Jan 142015

Every office desk has paper clips. Whether you keep them in one of those magnetic holders that’s specially designed for them, put them in a trinket box, or just let them collect at the bottom of your desk drawer, you have them. Of course, you know that their main purpose is to hold sheets of paper together, but they have a ton of other uses as well. Some of these you may have already heard of, or tried. Others may be new to you. Maybe you even have uses no one else has heard of!


paperclip sculpture

  • If you like to paint, you can use a paper clip for fine detailing.
  • String paper clips together to make a hanger for a potted plant.
  • Make a sun-catcher. All you need is paper clips, marbles, and some string. Twist one end of a paper clip into a coil, and put a marble in the middle. Twist the other end around another paper clip that you’ve straightened. Make a few more of the marble/paper clip danglers, add them to the straightened paper clip, and when you think you’ve got enough, join the ends of the straightened paper clip, tie some string to it, and hang it somewhere that the light will catch it.

Holiday Fun

holiday paper clips

  • Pull the two ends open, and use the resulting “S” shape to hang ornaments on your Christmas tree.
  • Color Easter eggs. Bend the paper clip so that one end is straight and the other forms a circle. Place the egg in the circle, positioned much as you would put it in an egg carton, and then carefully dip it in the dye.
  • Make a chain of paper clips to substitute for tinsel or bead garland on a desktop Christmas tree.
  • Egg dipper (one end straight, the other end bent into a circle, cradle the egg in the circle and dip in color).

In the Kitchen

pit cherries with paper clip

  • Use a paper clip to pit cherries. Really! Push the end that has the wider opening into the top of the cherry, slide it around the pit, and then pull the pit out of the cherry.
  • When you’re cooking a turkey or chicken, instead of stitching the body cavity closed after you’ve stuffed it, use paper clips to do the job. Just open them up, poke an end through each side of the skin, and then twist together. Be sure that you only use plain metal paper clips for this job – the plastic coating on the colorful ones could melt off and ruin the bird.
  • Use one as a hook for a tea bag so that you can easily remove it from your cup.
  • Use a paper clip to unclog saltshakers.
  • Use one to close a bag of potato chips or pretzels.
  • Use one to tie up a bread bag if you’ve lost the original twist tie or plastic closure.

All around the House

  • Use a paper clip as a bookmark – just attach it to the last page you’ve read. No more turning down page corners!
  • Clean your fingernails.
  • Use one as a hairclip.
  • Use one to scratch your lotto tickets.
  • Clean your computer keyboard – be gentle, though.
  • If you’re a smoker, you can use a paper clip to clean your pipes.
  • Unclog a glue bottle that has a narrow opening.
  • Use one to dislodge a stuck DVD or CD – just find the little hole in the drive, and poke the end of the paper clip into the hole. The disc will pop right out.

It’s hard to imagine a tool more versatile than the humble paper clip!
How many of these tricks have you used? Do you have any of your own?