Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wild Uses for Paper Clips: Tip Tuesday Report

As I organize the clutter in my desk drawers, I expect to find enough paper clips to stock a small office supply store. Conveniently, I have found several tips for dealing with paper clips, which "were patented by Samuel B. Fay in 1867," according to this snippet of history from Early Office Museum.

Here are a few of my favorite Paper Clip Tips from a past issue of Woman's World:
  • Snack Saver: Don't pay extra for upscale food clips. Large paper clips work fine for sealing up chips and cereal. Just fold the bag and clip.

  • Place Saver: Paper clips are great for marking off frequently used phone numbers. This tip means that you'll spend less time in the phone book. I also use paper clips to save my place in magazines and books My husband does not, however, recommend paper clips as book markers because clips can ruin pages with indentations and/or rust marks.

  • Photo Finish: I love to place family pictures and postcards on the bulletin board near our computer desk. But I hate the push-pin holes in snapshots and cards. The Woman's World Solution: Dangle paper clips from the push-pins and then attach the photos to the paper clips.

  • Zipper Repair: A bright paper clip can be used to replace a missing zipper pull.
Here are 101 Uses for a Paper Clip: an excellent list of 125 uses. I've featured the first 10. (see below) I've actually used paper clips to stitch together falling hemlines (tip # 1). This trick works best if the hem is floor-length, which is and not as visible as a knee-length hem repair.

    • hem holder
    • cigar filter unstopper
    • spray bottle unclogger
    • eye glass repair
    • hair barrette
    • zipper tab
    • clean fingernails
    • Xmas ornament holder
    • unclog Elmer's glue bottle
    • calendar holder" Source: --101 Uses for a Paper Clip

Wikipedia offers an excellent list of low-tech and high-tech uses for paper clips:

"Paper clips can be bent into a crude but effective lock pick and can be used as in place of a q-tip to clean ones ear (though this should probably be done for you rather than by you). A paper clip is also a useful accessory in computing: the metal wire can be unfolded with a little force. Several devices call for a very thin rod to push a recessed button which the user might only rarely need. This is seen on most CD-ROM drives as an "emergency eject" should the power fail; also on early disk drives (including the early Macintosh). Some Palm PDAs advise the use of a paper clip to reset the device. The track ball can be removed from early Logitech pointing devices using a paperclip as the key to the bezel. A paper clip bent into a "U" can be used to start an ATX PSU without connecting it to a Motherboard (connect the green to a black on the Motherboard header). One or more paperclips can make a loopback device for a RS232 interface (or indeed many interfaces). A paperclip could be installed in a Commodore 1541 disk-drive as a flexible head-stop. Paperclips have been used (unsafely) to replace fuses."

There are many other uses for paper clips including educational recycling projects for kids.

Likewise, The Paper Clips Project was a school program in which students from a Southern school collected paper clips as a special memorial to Holocaust victims.


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