My wife bought some new clothes pins (shown in top of photo) from a local retail store. Every time she used one, it would fly into two pieces; one of the wooden parts would fly off of the spring and the other wooden part. They looked fine, but when I compared it to a 20 year old pin, I found there was a vast difference in the way the springs were made. The old one (the bottom one) is quite a bit heavier gauge of wire and it has an extra "V" on each side, which keeps the wooden parts aligned. Without that V, they fly apart. My mission was to re-design them somehow so they wouldn't fly apart. It was a simple fix with a 5" piece small gauge wire and some hand tools. Let's get started modifying them.

Step 1: Materials & Tools Needed

Picture of Materials & Tools Needed

In my case, I started with 24 new "Made in China" clothes pins.

Small gauge wire cut into 5" lengths. The wire I used is .030".

Pliers, wire cutters, bent nose pliers.

Step 2: Installing Wire

Picture of Installing Wire

Thread one end of wire thru hole in spring and bend it back into a "U". The wire must secure both wooden pieces and the ends must be tied together, so the 2nd photo shows the pattern of the wrap.

Wrap the 2 ends together while pulling tension on wire to get it as tight as possible. Wrapping the wire too tight will break the wire, so be careful.

Step 3: Securing Sharp End Between Wooden Pieces

Picture of Securing Sharp End Between Wooden Pieces

Cut the wrapped wire to about 1/2" long with the wire cutters. Bend the end with to a "U" shape with the bent nose pliers. Push the end back between the wood pieces so that it will not cut anyone or damage clothes. Mash it flat with the pliers. The last photo shows what the finished pin looks like.

There are good clothes pins available online for $2.00 each with $6.00 shipping. These 24 pins would have cost $54.00. These cost about $3.00 for 24. + a little of my time.


sunshiine (author)2015-08-27

Nice project greydog. It reminds me of the sorry quality of pencils with erasers that are made today. I finally b ought me some American made pencils and I love them~ I faved so my hubby can fix a clothes pin if he needs to. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend~


malitam (author)2015-08-26

nice job. I recently acquired some of the one piece all wood ones but I don't like them as well as the old ones my granny had. i have everything required so I may just have to sit down and fix my cheap dollar store pins up. thanks!

graydog111 (author)malitam2015-08-27

Thanks malitam. It was a simple fix, but doing 24 of them did take a little time.

tomatoskins (author)2015-08-25

Such a simple fix! Things just aren't made the same as they once were.

graydog111 (author)tomatoskins2015-08-25

Your right tomatoskins. I was actually surprised how easily they could be improved. It was almost impossible to find some made like the old fashioned ones, and when I did find them, they were terribly expensive.

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Bio: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year ... More »
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