Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Duct Tape Deb's Life Hacks

My mother has long been known as Duct Tape Deb in the Caple household. This started years ago with a skit she first saw at Miracle Mountain Ranch (the church camp we attended), and loved so much she decided to copy. It's at bit long and complicated to explain fully, but basically, various people walked in and declared something broken.

"Huh, this microphone must be broken."

"Help! Help! My friend's leg is broken!"

And then there was someone singing the Kit Kat song. "Give me a break of that Kit Kat bar..."

Every time someone said the word "broken," Star Wars theme music would start playing, and my mom would rush in (adorned in duct tape and black plastic garbage bag attire, complete with cape)...."Did SOMEONE say SOMETHING was BROKEN?" She would then proceed to completely cover the offending object (leg, microphone) in overzealous amounts of duct tape.

Ever since those early days, she's nurtured a special, slightly obsessive affection for duct tape. We have a picture (somewhere) of her duct taping her old Honda before it was hauled off to the dump.

Nowadays, she has turned duct tape into less of a theatrical prop and more of an everyday life hack. That being said, she has found creative ways to use it that I have never seen before.

Duct tape can make an excellent stopper for your tub. (Extra bonus points if you have bacon and eggs duct tape.)

Or, it can make a unique and rather colorful craft caddy. (Do we even have normal duct tape in this house?) Don't have a nail to hang it up? No problem. Just duct tape it to the wall or cabinet.

 Or, you can cover a toilet paper roll in silver, sparkly duct tape to make a toothbrush holder. I was gone when this creative endeavor was underway, so I do not have my own silver-sparkly-duct-tape-covered-toilet-paper-roll toothbrush holder. Sadness. (I'm not sure to whom the extra toothbrush belongs. We always seem to have more toothbrushes than family members.)

Of course, not all of my mom's life hacks involve duct tape. Some of them are rather lovely, like these repurposed spice tins that she turned into magnetic refrigerator caddies.

I'm particularly covetous of this Hungarian paprika tin. I kind of want to steal it and take it to Africa with me. Unfortunately, no more Hungarian paprika has come through our household - it was a salvage store purchase.

These spice tins hang over the kitchen sink and hold various small kitchen utensils. (No, they aren't held up by duct tape - surprisingly. I think she used Command strips.)

Yes, that is more bacon duct tape. She wrapped it around the handle of the vegetable peeler so she wouldn't grab it when she was reaching for a knife.

These magazine holders contain hot pads (first picture) and rolled up plastic grocery bags (second picture). I find them rather less visually appealing, but they do get the job done, and they are hidden inside the cupboards.

This old wooden crate makes a nice decoration. And it holds something. I have no idea what.

This is rather clever, and very functional. For a TV stand, she removed the top drawer of a dresser, put a sheet of plywood where the drawer used to be, and placed the VCR in the opening. Ta-da!

For those of you wondering what she did with the extra drawer...ONLY MY MOTHER would turn it into a stable for a bunny nativity set. Of course, ONLY MY MOTHER would be in possession of a bunny nativity set...

...complete with a Baby Jesus bunny that appears to be suffering from limb confusion. Are those arms? Or legs?

We did eventually find the real stable. She wanted to be sure I showed you a picture:

Of course, now that Christmas is over, the drawer again graces the top of the bookshelf. It is serving as its own mini-bookshelf...

Lacking seating for an event? Create your own furniture! This odd assemblage faithfully seated family members on Christmas Eve.

This is a quite functional life hack, and not at all unusual. Use two tension rods to hold your cutting boards against the wall.

Last but not least...when I came home from Africa, my mom was in full-blown Cupboard Obsession. She lived, breathed, and slept cupboard ideas and designs. (I have to say I couldn't fully sympathize. I'm more along the lines of, "Oh, we have a place to put the cups? Great!") This was her attempt to visualize a corner cupboard - it stayed up for quite a long time.

Anyways, those are just a few of my mom's innovative solutions to problems in the Caple house. Remember - if in doubt, duct tape it!

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