Tag Archives: clothes pin

56: Decorated Clothes Pins

Along with mason jars, the humble clothes pin seems to be getting a makeover lately – literally.  People are snazzing up these little guys up for a variety of home decor projects, most often wreathes and photo lines.  Here are four different little projects we made up this week:

hugs-are-fun-etch busybag1. Pins for a matching game by Hugs are Fun.  This one is a case of me butting into Rebecca’s project.  Clothes pins have been simmering in the back of my brain for months now, and when she told me about the awesome sock matching game she was stitching up I knew I could help.  My first thought was to put the name of the shapes the kids were matching on the clothes pin, but then Rebecca reminded me this was a pre-reading game.  Whoops. So we engraved the 6 basic shapes on to the pins.  We taped them so it would just be a quick splash of paint to finish it up!  It looks great! ontheline

After.  The vector lines on the right took *forever* - 20 + minutes of engraving time.
After. The vector lines on the right took *forever* – 20 + minutes of engraving time.  The thin dark lines are vector, the thinker ones for the wood in the chevrons are raster.

2. Decorated pins.  These ones are a little more grown up, and would be awesome as part of a photo line or wall.  I first painted the pins my favorite colors, then engraved my favorite designs on them.  I think they are pretty much my favorite.

engraved

Some of my Artist Trading Cards, which I've never displayed!  Already these pins are useful.
Some of my Artist Trading Cards, which I’ve never displayed! Already these pins are useful.
Arrow points to the bubble of doom.  So much paint slipped under I couldn't even sand it away.  Make use the tape is all the way down before painting!
Arrow points to the bubble of doom. So much paint slipped under I couldn’t even sand it away. Make use the tape is all the way down before painting!

3. Personalized pins. Several of the posts I read on ideas for decorative clothes pins involved teachers and organizing.  As a children’s librarian, my cousin Becky is always whipping up interactive for her kids – I thought these pins might appeal to her DIY nature and might help to keep things more organized.  I wanted the name to stand out, so like with the Matching Game by Hugs are Fun, I taped, engraved, then painted. (Can you see my mistake?)

Trio of Mrs. Todds
Trio of Mrs. Todds
Valentine holders.  When working with paint on paint, it's important to be neat because you can't just sand off excess paint!  Whoops!
Valentine holders. When working with paint on paint, it’s important to be neat because you can’t just sand off excess paint! Whoops!

4. Valentine card holders.  I’m pretty proud of this paint on paint technique – I painted the background, then taped it.  We then engraved these heart arrows.  I painted over the tape with white, and voila, white arrow on a blue background.  I’ve painted first and then engraved, and taped and engraved before painting, but never the two together!  I’m planning to put a couple magnets on the back of these, and then I can hang them on the fridge.

Valentines for Mrs. Todd!
Valentines for Mrs. Todd!

The uses and ways to personalize clothes pins are surprisingly endless.  My suggestion would be to get good quality pins (mine were not – they kept becoming unaligned, which caused at least one of the designs to be a bit crooked) and to make a template!  Templates are reusable, and key to making sure your laser hits where you want it to.

After paint and engrave on left, after engraving but before paint on the right.
After paint and engrave on left, after engraving but before paint on the right.