Teen Librarian Toolbox
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TPiB: Zip Tie Crafts

I recently learned about some amazing crafts that you could do with zip ties from my friends in Ohio, MM and MM. That’s not a typo, there are two of them. They are very cool – and crafty.

Disco Balls

MM originally saw these on Pinterest and knew that she wanted to make them, but she adapted the formula in a way so that instead of hanging, you can sit them on a desk with an LED light or battery powered candle glowing from an opening underneath. The original instructions can be found at Instructables. To modify the project she just left off 4 of the plastic cups on the bottom so that her Disco Ball could sit on a table space with the LED light/candle shining through it.

Clear plastic cups
A hole punch
Zip ties
Pony beads
The best part about this modified version is that you don’t have to drill a hole in the bottom to string the lights through as mentioned in the Instructables directions.

To make this work, MM simply used a hole punch to put 4 holes in each cup, tied them together using a zip tie and added a pony bead for a bit of flair. You can used different size cups, including those little condiments cups, to make a variety of sizes.

Cassette Tape Thingy

Yes, I know that is not the technical name for this craft. The thing is, you can do a variety of things with it and they are all pretty cool. Turn it upside down with an LED light and you have a cool desk lamp or night light. Turn it the other direction and you can use it as a pen holder. This would be a great upcycling/Earth Day craft.


Casette tapes
Zip ties

It’s pretty straight forward: zip tie the cassettes together and make stuff. This cool lamp uses 10 cassette tapes. More complete craft instructions can be found here. You can also do this with old floppy disks, instructions are available at Instructables.

It turns out, there are a lot of cool things you can do with zip ties, which are also sometimes called cable ties. There are several Pinterest craft boards here, here and here.

Both of these crafts are economical, which I know lots of libraries are looking for. They can be great for a program for Earth Day. And they are very social, I said there and talked to MM while she punched holes in a cup and everyone had a really great time. The end product is really cool!

For more ideas, you can also check out this book:

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