Unexpected Use for a Hair Straightener!

Good hacks to make life easier are always welcome in my world! This whole Covid-19 pandemic definitely has people thinking outside the box. Today I found an unexpected use for my hair straightener tool!

We all know what a flat iron or hair straightener tool is, right? It’s two flat plates that iron your hair straight. Well, I LOVE how it makes people’s hair look…after all that is why I bought one. Turns out, I love what it does to other people’s hair, but NOT mine! Because it literally does not do anything good for my hair, it has been retired to the craft room. I have a lot of things from throughout the house that have unexpectedly ended up there. For example, the torch I use for some of my resin pieces…originally it was our kitchen creme brûlée torch. Actually, it was Greg’s kitchen creme brûlée torch.

So far, the only other use I have actually used my flat iron for is to crease the bottom cuffs of my jeans shorts. They never come out of the dryer right, they are always crinkled. It’s a convenient little iron and a quick fix, when I don’t want to break out my big iron and ironing board! I suppose it would work to crisp up a shirt collar too, but ironing is for another day…or not…if I can help it!  


Let’s get to my current out-of-desperation use for my flat iron!

We have a good friend who was recently admitted to a rehab facility. We wanted to try to cheer him up a little, so I made a poster for his room.  

In case you are wondering, yes I used my Cricut for all of the lettering.  I spent a lot of time on it and thought he would get a kick out of it. It is on poster board and everything on it is paper….paper. What was I thinking?


Obviously EVERYTHING that enters a hospital, rehab facility, or long term care facility needs to be disinfected. Since I made it out of paper, I didn’t really think ahead about how it would be disinfected…until after the fact…DUH!!!


After giving it some thought, I ordered some 20 gauge vinyl by curbside pick up from Joann’s. Yay Joanns!  They saved the day!  


Even a thin, clear tablecloth would work, like this one!

One yard was plenty. Greg and I folded the vinyl in half and slipped the poster in between. To seal it, I pulled out the old flat iron and sealed the open edges. 

I had it on the 15 settings and held it in place for 5 seconds. It sealed perfectly! I mean PERFECTLY!

The vinyl did not stick to the flat iron, but it did stick to the other piece of vinyl beautifully! I gave it a little tug to see if it would come apart and it did not!  

Now it can be disinfected with alcohol or whatever disinfectant they want to use. The upside is that it can be cut out later if anyone wanted to! The vinyl can be cut at the edge of the seal and the poster can slide right out.

Update:  It worked out really well and there were no problems with disinfecting it.  I don’t know how much he really enjoyed seeing our ugly mugs on his wall, but there was a definite chuckle.

With any luck, I’ll find other unexpected ways my flat iron will come in handy! I saw people use them to apply iron-on patches. That made me think it might be a great way to apply small Cricut vinyl iron ons!  Note to self: I’ll have to give that one a whirl!  Maybe a little iron on for a shirt or to pretty up a mask!  

Here are the materials I used to make the poster:

I used white poster board I had on hand, but they come in so many different colors!

This is my personal favorite paper to use with my Cricut! It cuts clean and looks great!

I love this glue stick because it goes on purple and dries clear!

Flat Iron – This is the brand I have.

I have a Cricut Explore Air 2, but this is a Cricut Maker.  They came out right after I bought mine.  

Here is a vinyl table cloth that is a perfect alternative to by the yard vinyl and probably cheaper!

Here are a couple of questions you might be asking:

Which flat iron is best?

If you are using it on your hair, you might want to do some research on which is the best and would cause the least amount of damage.  

However, if you are using it in your craft room, you don’t need the best or most expensive. I would also recommend that you may not want to use it on your hair after. Who knows what you might get stuck to it in your craft room!

Some of the features you might want on your flat iron or hair straightener:

Steam – It will come in handy if you are using it for ironing the cuffs of your shorts, or collars of shirts. Mine does not have steam, I just dampen the cuffs before I flat iron them.

Automatic turn off  – I think this is an ESSENTIAL feature if you are like me and always forget to turn off your hot glue gun!  I sincerely hope I never burn down my house, but if I do, I know what the fire department’s cause of fire conclusion will be. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked away and hours later have found the hot glue gun still on. Nothing has burst into flames yet (knock on wood), but have you ever walked into the room and just smelled the heat coming off it?  If you have done that, you definitely know what I mean! Greg eventually began to remind me before we would leave the house to go out to a movie, or out to dinner because he was tired of turning around because I was pretty sure I left the glue gun on. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t. I also have that irrational fear with the stove, but I don’t cook that often, so usually, I’m safe.

A feature that seems to be pretty standard is numbered heat settings, so it’s clear what heat level you are using for any given project. Another is a beep alert, letting you know when it is hot. That might be more helpful for me than you, since I might turn it on, start working on something else, like folding laundry, and forget about it entirely. The little beep brings me back to the task at hand. Drop those undies!

What’s the difference between a flat iron and straightener?

Nothing really…sort of. A flat iron is the actual hair appliance that has the two plates that heat up to straighten your hair. Hair straightener is more of a generic term and can be used to describe a flat iron, hot combs, straightening brushes, or anything used to straighten your hair. I use them interchangeably because I have heard people refer to them both ways.

That brings us to our last question:

Why does my straightener smell like it’s burning?

Remember, when I mentioned you don’t know what might stick to your flat iron in your craft room? Well, that is what makes it smell like it is burning. You might get a bit of glitter, glue, or anything unintentionally stuck to it. Give it a good cleaning and I would bet 99% of the time the smell will go away. Even if you have hair product build-up, that is going to eventually smell like it is burning. One last fear I have, is that I am going to place it down, (while it is hot) right on the cord and start some kind of horrible chain reaction that again ends up with a fire. I have haphazardly put my glue gun down and the hot glue would start dripping on the cord. Can’t be good!

Here is my question to all of you: Do you have any ideas to use a flat iron/hair straightener is an unexpected way? Be sure to share it in the comments below!  

Hope everyone is taking care!  

Thanks for stopping by! Remember: Life’s too short not to shimmer, so grab your glue gun and your glitter!™  Stay safe!


Mona

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