Back to Blog Home

21 Clever Ways to Use a Paper Clip

jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline PaumierGuest Blogger
July 15, 2016 · 2k Views

We've all heard the incredible trading story of how a single red paper clip was traded for a house, but most of us just consider this mundane office supply item, an easy way to keep paperwork together. Still, with a little creativity you can get a lot more out of a simple paper clip than you think, it may not end in a house but it could possibly save you in a tight spot. The best part is, you can almost always find someone that has a paper clip on hand, we recommend keeping one in your bag or wallet at all times because you never know when it could come in handy!

I have a feeling you're going to want to restock on paper clips once you're done reading this article. Don't worry, we have coupons for the insane amount you're going to buy.


1. Create a smart phone mount

This one is perfect for when you need to entertain the kids in a restaurant but don’t want to risk your phone being dropped or tapped to death. Just bend the metal so the iPhone sits comfortably and displays at the right angle. Simple.

2. Unclog narrow holes

Dried up glue bottles, spray can nozzles, or spice containers can easily get clogged up with residue. A simple puncture from the tip of a paper clip is the perfect way to unclog those openings.

3. Clean out your computer

Narrow spaces in your keyboard easily accumulate dust and dirt, and are not as easy to clean. Wrap a disinfectant wipe over the pointed end of a paper clip and use it to get in-between small nooks and crannies of your computer.

4. Use it for clothing repair

Source: Buzzfeed

Need to quickly hem a pant leg or fix the hook on the back of a dress? If a safety pin is nowhere in sight you can bet a paper clip is your next best option.

5. Open a jammed CD drive

Time to get all MacGyver on that busted cd drive! Just straighten out 1-2 inches of the paper clip and look for the small hole found right above or below the drive bay door and insert the clip into the hole.

6. An emergency manicure

And we mean EMERGENCY. Didn’t get a chance to polish or even cut those claws? Run the end of a paper clip under them to at least have a clean under nail look.

7. Replace a zipper tab

Source: Lollipuff

Flimsy zipper tabs can break off leaving you in quite the clothing crisis. Save your wardrobe malfunction by slipping in a paper clip where the zipper tab would usually be.

8. Hang ornaments

Every year it seems like ornament hooks seem to magically disappear. End the sad Christmas cycle by bending a few paper clips to do the job. No one can really tell the difference anyway.

9. Bread tie

We all know that pet peeve; someone opened up the bag of bread, left it open and lost the bread tie in the process. No use crying over stale bread, save your money by using a paper clip in its place.

10. Fish hooks

Source: Whimsie Doodles Blogspot

Paper clips are a great substitute for when that oversized fish just ran off with your last hook. Just curve the paper clip into a U shape and slip your bait onto the end.

11. Lottery ticket scratcher

No use in damaging your nails (that you just cleaned), a paper clip is a simple and easy way to scratch you way to your winnings.

12. Plant hanger

Indulge your green thumb and get decorative with hanging plants. A paper clip is a sturdy way to hang your plants that’s barely noticeable so it won’t ruin the overall look.

13. Emergency keychain

Source: Vat 19

Cheap, flimsy key chains break all the time. Keep your important keys together by substituting a paper clip instead.

14. Letter opener

Who needs the fancy, overpriced, and engraved kind? Okay, they’re pretty, but in a fix a paper clip works just fine.

15. Hair barrette

Bobby pins have a way of disappearing on you, but paper clips always seem to be around. Hold your hair in place with a paper clip, you can even super glue little gems onto it to jazz it up a bit.

16. Flower bouquet wire

Source: Capitol Romance

What’s more annoying than the perfect flower bouquet that just won’t stand right? Keep your arrangement exactly the way you like it by wrapping the stems together with a paper clip.

17. Money clip

Keep your money safe and in one place with this down to earth money clip substitute.

18. Egg dipper

Want perfectly layered colored eggs at Easter Time? Straighten out a large paper clip, and bend the end into a circle. This will allow you dip the egg exactly to the line you want.

19. A science project for kids

Source: Science Fair Projects Hub

A paper clip is an easy way to demonstrate surface tension to children. Just fill a small bowl with water and add a paper clip to show that the paper clip sinks. Next, allow a piece of paper to float on the water's surface and gently place the paper clip on the water to show how the paper helps it float.

20. Make a compass

If you have a paper clip and a magnet you have your way home! Just take a bowl of water and place a bar magnet at the base. Straighten the paper clip and float it over a packing peanut and the clip will point north/south.

21. An easy bookmark

A paper clip is actually handier than a traditional bookmark since it won’t slip out. You can also buy paper clips with adorable tops that will help you easily find your page in style!


jacquelinebuch profile picture
Jacqueline is a modern day gypsy, who has lived in several countries and has traveled to over 20. A sucker for all things pleasing to the senses; her world revolves around food (any and all food), foreign indie films, and salsa music. The first to jump off a waterfall and the last to say no to sushi, she has been described as a bit of an “extremist”. In her perfect world, no one ever spells “cool” as “kool” and Ryan Gosling has more tattoos. She enjoys spending her free time in her New Orleans home with her Cubano guitarist husband and 1-year-old son.

Related Posts