They're called "gift cards" so it's logical to think the main function of these little plastic darlings is to give as presents. But what do you do with gift cards once they've been spent? Gift Card Granny has 16 off-beat ways to use your gift cards after the holidays.
1. Ninja star: These puppies really fly when you fling them. Sharpen one up and whip it out next time you're faced by a herd of Bruce Lee wannabees; which happens every day, of course.
2. Haut couture: Costume designer Lizzie Gardiner wore a dress made entirely of American Express cards to the Academy Awards in 1994. Not only did Lizzie win the Oscar but she was the most photographed C-list celebrity on the red carpet that night. Be the talk of your own town with home-made jewelry and fashion couture made entirely of gift cards.
3. Prison shank: You've just been falsely arrested and tossed in the slammer overnight. Your cellmate is making Mongo grunts in your direction. What do you do? With the panache of James Bond you sharpen a gift card on the cell bars and defend yourself pronto.
4. Fish scaler: Your creel is jam packed after a day of fishing in the wild. It's dinner time, the fire is ready and you're about to scale some fish. Uh oh, you've forgotten your scaling knife! Aren't you glad you've got a gift card in your wallet?
5. Leveling a restaurant table: This one comes from my brother who detests wobbly tables. He used to use match books but, with smokers banned from eating establishments, they're harder to find. The most important part of this self-repair project is to remove the gift card before you leave the restaurant.
6. Four-star-hotel room key: Want to impress your friends? Paint a gift card with the logo of a prestigious hotel and flash it around.
7. Frost a cake: The Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" may not try this, but I always have trouble evenly smoothing cake-icing. The broad surface of a gift card might just prove to be an improvement. Now if I could just get the cakes themselves to bake evenly.
8. Car windshield scraper: You can actually find ice scrapers billed as "gift-card sized." One online merchant even has a similar scraper priced at $294. Surely that has to be a typo, but isn't it nice to imagine you're handy dandy gift card is saving you nearly $300?
9. Screwdriver: We're talking the tool here, not the orange juice and vodka concoction.
10. Letter opener: Tired of paper cuts from opening bills and junk mail? Try a gift card next time you're going through the mail.
11. Bookmark: According to Wikipedia (the online encyclopedia), "a bookmark is a thin marker commonly made of paper or card." Please note the "card" portion of that definition. If you're using a gift card with a library book, please remove your marker before returning the book.
12. Pill counter: Pharmacists are whizzes at swiftly counting pills out with a "spatula" (that's actually the technical term). Substitute a gift card for the spatula to make things a bit more festive during the holidays.
13. Lock picker: You've seen criminals jimmy locks on TV with credit cards, so why not try a gift card next time you're locked out of your home? According to the "experts," you just slide a gift card gently between the lock barrel and the door jam. Jiggle the handle a wee bit and keep maneuvering the card in and out until the lock gives. Once you're in, go buy a deadbolt for that door because it's dangerous to have a lock someone can crack with a gift card.
14. Ear muffs: When the temperature dives without warning and you can't find that box of winter wear, simply cover one side of two credit cards with cotton, connect with a string and you've got a fashionable pair of ear muffs.
15. Patio tiles: Glue piles of gift cards together to create patio tiles, lay them in a fancy pattern in your back yard and you have a unique patio. My sister claims it has to be a lot easier than laying those heavy bricks or stones.
16. Guitar pick: Musician swear by this use of gift cards, as do those addicted to "Guitar Hero."
Photo by: mtsofan.