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    17 Unusual Uses for Bobby Pins on the Homestead

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    17 Unusual Uses for Bobby Pins on the Homestead

    While you may refer to them as hair pins, bobby pins are another term for the small clips people use in their hair. Bobby pins are usually metal but could also be plastic in some cases. They are helpful in pinning hairstyles up as well as used for clipping hair away from the face. 

    A bobby pin is open on one end and closed on the other so that it can be slipped into place and stay put. While traditional hair pins are often fixed open on one end, bobby pins tend to touch at the end to create a firm grip. There are different types of bobby pins, including straight-edged and some that come crimped to produce more grip. 

    If you have anyone in the household with longer hair, it is likely that you have found a bobby pin or two on the floor or wedged somewhere in the house. They are easy to lose and often blend in with carpeting, thanks to their design and coloring. 

    However, don’t throw those long-lost bobby pins away! While they are great for hairstyles, they have many other uses that lend themselves as an excellent tool for homesteaders or preppers. Learn more about these 17 unusual uses for bobby pins that you may not have realized.

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    1. Make a Compass

    Most of us know where North is in relation to our homestead, but there may be a time when you need to know which direction to move when not at home. This could be useful while foraging, hiking, or being out in nature and getting lost. Simply use a bobby pin and your hair to help make your own compass

    Magnetize the bobby pin in your hair by rubbing it around for a few minutes. Set the magnetized bobby pin on a leaf and lay it in nearby water to allow it to float and turn freely. The end of the bobby pin should point North.

    2. Create a Cotter Pin

    When you have a large pin that needs to be secured, consider using a bobby pin to create a cotter pin. Simply feed the closed end of the bobby pin into the hole at the base of the pin and spread apart the open sides to create a secure connection. This makeshift cotter pin keeps the larger pin from working out of a hole.

    3. Splint a Finger

    If you ever have a damaged or broken finger or toe, you can easily splint it using a bobby pin. Place two bobby pins on either side of the affected digit and wrap with cloth, tape, or anything that will help immobilize it. 

    4. Short Circuit Electronics

    There may be a situation where you have to short circuit electronics on the farm. Most bobby pins are made of metal, so they will hold a current. When short-circuiting, make sure to do it safely so you don’t electrocute yourself!

    5. Use as a Bag Clip

    You can purchase expensive bag clips for that unfinished bag of chips, but why waste money on big fancy clips? Slip one or two bobby pins onto a package to keep it securely closed. Again, this helps keep the food fresh and stretches that ever-growing grocery budget.

    6. Hold Nails in Place

    Some of us likely have some trouble when it comes to hammering nails into the wall. Whether you are trying to decorate the home or are working on a large project, a smashed finger can ruin your day.

    Try holding a nail in place with the closed end of a bobby pin to keep fingers away from the striking point. Simply slip the bobby pin out from the nail when finished. This is a great trick to use with kids as well.

    7. Keep Cash Safe

    When you want to be extra discreet and careful with cash, consider using a bobby pin to help secure it in place on your person. Fold the cash in half and pin it to the inside of your pants, undergarments, or socks for easy storage.

    8. Reset Electronics

    Bobby pins are the perfect size to reach all of those small reset buttons that are on electronics. Simply slip one end of the pin into the whole to push the reset button and get on with life!

    9. Get Every Last Drop

    Thanks to their ability to squeeze and grip tight spaces, bobby pins are a great tool to use to make sure that you get the full use of household items. Slip a bobby pin at the bottom of toothpaste or other flexible bottle or tube and move it upwards to get every last bit of product out of the bottle. This can help stretch those household goods further and save you money.

    10. Find Tape Ends Faster

    Many homesteaders and preppers use all kinds of tape to help around the farm. Duct tape, electrical tape, and masking tape are all worth their weight when it comes to securing items.

    Instead of wasting time trying to find the end of the tape, and get it unstuck, consider slipping a single bobby pin under the edge next time you are done using it. The bobby pin will quickly identify where the end is, and you can easily pull up the tape to start the roll when needed.

    11. Make a Fish Hook

    If you are ever out fishing and lose all of your hooks, consider bending a bobby pin to create a makeshift fish hook instead. Some bobby pins have comfort ends where the end of the metal is covered in plastic. Pulling the plastic off and snip off the metal at an angle to create a DIY fishing hook.

    12. Pit Olives or Cherries

    Homesteading often means that we grow our own food or take advantage of produce growing near our homes that would otherwise go to waste. Bring along a bobby pin the next time you harvest cherries or olives for a quick and easy way to get the pits out.

    Simply insert the open side of the bobby pin into the center of the fruit and push the pin through to pull the pit out.

    13. Replace a Zipper Pull

    Having a zipper pull break on the homestead can be frustrating, especially when you are still wearing the clothes! Use a bobby pin in a pinch when a pull has broken, and you need to open the zipper easily. Just slide the pin through the zipper and gently pull the zipper up or down.

    14. Pick a Lock

    Preppers and homesteaders often have a lot of different locks and keys on their property. Keeping all of the keys in one place is a chore in itself. If you ever find a lock without a key, consider trying to pick the lock with a straightened-out bobby pin instead.

    15. Unclog a Drain

    Bobby pins are the perfect size to fit into tight spaces, making them an easy choice to unclog plugged drains. Simply use the pin to dislodge debris from the drain, but make sure not to drop the pin in the drain itself!

    16. Reach Tight Spaces

    Bobby pins are the perfect little tool for repairing machines or working on the homestead. You can use them to access tight spaces and help apply substances such as grease, oil, or glue without getting your hands dirty.

    17. Keep Seams Together

    Bobby pins are a great way to secure seams and fabric together when needed. Whether you are working on a sewing project or just need to quickly hem something before heading out the door, a bobby pin will easily work in a pinch. The bonus is that, unlike sewing pins, a bobby pin won’t prick your foot if you accidentally lose it!

    Bobby pins may look like a simple hair tool, but they really have a ton of uses on the homestead. You’ll never look at bobby pins the same!

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      3 thoughts on “17 Unusual Uses for Bobby Pins on the Homestead”

      1. Nice article, but I have a question. Following is your statement.
        “Magnetize the bobby pin in your hair by rubbing it around for a few minutes.” Do you mean to rub it around in the hair? If so, how would that magnify the bobby pin?

      2. “Magnetize the bobby pin in your hair by rubbing it around for a few minutes. Set the magnetized bobby pin on a leaf and lay it in nearby water to allow it to float and turn freely. The end of the bobby pin should point North.”

        If this does work, how do you know which end is North?

      3. I don’t buy clips for my bags of chips or any other bags of food, snacks. I use wooden clothes pins. They are cheaper & rarely break. If I have a wide bag , I use two or more. They wooden clothes pins are cheaper.


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