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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Clothes Pins - Not Just For Clothes Any More!

Wishful Thinking!
    Have you ever noticed that sometimes the most mundane items take on an almost mythical reverence? Like Duck Tape for instance. While I am not saying clothes pins should be raised to that level, I am saying there are far more uses for them than just hanging clothes on a line to dry. Who even DOES that anymore? I even have a drying rack that attaches to my roof ladder to dry clothes. No pins needed. So what's so good about them? Well, first off, they are really inexpensive. No, let's say it like it is. They are CHEAP. 36 of them for 1 dollar! Yes, but what can you DO with them? Read on!


Cheap And Effective!
It all started when the plastic snack bag clip broke. You've seen them, a 6-inch or so plastic clip with a metal spring designed to keep bags of snacks closed and (allegedly) fresh. It's pretty flimsy plastic, not to mention awkward to use. They break on me all the time. Probably why they come in sets of three. To add insult to injury, they don't fit in my silverware drawer. Terrible, I know. Well, when the last one broke, I decided to try something different. Yup, you guessed it, the lowly wooden clothes pin. I had a bunch at home and figured they would be useful for other things too so I had brought a few with me. Turns out, if you fold the bag down one corner at a time, then straight, it makes a perfect seal that a clothes pin will maintain. The bag is smaller and easier to store AND it won't open. Seems to be more airtight as well. Though I usually don't have a bag of snacks last long enough to know for sure.

Crossover And Fold Down, Then Clip
What else can you use them for? Well I use them for adding "gels" to lights, you know the colored transparent plastic that allows you to change light colors. Same goes for diffusion paper. Lots of other photographic uses too...Once in a while I still develop my own photos, you couldn't hang the prints to dry without the good old clothes pin. Holding things down or at an edge comes to mind. Like a table cloth on a thin table (like the one I have you can roll up to store). It works perfectly to keep those cheap plastic tablecloths on the table! How about holding your nose to prevent a bad smell from getting in? I'm kidding! But felt it needed to be in here as I've seen it so many times in cartoons! How about adding a tiny Velcro strip to one side of a few of them and using them to hang small bags of spices (or whatever) to your wall or even the ceiling. Sounds a bit crazy, but my ceiling and walls are carpeted.

You can come up with lots of other uses...just try, imagination is king. Come on, send me a few!

Be Seeing You... Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

31 comments:

  1. We have used clothes pins for stuff like this for years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Disassemble the 3 parts of a clothespin and you now have 2 useful wedges and one piece of metal for the recycle bin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. logcabint4747,
      That's a GREAT idea. I'll find a use for the spring to...never know when you'll need on!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. All our electrical cords which are too long for their particular location get coiled up and secured with 1 or 2 clothes pins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. logcabint4747,
      Hmmm, Aren't the cords too thick and the springs too weak to hold it all together?

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. Clothes pins make great clamps when gluing thin items together. For example, I like to make shelves for our kitchen and use Elmer's glue to attach pieces of corrugated cardboard together. Clothes pins work perfectly as clamps to hold the edges together while the glue dries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. logcabint4747,
      Mini clamps for projects...another great idea!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  5. We use them when staying in hotels to hold the window curtains closed to avoid that thin but sometimes bright sliver of light that comes from the parking lot lighting fixtures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. logcabint4747,
      Hotels? I prefer my RV ;)

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  6. When my wife and I get too far behind on our newspaper crossword puzzles I cut them out and clip them in order using a clothes pin. That way we work them in correct order and don't worry about accidently seeing the answers before working the next puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. logcabint4747,
      Pretty much any paper clippings would be a candidate for this

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  7. What do you mean "who does that anymore?" LOTS of people hang out their laundry!!! C'mon, tell me you were kidding!!
    I also use clothespins for a variety of uses, including to secure bags closed--cookies, crackers, cereal, potato chips etc. They are also great with a bit of magnet glued on the back to hang papers/calendars etc on my fridge. And they are useful when I sew instead of pinning fabric to hold it together, especially for things like leather and waterproof PUL that one wouldn't want to put a pinhole into. I always have a few in my suitcase when travelling so I can clip the hotel room curtains closed if needed, so I can hang my bathing suit to dry and to attach my towel to the beach chairs at the top so the towel doesn't constantly fall down. They are truly indispensable little things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. littleleftie,
      All good ideas...you've seconded the "hotel curtain idea" so I will try it myself next time I travel. LOVE the magnet idea. That's a winner!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  8. At the house, I use them for attaching Christmas lights to the siding. Also good as an extra large paperclip. That velcro idea sounds good !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uknown,
      Are they strong enough in the elements to secure the lights?

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. simonsrf,
      I use binder clips as well, but they RUST!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
    2. Ding! I was going to say I use binder clips for all those purposes too... wood clips are too weak for me. For bigger-jaw jobs, I have what I've always called welding clips, but that may be the wrong moniker. Finally, for rusting locations HFT has plastic clips in a bag that don't have this problem.

      Delete
  10. I use clothes pins to secure the towels to the towel hooks while underway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      I have towel rings, so they haven't fallen out...yet.

      Goo tip!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  11. Every musician who has ever played concerts outdoors knows that they need to keep 8 or 10 spring-loaded wooden clothespins in their accessory bag, to keep sheet music from blowing off their music stand if the wind comes up during the concert.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown,
      Next time i go to an outdoor concert, I'm going to look for that trick.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  12. I use rubber bands to keep those chip bags closed they don't get knocked off. Best rubber brands on the planet (I've had some for 15 years) are from AERO Rubber Company (think they're in New Jersey ... otherwise - make your own elastic bands.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine,
      MAKE your own elastic bands??

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  13. If you have towels or washcloths on a towel bar, clipping them together along one side under the towel bar keeps them from falling off on even the roughest road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gene and Jean,
      Excellent tip! I will be using that one in my Lav.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  14. I use paper clips not the wire kind but the metal ones that look a lot like the plastic bag clips. They don't break, the handles fold so they don't stick out and they come in lots of sizes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colin,
      I believe you are talking about binder clips. They are great and have a strong clamping force, but they will rust.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  15. On a Class A with air brakes I attached a spring clothes pin underneath the brake release to avoid an animal from stepping on it and thus releasing the brake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daniel,
      Now THAT'S the most interesting use i have read so far!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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