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Decoupage/Mod Podge Clothespin/Clothes Pin Decorating Ideas

Updated on September 8, 2013

Clothes Pin Crafts

Lately, I've seen a host of fun clothespin, or clothes pin, craft ideas online. From clothespin reindeer to clothespin-embellished mirrors, there is a clothespin craft for virtually every time of year. Clothespins are exceptionally inexpensive, so they are a very cheap craft supply. Another fantastically affordable craft supply is paper - so why not combine the two for some truly inexpensive home decorating?

I already wrote about using decoupage techniques to redecorate worn, boring furniture, but decoupage works well on small objects, too. This tutorial shows you how to use Mod Podge to decorate clothespins. You can personalize decoupaged clothespins to create a welcome banner or other sign, make a name plate, attach tags to gift bags or party favors, and many other things.

What do you Need to Decoupage Clothespins?

  • Wood clothespins
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

How to Mod Podge Clothespins

Decoupaging clothespins is (fairly) quick and easy.

  1. Measure the clothespin's length and mark it off on your sheet of paper. It is easiest if you make these marks on the 'wrong' side of the paper to avoid stray marks on the decorative surface. Make several clothespin-length tick marks, and then use the ruler to draw a straight line across the paper, as shown. You can use plain paper, but scrapbooking paper works very well. To make the project more kid-friendly, have your children paint a picture or stencil a design and use this paper for your clothespins.
  2. Measure the broadest part of the clothespin. My clothespins were 3/8". I made tick marks every 3/8" along the original edge of the paper and along the pencil line drawn in step one. Make these marks the same distance apart as your clothespin's widest point.
  3. Use the ruler to draw a straight line between each set of tick marks, as shown. You are simply connecting the paper side tick marks with the original edge side tick marks to form strips of paper the same size as a clothespin.
  4. If you have access to a paper cutter, you can save time by using it to cut along the pencil lines. Whether you have to cut by hand, like me, or have a paper cutter, cut the long line first, and then cut each individual strip. If your paper has a distinct pattern you want to preserve, you may want to place the strips in a correctly-ordered row as you cut them to save confusion and frustration later.
  5. If you have a design you want to display "right side up," decide whether you want the clipping side of the clothespin to be "up" or "down." If you want to hang the clothespins from a line or clip them to the bottom or something, the clipping end should be the top. If you want to clip the clothespins to the top of something, you may want the clipping end to be the bottom.
  6. Coat one side of a clothespin with Mod Podge and lay the first strip of paper evenly on it. There may be some overhang on the narrower end of the clothespin. This is fine, just try to make the overhang even on both sides.
  7. After giving the first coat of Mod Podge a minute to dry, seal the paper with a second coat. At this time, put Mod Podge on the overhanging paper and fold it down over the clothespin's side, if necessary. This is shown in a picture to the right.
  8. Allow the Mod Podge to dry completely before flipping the clothespin to decoupage the opposite side. You do not have to decorate both sides, but I prefer the way it looks.
  9. After Mod Podging both sides and allowing it to dry, you are ready to personalize your clothespins. You can use a stencil, like I did, or free hand write letters on the clothespins to create a message, such as my "welcome," or a name. You can put one letter on each pin, or you could create name plates for a party by writing each guest's name on a clothespin.
  10. If you want, give the finished, decorated clothespins a quick coat of an acrylic sealant. You can use either a brush or a spray sealant. This helps keep the paper in place and prevents water from ruining all your hard work.

Steps for Decoupaging Clothespins

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Line across the paper to create a clothespin-length stripMeasure the clothespin's widest pointMark off clothespin-sized stripsApply Mod PodgeDecoupage clothespinDecoupage more quickly by doing several at a time
Line across the paper to create a clothespin-length strip
Line across the paper to create a clothespin-length strip | Source
Measure the clothespin's widest point
Measure the clothespin's widest point | Source
Mark off clothespin-sized strips
Mark off clothespin-sized strips | Source
Apply Mod Podge
Apply Mod Podge | Source
Decoupage clothespin
Decoupage clothespin | Source
Decoupage more quickly by doing several at a time
Decoupage more quickly by doing several at a time | Source
Clothespin welcome sign
Clothespin welcome sign | Source
Clothes pin magnets
Clothes pin magnets | Source

Decorate with Clothespins

After your decoupage and sealant are dry, you are ready to use your new clothespins! I strung the example project up along a cord and hung it in front of my closed-up fireplace. You could also use them to hold gift tags to a box or bag, with a magnet attached to the back to organize your fridge art, as name plates at a party, or string them up to make personalized room sign's for your kids.

Another way I like to use decorated clothespins is for magnet clips, as shown to the right. Just attach magnets to the back of each clothespin and they're suddenly a great way to hold letters, bills, fridge art, etc. I like to use rare earth magnets because they're really strong and can hold just about anything.

You can also use them in place of plain clothespins for nearly every clothespin craft - the possibilities are endless! For a unique home accent, decorate a giant clothespin and display it on a shelf or table. If you use an acrylic sealer, you can even use decoupage clothespins to add some flair to laundry day. I do not recommend hanging wet laundry with decoupaged clothespins unless you have applied a waterproof sealer.

What is your favorite clothespin craft? I'd love to hear about your favorite ways to creatively use clothespins!


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    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      LOL! Well, at least you can knit :)

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for stopping by and voting!

      I agree, it's super fun because you see the results quickly. It's not like knitting a sweater for months. (Ok, maybe that's just because I'm a slow knitter...)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

      These clothespins are so cute! I did some of these a while back and they are completely addicting. I think I have like 5 sets of them put away, saving for gifts, etc. It's one of those "instant gratification" type crafts. Know what I mean? They are quick and easy to make and always look fabulous! Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial and ideas that you shared here. Voting up!!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! It's such an inexpensive way to spruce things up a bit.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I can see how pretty these would look on a ribbon hanging over a picture. You have a great idea here and one that is so simple to make.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      that's wonderful, they are just damn good, voted up

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Copious? I've never heard of that! I will have to check it out - thank you for mentioning it! And thanks for commenting and sharing, too.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow.. that is beautiful. I have seen these done with words on them, but these are the prettiest I have seen so far. These sell like crazy on Copious. Excellent and inspiring! Sharing!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you for stopping by! I think these work fantastically with thr clothes pin wreath project I keep seeing around. I just can't bring myself to make anything big right now because I'm moving soon.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love decorated clothespins! I keep seeing more fun ideas for this online and will have to give it a try sometime. Thanks for the great tutorial.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you =)

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas


    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow! I came back after lunch and found so many comments - thank you, everyone! I'm glad you ll enjoyed it.

      Thanks for the share, ssiddhanta.

      I hope you enoying make some free home décor then, TToombso8, since you have all the 'ingredients.'

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      This is a great idea and I will be trying this out. And, I just happen to have all these items already in my craft box. Just never thought to combine them. Awesome idea! :) VUMS.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 5 years ago from USA

      I've seen these used as you described - to organize kid's stuff on the refrigerator - and it was adorable!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I love this idea!

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Very good creativity...

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! Hey, with the acrylic sealer, you might be able to get Mod Podge to stay down in Washington.

      Thank you for stopping by and your show of support!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As you might suspect, there is no way I'm doing this, but you are terribly clever and talented, and I wanted to give you support, so here I am. Well done Natasha! Have a great weekend.