9 Brilliant Uses For Your Scattered Bobby Pins

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BobbyPins_Interior2Illustrated by Emily Turner.
UPDATE: This story was originally published May 9.

Bobby pins are both a blessing and a curse. 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. I emptied my purse recently, and do you know how many bobby pins fell out? Exactly one billion. It was like I threw a prom updo in my purse and forgot about it for 10 years.

The problem is, they’re so cheap, so 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 three bucks is always a tempting, probably-need-this purchase. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of metal toothpicks you own, here are a few more creative uses for them that don’t involve bangs and awkward stages.

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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.

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 alive for long spans of time.

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 bent without much muscle, 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.

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. But, 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.
BobbyPins_Interior1Illustrated by Emily Turner.
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 here is “nobody.”

Use Them To Pick A Lock
Hopefully you won’t find yourself in a situation where you actually need to pick a lock, but if 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've thought?

As A Zipper Pull
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, 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.

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.

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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