Nails are traditional fasteners that have been used for 1000s of years to join things together or act as hooks or pegs to hang things up.
But what else can they be used for?
This is a collection of 12 unusual uses for common metal nails. Each step spotlights one or more Instructables that feature a non-traditional use for nails.
Got any ideas that are not shown here? Be sure to leave a comment at the end and share them!
Step 1: String Art
Let's start with a DIY project idea that's fairly well-known: String Art!
These string art maps are two great examples of what you can make with just a wooden board, some nails, and string: String and Nail Art `World Map´ (top image) by He Se, and String Art Map (bottom image) by scoochmaroo.
The techniques used to make string art are simple and reproduce-able even for new makers of things. You should give it a shot. Want more string art ideas? There are dozens of excellent string art Instructables here on the site: check them out here.
Step 2: Bottle Opener
This style of handmade bottle opener has been around for many years, and for good reason; it's a simple and excellent idea.
Here are a few versions of the wood-and-nail bottle opener that have been shared on Instructables:
Step 3: Decorative Miniature Knives
Step 4: Jewelry
You can use the same forging techniques shown in the Instructable from the previous step to make all sorts of small metal objects, like jewelry.
In the Instructable Horse Shoe Nail & Cement Nail Jewelry, author Fikjast Scott demonstrates how to make the jewelry items shown here. Be sure to check out the "pocket jewelry" items, which are especially interesting . . a non-spinning fidget toy - what a novel idea!!
Step 5: Caliper
Step 6: Pin Art Toy
Step 7: Bent Nail Puzzle
This is a classic puzzle that has supposedly been around for at least 150 years.
It's a simple puzzle that consists of a pair of identical bent nails that connect together and come apart - but the method to do so is trickier than it seems.
I made the Instructable Bent Nail Puzzle which covers how to make this puzzle as well as how to solve it.
Step 8: Play a Game
Step 9: Trick Box
Step 10: Nail Hammer
Got a pile of old rusty nails?
Use them to make a working hammer!
Author timsway shows you how in his Instructable Make a (Working!) Steampunk Hammer From Reclaimed Nails.
Step 11: Decorative Accents
Step 12: Balancing Nails Puzzle
This is a classic nail puzzle that will stump even the sharpest tools in the shed.
Can you balance a handful (or two) of nails on top of one single nail standing upright in a board?
The following Instructables show how to make versions of this same puzzle, as well as how to solve it. Check them out:
Step 13: Impossible Objects
This Instructable is my take on the popular nail-through-block-of-wood trick: Impossible Nail in Wooden Block
I love objects that seem to defy physics and logic, and have a growing collection of "impossible" objects I've made.
If you'd like to make a similar object or just see how this was done - be sure to check out my Instructable above.
Step 14: Nailed It!
Well now . . that's it!
Nails can be used as more than just fasteners and pegs for hanging things.
Have you thought of any ideas for other non-typical, unusual uses for nails?
Share your ideas in the comments!