Paper clips are an ideal object to have on hand. Part of homesteading is learning to make do with what you have and not running out and buying something every time that you need something.
Homesteaders are a unique breed of people that may often be considered eccentric or odd however, more often than not, they’re light years ahead of their counterparts. They’ve learned to live with what they have and within their means.
It’s long been said that if you have a paper clip you can do just about anything. We decided to try and extend that by listing what we can do with a paper clip in and around the homestead and we’ve expanded our list to include 200 ingenious ideas.
While you might not use all of these, I’ll bet you’ve tried more than one of them and some of them you’ve probably tried more than once.
Paper clips are kind of handy to have around and a very useful item to have around on your homestead. We scoured the Internet, polled a few friends and homesteading families that we know and love and came up with this unique list of 200 ingenious ideas for paper clips in and around the homestead.
We even took the time to poll a few of the homesteading kids that we know and focus on some of their clever ideas. Kids can be very creative and resourceful when they are bored and given a box of paper clips they can be very creative and have a lot of fun.
We found many great uses for things that a paper clip will do for us in the kitchen. Some of them are obvious but some of them were a surprise to us. What do you do with paper clips in your kitchen?
- Chip clip
- Clean holes in salt shaker
- Hold flowers in vase
- Hold Easter eggs to color
- Open foil sealed products
- Remove cherry pits
- Clip plastic wrap end
- Clip end of wrapping paper
- Open plastic packaging
- Olive server
- Wine glass marker
- Unclog nozzle
- Cheese server
- Carve fine details in pumpkins
- Cocktail swizzle
- Poke holes in sauce packets
- Clean spray nozzles
- Remove baked food from glassware
- Test a cake for doneness
- Emergency corkscrew
- Bread tie
- Strawberry huller
- Meat skewer
- Hold a teabag in your tea cup
- Make holes in a jello cake
- Cake decorating
- Poke holes in plastic wrap to vent foods in microwave
Bathroom/Personal Care/ Adornment
We combined these 3 categories because some of them overlap. Who knew that there were so many different things to use a paper clip for in the bathroom, for personal care, and to adorn yourself? The more we thought about it, the more ideas we came up with.
Some of these we’d never try but others sound fun. We get it if you’re grossed out by any of them but try to keep an open mind and remember that necessity is often the mother of invention.
If you don’t like an idea or it grosses you out, please just pass it by and remember that what works well for one person may not work at all for another.
- Design nail art
- Clean under nails
- Between earring backs as stabilizer between ear and back of earrings
- Hair clip
- Jewelry clasp
- Hide bra straps
- Hold back of bra straps together for no show
- Fix a broken bra strap
- Tie clip
- In place of shoelace
- Clean hair out of brush
- Detangle hair
- Hair accessories for buns
- Clean cuticles
- Hold belt in place
- Hold scarf in place
- Remove plaque from teeth
- Scratch itch in a cast
- Clamp an artery
- Separate eyelashes
- Use round part to remove earwax
- Use round part to massage between fingers
- Splint for broken toe or finger
- Tooth pick
- Drip lacquer thinner into old nail polish bottles
- Clip a diaper in lieu of pins
- Remove cactus spines from skin
- Emergency tweezers
- Use to apply false eyelashes
- Use to apply glue to false fingernails
- Scrape out the last of a lipstick
- Clean toenails
- Pop Pimple
This section was a lot of fun. We gave a box of paper clips to a group of kids and had them come up with some craft ideas. We also asked them for ideas on what else (craft wise) to use them for and they helped us by coming up with this list.
Some of these actually sound really fun. The kids even found a few that they could do for the holiday’s to decorate.
- Make wind chimes
- Make a mobile
- Metal art (stars etc.)
- Make a wreath
- Crease paper to fold
- Paint small parts
- Hold a hem in place
- In place of straight pins
- Painting rocks
- Zipper talon
- Hang Christmas ornaments
- Use to hold Garland in place
- Pop air bubble in paint
- Create “chain mail” armor
- Glue together into star
- Glue into a cross
- Clean blades in disposable razor
- Use as garland
- Use as pretend money for kids
- Use as mock shoelaces
- Hold candle wicks upright when making candles
- Secure wick at bottom of a candle when candle making
- Pattern marker for darts
- Pattern marker for pleats
- In place of measuring tape
- Curl around a polished rock
- Carve potato stamp
- Paint it use or colored paper clips for checkers
- Sewing needle
- Emergency safety pin
- Guitar pick
- Make a mini sling shot
- Sand art
- Sculpt clay
- Stitch marker in knitting or crocheting
- Poker chips
- Emergency game pieces
- Use to clean frets on guitar
- Makeshift loom
- Use to hang tinsel
- Make into Christmas ornaments
- Hang a small wreath
While we only listed a few in this section, I am pretty sure that there are far more great ways to use paper clips in the garden. What would you do with paper clips in the garden?
- Make a Rain chain
- Mark a post
- Plant hangers
- Plant tags to identify plants
- Help tie up leggy plants
In and Around The Homestead
This is our catch all list. Some of these ideas you might never use, however, some of these ideas could be lifesaving if you were in an emergency situation or if there were a serious event taking place in the world around you.
- Pick a lock
- Clip papers together
- Reset cell phones
- Reset tablets
- Money clip
- Clip cords together
- Clean around faucets
- Book marker
- Score/mark things w/point
- Emergency button
- Letter opener
- Miniature screwdriver
- Key ring
- Fishing hook
- Pop bubble wrap
- Clean dirt from cracks
- Make pixel holes in paper
- Antenna for radio
- Antenna for television
- Detangle knots
- Fray rope ends
- Remove dirt from coins
- Engrave CDs/DVDs
- Remove excess grout on tile
- Use in “guess how many” jars
- Open stuck CD or DVD player
- Clean computer keyboard
- Clean mouse roller ball
- Cell phone mount
- Scratch for lotto tickets
- Make a compass
- Blow dart needle for SHTF
- Let air out of a valve
- Repair glasses
- Remove a SIM card
- Clean small parts
- Annoy someone using a metal detector
- Remove old paint
- Use in object lessons
- Carve initials into wet concrete
- Carve initials into tree
- Pop a balloon
- Make a sun dial
- Golf tee
- Magnet tester
- Loop around hanger for 2nd hanger
- Keep socks together
- Keep gloves together
- Complete an electrical circuit
- Remove hair from drain
- Pencil launcher
- Unclog a filter
- Cotter pin
- Mark pages for a recitation
- Mark pages in choir books or hymnal
- Incense stand
- Open locked bathroom door
- Pipe cleaner
- Use to hold scratch paper for memo pad
- Use with tissue to clean car vents
- Smooth air bubbles out of decals or bumper stickers
- Use to apply car tabs
- Use to hold gauze on a wound if you’re out of tape
- Use to clean corners of pictures
- Use to pop air bubbles when applying wall paper
- Use to remove debris from burning candle
- Use to remove debris from wax melt room fresheners
- Use to clean window tracts
- Hold cords in place
- Drip oil into a sewing machine
- Clean around stove buttons or knobs
- Move sand about when planning for gold
- Use as focal point to distract a sick child
- To put under wobbly chair or table leg
- Use 2 crossed together to cover a wide drain and prevent jewelry loss
- Use to bypass a blown fuse in a car until you can get it replaced
- Miniature catapult
- Counterweight for paper airplanes
- Unscrew a screw in place of a screwdriver
- Use as spikes in a model railroad
- Clean a pencil sharpener
- Make into a miniature kazoo with tissue paper
- Reset a smoke alarm
For the most part, we keep paper clips and our pets separate. However, we did find a few ways that a paper clip might be useful with our pets.
- Clean pet nails
- Lock pet cages
- Use to attach their ID tags until we can find a strong “S” hook
- Close pet food bags
Our final, and most favorite on the list is this one. We haven’t tried it yet, but it might be a fun idea to try and see where we’re at in a year. If nothing else, it might be a way to keep a group of kids busy in lieu of a scavenger hunt.
- Paper clip challenge trade up
There’s a little story about how someone was challenged to find something creative to do with a paper clip. He was allowed to trade the paper clip, but, he couldn’t sell it.
He had one year to try and trade up to something better. This person went above and beyond. He started out with a lowly paper clip and over the course of a year he traded all of the way up to owning a house.
What if you could trade up to owning your own homestead? All with a lowly paper clip. Would it take you a year? Could you do it? Would you give it a try? Why or why not?
Clearly, there are many great things that can be done around the homestead with paper clips. While some of these may be a bit out of the realm of what you would do with a paper clip, this list does give you a few great ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
Not all of these ideas have been tried on our homestead and honestly, I’m pretty sure some of these ideas we wouldn’t ever try or use. However, since everyone is their own person we realize that what we might not even consider trying might be something that others would try. To each their own.
Truth be known, if there were an emergency on the homestead or an apocalyptic or cataclysmic event, you’re going to make anything work for your needs just like MacGyver would.
You’ll use what you have on hand to improve the situation or improvise for something that you need. Learning to survive on what you have and make do with what you have is all a part of homesteading and becoming more self-sufficient.
Part of the homesteading creed is to be more self-sufficient, live within your means, and live simply so that others may simply live. Even if all that you have on hand is a paper clip, there are many things that you can do with it.
Are you the kind of person that saves everything because everything has a purpose? Even a simple penny can make the difference in a person’s life. So why shouldn’t a paper clip have it’s purpose? What can you find to do with a paper clip in and around your homestead?
Hi, I’m Linda. I’m a mom, grandmother, homesteader. I love simple living and enjoy my life on a homestead where I garden, raise a variety of animals and strive for a life more like my grandparents lived.
My goal is to enrich life by living it as simply as possible and focusing on the way my grandparents did things. Life is so much more fun when it’s lived simply.