19 NEW Ways To Use Bobby Pins That Don't Involve Hair

19 NEW Ways To Use Bobby Pins That Don't Involve Hair

There's recently been a bit of a bobby pin revelation: apparently, we've been using them wrong all this time!

The wavy bit should, in fact, face our scalp, not the other way around - who knew?!

This got me thinking: just how many other ways can we use bobby pins? We at Expert Home Tips put our heads together, and turns out, there's a whole variety of ways you can repurpose these everyday items.

Here are 19 of our favourite:

1. Use up every last bit of toothpaste

Bobby pin on toothpaste
Reduce waste & save money with this bobby pin hack

There's nothing more frustrating than wrestling with your toothpaste tube, trying to get those last little bits out.

Use a bobby pin, and you won't have to struggle at all. Pop it on to the end of the tube, and push it down each time you brush your teeth. It'll squeeze your tube completely dry, so there will be no waste at all.

2. Use a bobby pin to perfectly pit cherries & olives

Pips can be a pain to remove, but they really don't have to be.

A bobby pin is the perfect size and has the flexibility needed to push the pits in olives and cherries clean out. They're much easier to incorporate into meals and dessert without those pesky pits in the way.

3. Go dotty for spotty nail art

Think nail art has to be a complicated affair? Think again!

A super cute and super simple, spotty nail art design can be perfectly done using a bobby pin.

Just dip the round, smooth plastic end of the clip into the nail varnish, and get dotting.

4. Use bobby pins when sewing

Pins can be really fiddly to get in and out of fabric. A great substitute for these are hair pins, which are easy to slide over two pieces of fabric, holding them perfectly together for accurate sewing.

5. Fasten food items with spare bobby pins

use bobby pins to fasten food packets
Keep your snacks fastened firmly into place.

Used up all your food clips? Or perhaps you don't even have any? No problem, as bobby pins make an excellent fastener.

Fold down the opening of the food bag several times, then slide the pins over to fasten - simple!

6. Reset electrical items

Sometimes no amount of shaking, waiting or throwing will get those complicated electrical items working again.

Often, a press of that tiny red reset button is all it takes to sort them out, the only problem is, how do you get to it?

The answer? A bobby pin of course! It's the perfect size, and unlike a pin, has a round end so you won't cause any damage.

7. Use a bobby pin to unclog drains

No one likes the rather filthy task of unblocking a drain.

Don't let the blockage pile up: If you're in a real pinch, use your pin to push through the drain in your sink and unclog any built up debris.

For more effective ways to remove hair from drains, check out our other article.

8. Bobby pins are great for hanging wet clothes

Used up all your clothespins? Not to worry, as bobby pins are just as good.

You may struggle to push them over thick wooly jumpers, but they're great for pants, socks and hankies - just try it if you don't believe me!

9. Replace a tatty bookmark

bobby pin bookmark
This is the easiest way to mark a page.

I love to read, and get through my bookmarks very quickly as a result.

A great alternative is to slide a bobby pin over the page you finished on.

Unlike new bookmarks, chances are, you'll have a spare one hiding in your hair you can use. Even better, they last for ages.

10. Add the finishing tie touch

There's nothing that ruins a smart look like the underside of your tie flailing around.

This is easier fixed than you may think, even if you don't have a tie pin. Slide a pin over both ends of the tie, and voilà: it'll stay in place all day long.

11. Use your bobby pins for flawless falsies

I am useless at applying false lashes. The hardest part for me? Adding just the right amount of glue.

This can be easily remedied with the help of - you guessed it - a bobby pin. Dip the end in the glue, and use it to dab on the perfect amount of glue to the lashes, then apply as usual.

12. Fasten a loose belt end

Whether it's the belt loop that's snapped off, or the lack of one to begin with, a loose belt end can completely ruin a look.

You can fasten it into place with a simple trick: slide a bobby pin over the leather and your belt end will stay perfectly in place.

13. Use a handy bobby pin to fasten a bracelet

Delicate jewellery certainly looks pretty, but my gosh it can be difficult to do up.

There's no need to ask a sighing friend for help, as you can use a bobby pin to make fastening much easier.

Slide the clasp over the bobby pin, then place on the underside of your wrist, right in the centre. Hold the pin in place with your fingers, and this will prevent the bracelet from sliding away when you go to fasten the clasp.

14. Use bobby pins to get killer-contouring

bobby pins on make up brush for contouring
Contouring has never been easier.

Have you heard of contouring? This is a brand new makeup trend that uses various shades of makeup to produce a more defined, 'contoured' look.

The proper tools needed can cost a fair bit, but we've got a handy trick using bobby pins that will save you loads of money:

By sliding pins over your brushes in different ways, you'll be able to pinch the bristles together, producing a more compact, angular brush shape, perfect for contouring!

15. Open a package without damaging your nails

If you've already read my article on How to get long & strong nails, the easy way, you'll know using your nails 'as tools' should be avoided at all costs.

To help put this into practice, opt for a bobby pin instead of your nails when sliding open packages or envelopes.

16. Keep wool wound up nicely

Are you a fond knitter? It's such a relaxing and therapeutic hobby, at least, until your wool winds up in a knotty mess.

Prevent this from happening by using a bobby pin to fasten the end. Just push the bobby pin around the strand and into the ball - much like you would when fastening your hair.

17. Hang Christmas ornaments - the easy way

Christmas may be over for now, but this tip is definitely worth bearing in mind for next year.

If you don't have the time - or patience - to spend ages tieing string through the loops of your baubles, try using bobby pins instead.

Slide them over the metal bauble hoops, then over branches. They'll hold firmly in place, and their natural colouring means they're barely visible at all.

18. Bobby pins make great paper clips

Has your partner ever moaned at you for leaving your bobby pins everywhere? Next time they do, tell them they make amazing paper clips, so in fact, you're doing them a big favour.

Once they've tried it, they'll never want to use flimsy old paper clips again!

19. Mark the point your tape ends

bobby pin to mark point tape ends
You'll never lose the tape end again.

What's the longest you've ever spent finding the end of your tape? 2 minutes? 5? Longer? This can be extremely frustrating, and a quick bobby pin hack can make things much easier.

When you're done using your tape from now on, wrap a little of the end around a bobby pin. When you next want to use it, the end will be clearly visible and easy to pull away.

Who knew there were so many great uses for bobby pins? Do you have any more? Tell us about them below if so!

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Louise Comb on February 20, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Brilliant. I'm defo gonna try a few of these. Thanks :)

    1. Author Stephanie C on February 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks for reading, Louise. Glad you liked my tips :)

  2. Author Ann on February 20, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Had my hair cut recently so I have a lot of pins left . Love some of your suggestions. Thanks.

    1. Author Stephanie C on February 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      So have I Ann - bobby pins galore! I hope you'll find some of my tips useful :)

  3. Author Sandy on February 20, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Some great tips here, some I already use, some are new to me. Re #2 - bobby pin ends work well if you want to de-seed grapes as well.

    1. Author Stephanie C on February 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Glad you like the tips, Sandy :) Luckily for me, most of the grapes I buy in the UK are seedless. When I was living in Paris, all the grapes had pips - I wish I'd known your tip then!

  4. Author Teresa on February 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Use a bobby pin to pierce the packing on tablets makes them easy to push through once its pierced. Saves using your nails too.

    1. Author Stephanie C on February 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      That's a great tip, Teresa - I'm always damaging my nails opening packaging so that would definitely help me! :)

  5. Author Chana Mills on February 20, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Thankyou for that! I never would have thought about half of these ideas. Sometimes it's the simplest of things that help the most.

    1. Author Stephanie C on February 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Chana. I'm so glad you like my tips - some of them really are handy! :)

  6. Author Cathy Bryant on February 25, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Fascinating! Here in the UK they're called hair grips - I always wonder who Bobby was and why he got hair pins named after him!

    1. Author Stephanie C on February 28, 2017 at 3:58 pm
  7. Author theresa on March 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I will be trying some of these , my daughter said she is going to try alot of the ideas well done.?

    1. Author Stephanie C on March 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Theresa :) Thanks a lot for your kind comments. I'm glad I could give you & your daughter some ideas?

  8. Author Hannah on March 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Wow these are so interesting! We recently bought a large packet of hair grips for really cheap, so these tips will definitely be coming in handy!

    1. Author Stephanie C on March 3, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Hey Hannah :) I have SO many hair grips lying around because I know of so many ways to use them. I'm glad you found some of the tips useful.?

  9. Author Janie on June 25, 2020 at 11:23 am

    I'm afraid I have to take issue with using hair grips (as I know them) as bookmarks; they can very easily damage the pages.

    1. Author Joanne A on June 25, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Janie! I'm sure this can be a factor depending on the hair grip. We find that older, used hair grips work very well as they have been bent open somewhat.

  10. Author Georgy on August 6, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    I have always used a button to put on the end of any tape so that finding the end is so easy plus if you pull on the button behind the Sellotape it makes it easier to unwind the tape.

    1. Author Joanne A on October 14, 2022 at 10:02 am

      That's genius!


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