Thursday, December 6, 2012

Binder Clips All Dressed Up

I posted some lined binder clips on my blog last December.  I probably saw it on Pinterest, but if I remember right, the pin didn't lead anywhere.  Can I just say, I have lost track of how many people have asked me how to make them!  Well, here you go!  I made my own tutorial :0)

First, the binder clips come in several different sizes, from about 1/4" up to a foot wide {for a novelty clip}.

I found this box of 12 at Walmart for $2.  

These clips are 1 1/4" wide. 

 I also found bigger clips, measuring about 2" wide at Walmart too...but I forget how much they were.  I believe they came three in a box and were about the same price, if not a dollar more.

When I pulled out my little measuring tape, I discovered that the big binder clips are about 2" wide and if you measure from 
Here, just under the metal fold...

to here, in the back, it measures just about 3 1/4".

The smaller clip, at 1 1/4"  wide, is just under 2" long, from front to back. 

If you don't have a little tape measure, or just don't want to go look for it :0)
You can also just tuck your paper under here...

Wrap it around the bottom...

And then make a tiny crease where the paper runs into the fold on the back.  Just take the paper off, and trim it where the crease is.  

Again, the measurements I got for the paper pieces were:
2" wide clip- 2" wide by 3 1/4" long
1 1/4" wide clip- 1 1/4" wide by 1 7/8" long

The next step is adhering the paper to the clip.  Just about any method will work, the above would be my first three choices.  Mod Podge or hot glue would work great, but the Scotch ATG {or Advanced Tape Glide} would be my very first choice.  Don't have one?  Well, just use one of the other two mediums to get that paper on there.

I did some odds and ends work for a friend of mine a few years back making wedding invitations.  She actually has a very fabulous, flourishing business now,  You can check her out, but she is the one that introduced me to the magic of the ATG gun!  I had a heck of a time finding refills back when I first bought my gun, but now they are sold at Michaels, Joanns, and Hobby Lobby.  Anyway, regular double sided tape would work the same way.  Run the double sided adhesive along all of the sides.

You can kinda see here that I have it along all four sides of the paper.  For larger clips, I like to run a third strip over the section of paper that sticks to the bottom of the clip, just to make sure it stays put.

Every once in a while, I had a little splurge of paper, like here.

The fix is simple.  Just trim any hang-over with scissors and you are good to go!

Now, just to spice things up a bit, I decided I wanted colored binder clips!
It is so easy!!!
Just squeeze the two arms of the metal piece together, and gently pull one side out of the fold at a time.

Bam!  You are free!!!
 I have tried to take apart clothespins before and it was a total nightmare to get them back on.  Not so with these binder clips.  Now that you know how to paint your own clips, you can go ahead and buy the binder clips that are seasonal and on clearance.  You can just spray paint them to match your particular needs.

I grabbed an aqua blue and a deep burgundy can of spray paint from my collection and headed out to the garage.  Man was it chilly this morning! 

I lined the clips up on a cardboard box {outside where there is plenty of ventilation} and sprayed away.

These little guys take almost no paint.  Just remember to shake the can really good before spraying to get the most even coat of paint.   Make sure to spray into the inside of the clip.  You want that part to match the outside.  

Once the tops are dry, knock them on their sides and spray the bottom.  If you are using your decorated binder clips as picture frames or placecard holders, something that stands up, you can just skip this step.

I did leave one clip with the arms on just so you could see what it would be like if you sprayed them too.

I kinda like it!

Here are my red guys.  Every thing is dry, so lets head back inside.

I pulled out my good old pile of Christmas paper scraps.  This project is a fabulous way to use up those paper scraps!  Now, for the painted clips, I wanted the paint to show a little.  For that reason, I cut the strips a 1/4" thinner.

See how the paper doesn't go all the way from side to side???  Here is what you will need to cut your paper at if your clips are the same size as mine:
2" wide clips- 1 3/4" wide by 3 1/4"
1 1/4" wide clips- 1" wide by 1 7/8" long

Here is my adorable helper.  This is a great project to do with kids.  I cut the strips of paper, Emmalee matched the papers up to clips.

Then she lined them all up like little soldiers :0)  She is just so cute!  And helpful ;0)

I really like the look of inked paper edges, so if you want to ink the paper, it is best if you do it before you glue it to the clips.

There you have it!  So easy and fun.  Now, I think the clips look great just like this...but you can also embellish a little here and there.

Half of these clips I just left  plain, and the other half have just tiny things like stickers, buttons, or ribbons to accent.  I want these clips for the dessert table at my party, and I think just having them lined with paper is going to festive enough.

For placecards on the Christmas dinner table, I like a little more fuss.
The rolled paper ones in the middle are my favorite.

So cute.

I just wanted to remind you, these clips are not just for Christmas!  They also make adorable birthday, graduation, or Mother's/Father's day photo holders or placecards too.

And might I propose one more use?
How about Gift Tags ?!?
I can see it happening one of two ways...

Either you do like this, clipping the clip onto the ribbon tied around your gifts, then sliding the nametag into the arms...
or forget the tag altogether and just put the names right on the clips.  Then you can use them year after year.

No mater how you make them or use them, they are so cute and festive, they will surely be a hit at your party this Holiday Season :0)


  1. Thank you for the tutorial. I was wondering if they can be used to hold Christmas cards :)?

    1. You know, I think they would work great. If they are just the photo postcard type, the 1 1/4" might work. If they are bigger, you might want to go for the bigger clips if you are trying to stand them up. It would be totally adorable to hang a string, string a bunch of the small clips on it, then clip the cards in like a clothes line!

      Good luck. Oh, and if the cards are too heavy, you can always fill them with hot glue to give them more weight.

      Thanks for your comments!

  2. Fantastic!
    I use these things at the office every day, and I always thought they were very clever. I buy the mixed colours at the office often for colour-coding printouts for my boss. Never thought of soing something as great as this with them!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Stef in Germany

    1. Stef, that is such a great idea. I never thought of decorating the clips at the office. I am sure it will make your work day a bit more fun and I am sure it will impress your boss. I say go for it!

      Thanks for commenting :0}
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker


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