UPDATED: Monday, October 1, 2012 - 2:04pm
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is an incredibly common plastic used primarily in construction and as piping in water distribution systems. PVC is strong, lightweight, and inexpensive, which is why it’s so highly regarded within the building industry and by professional plumbers. And that’s why, if you happen to have gotten your hands on some of your own, you’re probably looking to put it to good use. So here are a few fun ideas:
1. Cord Cleanliness
You can use a short length of PVC mounted to the wall (perhaps behind or beside your entertainment center or desk) as a place to tuck all your extra cords. They’ll fit inside and instantly “tidy” up that messy look that seems so unavoidable in these sorts of places. Similarly, you can use longer lengths of pipe and actually run it along the wall, from the appliances all the way to the outlet. Running multiple cords through the pipe will, again, keep an otherwise unsightly necessity looking neat and clean.
2. Cord Storage
You can use a short length of PVC to store all your extension cords without them ever tangling. Just wind the extension cord up as normal, than slip the loops of cord through the pipe, so a bit sticks out on each end. This is especially handy if you have a number of extension cords, since it allows you to stack them efficiently yet prevents them from ever tangling.
3. Hand Protection
You know when you have to carry a heave bag for a long distance, and the handle begins to cut into your palm? Man that hurts! But it can be prevented by using a short piece of PVC. Remove a thin section along the entire piece, so that you can slip the entire handle of the bag into the piece of pipe. Now the wide, curved pipe will rest in your palm, and you’ll never have to endure that dreadful digging-in again.
4. Rodent Runs
Many families keep small furry friends like rats, mice, or hamsters. These little guys just love a bit of pipe for sleeping in, running through, etc. If you have curved end pieces you can even build an elaborate maze!
5. Summer Sprinkler Play
You can build awesome water playgrounds by using bent connector pieces to create cool three dimensional structures. Just use a drill to make a series of holes along the pipes, and attach the open end to your hose. This works best with the thinner piping.
6. Other Structures
I’ve seen instructions online for PVC laundry baskets, bike stands, clothes drying racks, laptop stands, and more. Hunt around, because if you can imagine it, somebody’s probably already built it.
7. Curtain Rod
A piece of piping stands in well as a makeshift curtain rod. Paint it and fit it with fancy end caps, if you want to class it up a bit.
8. Stemmed Glass Holder
Cut an inch-wide strip down the side of a larger PVC pipe, to create a slot all the way down the length of the pipe. Then, mount the pipe to your ceiling or under your cupboard, slot-side-down. Now you can easily slide wine glasses into the slot, and they’ll hang upside down, out of the way.
9. Organize Stuff
A few short lengths of piping, cut to various heights and set on their ends in a cluster, will work wonderfully for arranging office supplies, kitchen utensils, or even as a magazine holder (roll each mag to slide it in). Paint the pipe pieces sassy colors for extra saucy points.