From The Tips Box: Smartphone Speakers, Wallet Holes, Fire

Readers offer their best tips for making your smartphone's built-in speakers louder, preventing your wallet from burning a hole in your jeans, and starting a fire without fancy tools or logs.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Use a Glass as a Smartphone Sound Booster

Nic cranks it up to 11 with this tip for speaker-less situations:

I rarely use my iPhone to blast music but when me and a group of my buddies were all listening to a new song, one of them (who also has an iPhone) grabbed my phone and a cup... it was amazing the difference and I just sat there for a good ten seconds straight blankly staring at him trying to figure out why I never thought of this before. The iPhone's speaker is down facing and the cup adds a lot of bass and volume—especially when set on a hard surface (like in the shower, you can hear it over the water!).

Use Wooden Boxes as Cheap Fire Starters

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg.

curlymeatball38 does away with fancy fire-starting tools with this clever use:

Since I use my wood-burning stove for much of my home's heating (free, all you have to do is collect the wood), I found a good way to start the fire. Just take a used clementine box and stuff it with newspaper. Turn it upside down and place it in your fireplace/stove and the papers should stay there if they are stuffed in well enough. Then cover it with some wood and you should have no problem starting the fire. No need to buy a firestarter or a duraflame.

Patch the Inside of Your Pants to Prevent Holes

tommertron keeps his jeans long-lasting by ironing patches on the inside of the pocket:

I keep my wallet as slim as possible using only the cards I think are really necessary to have in there. However, it still starts to make a hole in the back pocket of my jeans after two-three months of wear. So now I've taken to buying dark blue nylon iron-on patches and ironing them to the inside of my wallet jeans pocket for extra protection. I haven't seen a hole or even mark in my jeans pocket after almost a year of wear with this method.

Best of all, you can find a pack of two large patches for $US1.50 (CDN) which you can cut up to use in four jeans wallet pockets. That's only 37.5 cents per pair of jeans to protect them!


Be the first to comment on this story!

Trending Stories Right Now