Robin Stroot: Seam ripper gets a second life in the kitchen | opinion

The seam ripper is a term used in sewing. It has a handle on one end and a U-shaped pointed steel head on the other end. There is a longer tip (reminds me of a fork prong) and a shorter tip that is sometimes covered with a spherical tip.

Let’s face it, craftsmen mostly only use the seam ripper when we make a sewing mistake and need to tear out a well-made but incorrectly sewn seam or hem. My many years of sewing experience have taught me that in the course of my sewing project I will tear out at least one seam / stitching area. I consider it a success if I make it to the end of my sewing project without ever having to use my seam ripper.

I have come to appreciate the way my seam ripper has helped me in other areas of my home. After years of use, I recently replaced my old seam ripper with a new, sharp-edged one. The first seam ripper still had some life, but the blade had become so dull it was difficult to remove the stitches from my sewing projects.

I took the old seam ripper and thought it could be used in my kitchen. I’ve often struggled with the easy-to-open packages (which only wizarding elves can really open). I often ended up using a sharp knife or tearing off half the seal. Then you’re really making a mess (including episodes where salad dressing or the contents of a rice box are tossed across the kitchen countertop) while trying to remove the rest of the seal by hand. Aha! My old seam ripper has a second life. I use the earlier sewing term to peel off can labels (for recycling) and remove sealed lids from items like salad dressing bottles and spice jars. It is also helpful to open packages sealed with cellophane (e.g. a sealed packet of chewing gum) or even the push-here-to-open packages. I always used scissors or a steak knife to open the box. There have been times over the years when trying to open the package I would also cut my finger while opening the box with scissors or a knife. Now I use the old seam ripper to easily open the packages and remove labels and open cardboard boxes. There’s also less clutter when rice or salad dressings are tossed across my kitchen countertop. Easy to open and saves me additional cleaning time thanks to the second life of my old seam ripper.

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