Whenever you get a new device, it usually comes with a new set of cables. When a device gets broken, you often throw it away, but this won’t always be the case for the cables. Cables just stick around, and before you know it, your house is filled with them, and you have a hoarding problem.
Still, what should you do with these old cables? Can you just throw them out, or are there some you’ll have a chance to reuse? If you decide to reuse them, can something useful be made? Finally, what can you do if you decide to recycle them?
Knowing what to keep
When decluttering, it’s essential that you know which cables you should keep and which are safe to repurpose or throw away. For instance, a mini-USB is still a useful cable, and it’s good to have it around. The problem is that you probably have quite a few and don’t need more than one.
You also want to keep your micro-USB. It’s the same story as with mini-USB. You buy a device, and you get a micro-USB, you use the device for a while, and, eventually, you get another device with another extra micro-USB. Eventually, if you were to audit your cable drawer, you would find many of these, while you really need only one or two.
On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely that any screen you’ll bring to the house will need a DVI. Now, they’re completely replaced by HDMI. The same goes for VGA cables. Unless you have an old monitor you hope to use for something, it’s safe to throw it away. Even if you did, you could just get an adapter instead.
If you find yourself asking, what is coaxial cable, know that you can even throw away your old internet and audio cables. Why settle for an inferior alternative?
First, you have to decide on the style. Cables come in many shapes and colors, but you can also strip them and expose the bare thin wire.
Generally speaking, the best jewelry-making cables are probably HDMI or DVI cables. So, if you have an old DVI cable or a damaged HDMI, this is your opportunity to shine. Other good ideas are phone cables or LAN cables.
Then, you must pick the style you believe will give the best results. Braiding can be an interesting style, but you would need much wire. Whether you’re interested in braiding knotting or some other method, you must follow different instructions.
The simplest form of jewelry-making with wires is using colored wires to make friendship bracelets.
Make a bowl
One of the most creative uses for old cables is to turn them into a telephone wire basket. This is one of the traditional ornaments with a shorter tradition than expected. African night shift security workers used discarded telephone wires to make bowls they would take home later. Soon, this became a global trend.
The design is simple, but the outcome depends on the individual’s skill. Nowadays, you can just look up a tutorial online and try to make some of these wires on your own.
This hobby of making pottery out of wires and cables is so addicting that you may soon go on a quest to find as many old cables as possible. You might even roam garage sales for other people’s old cables instead of worrying about what to do with your cables.
The thing is that this practice improves creativity, helps you unwind, and gives you some unique ornaments that you can even choose to sell online for a profit.
DIY wire sculpture
The skill of making wire statues is incredibly rare and unique. While aluminum wire is the best, the truth is that any type of wire can do the trick. You must be careful when extracting wire from cables because you don’t want to cut/prick yourself with it or ruin it before you fold it into your statue.
The gauge will determine how workable the material is, but the softness and workability of the material also depend on the type of metal. Bronze, copper, aluminum, and steel are the most commonly used metals for wire sculpture.
Remember that it’s not just about knowing how to fold the wire. You might also need to use a wide range of tools. For instance, you’ll need to use a hammer and several plier types. For instance, you’ll need the following:
- Round-nose pliers
- Flat-nose pliers
- Twisting pliers
- Needle-nose pliers
You would be surprised how many tools there are for wire sculpting that you’ve never heard of. Still, if you find this hobby to your liking, you can gradually get as many of them as possible.
Lastly, you can recycle old wires and cables in the nearest facility specializing in e-waste recycling. Remember, this is a special type of waste; taking it to a specialized facility makes the biggest difference.
Copper and aluminum are invaluable materials, and they’re highly recyclable. So, they’re always worth recycling. Still, if there’s an e-waste facility nearby, it might be worthwhile to contact them and ask about the specific materials and cables. After a brief conversation, you’ll have a much better idea of what’s going on.
You shouldn’t underestimate that other people may still need your cables. You may be able to sell your old cables on eBay or amazon. Sure, they will be quite inexpensive, but since you would otherwise recycle them or throw them away, the subjective feeling will be as if you were making money out of thin air.
So, you first need to audit all your cables and see what is safe to throw. Some cables are completely obsolete, others have too many duplicates, and some are great to keep, just in case. Then, there are many amazing items that you could make out of cables. Lastly, recycling e-waste or selling old cables for pocket change on eBay may also be great ideas. The key thing to remember is that your options are many.