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Locked in

Through a series of unfortunate events, on October 6, 2014, I found myself trapped in my bathroom with no door handle. For two hours, I tried yelling for help and experimenting with different possible handle creations. Eventually I created a handle out of a cap and a open shower curtain ring.

At first I thought for a brief moment I'm going to be stuck here for days -  I live alone, no one had my keys and my phone was on the other side of the door.

At least I had a place to go to the bathroom and drink water.

I pulled the door and quickly realized I wouldn't be able to force it open, break it down or unscrew it (the screws were painted over).

I started knocking -- on the shared wall -- but quickly realized I never hear my next door neighbors, I hear my upstairs neighbors - so I stood on the top of my toilet and started knocking and yelling to them -- then I tried the floors.

I was happy I got stuck in a place where I could do something -- clean.


Most things didn't fit (I won't go through all the things I tried, but I'm sure you get the idea).

My tweezers fit perfectly -- they didn't get stuck, they were strong and were the perfect width -- but they were impossible to turn -- my fingers quickly became raw trying to turn it.


I broke apart a tampon and put the plastic on one side of the tweezers to see if that would stop scratching up my fingers, but it was too slippery to grasp.

My nail scissor cap fit perfectly -- and I could turn it -- but I couldn't hold it.

I needed to put something in the cap that would allow me to twist it - something I could grasp and rotate to hold it. 

After lying on the floor for a while, knocking for help. I took a shower curtain ring and tried to wedge it into the cap. There was a slight opening in the middle and it seemed strong

The rotation aspect was right - but the pieces fell apart as soon as I tried to pull. (I even tried to glue it with nail polish). I needed to make it sturdy enough to rotate, hold and pull.

I placed the center of the shower curtain ring into the cap and it held. The door opened immediately and I was finally free. I proceeded to call my mum, email work telling them I was late - and writing a sassy facebook post about freedom, design school and prototyping.

Lessons learned

  1. make sure your bathroom has a window to the street so you can yell for help or possibly break out
  2. always bring your phone to the bathroom
  3. real life prototyping is a thing
  4. I am a master builder





*Events did take place. Documentation was taken a week after I freed myself.