20 Ways to use Clothespins

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Whether you have them leftover from hang drying your laundry, or stock pile them as craft supplies, clothespins are a fun reminder of simpler times and a handy tool to use around the house. While they certainly still serve a functional purpose, clothespins can also make some pretty cool crafts and decor. Try using clothespins in one of these 20 ways:

Towel hanger

If you need a quick and inexpensive towel rack or tie rack, hang a clothespin on the wall or to a block of wood. Attach one side of the clothespin to the wall so that you can push on the other side and put the towel between the clip.

Bag clip

Instead of buying a fancy clip to close chip and snack bags, just roll the open end of the bag and use the clothespin to keep it closed.

Letter holder

This is a great craft project for the kids. A quick and easy letter can be made by attaching a clothespin to a block of wood so that the clip sits above the block of wood.

Refrigerator magnet

Need an easy way to pin notes and photos to the side of the refrigerator? Glue a magnet to one side of a clothespin to make a handy holder.

Love note

Leave your sweetie a clothespin valentine. Decorate a clothespin with red hearts. On a piece of paper, which is folded in an accordion fold, write your message. Glue the message inside the clips so that it expands when the clothespin is opened.

Photo gallery

Make a photo display by stringing twine between the sides of a picture frame and hanging the clothespins on the twine. Pictures can be clipped in any position.

Decoration clips

Clothespins can be painted and decorated for the holidays. Turn a clothespin into a character from The Nutcracker or into an unusual Christmas tree ornament.

Holiday wreath or garland

Create a quick holiday wreath to display holiday cards by painting the clothespins a festive color, pinning to a round wire frame or string and hanging it from a ribbon and bow.

Toys and dolls

For a different twist on paper dolls, make clothespin dolls. Paint a face on the clip end of the clothespin and dress in paper or fabric clothes.

Yarn spool

If you need a way to store yarn, string or ribbon, use a clothespin. Secure the end of the string in the clothespin and wrap the string around the outside of the pin.

Bulletin board

Secure notes and lists to a bulletin board with decorated clothespins. Label clothespins for bills, grocery lists and car keys.

Recipe card holder

Keep recipes in easy view while you are cooking by pinning the card within easy reach.

Birthday banners

Use clothespins to celebrate a special occasion. Decorate clothespins with washi tape or paint. Use the decorated clothespins to hang cards, a sign or a banner.

Kid games

Teach kids about doing housework and chores by playing pretend laundry.

Goodie bag decorations

When giving goodie bag gifts, attach the label and close the bags with clothespins. Glue some ribbon to the clothespins for a little flair.

Place card holders

Clothespins can be a party helper. At your next dinner party, decorate clothespins with the name of each guest and set up the clothespins around the table.


A large cache of clothespins can be pinned together in the shape of a lampshade for a modern ornament.

Temporary labels

If you don’t want to place permanent labels on baskets and laundry hampers, attach the label to the basket with a clothespin.

Nail holder

Tired of hitting your fingers with a hammer? Use a clothespin to hold the nail.

Hang up wet laundry

One last way to get the most out a clothespin is to hang your laundry outside on a sunny day. You’ll save energy and your clothes will smell fresh.

Last Updated: January 31, 2013
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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