The binder clip has been a long-time favourite of Lifehacker for its versatility, going well beyond its ability to hold together thick stacks of paper. As my household moves closer towards paperless I’ve found other uses for my binder clips. (Mainly holding frozen vegetable packages closed and keeping track of my hair ties.) Here are the ways Lifehacker has maximised the binder clip.
Two large binder clips (5 cm), when clamped together, can act as a DIY kickstand. Take one binder clip and clamp it over the wide end of another binder clip. Take the metal loops of the bottom clip and flip one upright and use pliers to bend the front end of the other loop (this will keep the phone from slipping). Then rest the phone in between the upright loop and the bent loop to secure it in place.
You can also clip two binder clips to a notecard and place the phone in the metal loops as an alternate docking option.
A binder clip can hold coiled cords for easy storage. Gather your cords into a small coil or wrap them tightly and clamp them together with the binder clip. Different size clips allow for organising long and short cords.
Make your office area neat and tidy by organising cords behind your desk with binder clips. Simply arrange them so they are straight and untangled. Use a binder clip to clamp the stray cords together, keeping them in order and easy to access when you need to rearrange your equipment.
Desk wire holders for easy access
Clamp the binder clips to the edge of your desk, preferably one with a thin lip. Use the clip hooks to hold cords for easy access. Slip a computer cord, phone charger, and headphone cords through the loops for easy access and organisation while you work.
Label your keys
When you have a lot of keys it’s hard to keep track of just what they are all for (even if you have colour coded rings). Binder clips help you clearly label your keys for items in your house like the garage door or that shed outback. You will need to remove the metal loops from the binder clip base and hoop the keys around it. Replace the metal loops back in the base and you have a functioning key chain. Take a sticker and markers to label them as needed.
What do you do when your cufflinks break or fall out and you have a fancy dinner to get to? Sure, it’s hard to imagine this happening right now, but these this is something that’s bound to happen post-pandemic to the fancier people among us. When this unfortunate accident happens, just slip the loops of a binder clip through the cuffs and open the clips to hold the fabric together.
Getting every last bit of the toothpaste out of the tube is much easier when you have something to pinch and roll the paste to the top. Squeeze as much paste to the top of the tube as possible. Roll the flat section of the tube up as much as you can and use the binder clip to clamp it in place.
Photo display and noteholders
This is an easy way to hold notes and display your favourite pictures (if you still print those out). Place the wide end of the clip on a flat surface with the metal loops standing up. Place your notes and printed pictures in between the closed loops.
Mobile phone tripod adaptor
In 2010 we posted an ingenious way to build a DIY tripod adaptor for your phone. Drill a small hole in the middle of the binder clip. Place the binder clip hole over the screw for attachments on the top of the tripod. Make sure the clamp end of the binder clip is facing up. You can now clip the edge of your phone into the binder clip to shoot steady mobile phone shots. Make sure you pad the edge of the phone or cushion the binder clamp to avoid damaging your phone.
To hang your headphones, all you need are two binder clips and a flat surface. Clamp one clip on a desk or table. Intertwine the loops of the other clip into the clip attached to the desk with the wide end hanging. Tilt the wide end forward to make a sturdy hook where the headphone band will rest.
Secure garbage bags
A set of binder clips will keep your mess contained when clipped to your garbage bin. Take a set of medium to large size binder clips (depending on the size of your bin). After putting your garbage bag in the bin, clip the edges of the bag to the bin. The bag will stay in place as it starts to fill up.
Protect your razors
Some razors come with their own protective cases; if you are like me, you lost that the day you opened the package. To make your own case, take a large binder clip and fasten it around the blades covering the head of the razor. The binder clips onto the stem of the razor, securing in place.
Take six binder clips, place them in a circle with the wide ends facing out. Wrap a rubber band around the clips to make a solid structure. Stick pencils in the openings for a fun pencil holder and place pictures or notes between the loops for a multifunctioning DIY piece.
Bottle holder in the fridge
Keep beer bottles from rolling around in your fridge by putting binder clips in the rack wires. Lay the beer bottles down and clip the binders in between each rack with the metal loops standing up. The loops will keep the bottles in place.
Mobile phone car mount
If you’d rather be Macgyver than buy a holder for your phone, you can outfit a binder clip to place your phone in between your car air vents. We posted detailed instructions in 2011 for taking apart the binder clip and prepping it with duct tape, string, and a rubber band. Once it’s together, clip the binder to the car air vents and use the metal loops with a rubber band around them to secure your phone while you drive.