Introduction: Plastic Paper Clips From Recycled Gift Cards
Do you ever want a paperclip that's at least a little different then every other paperclip out there? Metal paper clips are really useful, and do a great job, but sometimes I just want something a little different.
That's where plastic paperclips come in! Though, the ones sold in stores tend to make me pine for the normality of the metal paper clip. I still wanted something different though! So when instructables came into possession of several Duane Reade club cards, I knew I had my chance!
Step 1: Materials
Any type of Club Card, Credit Card or Gift Card type item. (preferably one that's no longer good)
A Laser Cutter (or X-Acto Blade)
(if using a laser cutter you'll need the appropriate software)
A little bit of spare time.
Step 2: Template
If you're using an X-Acto blade:
- Draw design on card (I'd recommend keeping the template fairly simple).
- Get ready to cut out your design.
- Open up whatever software you plan to use.
- Make a template of the card.
- Measure your cards dimensions
- Draw a box to scale in your program.
- Cut card template out of cardboard or acrylic so you can ensure you're card goes back in in the exact same spot every time.
- Create whatever spectacle of a design (or simple design if you don't want to show off)
- Get ready to print.
Step 3: Cut
For X-Acto blades:
- Start cutting out your template!
- Find the appropriate settings and hit print.
- (I found for my card, in vector cut mode, speed: 50, Power: 100, Frequency: 5000)
Step 4: Enjoy Your Newly Recycled Paperclip
Bask in the glory of a homemade paperclip!
There were only three designs that worked really well for me.
Simple straight and curved lines. (if you did the google search, you saw a bunch of these. You saw them for a reason, they work very well!)
The instructables hand (there's an eps version on the site that I tweaked a bit). I found the need to add small straight lines at the end of each of the files I was cutting to give the paper a place to sit. (See the pictures below for what I'm talking about)
All of the designs I used (that worked) are available in the .eps file linked below.
Step 5: Tragic Failures
With all great things comes the occasional epic failure. There were several designs that didn't work at all for me.
One coworker suggested I attempt to use the Empire State Building. The problem is that unless you put it upside down, it's a bit too skinny to clip on. (thinking on it now, I suppose you could just clip an upside down clip from the bottom of the page...but who does that?)
Another piece is a hand, before I figured out how to break apart lines in Corel Draw. (If you hide a cut under a box that has no color...the cut still happens)
The final failure (well, kind of) is a paperclip based on the San Francisco Muni design. Since I ride public transportation everywhere, I figured it'd be nice to sport on the bus. Unfortunately there's too many random/stray lines going on, so when you try to clip it it keeps getting caught. I'm sure I could fix it, I just don't want to take the time. These are all very quick, very easy things to make (no need to mess that up with a four hour project).
Other then that, I'm quite happy with these, and they work really well. The key chain ones are especially nice!