Not your Grandmother’s Clothespins

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By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

I keep a bin of clothespins in my house even though I’ve long since given up on line drying in this humid part of the country. They are one of those super handy, tons of uses kind of things. They hold up the sides of forts, keep the chips bag closed, identify dinner napkins and hang this week’s art assignment up in the playroom. But you know, they’re kind of boring; especially for something that makes appearances in every room of my house. After seeing some painted clothespins featured on an online store a few weeks ago, I decided to give my set a makeover, and if there’s paint (and it’s washable) my daughter is only too glad to help. 

There are really two ways of painting the basecoat of the clips. If you aren’t bombarded with “I want to help!” from a three year old, go with spray paint. It’s fast, it’s easy, it dries quickly and the colors are nice and bright. If, however, you are also blessed with a little helper, washable craft paints are the ticket. 


Clip the clips along the edge of a sturdy box, leaving enough room between each for fingers (or spray paint cans) to get in there. Paint the front, back and sides of the clip and inside the top. Allow the pins to dry, take them off to check for missed spots, and add another layer (hint- turn the clips around for the second coat)


Once the base coat is dry, lay them of a flat, paintable surface and get going with the dots. Drops of puff paint will certainly work but I found that applying paint with the tip of a knitting needle gave me more control over the size and shape of the dots and had an over all nicer effect. 


Allow the dots to dry completely before flipping over and dotting the other side. 

The possibilities for these are endless. Hang art, mark a page in your favorite book, close a lunch bag. Imagine the possibilities. I’ve already got a set of green and red clips in the works for holiday gift bags and Christmas ornament hangers. 

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About Gillian

Gillian Grimm lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where she balances writing, cooking and crafts with eight chickens, two kids, a dog, a cat and a husband. As the daughter of a Journalist, she grew up all over the United States, switching schools, towns and newspapers every few years and loved every minute of it! She now works as a freelance writer, primarily in the craft industry but with a few forays into travel writing, narrative non-fiction and educational matters. Gillian was recently published in the literary journal the “The Northville Review”. You can find more of Gillian’s work at “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

2 thoughts on “Not your Grandmother’s Clothespins

  1. Dianna Elliott

    Such an easy, inexpensive creative quick idea!! Thanks for sharing and I love the idea of red and green for hanging Christmas cards/ornaments.

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