10 Surprising Ways to Use Bobby Pins

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Anyone who's grown out their bangs probably has a lifelong appreciation for bobby pins. From taming flyaways to holding up intricate updos, bobby pins play an essential role in hair styling. But if you have a ton of bobby pins in every room of your home and you're only using them in your hair, you're missing out. These handy little metal pins can help make your life easier in a ton of tiny ways.

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1. Easily Pit Cherries and Olives

Have you ever looked at a bag of plump, shiny cherries and thought... nah, too much work? It's true that they aren't nature's easiest fruit to enjoy, but the challenge of removing the pits shouldn't keep you from gorging on juicy cherries whenever you want. Remove the stem and push a clean bobby pin through the center of the cherry to easily push the pit out the other end. The same technique works for removing olive pits, too.

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2. Protect Your Fingers While Hammering

When you're hanging a picture or assembling a piece of furniture, the chances of missing the nail and hammering your thumb are, seemingly, nearly 100 percent. Save yourself from a lot of pain and cursing by using a bobby pin to keep your fingers away from the danger zone. Slide the nail through the open end of the bobby pin and hold the other end of the pin to keep the nail in place while you drive it in.

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3. Keep Belt Ends From Hanging

If your pants don't have enough belt loops, the end of the belt might be too long to stay put in one loop but too short to reach the next one. As a result, the belt end dangles and looks sloppy. Slide a few bobby pins around the belt end and the waistband of your pants to keep the end in place, so it's ​just​ right.

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4. Mark the Cut End of Tape

It takes two seconds to cut or tear a piece of tape, and 30 seconds to find the cut end again the next time you need a piece of tape. Plus, you'll need luck on your side to pull up that cut end without bending a fingernail or accidentally peeling the tape off in strips. Next time, slide a bobby pin under the cut end of the tape. It couldn't be easier to to pull out the bobby pin, tear off a new strip of tape and replace the pin.

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5. Mark Where You Left Off

Are you someone who owns a dozen bookmarks and can never find a single one of them? Without a handy bookmark, you might have to use a piece of mail to hold your place, or even (gasp!) fold over the corner of the page. With a bobby pin, keeping track of where you left off is as easy as sliding the pin over the page. This works with magazines too.

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6. Change the Shape of Makeup Brushes

To a makeup novice, all brushes might seem the same. True makeup aficionados know the truth: every shape of brush has its own important purpose in your routine. So if you find yourself missing an all-important contouring brush, try clipping a bobby pin around a fluffier brush to temporarily create a thinner shape. Use this trick to pack fewer brushes when traveling.

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7. Keep Toothpaste Tubes Rolled

If you're like a lot of us, you've wasted money over the years by throwing away toothpaste tubes that still held perfectly good toothpaste. Get the most out of every tube, with the help of a basic bobby pin. Slide the pin up a nearly-empty tube to push every last bit up to the top. You may need to add as a second pin on the other side of the tube.

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8. Design Your Own Nail Art

The manicurists who apply tiny, intricate designs to fingernails are truly artists. When you can't afford a pro's services, or just want to experiment at home, grab bobby pins to help you create your own designs. First, apply a base coat to nails. Then unbend a bobby pin, dip one of the ends in nail polish and use it to create dots, lines or other designs on the nail. If you want to dress up your designs with glitter or little baubles, this technique also works for applying glue.

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9. Seal Opened Food Bags

Is there anything sadder than settling down with a half-full bag of pretzels or chips, only to find that they're totally stale? Okay, fine, yes, there are lots of sadder things. But we can all agree that stale snacks can really ruin your day. The next time you put an open bag away, use bobby pins to keep the folded bag top from unfurling. Crispy, crunchy snacks await you tomorrow.

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10. Organize Your Files

Where do all your paperclips ​go​, exactly? It's one of life's great mysteries. No matter; in a pinch, bobby pins can stand in for paperclips to keep stacks of documents together. If you need color-coded clips to organize your papers, paint a little nail polish on the bobby pins.

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