Velcro was invented by a Swiss engineer who couldn’t help but discover a good use for the nasty burrs of burdock that would stick to his clothes and his dog’s fur after hunting trips. He examined the burrs under a microscope and saw hundreds of hooks. The name Velcro is a made-up word based on two French words: velours and crochet (hook).
The other day I picked up some adhesive Velcro spots in black and white at a local shop. After writing my recent article on how to clean up cable clutter I had a couple of ideas for how to use them and the Internet gave me several more. I found that Velcro isn’t just a cheap zipper alternative – it’s a much underestimated product with many great uses.
Fix The Remote Control
A few weeks ago I damaged my laptop’s external monitor when my backpack with the laptop in it hit the ground. I had slipped on an icy sidewalk. The laptop still worked perfectly fine, so I went to buy an external monitor. Since I pay for both cable and public TV, despite not owning a TV, I decided to get an HDTV as my external monitor. The remote control it came with has lived an unappreciated life on my desk ever since and was the main reason I picked up the adhesive Velcro spots.
I stuck two Velcro spots on the backside of the remote control, one on each end. I also attached the counterpart.
I took the remote control and placed it on the side of the monitor, making the adhesive side of the counterpart stick to it. Then I peeled off the remote control, splitting the Velcro, and made sure the counterpart firmly stuck to the monitor.
Finally, the remote has its place and isn’t in the way anymore.
Mount Your Tablet Or Phone
My kitchen is pretty big, but there is never a safe space for the tablet and I usually bake or cook with recipes from the Internet. Velcro was the solution; I decided to use the velcro mount to affix the tablet on a kitchen cabinet door.
Just a few adhesive Velcro spots on its back (I used 5 in total)….
…and counterparts stuck to the cabinet using the method described above…
…and I now have a safe space to place the tablet in my kitchen. Make sure you use industrial-strength Velcro or enough strips or spots to really support the weight of whatever you are trying to mount.
Oh yeah, I also used Velcro for the spice grinders in the top left.
Admittedly, the Velcro mount looks a little odd when the tablet isn’t mounted. However, you can easily cover it up. I haven’t decided what I will use yet, but ideas include a small whiteboard, a picture, a calendar, or seasonal decoration. I’m pragmatic, so I’ll probably go with the whiteboard or calendar.
We have mentioned Velcro in a previous article about 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your Old iPad After Upgrading in which my colleague Matt suggested to turn the iPad into a picture frame. Much the same way you can mount your tablet on the dashboard of your car or in other cool locations. Find some more suggestions in the video below.
Oren found that Velcro strips work great to mount a tablet on airplane seats. As a counterpart you can use the small patch of Velcro that holds the headrest cover from the passenger sitting in front of you. Oren posted detailed instructions on Instructables.
Mount Your External Hard Drive
With some industrial strength Velcro, you could mount your external hard drive under your desk, like Kevin from Apartment Therapy has done. I have done this with one of my older external hard drives, which I used to store downloads, movies, and other stuff I don’t really need to keep forever.
In the back you can see the router I mounted using double-sided tape, but I replaced it with Velcro in the meantime.
Make Your Own Velcro Ties
Most power adapters come with Velcro ties to keep the cord together. You can make your own Velcro ties to bundle cables or strap them to other objects. Simply take a longer fuzzy strap and a short hook strap (non-adhesive ones), attach them to each other with ends overlapping, stitch or staple in place, and voilà, your Velcro tie is done. Detailed instructions with pictures can be found on Instructables.
Velcro, an invention inspired by nature, has a lot of practical and creative uses. Its best feature is that it is flexible and can be used universally on almost any item, either by sticking or sewing into place. Simple solutions are often the best. And who invented it?
Do you have any cool ideas for Velcro mounts? Please share!