Saturday, August 27, 2011

10 New Uses for Old Clothespins

 OK, I'll admit it...I love clothespins...old ones, new ones. little and big...

 Those with clips...

 And the big fat round slotted kind...
I can't pass them up. at garage sales and flea markets. Here are a few ways I use them...

1. As a "Guest Book".
When we owned a camp on a lake in Unity, Maine (isn't that a great name for a town?), we were first introduced to this tradition. Two older men from the local area came to help us work on the camp and, when they left, they asked me for two clothespins...which each proceeded to sign and date.
They explained that along the lake, people who visit your camp sign a clothespin for you to hang on the wall for Good Luck. We loved the idea and enjoyed continuing the tradition when friends and family came to visit. A piece of twine with a loop at the top was hung on a nail and each visitor added their personal message on a clothespin. Although we no longer have the camp, we have saved our "Clothespin Guest Book" from Unity to remind us of the people we shared summer memories with there.
We've since adapted the idea for our Casita.  Everyone who visits our campsite signs a clothespin and these are strung just inside the camper door. Sharpies work great for this...I keep plenty on hand!

2. As a "Travel Journal".
My "clothespin guestbook" was pretty primitive, but it fit the rustic decor of the camp. For my more recent clothespin projects, I've added color to the clothespins with spray paint and rubber stamps...just be sure to use stamp  pads with permanent ink.

I plan to use these as a "Travel Journal" in our camper. I'll string them up along the soffit of the camper and add the name of each new campground we visit. Like this...

Here are some more uses...

3. As Personalized Gift Tags.


4. As Placecard Holders.


5. To Hold & Color-code Scraps of Yarn & Ribbon.



6. As Bookmarks.

7. To Turn any Shutter Into a Photo or Memo Board.



8. As Basket Markers.
Baskets are great for storage but hard to label. With just a clothespin and a Sharpie, I can now keep my office and craft supplies organized.


9. To Help DH determine whether the Dishes in the Dishwasher are Clean or Dirty.
I just used my Sharpie again and stuck a little magnet tape on the back of each clothespin.


 10. And those old clothespins still work to hang clothes outside on a late summer day.

What other uses have you discovered for old clothespins?


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12 comments:

AuntLou said...

MUCH better than reusing twist ties on bread bags and such. I keep a little cup of them in the kitchen. They also take the place of bag clips. I use the "snapper" type, as Grandma used to call them, for these applications. Putting them on a bag of vegetables in the freezer doesn't seem to hurt wooden clothespins a bit. We always had a bunch around the campsite. Not only did they hold our drying things to the guy lines, but Dad would fasten the groundcloth to the tent floor on the outside to help keep moisture and larger critters from coming in between. :)

Pamela Gordon said...

I love the idea of the guest clothespins! What a great treasure of memories of your visitors and the campgrounds you visit. When our kids were in elementary school they had a clothes pin with their name on it to hold their boots together at the top so they wouldn't get mixed up. I always carry one in my luggage incase the hotel curtain doesn't close all the way and I use them at home for chip bag clips. Oh, and to hang out the laundry! Great post!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I love all your ideas! I love clothes pins and now have even more ways to use them! Thanks!

Jane said...

I can't pass up old clothespins either! I just bought a big bag at an estate sale last week so thanks for the great ideas. I've made a clothespin wreath out of them and it hangs above my lower lever mantel. Otherwise most of them right now are just sitting in a jar looking pretty!
Jane

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Such great ideas, Cheryl! Love the "guest book" tradition...so special! Can't wait to try the gift tag and placecard holder ideas!!!

myomyohi said...

I use clothespins to close potato chip bags. They work great.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

What great ideas. I'm not too creative...I just use them for the potato chip bags. I used to weave baskets and I used them then to hold things in place while weaving.

sue said...

As a junk-a-holic, I always am looking at things creatively. The idea of recording visitors is so friendly...thinking of using that idea in my classroom.

Cottage and Broome said...

What a nice tradition with the clothes pins at the camp, goodness knows I can never get anyone to sign the guest book at my cottage! This is my first visit to your blog, I was sorry to read you lost your beloved sister. Yours, Mom from Cottage and Broome

Natasha said...

love thes ideas,

would love it if you could share this post on my new link party, Serenity Saturday, over at www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

xxx

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

These clip ideas are darling. I just love all the vintage wonderfulness of your blog!!

Cottage and Broome said...

I became your newest follower, thanks again for the great idea, Laura