his portrait of Jimi Hendrix posted on our Instagram account. Stunning!
If you like to work with stamps or patterns, there’s a lot of potential uses for bubble as well. Cut out your favorite shapes (like trees or hearts!) from recycled or scrap pieces and dip them in paint. Then create artwork on canvas and paper, or polka dot patterns on fabrics for pillows and tablecloths.
Camping with Bubble
No matter how rugged or experienced a camper you are, nothing dampens your spirit like an awful night’s rest. Unrolling a sheet of bubble underneath your sleeping bag will keep you off the cold and damp ground. Bunch it up if you’re sleeping on top of a rock that you can’t move, or keep some of it rolled up to create an extra pillow for resting your head on.
If you want to keep that morning coffee around the campfire hotter for longer, use some layers of bubble—it’ll even make it easier to hold that hot mug. And if you want cold beer but there’s no cooler in sight, wrap the bottles in some more bubble and place them securely in a running stream for a few minutes.
Are you bored with your everyday wardrobe? Have you finally tired of the conventional accessories? Now there’s bubble for that!
Recently, some contemporary designers have begun creating outfits from bubble sheets; pieces like skirts, hoodies and two-piece bubble suits. Even bubble pouches are getting into the mix, being re-purposed as tote bags and clutch purses. Start a 21st century post-fashionista movement—become a bubble-ista!
Once you’ve hanged your bubble clothing up for a rest, don’t forget about your other purses and shoes. Stuff a little extra bubble in there and it’ll help preserve the proper shape of all those hard-earned fashion pieces.
Did you know bubble was first invented in the 50’s as 3D wallpaper, to satisfy people’s curiosity with the future? When it didn’t catch on, it was re-marketed as a greenhouse insulator. That didn’t catch on either, but its insulating properties were proven from that day forward.
When you’re out shopping with your reusable grocery bags, line the inside of them with bubble. They’ll keep cold products like milk, eggs and ice cream cooler for longer.
If you’ve found a gap or leak in your house’s windows, sheets of bubble can help to temporarily block the opening and insulate the room. Those same sheets can be used again to line the inside of the dog house in your backyard. Help keep your furry family members warmer when they go outside.
When you know winter frost is coming in or you’re wrapping up trees to survive the winter, bubble is yet again a great choice to help keep away the ice and cold. It can also do the same for your car. Unroll a wide sheet across your windshield—it’ll help prevent ice from building up and make snow removal easier.
Last but not least, people are again becoming aware of using bubble in greenhouses. Many smaller greenhouses are now using bubble as the plastic tarp and covering. It may have taken decades, but one of bubble’s original uses is finally coming to pass.
Bonus: Stress-Relief with Bubble
This may not be the most unexpected use, but boy is it a good one. Popping bubble is not only addictive; it’s been shown to help reduce stress. Instead of squeezing a silent stress ball, pop some satisfyingly loud bubbles instead!
Turn that popping addiction into office productivity with something truly inspired: the bubble calendar. Instead of marking off days on a chart or pulling sheets off a stack, pop a bubble for 365 days of giddy fun.
Don’t forget one of the most important uses for bubble cushion: recycling it once you’re done using it. We’re sure you can think of even more unique uses for bubble cushion and we’d love to see them. Share them on social media and be sure to tag us!