Karen Belz
April 16, 2014 3:00 pm

Bobby pins are both a blessing and a curse. (And yes, Nick Miller. Many girls do use “Bobby’s Pins” to hold their hair back.) If you’re in a pinch for a pin, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a few scattered on your floor – probably right under your bed. Or in your shower stall. They multiply, you know. Like, they just breed and will probably take over one day. I emptied my purse recently, and do you know how many bobby pins fell out? Like, ten billion. It was like I threw a prom updo in my purse, and forgot about it for ten years.

The problem is, they’re so cheap. Nobody ever curses the day if a bobby pin breaks. You also probably forget how many you have on hand, and seeing a pack of 50 for 3 bucks is always a tempting “probably need this!” purchase.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your amount of “metal toothpicks,” here are a few more creative uses for them that don’t involve bangs and awkward stages.

1. Use Them For Nail Art

If you’re inspired by our Nails of the Day, yet lack the proper tools (and prefer to do it yourself), consider using a bobby pin to help you decorate. The metal might actually make you feel a bit more in control. And if it doesn’t – well, there’s always nail polish remover before you fully master the skill.

You can also use nail polish to color your bobby pins, and add some color to your updo.

2. Consider Them To Be Your Sewing Heroes

If you’re sewing two pieces of fabric together, a bobby pin can help align them in a pinch. They’re also easier to remove than normal pins, which is a plus.

3. They’re Perfect For Resetting Your Car Clock

Or, resetting anything that requires a pointy object. Not to date myself, but I’ve reset a Tamagotchi with a bobby pin about a dozen times. Probably because I’m not responsible enough to keep a digital pet live for long spans of time.

4. They Can Help Clear Out A Drain

Keep in mind, I’m talking about tiny hair clogs. Anything greater will probably require Drano and patience. Since bobby pins can be easily bent, they can reach certain areas with ease. Just make sure not to put this particular pin back into rotation after it’s been assigned a daunting task like this.

5. They Can Be Used To Mark Your Book

When I was a kid, bookmarks were “in.” I’m pretty sure I was gifted a bookmark at every birthday, and almost all of them featured white fluffy kittens with catch-phrases. They were prominently featured in every local bookstore, on a spinning display that you always feared you’d accidentally tip over. If you get distracted in the midst of a chapter, a bobby pin will gladly hold your place.

If you’re a musician, they’re also pretty nifty to hold sheet music.

6. Need A Chip Clip? Grab A Bobby Pin!

Bobby pins make excellent chip clips when needed. And honestly, they’re probably the most inexpensive clips you’ll find for this purpose. Who wants stale chips? The answer is “nobody.”

7. If You’re Artsy, Morph Them Into Cuter Hair Clips

If you’re fond of hearts and ribbons, you might want to take your basic bobby pin and give it a stronger personality. Again – if you screw up, it’s no huge loss. If you don’t screw up, your friends will probably ask you where you bought your adorable hair accessories. You really can’t lose.

8. Use Them To Pick A Lock

Hopefully you won’t find yourself in a situation where you actually need to pick a lock – but ┬áif you do, let’s hope it’s based on some type of lost house keys situation. You’ll actually need just one half of a bobby pin to pick a lock, as well as a tension wrench. And if you don’t have a tension wrench? You can make one. Out of bobby pins. Who would have thought?

9. Make Jewelry Out Of Them

If you’re looking for a creative standout piece that’ll grab a lot of attention, try to make your own with bobby pins. Painted pins can either hook onto a necklace, or be made into dangly earrings. Get creative with it.

10. Well, Yeah… As A Zipper Pull

Okay, you might feel like a giant dork for using a bobby pin as a broken zipper pull – especially on an obvious item of clothing, like pants. But know what? It works. If you can hold your pride for a few days before you find a replacement (or have the confidence to pull it off – and I believe in you!) it’s a totally reasonable solution.

11. It’s Your New Letter Opener!

How many of you have an actual letter opener? They look like a wussy butter knife, yet can look oddly intimidating outside of an office setting.

A bobby pin will open your mail with little disaster, as long as you get the angles right. Try laying your letter flat on the table, and put pressure down as you slide forward.

12. Opening A Package With A Plastic Seal? Find That Bobby Pin!

It’s almost shameful to admit how many plastic seals I’ve opened with the use of a stray bobby pin. What can you say? With a proper amount of force, your bobby pin can help you gain entrance into anything that you accidentally ripped the metallic seal off of. Greek Yogurt? I’m talking about you.

If you’re looking to keep your bobby pins in order, here’s a good suggestion: Consider buying a magnetic strip at your local arts and crafts store, and line your drawer or mirror with it. Your pins will be in one place, and will be easily accessible for the reasons above, or – you know – to hold a bun in place.

Do you have any more suggestions for the best ways to optimize your bobby pins?

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