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Every DIY guru has a secret weapon they couldn't do without: laser levels, zip ties, bungee cords -- you know the, uh, drill. What's the thing that always makes my list? Velcro.

Velcro is one of the handiest tricks around for home improvement and decorating projects. It's available at big retail stores, small craft stores, and even at some grocery stores. It's cheap, comes in several different colors, and is available in sheets, squares, strips, and dots of all sizes. Velcro is very strong, yet removes easily from most surfaces (test first in an inconspicuous area). To use, just cut it to the size you need, peel the paper backing off both sides, and stick in place.

So what are you waiting for? Read about a few smart ways to use Velcro after the jump.
1) Use Velcro to secure fabric wall hangings in place instead of nails which will leave holes and may tear delicate material.

2) Got a picture frame that slides around on the wall? A small square of Velcro behind the bottom of the frame keeps it from budging.

3) To keep knick-knacks from falling off shelves, add a small dot of Velcro underneath the objects and they'll stay put.

4) Do your mini-blinds rattle every time your window is open? A couple of piece of Velcro on the bottom slat lets you fasten them to the windowsill yet you'll still be able to roll them up and down as needed.

5) Use Velcro to secure a Dry Erase marker board to the refrigerator. It's easy to remove and replace when you need to write on it, but won't slide around or fall off when the fridge door shuts.

6) Secure remote control devices with Velcro to the units they control and never hunt between the couch cushions for a missing clicker again.

7) Keep the cords on your home electronics tidy by folding them neatly then wrapping with a strip of Velcro.

8) Make a room child-resistant by applying strips of Velcro to the edges of drawers and cabinets. (NOTE: this tip won't child-proof a room but it's a good temporary solution for hotel rooms and such. Use with caution.)

9) Is the latch on your laptop computer broken? Use a small dot of Velcro to keep it securely closed.

10) Keep a small strip of Velcro in your bag or briefcase for the next time you find yourself needing a safety pin or emergency fastener. It will come in handy if you lose a button or break a zipper right before that big presentation.


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