Embellished Clothespins

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Fabulous & Free | 0 comments

Clothespins…something about them is so endearing and takes me back to days gone-by.  I think it’s because clothespins remind me of Mom.  Mom has hung clothes on the clothesline as far back as I can remember.  Even today, at age 81,  and yes, even in the Iowa winter, she is still hanging clothes on the line despite owning a dryer.  When I see a clothespin it immediately evokes a memory of climbing into bed with clean sheets and that fresh, crisp, outdoorsy smell.  Companies try to manufacture the scent in room sprays and candles…it just isn’t the same as the real deal.  You know what I mean if you own a clothesline.  I used to have a clothesline.  It made me feel all June Cleaver when I hung my clothes up pin by pin.  Now I just have clothesline envy.   The neighborhood association would think I was three sheets to the wind if I used a clothesline…they are taboo here.  Makes me want to move thinking about that smell on my clothes (the good kind) that only a clothesline can produce.

There is an unspoken rule about hanging “personals” up on the clothesline – all the neighbors are allowed to take inventory of how much Victoria Secret verses the practical Fruit of the Loom one owns with absolutely no shame.  That is probably why Mom bought us all white “personals” – the basic JC Penney version.  No colors, no prints in our house.  It explains why I felt so “floozy” when I bought my first beige bra (there – I said the word).  Good thing Mom was out of state for my lingerie wedding shower!  Mom would be the first to say how the clothing trends of purposefully letting one’s bra strap or thhhhong show (another tough word – not to be confused with flip flops) is simply shameful.  However, somehow hanging up all one’s white underwear waving in the wind as though the entire family is surrendering to the neighborhood isn’t? Yet, Mom is right (Aren’t moms almost always right?!).  It used to be if one said discretely, “Maam’ your bra strap is showing,” a woman would blush and be grateful for the assistance.  Now one is likely to say – “Yeah – so?”  Maybe it is the clothesline users of the world who are responsible for the shameless Victoria Secret commercials and not the “younger generation”.   All that from a clothespin?!  Now you know why I tire myself out.  It’s tough being in this head all day.  No matter your clothesline memories or lack thereof – I have a great craft for you today using clothespins.  Take a look!

Embellished clothespins are great when paired with the chicken wire repurposed frames for clips (see “repurposed frame” post on this page).  They work equally as well as on gift bags to hold a tag.  Dress up a simple brown bag and turn it into a gift bag with an embellished clothespin to hold the bag closed or clip on a valentine or cute paper tag.  They are remarkable (truly – you will get remarks) if you sew a burlap gift bag and use an embellished clothespin as a closure.   (In my case – my friends Claudette and Lisa sewed for me for a weekend in our mountain home.  I’m more the duct tape, hot glue, no sew girl.)  People will be so amazed by the embellished clothespin – they won’t care what is inside the bag.  It is the teacher in me that changes the bulletin board with each season that encourages you change out your embellished clothespins from hearts for Valentines to floral for spring and leaves for fall…let your imagination go.  For embellishments use wallet photos, mismatched jewelry, game pieces, a state puzzle piece (found at thrift stores), rhinestones, scrapbook paper, buttons, family names typed on the computer, glitter (my personal favorite) etc… pretty much anything you can get to stick on a clothespin can be used.  You could even (gasp) just paint the clothespin or leave it plain.  Get to Wal-mart and purchase your clothespins and rev-up your embellishment engine.  Here is the step by step:

Step 1:

Embellished clothespins
Supplies you will need to embellish your clothespins; scissors, all-purpose glue like E6000 or 527 or a glue gun works well too, embellishments of your choice, paint or scrapbook papers, a glue stick or Elmer’s, and clothespins of course!

Step 2:

Choose which embellishments you want to use.  If need be, paint your clothespin at this point or put gluestick or Elmer’s on the clothespin and put on your scrapbook paper for a base.

If you prefer to glitter rather than paper or paint your clothespin -  brush on Elmer’s or Mod Podge to your clothespin and glitter.  I would recommend if you are going to glitter, do several at once – it is easier with the mess out.  No rocket science here it’s just like you remember in elementary school.  Take a paper plate (the thin, paper inexpensive kind (not styrafoam or heavy cardboard) ) and fold it in half. On another flat paper plate use a sponge or paint brush and put the Elmer’s glue/Modpodge onto the clothespin (go thin coat here – less is more).  Hold the clothespin over the paper plate that has the fold in it and shake the glitter onto the clothespin.  Set aside to dry.  Having the paper plate prefolded makes it super easy to pour the overflow of the glitter back into the bottle to be reused.

Step 3:

Clothespins with names…I typed these vertically on the computer and adhered with a glue stick to the clothespin.  These are great to personalize gifts or use as clips on a chicken wire backed frame as a bulletin board.
Clothespins covered with scrapbook paper
Coordinating scrapbook papers or glitter can be used to cover the clothespins. These can be used as chipclips, gift bag clips, or clips to be used on chicken wire frames like a bulletin board.
Seasonal embellished clips for Valentine's Day/February
Clips can be embellished to change out seasonally. These are done for Valentine’s/February with Scrabble pieces to spell out words of endearment as well as glitter hearts and scrapbook paper.
Spring/Summer embellished clothespins
I bought all these flowers for $1 at the dollar store and clipped them off the stems. I used a hot glue gun to adhere them to the clothespin. Also shown are floral rhinestones glued on over scrapbook paper. These will be great for Easter/spring and summer. The possibilities really are endless!
Embellished clothespins as a Valentine gift
The tag on this basket reads: “I always feel more CHIPper with you around. I’m so glad we are such CLOTHES friends.” Underneath the hearts I typed “Chipclips” and clipped onto the sides of the tag the embellished clothespins.  I filled the basket with different bags of Sun Chips and a Valentine towel.
Close up of Valentine "Chipclip" tag
Here is a close-up of the Valentine chipclip tag. This same tag could be altered for a get well gift.  The tag could read “We are such CLOTHES friends/sisters/brothers/family, I hate to see you sick.  I hope you are feeling SUNny and CHIPper soon!”  Fill the basket with Sun Chips, clip on the chipclips and change the tea towel out for a magazine or a non-seasonal tea towel.  I promise it will give the person not feeling well a shot of encouragement!
Burlap stamped bag with glitter embellished clothespin closure.  I stamped on muslin and frayed the edges of the cut out square.  Lisa and Claudette sewed them to the burlap before sewing the bags.  It is sealed with a glittered embellished clothespin (my favorite).  Who would care what is inside the gift if it came in a bag like this?  The bag alone is a gift.  Try one yourself!  This same concept can be done on a brown paper lunch bag and it is (almost) as cute!

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