12 Smart Uses for Safety Pins


The humble safety pin was invented in 1849, and since then, the design hasn't changed a whole lot. But change isn't necessary, because it's spectacularly handy in its original form. Quite simply, the safety pin is an awesome gadget that is both inexpensive, and very versatile. You might only be using safety pins to fasten two pieces of fabric or clothing together, but they can do a whole lot more than that. Here are 12 uses for safety pins that you may never have thought of.

See also: 30 Handy Uses for Bobby Pins

1. Eliminate Static Cling

As a guy, I've never had this problem. Honestly, I made a "huh?" face when I was told this one, but apparently it's a genius life hack. If you attach a small safety pin to the lining of your skirt, or slip, and the metal will divert the static electricity build up. And voila, your skirt is no longer sticking to your tights.

2. Fix Broken Flip Flops

If you wear flip flips a lot, you'll know how annoying it is when the bottom of the strap holder breaks. A safety pin is a quick and easy fix. Simply push the pin through the plastic stem and fasten it. It's not ideal, but it will get you through the day until you can grab a new pair.

3. Thread a Drawstring

This happened to me recently, because kids will be kids. One of mine pulled the drawstring out of her pajama bottoms, and I was at a loss trying to figure out how to get it back in there. I did consider tying it to a knitting needle, but of course, I didn't have one. A safety pin was the answer. By attaching the pin to one end of the drawstring, I had no problem feeding it through the pajama waist.

4. Fix a Broken Zipper Tab

If the tab on your zipper breaks off (which always seems to happen at the worst possible time) you can easily solve the problem by attaching a safety pin. Of course, it's not the most attractive solution, but it's a quick fix until you can get it professionally replaced.

5. Give an Old T-Shirt Some Style

If you're looking for a way to put some life back into an old t-shirt, safety pins are a quick and easy way to do it. I saw someone in the office wearing a t-shirt that had long slits cut in it, which were then held together with safety pins. I asked the dumbest question, "Where'd you get that cool shirt?" Obviously, her reply was, "I made it!" Just make a few strategic cuts, wherever you feel they'd be the most eye-catching (or daring), and then use a variety of safety pins to close up the slits. The girl in my office used red and black safety pins on a grey shirt, but you can find safety pins in a massive array of colors.

Give it a try on a shirt you were planning to throw out or donate first, just to get the hang of it. They also make great gifts if you buy new, plain t-shirts and decorate them.

6. Block the Sunlight in a Hotel Room

If you travel a lot on business, take a safety pin with you. It seems a lot of curtains in hotel rooms (almost all of them, actually) have a design flaw. They don't close all the way, leaving a shaft of bright light streaming into your eyeballs at the crack of dawn. I learned this the hard way. A safety pin can close the gap, and eliminate that awful glare.

7. Create a Safety Pin Bracelet

All you need is a big box of safety pins, a whole lot of small beads, and some string or fishing wire. You can see a completed project here, with step-by-step instructions. What's more, every design is unique, and it's super cheap to make.

8. Secure Your Keys

If you're planning to go somewhere like an amusement park, or are doing another activity that will have you moving and jumping a lot, bring a safety pin. Use it to attach your keys to the inside of your pocket, and when that rollercoaster does a loop, you can be confident your keys won't end up flying out.

9. Make Samples Last Longer

When you get samples of things like ointments, creams, lotions, or anything else of that nature, don't tear it open, or even snip the corner. Instead, poke a hole in one side of the pack with a safety pin. The lotion will come out much more sparingly, and it will extend its shelf life.

10. Craft a Custom Ring

Here's another wonderfully simple, and elegant, use for a few safety pins. All you need are three small safety pins (preferably brass or gold colored, but it's your choice), pliers, a fat pen, and three washers. Complete instructions are here, it will take minutes of your time, and gives you something quite unusual to wear.

11. Organize Spare Buttons

If you do a lot of sewing or home alterations, you probably have a lot of buttons in your supply case. Safety pins are a terrific way to organize them. Just find the appropriate-sized pin, and thread buttons onto it based on color, size, style, or any other system you like. It makes it way easier to find just the right button quickly and easily. This is also a handy way to keep sets of keys together, too.

12. Hide Your Bra Straps

Here's another handy tip I got from a friend at work. If you're going out on the town and are wearing a dress or top that will show your bra straps, safety pins can help. First, you can use a pin at the back to pull the bra straps closer together, like this. You can buy expensive clips that do this, but safety pins work great. You can also use safety pins to connect the bra strap to the top of your shirt or dress, so that however you move, the bra strap won't reveal itself.

Do you have a fantastic safety pin tip that isn't on the list? Please share it here.

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