101 Uses for Clothespins in the Classroom and Home
At Christmas this year I just didn’t have the funds to spend a lot of money. I decided to make many of the gifts for family and friends. I spent hours and hours on Pinterest searching through easy and cheap crafts to make for gifts. I noticed a trend: clothespins! I saw a plethora ( love saying this word!) of ideas for crafts with clothespins. I know I used them a lot in the classroom for various and sundry reasons. Therefore, this post! I challenged myself to think of 101 uses for clothespins in the classroom and home. Please know, this is not a comprehensive list. It is a compilation of ideas that I deemed clever, cute, easy, and useful. I hope you enjoy. If you have a favorite use for clothespins, please share below in the comments.
- My first experience using clothespins in crafts was with my granddaughter this Christmas. We made a wreath for her great grandmother. I am sorry now that I didn’t take a picture of it because it really came out beautiful. It was a craft that did take some time. I had her paint all the clothespins with acrylic paint. She was even able to place the clothespins on the wire frame. It was truly made by her hands. She was three at Christmas! Here is a picture I used as my inspiration. I bought the wire wreath frame and wooden clothespins at the Dollar Tree. Affiliate Link: Dollar Tree2. What did I learn? Next time I would have used RIT clothes dye to color. It was a bit too tedious for a three year old to paint.
3. I probably would have used WASHI tape, as well. There are many wonderful ideas for decorating clothespins, not just for holidays.
Hanging and Organizing Using Clothespins
4. After you place the WASHI tape on the clothespin, glue magnets on the back. The easiest way is the magnetic tape roll.
5. It’s easy to make a Memo Board using the clothespins with magnets using a cookie sheet.
6. Close to the memo board, you can create a Menu board easily with a cookie sheet and a calendar.
7. You can also make a cute Advent Calendar using those clothespins. Use your creativity to design one to your liking.
8. Photo Memory Boards are a great way to bring back to mind some great times with families.
9. Did I mention the use of hanging clothes on a clothesline? Who does that anymore?
10. Mounting clothespins onto a yard stick or thin piece of wood creates a hanger for all those scarves.
11. You can also hang jewelry with the same design.
12. How about a Birthday Chart? This one is a great design and lets you see who’s birthday is coming up.
13. Hanging photos in your room can get tedious. Use a string of lights on your wall and use clothespins to hang photos with pretty fairy lights shining on them.
In the Kitchen
14. What do you do with loose socks that don’t have matches after washing them? Use clothespins to display them so family members can find them.
15. Mount a couple of clothespins on the inside of the door of your kitchen cabinet under the sink to hold rubber gloves and rags. This will save much time when you need them.
16. When decorating your tree for the holidays use clothespins to attach some of those pesky ornaments that continually fall off.
17. Hang some of your children’s art work or current work from school in the same way as hanging scarves.
18. A clothespin attached to the top of a pan is a great way to keep that spoon from falling while your food is cooking.
19. Clamp a couple of clothespins over that parchment paper on a cookie sheet. You know how annoying it can be to keep that parchment flat while prepping.
20. Clothespins make great page holders, especially in cook books.
21. Using two clothespins, display your recipe cards proudly while cooking so you don’t loose your place.
22. Gluing the clothespins together makes a great trivet for those hot pans. You may need to take the wire spring off to keep it flat.
23. For all of those buffets you host, use a clothespin with a label or card to identify what is in each dish.
24. Can you use chopsticks? I cannot, unless it is something I can stab! Here are two great ideas to help you maneuver those chopsticks. One, glue the chopsticks to the clothespin so you can actually use the clothespin to pick up the food. Two, take the spring off the wooden pieces and drill two small holes in the chopsticks to put the spring in. Whichever one works for you.
In the Craft Room
25. Is your ribbon drawer like mine: just ribbon wheels and pieces of ribbon stuffed in a drawer? Wrap those pieces and wheels onto clothespins. This will save time looking for ribbon and also give you more room.
26. You may also want to wrap your embroidery thread around the clothespins, as well.
27. Wrap the excess cords for your macrame projects around clothespins so you can keep track of them all. The clip board is an added bonus for you.
28. An old, cleaned tuna fish can can make a great planter. Paint or dye your clothespins and pin around the can. Place soil and your plant then.
29. Read Across America is an annual celebration held in many schools across the country. It commemorates Dr. Seuss. Here is a cute Dr. Seuss magnet using pasta and a computer. Print out the face of the Cat in the Hat and cut out. Glue to the clothespin. Paint the hat red and white with the rigatoni and a red bow tie pasta. Glue.
30. The kids can easily entertain themselves with animal puppets.
31. There are a ton of ideas to make cute ornaments and decorations with painted clothespins, anything from rabbits to reindeer. (If I can’t make it to 101, I may have to list each one!)
32. Children sometimes don’t like the feel of finger painting. Clip a clothespin to a large pom pom. They can use this as a paintbrush. Do you want them to paint their bedroom walls?
33. Here is a neat idea for making jewelry- take the spring off the wooden pieces and place beads on it. String the chain through the tunnel. Beautiful!
34. Another idea for puppets is to cut a figure in half and glue them onto the sides of the clothespin. Glue another figure that is much smaller than the first one on the inside. When pinched, it looks like the larger figure is eating the smaller figure. This is just one example.
35. Painting with ice cubes is another way of keeping the kids busy. It certainly would come in handy on this hot days of summer. Using an ice cube tray, pour colored water into the cubes, and place a clothespin with the pinchy side up. Place in freezer. When frozen, use the clothespin as a paint brush.
36. Snowflakes are a great way to decorate for the winter. To make these snowflakes with clothespins, take it apart and glue flat ends together. Join in a circle and glue. Glitter is a must to finish it off.
37. Here is a novel idea: make a lamp using clothespins. Clamp the clothespins to each other and form a base. Place a mounted light with bulb in the center. It certainly would make a lovely gift or decoration in someones house.
38. One clever idea is to paint a clothespin as a bride and groom. One side of the pin is painted as a groom and the other side is painted as the bride. They look like they are kissing!
39. Children can create a town with roads. (I actually found some duck tape with roads on it. You can also use black paper with chalk to make the roads.) Use the clothespins to label the traffic signs.
40. With an old shoe box children can make a foosball game. Dowels or Straws are used as the handles and the clothespins are the players. Cut holes in each long side for the goal.
41. Play clothespin tag. Give each participant three clothespins to clip on their shirt. As the children run around they try to grap the clothespins from each other. Whoever has the most at the end of the play, they are the winners. If all of your clips have been taken you are out. Great game to play with large groups like field days or camps.
42. I have always imagined having my own rubber band launcher. Here is a quick one to make. Glue a clothespin to a ruler. Wrap the rubber band around the top and the other end around your thumb and let loose.
43. Hang water balloons from a clothesline for children to shoot with nerf guns. Whoever breaks a balloon is out.
44. Drop the clothespin in the bottle. Do you remember this game from when you were a kid?
45. A great rainy day activity is a marshmallow catapult. You will need a wooden base, clothespins, popsicle sticks, and bottle caps.
46. An easy outdoor game using an embroidery hoop to toss clothespins through.
Decorating with Clothespins
47. Placing essential oil on a piece of felt that a clothespin is clamped to will act as a diffuser when placed near a fan or vent.
48. Using the mini clothespins, you can string wire from side to side of a wooden frame and display photos or print out some saying.
49. Of course, wreaths of all kinds will add to any decor. Here is a tea bag wreath that is quite lovely.
50. Clothespins can be used to keep drapes and curtains closed or in place when needed.
WHEW! I made it half way to 101! This post has taken me 3 hours up to this point!
51. A decorated clothespin personalized will make a nice place card for seating at special events.
52. Mini chalkboards glued to clothespins could be used as labels or seating cards.
53. Adding a mirror to a wreath is a decorative touch most people can’t deny.
54. Daily planners are a great way to keep organized. You can use a simple clipboard painted with the labels and pin clothespins in that area.
55. To help your children keep track of special days in a month, make a countdown calendar. With a thick ribbon in your room color, number clothespins and have the kids take a pin off each day until the event.
56. This is still under construction- I needed to take a break.