The DIY Single Use Antibiotic Packs article I published in June of 2011 is by far the most popular post on my blog. It has been shared, pinned, referenced, and republished over and over again because it is a simple idea with thousands of applications and uses. However, there is one question that gets asked about this hack more than any other and that is the question of how easy these little packs are to open?
If you carry a pocket knife, small scissors, or other sharp tool with you then there really is no issue at all. For times when you don’t, you can try squeezing the opposite corners at one end until the sealed edge ‘pops’ open. I’ve had a lot of success with this method. Yet this doesn’t seem to be working for everyone – and you are not afraid to tell me :)
Since sharing the article and reading through the hundreds of comments I’ve often wondered if there might be a better solution to making these little packets easier to open. Oddly enough, the answer came to me recently while tearing open a packet of Starbucks VIA coffee one morning at camp…
Simple Once You Know How
These days just about everything is packaged in a plastic container of some sort or another. I mentioned the Starbucks VIA packets earlier which packaged in a foil laminated material. The VIA packets would be extremely hard to tear open were it not for a special section at one of the top corners that is designed to be easy to tear. Other similar packets that I’ve seen has small nicks or cuts in edges of them that are too small to let the packets open accidentally, but just large enough to help get a tear started. That’s what these tiny packets needed.
The Easy Open Notch
I experimented on several small anti biotic pouches that I had recently made, by cutting tiny ‘V’ notches with the tip of a sharp knife into one of the sealed ends. The idea being that these tiny notches would be all that was needed to start the tear if two corners were torn in opposite directions.
It took a few attempts to get it right, but it was immediately clear that the additional up-front effort of making a small notch when making these pouches was going to pay of big time when it came to having to use them. Success!
From this point forward, all new DIY pouches that I make from drinking straws will have a tiny ‘V’ notch cut in one end so that when it comes time to use the contents I won’t have to worry about being able to open them. For those of you that have asked about opening these packets – I highly recommend performing this extra little step. One day you will be very happy that you did.
Have fun, share this, and happy DIY repackaging! Original Article: DIY Single Use Antibiotic Packs