Creative New Ways to Use Cable Ties

BY: Christina Hansen


Because of their name, it’s easy to think of cable ties as only being good for, well… tying cables. But it turns out that these self-locking plastic straps aren’t quite as mundane as they may seem. Not only do cable ties organize and secure, they support, lock, repair, decorate, and help you create. From gardening and boating to crafting and trucking, no matter what you do, there’s a good chance that cable ties can make your life easier. Don’t believe us? Just check out our list of creative new uses for cable ties...

  • Worried about your hubcaps popping off? Just reinforce their bond to your wheels with a few cable ties, and they’ll stay right where they’re supposed to… even on the bumpiest roads.
  • SpeedyTie bundling two itemsBelieve it or not, cable ties are right at home in the garden. From tomato plants and bougainvillea to snapdragons and young trees, plants that need some extra help standing tall can benefit from being gently attached to gardening stakes with cable ties. We recommend ultra-flexible UV stable Mille-Ties, which treat plants kindly and stand up to long-term exposure to sunlight.
  • One of our customers (a professional trucker) has shared with us that he uses heavy-duty releasable cable ties to lash anything from cargo straps to flat tires to his truck’s flatbed, ensuring that nothing is lost along the way.
  • Would you believe that you can actually weave baskets out of cable ties? It may sound crazy, but that’s what California fiber artist Emily Dvorin does – and with amazing results. Check out her designs and get some inspiration for ways to incorporate colorful cable ties into your own craft projects.
  • cable tieCable ties for floral arranging? Why not? If you’ve got an unruly bunch of flowers that refuse to stay arranged, try locking them into position with cable ties before setting them into the vase. Once you’ve arranged the flowers to your liking, just cinch a few cable ties around their stems, being careful not to tighten the ties so much that they compress or cut into the stalks. Zip ties are so great for arranging flowers that even Martha Stewart uses them to create her beautiful autumn centerpieces.
  • A common complaint among boaters is that the depth markers spray-painted onto their anchor chains eventually wear off. The good news is that cable ties are a simple and long-lasting alternative to easily scratched-off paint. Mark boat anchor chains in 10-foot increments, either by color coding various depth measurements, or applying one cable tie for every ten feet of depth (for example, 2 ties on the 20-ft link, 3 ties on the 30-ft link, etc…). If you go with the color-coding option, be sure to create a reference sheet that tells you which cable tie color corresponds to each depth, then keep a waterproof laminated copy onboard your boat.
  • When it comes time to decorate your yard for the holidays, releasable cable ties are ideal for holding net-style Christmas lights in place on hedges, trees and shrubbery. Our releasable ties can withstand cold temperatures without getting brittle, and can be easily removed (without cutting) when it’s time for the lights to come down.
  • To organize tools in your basement, garage or garden shed, mount a piece of pegboard on the wall and create hanging loops of varying sizes with strong and versatile Pan-Ty® nylon cable ties. This gives you a custom storage solution that not only keeps tools in easy reach, but also allows you to reconfigure things as needed, for no more than the cost of a few cable ties (in other words, pennies).
  • When building canoes and other small boats from plywood, boat makers often use cable ties to temporarily hold wood panels in place while epoxy joints – which permanently bond a boat’s pieces together – are applied and cured.
  • So, you have kids coming over and need to secure kitchen and bathroom cabinets containing cleaning supplies or medicines. Installing child locks on off-limits cabinets might be going overboard if the children will only be around for a few hours, but it’s still very important to keep them safe. Cable ties make ideal temporary child safety locks when you’re in a pinch – just loop them through or around pairs of handles to keep cabinet doors securely closed. When the young visitors go home, just snip off the ties to restore access to your cabinets.
  • If you’re in the habit of transporting your bicycle from place to place, we have a trick for keeping the wheels from wobbling in different directions when you’re racking, unloading, or carrying it. Try using a couple of cable ties to secure the wheels to the rest of the bike frame – wheels will stay in line with the bicycle’s body, and when you reach your destination, just cut off the ties and you’re ready to ride.
  • VELCRO® Brand cable wrapMake it easier to set up for dinner parties and holiday feasts by storing napkin rings in sets using VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® Wire Wrap. Just string your napkin rings onto the cable tie, fasten the hook and loop, and you’ll have a complete set ready to go the next time you set the table for a festive occasion.
  • When something breaks around the house and you can’t run out to the hardware store for the part you need, cable ties can be surprisingly handy for household repairs. As a matter of fact we’ve seen one example in which someone actually reattached a broken toilet tank chain to the flush valve with nothing more than a cable tie.
  • Christmas ornaments are always getting separated from their wire hanging hooks, but don’t let that slow down the decorating. When you come across ornaments that have been rendered unhangable, just create new hanging loops with cable ties. In many cases, cable tie loops can be even better than wire hooks; because they completely encircle Christmas tree branches, there’s less chance of ornaments popping off the tree.
  • When camping, you can use cable ties to lock your tent while you’re away from it. Although cable ties won’t do much to deter human intruders, they’re great for keeping door flaps tightly zipped so that you don’t return from hiking or a swim to find that bugs, snakes or raccoons have raided your sleeping bag.
  • Dying to wear your favorite zip-up sweatshirt even though the zipper pull just snapped off? Just loop a cable tie through the space where zipper pull used to be. Now you can still stay warm while buying a little time for a full zipper replacement.
  • Maximize space in your cleaning supply cabinet by using cable ties to create hanging loops for lightweight household items you want to organize on hooks. Items like dusters, dust pans and scrub brushes often have holes in their handles that can accommodate cable ties, so get creative and try a new way of storing your cleaning implements.