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Whether plastic or wood, these old laundry standbys have loads of household potential beyond the clothesline.

I can remember being a child at my grandmother's house and helping her hang the laundry from a line that stretched the length of the backyard. She would hoist a sheet up to the line and I would hand her a clothespin from the pin bag as we worked side by side.

clothespins, craftsPhotos: (left) Kodamakitty, Flickr; (right) Craftapalooza, Flickr

Then when we were finished I would grab of few of those clothespins and get crafting. With a little creativity, you can transform the clothespins into whimsical works of art. On a rainy day, dig out your craft supplies and let your imagination run wild. These household helpers can be turned into little people, , or giant snapping bugs running after my little sister.

Household Uses for Clothespins
Now that I am grown I can appreciate those little clothespins even more for all of the help they can give around the house.

If your vacuum cord keeps retracting on its own. Clip a clothespin onto the cord up near the vacuum. The clip will keep the cord extended out instead of all twisted and knotted together.

Speaking of cords, label the side of some clothespins and use them to identify cords on your electronic equipment, you won't have to crawl under your desk or behind the TV cabinet pulling on cords to figure out which connects to which device. Plus, the clothespins won't damage the cords because they have a channel near the top that's the perfect size for those cords to slip through.


Ironing pleats can be a real pain, but if you clip a clothespin onto the bottom of each pleat you'll not only be able to see where they are and where they're supposed to be, but they'll be much easier to iron as well. And if you don't have any straight pins on hand, use a clothespin to hold a hem in place while you stitch the hem back together.

In the kitchen, clothespins are an inexpensive way to close up bags to keep food fresher longer.


Looking for a cute way to display your children's artwork? Thumbtack a line of string or yarn across one wall and use clothespins to attach their works in faux-clothesline fashion.

clothespins, artworkdomesticat, Flickr

You can also glue magnets to the back of clothespins to hold important papers or kids' drawings on the fridge.


Use a clothespin to hold a tiny nail so you can easily drive it into place.

Clip your shoes or socks together with clothespins so you don't have to hunt down the other half of a pair.

In the office, use clothespins to keep stacks of papers together if you're out of binder clips.

Turn an ordinary hanger into a skirt hanger with the use of a couple of strategically placed clothespins.

Use a pair of clothespins to secure the edges of a garbage bag to the rim of the pail so it won't slip down.

** We want to know: What are YOUR clever ideas for using clothespins? Tell us in the comments below! **

  • Pam Merritt

    I used wooden clothespins as small clamps to hold different craft items I am gluing together. They also work great for holding/positioning fabric if you are trying to hem an item.

  • Anne K.

    If your child's fine motor skills aren't so hot you can put them on their clothing.

  • bob

    In the garden, putting round chicken wire around the plants & then secureing the bottom with 3 or 4 close pins so the wind does not blow them away.

  • Anne

    If your child's fine motor skills aren't so hot you can put them on
    their clothing to pull off.

  • Pat

    buy magnetic tape put on back of clothespin attach to refrig or anything metal holds shopping coupons,recipes,to do notes. Clothes pins can be painted by you or children simple and easy


    Use them to close bread bag. Use clothes pins to secure a small tarp on a portable X pen for our 2 schnauzers to give them shade. When we travel in the RV and stopping for a few days.

    also A book marker to save your page.

  • Ronni

    For motor skills help, I let my kids drop clothes pins into a jar while kneeling on a chair. It is an old game...but it is helpful...esp with eye hand co-ordination.

  • Patty

    I use clothespins to hold outdoor table cloth so wind does not blow it. Just use then on edges

  • Paula

    Put a clothes pin on spots on your dirty clothes to mark where to treat it when you wash.

  • Nursejeanne

    I love the tips, most especially the tip about putting the clothespins on dirty clothes to mark areas that need stain treatment!!

  • John WalkerSC

    I use them for bass fishing. an alka-seltser is a great item to anger a bass into hitting-NOTE check local laws to make sure it is legal where you fish

  • Donna

    I have 2 parrots. Parrots LOVE to chew on wood and LOVE foot toys. So, I go to the hardware store and buy the SOLID WOOD PUSH clothespins (the ones without the metal spring) and give them to the parrots to play with. They love putting them in their feet, and holding their toy while they chew them up.

  • Natalie Ford

    I keep a couple of clothespins in my overnight bag just in case the curtain in a hotel room doesn't close all the way. Works great.

  • Kathleen

    Wonderful idea, thanks so much.

  • Cindy

    Believe it or not I use clothespins in my freezer!! (The wooden ones). They keep my frozen vegetable bag or ice bag closed and it doesn't seem to hurt the clothespin at all!!

  • Vanessa

    I love this idea better than the pampered chef clips you can buy, because they seem to break easily. And their cheaper.

  • CarrieS

    I use them to hang things when decorating.. look at how I hung decorated sunhats on garland for my daugther's bridal shower.. I get the colored ones in plastic and you can't even see them. I do the same when decorating for the holidays.. for the rest of year I use some in my laundry room for delicates that need to be airdryed!

  • Marge

    I hook my out going mail with them on my mail box

  • Dani

    We always keep one in the mailbox for holding the change on the letter when we don't have a stamp.

  • bRad

    Years ago we used to put wooden clothespins on metal fuel lines to keep a car from vapour-locking. Always worked for me. I still do it on my Studebaker Champions and my Kaiser.


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