Hikari's Food/Japanophile and Other Interesting Stuff blog

Creative Bento Strap: Repurposing hair ties (and a Reader Appreciation Spring Giveaway!)

on March 23, 2013

Hi all, long time no post! At least not a real one. Well to make up for it, we have a two-fer.

First, the bento strap: You know what these look like, they’re those elastic, rubber or silicone straps that cost way too much and hold your lunch together.

The usual suspects

The usual suspects

My solution: Has anyone else seen this done? I poked around on the internet, but since most search engines are practically useless, I rely on you, the readers.

I can't believe no one's thought of this yet! Or at least posted it on the internet.

I can’t believe no one’s thought of this yet! Or at least posted it on the internet.

Here we go, easy bento strap with those hair ties called pom-poms or whatever. (You could also maybe use those rubber bracelets? (the thin round ones, not the wide inspirational kind)


I thought of this a while ago, as I had an enormous package of hair elastics and made a rope of them. Then I wondered: how can I link them together to form a big circle? This led to the bento strap idea, as I had considered making some nice ones for my bentos. You know, with wide elastic and maybe some cute character made of felt. But I digress.

I had remembered seeing many of those ball-and-elastic type hair ties just a few years ago, so they shouldn’t be that hard to find, right? Wrong. Dollar tree, no. Wal-mart, no. (Although a friend told me I was looking in the wrong spot) Rite-aid or Walgreen’s, no. grumpyno Luckily, I stopped by a family owned dollar store and found these! Woot! My star ones were there too, but I already have pix of those.

Multiple colors, and even butterflies? I wonder how well the fuzzy ones would work...

Multiple colors, and even butterflies? I wonder how well the fuzzy ones would work…

So, how do you actually make it work? Well, if you’ve never made one of these chains, here’s the scoop.

tying it1

Just pull one tie through another, loop it through itself and pull!

tying it 2

When it’s long enough, just loop the hair tie through, wrap the whole thing around the bento and attach! You can stop here,


Or pull the second bauble up to loop around the first. What’s great is they slide on the elastic, so they don’t have to get in each other’s way.


I like this because it’s completely adjustable. Too big, remove one. Too small? add one! I also found this idea for decoration using a brooch.

Any kind of large enough pin, brooch or button will do!

Now, on to part 2!

It’s spring, I’ve got a week before having to go back to classes for my last quarter in University. I’d like to give my readers some appreciation, as my blog has been relatively steady in it’s viewership. What shall I do? How about a nice giveaway? Would you like one of my hair-tie bento straps? How about a bento start-up kit?

I’m giving away one starry hair-tie set, you pick the color: Orange, Clear or Blue. It will come with four clean, unused, matching color hair ties, like in the picture. I will also include a starter bento kit with all you see here: (plus some other small things like a small box I forgot to take a picture of, maybe some miso paste if you like that, or some candy, whatever I feel like throwing in there towards the end, when the package is being put together.) (^_^)

We have: some picks, some cups, a couple of sauce containers, silicone and paper side-dish cups.

We have: some picks, some cups, a couple of sauce containers, silicone and paper side-dish (cupcake) cups.

PLUS!: One furishiki (Bandana size) for wrapping your lunch. I don’t know what it will look like as I will be buying it after the winner is chosen because I don’t want to give someone a used cloth (seems kinda rude). If you like you can tell me your preferences and I’ll keep it in mind when picking one from what’s available.

What to do: Just comment below, note the star color preference, what kind of cloth you’d like, and… what’s your favorite thing to have for lunch? You can also comment on Facebook and that will count as an entry as well.

On Monday, April 1st, (NO April’s Fools joke!) I will use a random number generator to decide the winner. The winner will be contacted via email for shipping details.

Good luck everyone, thanks for reading, and feel free to share!


*Edit update – Just to let you know: If you’re a blogger, your posts will help me choose the proper cloth to send you. For instance, if you have a favorite box or if you absolutely adore cute things, that will be taken into account when I pick one out.

*Winner Update!: The official Winner was #4, Eclectic Lamb. Congratulations!


6 responses to “Creative Bento Strap: Repurposing hair ties (and a Reader Appreciation Spring Giveaway!)

  1. I would pick clear if I won, and I love furoshiki, so any kind you pick up would be great. My favourite thing to eat for lunch is chili at the moment – just a phase :)

  2. @lfani says:

    I would love Orange I think, and I’m not quite sure what sort of Furoshiki is available out there as I never had one before :) Favourite thing to eat would be Fried Chicken at the moment . Thank you for having this giveaway

  3. Ebi says:

    I would pick clear as as well. :D
    It’s such a nice idea! I love green, so some green cloth would be awesome. hahaha

    I love fruit-juice jelly at the moment with cut fruit hiding inside. :D

  4. eclecticlamb says:

    I would pick clear. Any cloth would be fine. My favorite thing to eat for lunch is rice or pasta.

  5. Ebi says:

    I am excited :D Oh and I shared your post on twitter as well.

  6. Thanks to everyone who entered!
    The official winner is…
    Eclectic Lamb!

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