Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick Craft: Make the Most of Your Clothespins.

If you are like me, you lose chip clips as often as you lose clothes hangers and left socks. Where do they go? 
I can't answer that question, but I have found that it is handy to always keep a large bag filled with clothespins. They are cheap, they serve many purposes throughout our home, and I recently discovered that with a little extra care, they can put an ordinary chip clip or magnet clip to shame.  
Tools for the job:

  • clothespins (you can find these at most grocery stores and convenience stores!)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint and brushes
  • Magazines
  • Magnets and strong glue (ex. Gorilla Glue or Krazy Glue)

This little project is very simple;  a basic, painted clothespin is fun, but a highly detailed, customized clip could turn into the finishing touch on a Christmas gift.  I started out by painting several of our clothespins with a bright craft paint (I chose blue and gold.)  I was fortunate to have some skewers which I used to hold the clips as I painted them. When I finished painting I stuck the skewers into some floral foam that I had on hand.  Obviously you can clip them onto anything (an old book, a cereal box, etc.) while you let the paint dry. The skewers worked really well.  
While your paint is drying, decide how you want to decorate your clips.  I saw some really cute painted clips, and I plan to paint some clips before Christmas, but it required more time and patience and tiny brushes than I had on hand yesterday.  This time around, I simply went through the ads in the Sunday paper and pulled out tiny Holiday images and words and set them aside.
Once the paint on your clothespins has dried, it's time to crack open your Mod Podge.  If you want your images and words to fit snugly onto the surface of your clip, simply lay the clothespin onto your image, trace it with a pen and cut it to the exact size of your clothespin.  Then put mod podge onto the clothespin and press the image firmly in place.  Mod Podge over the image and around the sides of your clothespin, let it dry and you are ready to go! 
My daughter painted several clips and decorated them with markers. She had a blast!
Like I said, this is a simple, easy way to add some Holiday flair to your chip clips or wherever you hang children's artwork.  This may also be a way to add something special for a teacher gift (cut out the letters of his/her name) or whenever you need to clip down a bag of Christmas cookies.
If you want to make your clip into a photo or memo holder for your refrigerator instead, simply buy a packet of magnets (less than $2 at any craft store!) and use superglue to attach the magnet to your clothespin. Once the magnet has dried you have a great way to display any seasonal artwork!
This was a fun little project and I intend to paint a few more clothespins before Christmas Cookie season is here!


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