A little waste-saving trick

Do you use a lot of glue sticks in your art or design work? Are you a scrap-booker? Or maybe you just have a kid who’s an obsessive-compulsive gluer.  Well, here’s a little trick that saves a bit of waste and a tiny bit of money.

I use the generic 20 gram sticks from Staples, but this will probably work with any size or brand.  When the stick gets down to the little plastic ring, I used to just throw it out, but for a while now I’ve been hanging onto them until I have four or five that look like this:

IMAG0583

When I’ve got a few “empty” sticks, I sit down with an ordinary kitchen knife, stick it into the bit of glue that’s left and unscrew it from the plastic cup it’s in. The cup is reverse threaded, so you turn it clock-wise to remove the plug of glue. The first time I did it I was pleasantly surprised, and more than a little annoyed at the waste,  to find more than a centimetre of perfectly good glue that was designed to be discarded.

IMAG0584

Now I choose one of the sticks to be the re-manufactured one.  I turn the cup down a bit, tuck the plug of glue in, and press it down with the knife, massaging it a bit to fill the voids of the screw thread.  Then I repeat until the re-manufactured stick is full.

IMAG0585

I find that four or five “empty” sticks can become a full stick with about three minutes of simple effort.

If your activities involve a lot of gluing and you’re concerned about waste, this little trick can give you a nice little feeling of satisfaction and maybe save a tiny bit of money.  I mean, why buy a half dozen glue sticks and just throw one away unused?

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