When looking in the desk drawer the other day we noticed a superabundance of fold back clips, left redundant from the days when we used them to keep piles of that stuff we used to call paper organised.
When you think about it, they did their job really well, a great design giving remarkable amount of tension, contained in a sleek, compact, pocket sized piece of kit.
Given a bit more thought, it springs to mind that ulterior uses for this diminutive little bugger must be infinite, so, after some extensive online research you will find some of the best of the ideas below.
Money clip or Wallet
Not a great idea for the CEO, but if you’re just looking for a cheap and efficient way to keep your bank notes in one place, this isn’t too shabby.
The hipsters will love this one, use all-steel, gold or multi- coloured fold back clips and make a cool fashion statement.
Keep a fold back clip at the bottom of the new toothpaste tube and use it to keep the rolled up tube in place, helping the toothpaste last longer. The same could apply with tubes of oil and acrylic paint for artists as well as slipping the clips over hooks on a board to organise the colours.
Doodle Pad or Hipster PDA
Grab a handful of blank A4 pages, fold and cut them into quarters (A6) and hold them together with fold back clip and a corresponding piece of thick card for sturdiness. You could always attach a pen or pencil to a piece of string and tie that to the clip (that maybe going a bit too far though).
Cell Phone Stand/iPod Holder
A little architectural research and some trial-and-error will give you a cell phone or iPod stand that works really well, for not many pennies.
Start small and work up to bigger and bigger fold back and bulldog clips. This is particularly good for guitar players who need to strengthen their fingers.
At the summer BBQ plastic tablecloths just want to slip straight off the table, keep them in place and the table protected, by using a fold back clip or two on each side of the table.
A couple of pieces clear plastic (use glass at your peril) and three or four clips make an inexpensive and minimal photo frame. It’s easy to change out the photos or artwork, too.
Create a simple art display for by running a length of string or cord along the wall. Now attach fold back clips to the string and place the art in them. It’s easy to swap pieces around and a great way to show off the kids masterpieces or instagram prints from the weekend.
Replacement Feet for Keyboards
A great speedy solution for keyboard fixes, you will find detailed instructions online.
Always have a binder clip handy by attaching your keys to it. It also makes it easy to hang them up.
Every photographer should have a handy stash of fold back clips. They’re great for keeping backgrounds in place, keeping cords out of the way, and can be used to assemble temporary light boxes.
ID Badge Holder
When your ID badge holder breaks (it will), attach it to a fold back clip and you’ve got an instant replacement that’s every bit as strong.
Food thermometer holder
Keep a food thermometer in place with a clip on the side of your saucepan, you won’t get your fingers burnt.
Put each scarf on a clip and assemble on a rod or cord in your wardrobe. Would work well with stronger clips and hooks for storing boots in the back of cupboards.
Keep them attached to your bike for easy access.
Stop Cables from Slipping Off Your Desk
Every time you unplug your, speaker, USB or power cables they fall right off the desk, forget those expensive docking stations, just give those cables something to catch on when you unplug them. Squeeze the arms off the fold back clip, pass the wire through them and re-assemble, when attached to the edge of the desktop or work surface the plugs will stop the cables slipping through when unplugged.
Wrap the wire of your earbuds around the arms of a fold back clip and attach it to a lapel or the inside of a jacket, you could easily slip it into your pocket or purse as well.
Don’t stop here, check the internet for more ideas, and If you haven’t any of the aforementioned clips handy you could get in touch with your favourite stationary supplier, where you will find them in all sorts of sizes and colours, and cheap as chips (but not quite as tasty).
The UK Office Direct Blog, a history