Funny Alternative Uses for Medical Supplies

by Brandis Goodman

We all get tons of medical supplies. With just a little bit of creativity, you will be sure to come up with lots of fun alternative uses for extra supplies. Here are just a few of our favorites.


  • pancakesSyringes are great for making fancy pancakes, such as the “A” pancakes I made with a 60ml cath tip syringe to celebrate my daughter Ashtyn’s birthday last March. They also work for making funnel cakes and other types of pancakes and crepes.
  • You can refill food pouches using a 60ml cath tip syringe. Saves money and eliminates waste!
  • Need to do some holiday icing? Grab a 60ml cath tip syringe for each color and ice away! This works well for cakes, cookies, and gingerbread.
  • Syringes work great for filling donuts and other pastries with jelly or chocolate.
  • Syringes make great water guns. They are also very useful for filling water balloons.
  • Of course, the most popular use of syringes remains basting your Thanksgiving turkey. This has been so popular that even kitchen stores have taken to selling syringes for this purpose. Check these out:

flavor injector butterball

  • Syringes make great bottles and soothers. Once we went out to dinner, and in order to keep my daughter Raya happy until our food came, I gave her a 60 ml syringe with a little bit of water in it. She’s pretty good at drinking out of it but we had to work to keep her from accidentally unloading it all over everybody around us. She’d been playing with it for a few minutes when she accidentally dropped it on the floor. Right then, a lady who was walking by saw her drop something and was kind enough to pick it up. As she reached out to hand it to me, it suddenly dawned on her that she was holding a giant syringe that a baby had just been sucking on. Her facial expression instantly changed from that of a happy nice person picking up what the baby dropped to equal parts shock, fear and disgust. Her face froze that way and she cocked her head to the side and opened her mouth a little, as if she was going to say something but nothing came out. She was completely dumbstruck. I smiled and thanked her and she turned and scurried back to her table. As soon as she was gone, my husband and I looked at each other and erupted into uncontrollable laughter.


  • You can fix pretty much anything with a roll of good quality medical tape. I fixed my favorite snowman with Medipore (because home health sent it by mistake and I have no real use for it).
  • Medical tape is great for labeling. My husband Donny labeled his students’ martial arts belts with Micropore for the belt promotion ceremony. I used some for last minute labeling of Christmas stockings.


  • Children can use Micropore to tape notes on each other’s bedroom doors. Not authorized. But fortunately non-marring too!
  • hoseSomeone had broken one of the soaker hoses for our garden. Bummer. I really needed both of them and didn’t want to make another trip to the store to buy either a new hose or the supplies to fix the broken one, so I put my Mom-Gyver medical supply skills to the test. Who needs a hose repair kit when you have Hypafix and packing tape anyway? BAM. Fixed it. Luckily, being a soaker hose, it’s SUPPOSED to be leaky so it’s totally okay if it doesn’t hold perfectly.
  • In a true test of Mom-Gyver skills, I managed to make a sprinkler with medical supplies. First we tried making a sprinkler out of a water bottle and 4-inch wide Durapore. It worked beautifully for about five seconds before the Durapore stopped sticking and it flew apart. Plan B: Milk jug + Durapore. Also worked beautifully for about 10 seconds before the Durapore stopped sticking and it flew apart. Plan C: Milk jug + latex strap from Bard catheter bag. (See, I knew I kept those straps for a reason…)

sprinkler2 brandissprinkler

  • Tegaderm or Sorbaview dressings work really well for repairing inflatables with small holes, such as air mattresses, blow-up pools, and inflatable toys.

Boxes and Cases

  • fortCases of Peptamen work great as a computer chair.
  • One morning, I slept in and I heard the kids making all kinds of noise in the living room. It wasn’t the usual noise but sounded like their super-cheesy “let’s do teamwork” kind of noise. I walked into the living room and they had built a “stage” out of boxes of medical supplies so they could do performances to their Disney station on Pandora. They’re so resourceful.
  • After I had them clean up their stage, I went outside to start digging up the ground to plant a garden. I came back in a few minutes later and they had built a fort in the living room, also out of boxes of medical supplies.
  • Empty boxes can be used to make everything from rocket ships to playhouses.
  • The Styrofoam coolers or cushions used to line boxes can be carved into swords and other fun things.

Other Supplies

  • If you have one of those dolls you can bottle or spoon feed, and she gets all clogged up from your child sticking cookies into her mouth, a 6F suction catheter and suction pump works beautifully. Isn’t that what they are for anyway?
  • If you are saltwater fish enthusiast, a feeding pump works great as a dosing pump to mix the water correctly. People actually buy them on Ebay just for this purpose.
Author: Brandis Goodman • Date: 11/25/2013 • Thanks to the ladies at Tube Feeding Awareness for the extra ideas!

About the Author

Brandis is momma to Raya, the inspiration for her popular blog Feeding Raya, as well as 3 older children. As a photographer, she contributes to the all things multimedia at Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation. She also volunteers as a Tubie Surgeon for Tubie Friends.

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