The Humble Clothespin
Let it Bring out the Artist in You


This ...

Plus this ...




Equals this.



Yeah, I know.  No big whoop.  However ….

Add a few more and you have this.


And once you have that you can form it into this …


Clothespin Fruit Bowl







Or you can spiral it and use it like this …

A Tabletop Sculpture




Or stack the bowl up a bit and have …

A Sculptural Bowl





Or just form it into whatever shape you want and lay it on a table or buffet.  Like this.


So by now you have the idea that you can do just about anything you want with this method. The humble clothespin and some electrical wire.  All for about  $10.  Who knew.  Plus it provides hours of entertainment.  It reminds me of a simpler time.  A time when I was a kid and my only source of entertainment was a potato and a set of plastic ears.

Total cost of this project?  $15.

I’ve used just over 9 feet of this hot pink wire which I bought for a total of $7 at the hardware store. I chose this wire in particular because it held its shape when I bent it and the clothespins fit around it perfectly without slipping.

If you don’t like the pink wire you can give it a quick coat of paint. Chances are it’ll just crack when you bend it though.  I happen to like the bit of pink poking through.  It adds some zip.

I used 220 clothespins.  They cost $1.25 for 50 at the Dollar Store bringing the total to a whopping $7.50

If you happen to have some standard electical wire around, you can use that too.  You just won’t be able to shift your pins around as much because the wire isn’t round.



To make it even easier to form your project into the shape you want, squish your clothespins together as tightly as you can. This will make the wire even stiffer.

If you come up with a bowl shape you absolutely love and don’t want to lose, just dot a few beads of hot glue around the edges to hold it together.  If you do a spiral sculpture like I have on my sofa table, use a bit of 2 way tape strategically to make sure it stays put.  Just stick it the odd place between the clothespins and the table.

It’s a bit fiddly this project.  You’re an artist. Suck it up.  Be thankful I’m not asking you to cut off your ear or pee on your finished piece.  Deal with a little fussing.



And finally, if you’d like to call your clothespins, clothespegs … you may.  I call them clothespegs and have been corrected a few times because of it.  This angers me.  And you don’t want to anger me.  I spit and throw things.  Occasionally I hide the remote.

Evidently, clothespins are what we use now, clothespegs are the things they used in the olden days shaped like pegs.  And as you know, I like things from the olden days.

The possibilities with this are endless.  You could paint them, stain them, hang them from the wall.  About the only thing I wouldn’t recommend you do with clothespins is hang sheets on a line with them.  People say they love sun dried sheets.  Those people must love crispy, stiff sheets with the odd bug in them.  I do not.

I do, however, like a unique, artistic, innovative $15 table sculpture that I can reshape into a fruit bowl on a whim.  Come to think of it, it’d also be perfect for potatoes.


  1. cheryl seals says:

    Woot Woot ! Your picture of clothespins on mantel gae me an idea, i been trying to figure out a small fence for my christmas scene with my cherished x-mas figurines, bottlebrush trees, and fluffy batting ! Now i have a fence and best of all i can put the clothespins back into bucket to hang my clothes up when i’m done..Ya I know dying breed hanging out the laundry, but that’s my quiet time since no-body wants to help do it !!!

  2. Dana says:

    What a totally clever project wish I’d thought of it !!!

  3. Denise says:

    wonderful creations! As one of those people who uses her clothespins to hang up sheets I must say that there’s nothing like that fresh air smell that gets infused in them. It is well worth giving the sheets a good shake as your taking them down and throwing them in the dryer for 10 minutes so they fluff up a bit.

  4. Debbie says:

    I ran across this blog because it caught my attention, what a fun find! I too am a clothespin artist, only I use the other kind (maybe what you call the “clothespegs?) You can see what I do with them here:

    Thank you for sharing this info, it looks like a fun idea to try, you just never know how you can turn a simple item into some truly unique art form!

  5. donaville says:

    this is fabulous and so creative!

  6. Hi Karen-

    Found you through the Nester today. I am enjoying your posts. I made a Starburst mirror with clothspins a week or so ago. So easy even a child could make one for their Mom for Mothers Day. I love what you did with them. Your photos are terrific.

    My best- Diane

    • Karen says:

      Diane! Thanks so much for coming over. :) I’d like to see a picture of the starburst mirror. I’m addicted to these clothespins now. They’re so much fun. Hope to see you again. ~ karen

  7. Jen says:

    You crack me up! This is actually really cute! But I did love the self-deprecating “no big woop” statement.

  8. Liz says:

    I don’t know about you guys….but I’m seeing a chicken coop in the very near future!

  9. petra says:

    OK!!can i tell you how excited i am to go to the dollar store!!which ,by the way,should be the $10 and over store…I can not wait to have this for my grandbaby to make me beautiful sculptures..Thanks so much!!

  10. Jen A says:

    Go with clothe*pegs* … it’s more in keeping with your Laura Ingalls and bonnet fitting theme.

  11. wendy says:

    you creative gal you! great idea!

  12. Paulina J! says:

    Very creative! What caught my attention the most though was that your kitty looks like it has a halo around it. So cute that St. Kitty!

  13. Jeffrey Lee says:

    Clothespins(pegs) and some electrical wire used to cage fruit on the kitchen counter or bend into abstract mantle art. Not your typical TAODS post. Gotta love ya Karen. What I want to know is how to turn oil dip sticks from old cars into food safe BBQ kabob skewers.

    • Karen says:

      Jeffrey – Really? I thought it was a completely typical post for The Art of Doing Stuff. Honestly! I’m always turning something into something else. Hence my Dollar Store obsession/posts! Remember the garbage bag table runner? Or the clay pot lanterns? LOL. ~ karen

      • Jeffrey Lee says:

        Perhaps my caffine intake had not yet hit its normal high amperage when I was reading todays post. Still, I do wonder about those dip sticks. LOL.

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    Here, in the North of England, those are clothespegs….look luuurvely lightly painted, too, lol! Methinks I have too much time on my hands :D
    Great post!

  15. Julie shinnick says:

    Very Cute!

    Is it wrong that I wanna see a photo of you with these pegged/pinned all over your face?

    Funny……. but perhaps not to the peg-ee……

  16. Nancy says:

    Love this idea! Would even be great stress reliever to play with them and see what you can make!!

  17. pve says:

    A regular clip off the ole block. Fun idea. Does look mod and simple…and like you paid a lot of money for it from some famous artist.

  18. V says:

    Excellent post Karen. Funnily enough, I bought clothespins today for another purpose. I also went to home depot and bought jute, then strung a line on my wall, pinned the ends and use the clothespins to hold pictures, quotations, magazine clippings, etc. Perfect for my student budget.

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