The paper clip is a distant cousin of the torsion spring, which we see in garage doors assemblies and old fashion mouse traps. Engineers use both springs and paper clips in a variety of ways — so if you're only using paper clips to hold together several sheets of paper, then these 10 creative uses for paper clips will change the way you think about everyday objects.
While this paper clip smartphone stand is not as sturdy as its store-bought cousins, it will do in a pinch — especially when you're streaming video at your desk. Instructions: Using two paper clips and a pair of needle-nose pliers, bend the tip of each paper clip back 90 degrees. Then bend the the inner loop back 45 degrees and use the bent paper clips to prop up either side of your smartphone.
DIY Racerback Bra
This paper clip hack comes in handy when you need to pack several tops, but only one bra — and you don't want to spend $7 or more on a store-bought bra converter clip. Conceal your bra straps beneath your racerback tank top by simply connecting them with a paper clip. Pro tip: bind the straps before putting your bra on.
Removable Laptop Camera Cover
Internet security experts often recommend that you place a piece of tape over the front-facing camera of your laptop's screen to prevent cyber hackers from having a look. Rather than throwing a piece of electrical tape in the trash every time you Skype your family, try this convenient DIY paper clip laptop-camera cover. Instructions: Using needle-nose pliers, bend the paper clip in several places so that it forms a clasping shape similar to a low-back barstool. Cover the front wing of the bent paper clip with electrical or vinyl tape.
Paper clips, as the name implies, are designed to bind paper together. So why not let them mark the multiple places in your home-design catalog or favorite romance novel? Instructions: Wrap decorative tape, electrical tape, fabric, or a piece of sticky note to the end of a paper clip.
Replacement Zipper Pull
Honestly, it's embarrassing that we're still using zippers in the 21 century because they are constantly breaking down. Try this paper clip hack when your next zipper pull comes completely off its track. Instructions: Remove the damaged zipper pull using needle-nose pliers. Insert the open end of a paper clip through the slider body before covering the paper clip with electrical or vinyl tape.
Unless you're the type who has a can of compressed air lying around, chances are that your electronic devices are full of lint, dead skin cells, and other debris. Paper clips are the perfect size for getting beneath keyboard keys and cleaning out the little inputs on smart devices and video game consoles. Instructions: Bend a paper clip into a straight line and cover it with a 1/4-inch piece of a disinfectant wipe.
DIY Key Ring
You may be asking, "Why would I make a key ring when they cost like $.75 at the hardware store?" The answer is simple. Who wants to go all the way to the hardware store for a $.75 key ring? Instructions: Pull a paper clip into a straight line using a pair of needle-nose pliers. Bend the straightened paper clip around a broad-tip magic marker so that it forms a tight circle. Voilà, you've made a key ring from a paper clip.
Whether it's a creatively crafted book report or handouts for your next staff meeting, binding together pages with a rubber band and paper clip add a decorative touch to your intellectual work. Instructions: Punch two holes 1-3 inches apart towards the center of your bound pages. Loop a small rubber band through the punched holes, and clasp its ends together with a paper clip.
Easy Access to Tape
If you're tired of spending precious gift-wrapping time working your fingernail beneath the invisible end of a roll of cellophane tape, then this paper clip hack is probably going to change your life. Why wrestle with tape every dang time you use it? Simply pop a paper clip into the tape's end when you're done. The paper clip comes off the tape easily and can be used again and again.
Cable and Cord Binder
You'd be right to ask, "Why not just use the rubber band without the paper clip?" Well, pairing a paper clip with a rubber band is an efficiency hack. Instead of looping the rubber band around multiple times until the cable is tightly bound, the paper clip catches and secures the rubber band after only one loop around a cord. Instructions: Loop a rubber band through the middle of a paper clip and tightly cinch it down. Then wrap the rubber band around the cable and secure it through the paper clip.