The ability to use everyday objects for practical uses other than what they were originally intended for is part of being a good prepper. Believe it or not, there are a lot of household items lying around can be transformed.
Paper clips are one example of an office supply that is more than meets the eye. With the right knowledge, a paper clip can be just what you need in a SHTF scenario.
So before you throw out a bunch of paper clips you think you don’t need, review this list of uses for paper clips that could come in handy.
From doing basic first aid to going fishing, paper clips can be a good alternative for other items and can be mighty useful in completing certain tasks. Read on further to find out just what you can do with paper clips.
You can turn your paper clip into a makeshift compass. Simply cut a portion of the paper clip to get a straight piece, magnetize it using any steel or iron knife, and place it on top of a leaf. Then, put the leaf with the paper clip in a bowl of water. The paper clip will point in the north-south direction.
2. Replace broken zipper tabs
If the zipper pull on your pants breaks off and you need a quick fix, just slip a paper clip through the tab hole and zip your pants up. You won’t have to worry about being caught with an open fly. It’ll be as if nothing happened.
3. Clothing hook
A big, sturdy paper clip can also serve as a clothing hook. Fashion one by bending a paper clip into an S shape. Use it to hang your clothes, scarves, belts, keys, or whatever else needs a hook. Just make sure that your paper clip-turned-hook is strong enough to hold the weight of your item.
4. Key ring/chain
If you are without a key chain or key ring, you can use a paper clip to make a temporary one. Insert the paper clip into the key holes and bend it into a closed loop. This makes your keys easier to find and keeps them all in one place until you can replace your key ring.
5. Finger/toe splint
A paper clip can also be used as a splint in a medical emergency. Place it securely against a potentially broken finger or toe and wrap around it with gauze or tape. This will ensure that your splint stays in place, and allows your injured finger or toe to heal.
6. Unclog bottles
If you have a bottle with a small opening that is clogged up, a paper clip is usually small enough to fit inside the bottle and clear whatever it is that’s causing the blockage. This method works especially well for unclogging the tip of an Elmer’s glue bottle.
7. Fish hook
In addition to a clothing hook, you can transform any paper clip into a fish hook. Simply bend the paper clip into a hook shape at one end. Tie the other end to any string or cordage you have available and you’re good to go. The reflection of the sun on the metal finishing of your paper clip also serves as a lure for unsuspecting fish.
8. Meat skewer
A paper clip can serve as a good skewer for small meat. Just straighten several of them out and they will be sturdy enough for your tiny pieces of meat. You can also do this with marshmallows when camping with kids.
9. Cell phone stand
Read or watch videos on your smart phone without straining your hands by holding it too long by creating a temporary cell phone stand from a paper clip.
Simply straighten it out, make two bends near the center, and another bend an inch further down from those bends. To finish it off, make a final bend on each end of the clip. Place your phone on it and enjoy hands free viewing.
10. Sewing needle
If you have a torn shirt in need of repair, you can use a paper clip as a makeshift needle to sew it back on. Cut a straight piece from the clip and flatten one end. Using a hand drill or any sharp tool, pierce a hole on the flattened end. And there you have it. Now you can mend that tear.
11. Safety pin
A paper clip works just as well as a safety pin if you need one. Since many paper clips are made of metal, they can easily be substituted for a safety pin. Grab some pliers and use them to bend the clip until it resembles a safety pin. With a little bit of effort, you won’t have to run out to the store to buy pins.
12. Twist tie
When you need something to seal those garbage bags, just grab a paper clip and straighten it out completely before twisting it around your bag. You can even use it to bind your wires together.
13. Blow dart needle
In a post-SHTF scenario where you’re living in the wild, weapons for self-defense and for hunting small game will be a necessity. You can make a substitute weapon using a paper clip.
Straighten several of them out and sharpen one end of each one by rubbing it on a rock or any hard surface. Now use a piece of tube, place the makeshift dart in one end and you’ve got yourself a blow dart gun.
14. Money clip
Another practical and simple use for a paper clip is for clipping your money together. Paper clips are a good way to keep paper money organized and secured without using a bulky wallet.
A paper clip can also be a stand-in for an antenna for your radio and walkie-talkie since is made of metal. In survival situations where you need to radio for help, a paper clip can come in handy to boost a signal so you can get updates on potential danger areas or signal for help.
This one is a no-brainer and you may have probably done this at least once in your life. To mark the page where you’re reading, you can always use a paper clip.
17. Substitute game pieces
In a post collapse world, you may need some entertainment to cheer everyone out for a bit. Why not use paper clips as substitute playing pieces for your chess or checkers game. Be creative and fashion them into shapes to make the game more interesting.
18. To pick locks
In the event you locked yourself out or you’re in a desperate situation, you can use two paper clips to pick a lock. Watch this video to learn how:
19. Fix eyeglasses
If you have the misfortune of losing a screw in your glasses, a paper clip can hold your glasses together while you go look for another screw or find a more permanent solution.
20. Keyboard cleaner
Rid yourself of the crumbs and dirt that settle on your keyboard by using a paper clip to get between each key and gently flick the crud away.
21. As a toothpick
This may seem a bit much, but if you’re desperate for a toothpick and you don’t have any in sight, simply straighten out a paper clip and you have the next best thing to a tooth pick.
22. Lock animal cages
If you have a pet hamster or a bird and the cage latch gets broken unexpectedly, you can use a paper clip as a temporary lock to keep your pet safe inside the cage. This will save you the trouble of trying to catch them once they’ve escaped.
23. Belt holder
If your belt buckle breaks, you can use a paper clip to lock your belt in place. It can also be used for securing the overlap for long belts.
24. Hem repair
If your pants are frayed or it has a dropped hem, attach a paper clip to keep it from getting ripped further until the hem can be repaired.
25. Reset gadgets
In case you need to reset your gadgets and you don’t have anything small enough to pass through and press the tiny button, using a paper clip can do the job. In addition, you can get your SIM card out from your phone using this little tool.
26. Plant hanger
If you’re doing a little gardening, you can hang your plants with a little help from you paper clip. Bend your clip into an S shape and you can go about hanging up your plant. Make sure the paper clip is strong enough to hold the weight of your plant before you let go.
27. Letter opener
Rip those letters easily using a paper clip. With one swift motion, you can open the envelop and read your letter in no time at all.
28. Clean your fingernails
You can use a paper clip to clean off the dirt under your nails. In a SHTF scenario, hand washing may be limited due to scarcity of fresh water.
There you have it. The usefulness of paper clips goes well beyond the confines of your office. It is often the simplest objects that can have a multitude of uses you never thought were possible.
Paper clips are super easy and practical to use. Plus, they come in boxes and are pretty cheap to buy. They are readily available in stores so you can never go wrong in keeping a box or two in your home. If you don’t have any on hand, now might be the perfect time to stock up.
Can you think of other uses of paper clips? Tell us by posting a comment below.