Eight Most Inventive DIY Problem Solvers From LifeHacker

The popular website Lifehacker.com has a really cool ongoing contest called the MacGyver Challenge. Readers are given a task each week to “hack” an everyday household item into something inventive and clever.  From binder clips to wine corks and more, here are some of the best and most useful  dieas to date from the MacGyver Challenge!


1. Handy Helper From a Ketchup Bottle Top

Ketchup Lid Bottle OpenerKetchup Lid Bottle Opener


People with arthritis or weak grips will love Lifehacker scorp1us for showing the easy way to open too-tight plastic soda bottles. The lid from a Heinz ketchup bottle fits over the soda bottle top perfectly, giving the user a bigger lid to grab and more gripping power to open the bottle!

2. Hang Almost Anything Using Just Two Binder Clips

Two-Clip HangerTwo-Clip Hanger

Lifehacker  Sam Terpstra has a simple method for using just two binder clips—one large and one medium—hang nearly anything.  Simply remove one of the metal handles from each of the clips. Hold the clips so the gripping ends point away from each other. Twist the smaller one to slip the handle around the handle of the bigger one.  Slide the removed handle back into the empty side, creating the same configuration. The expanded instructions from Sam are available at the link.  

3. Replace a Missing Pot Handle With Just a Wine Cork

Wine Cork HandleWine Cork Handle

Reader ELMORROW fixed his wife’s Crock Pot when the handle broke off the lid. He used the existing screw and washer from the old handle to replace the broken handle with a wine cork!

4. Use Binder Clips and Magnets for Computer Cable Control

Cable Control With Binder ClipsCable Control With Binder Clips

Sure, you can spend good money at a store buying a total cable solution for all your computer and networking wires. Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools blog shows us how to use binder clips and magnets to run four cables along a desk. You can also use the binder clip handles to manage notes!  I don't think they  look quite as great at the surprisingly inexpensive Beluga Cable Management System  I just recently discovered, but they seem to work just as well and it is fun to make your own solution with stuff you have laying around in the house.



5. Make a DIY Hercules Hook From a Paper Clip

Hercules HookHercules Hook

Reader lifehacker3000 created his own DIY Hercules Hook using a butterfly paper clip. (If you are not familiar with how awesome Hercules Hooks are, you can read reviews about them here.)  He also decided to improve the Hercules Hook by crimping the clip into a hook with two inserts instead of just one.  The thick gauge wire of the butterfly clip is sturdy enough to hang tools and even bottles of cleaner. You can use the hanger on sheet rock, cork or a pegboard.

6. A Book Light From LEDs and Binder Clips

Binder Clip Book LightBinder Clip Book Light

Lifehack reader Thaibinh! uses a Kindle with no built-in reading light. The ones made for Kindle are pricey. Instead, she uses a small and a medium binder clip, two LED lights, a one-cell battery and a bit of paper to create a clip-on reading light. She describes the design in full on her blog.

7. Quiet Those Keys With Heat Shrink Tubes

Quieter KeysQuieter Keys

Lifehacker contest winner Profound cut the noise of jangling keys by using heat shrink tubing on the heads of the keys. The plastic tubing comes in different colors-handy for color coding keys. This trick could also be used on dog tags and the like!  Just buy a pack of heat shrink tubes and then get inspired.

8. Protect Your Lunch Bag From Your Fork

Fork RescueFork Rescue

Lifehacker reader Gowrath likes to use a real, metal fork for lunch, but the tines poke holes through the lining of his lunch bag. He solved the problem by repurposing a prescription pill bottle. Gowrath cut a slot in the top of a bottle large enough for the fork handle to fit through without the head of the fork being able to escape. Now he just puts the head of the fork in the bottle, puts the bottle cap over the handle and screws the bottle closed. His lunch bag is safe! (To protect your lunch bag, you could also use a neoprene utensil holder like this one or make one yourself from some easily washable material like foam craft paper or a washable eyeglasses holder.)

What is your favorite household hack of the ones featured here? Would you try any of them for yourself?

You can see these creative solutions and many more on the MacGyver Challenges presented by  LifeHacker.com.

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