Unique Clothespin Clips

I always like to have a gift for people who invite me to their homes. Blame it on my European upbringing, as it was rude to not bring the hostess a gift, or my creative spirit that loves to give something unique. Which ever it is, we are entering the time of year in which we will spend more time in each others homes. That being said, we all have enough “stuff,” in our world, don’t we? So to achieve the fine balance of unique, polite and practical, I try to give things that won’t be burdensome to the receiver or the giver. Enter the clothespin clips …. these are budget friendly, quick/easy to make, practical, and versatile enough that everyone will love and actually USE your gift! Here is what you need,

  • flat, wooden clothes pins (not the round ones)
  • washi tape or patterned paper
  • sharp, craft knife
  • wood glue
  • embellishments (optional)

Put a bead of wood glue down the center of the clothespin …. not too much that it gushes out everywhere when you add the washi tape, but not too little that the washi tape peels up at the edges. Harness your inner Glue Goddess and rock this …. aka trial and error (LOL). Have a cloth handy for the the glue gushes, get them while they are wet, and a tiny brush handy to add a little at the edges if you need it. Don’t worry, it only takes a few times and you will have the technique perfected!
TIP: don’t open the screw top of the glue all the way …. you have better control of the glue flow with the top a little tight (I really don’t know how else to say this).

Cut your washi tape strip to approximately 4 inches long. You will have a little waste here so feel free to adjust your measurements to suit you.

Place the strip of washi tape/paper on the glue. I line up a factory cut edge with the edge of the clip to make sure my pattern is straight. Sometimes the design is centered on the tape and you cannot use the factory edge. Just center the design on the clip as best you can. While perfection is always our end goal, I’m certainly still a work in progress, AND, no one is going to be as hard on your results as you are …. just give it!!

Turn it over, face down, to make adjustments while the glue is still wet. Make sure to place this on a surface you can cut on because that is coming right up. You don’t want to have to move the clip again after you get everything set where you want it.

TIP: Use a kitchen cutting board lined with parchment paper, to prevent wood glue from adhering to the the board, as your cutting surface.

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Hold a bit of pressure… just a bit, if you push too hard the clothespin will slide around on the washi tape and you will have to make adjustments all over again, but FASTER as the glue has dried more. The goal here is to make sure the glue is spread evenly over the clothespin surface and any air bubbles are smooshed out so the washi tape will adhere well. Keep your towel handy and check for tiny glue gushes around the edges.

Now that the glue has started drying and you are happy with the placement of the clip/paper, use your craft knife to cut excess washi tape/paper from around the edge of the clothespin.

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Remove excess tape/paper that has been cut away.

Turn pin back over to the face up postion. Make sure tape/paper is flat and aligned as you want it. I usually run my thumb, very gently, up and down the face a few times just to make sure it is smooth and the edges are adhered well. Did I mention the”VERY GENTLY” part? It won’t take much to create a “do over,” so be careful, but thorough. Let everything rest and dry for 10-15 minutes before you move on to the next part.
TIP: The rest/dry time is enough time to pour a glass of wine, make a cocktail, get the perfect cup of tea or coffee, and take a deep breath.

Find good little helpers and you can make an entire batch of these in a short period of time…. 1-2 hours maximum!

TA DA!! The clips are perfect at this point and you may stop here, let everything continue drying and give them just as they are. Keep reading for some extra ideas and embellishments for your clips.

If you wish to add a magnet to the back of the clip, now is the time to do it. Center the magnet on the clip face, apply wood glue, hold pressure, allow to dry completely before use.

So I ran into a little problem with magnets and I can tell you the entire story some other time … the short version is don’t get your magnets too strong because they don’t make a glue stronger than a Rare Earth magnet’s desire to stay ON the fridge… just saying. And just so you know, I’m not a quitter, I tried every blessed glue out there ….. Rare Earth Magnets 1 vs. Glue 0.
TIP: Don’t go crazy with the magnet strength.

The other thing you can add at this time is a thumbtack …. strange, right?? Before you judge, let me share with you the fact that my Mother has every magnetized surface in her house covered with photos of the Grandchildren. Therefore, adding a magnet to her clips would be futile. She does, however, have open space on her cork boards in the kitchen. Voila! thumbtack clips for Mom. Apply the tacks to the back surface of the clip with wood glue and hold until secure. Allow to dry overnight.

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Add embellishments if desired. These are little wooden leaves that I had left over from another project. Cuuuuute! Use whatever you have around or “shop your friends craft rooms” and use their stuff! LOL

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So I was at my favorite store (Dollar Tree) and saw these puffy, glitter, Holiday stickers. In my defense I didn’t go crazy with them …. I only got 1 package of both designs. Again, had no idea what I was going to do with them, but, you know the song…. I believe these snowflake stickers will look amazing with this washi tape, don’t you?? Keep reading ……

Christmas themed clips.  Thread some twine through the centers of the clips and hang as a banner to display Christmas cards, wish lists, pictures, make a unique Advent calendar, etc….. your imagination is the limit!!

Fall Foliage clips. These are on my work board …. just making my bills and “to do lists” look a bit cuter! LOL

Here is the completed set of embellished “Let It Snow” clips using those puffy, glitter snowflake stickers. Pretty cute, aye? Don’t show Mom or Sis this post because guess who is getting a set of these beauties !?!?

Oooohhhh, one more thing. I love essential oils and thought adding 1 drop of peppermint oil to the Christmas themed clips would be awesome …. so I did! I added it to the back part of the clip so the oil won’t loosen the washi tape or paper. They smell AMAZING!! Ok….your turn!! Don’t forget to post pictures of your creations on my FB page, I LOVE to see what you are up to!! fb.me/thediyauntie

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