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13 Brilliant Uses for Safety Pins You’ll Wish You Knew All Along

These genius life hacks will make those formerly disposable pins some of the handiest tools you own.

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Say goodbye to static cling

Like a mini lightening rod, a safety pin can keep the static from building up between your skin and your clothes—without any of the chemicals found in static cling sprays. For a subtle fix, place a safety pin underneath your clothes (between the fabric and your skin) so that it’s barely noticeable on the surface. Here are more creative ways to get rid of static using items around your house.

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Keep socks with their mates

A drawer full of mismatched socks, no more! Safety pin each pair of socks together before tossing them in the wash. It will make folding laundry afterward a breeze and keep single socks from being eaten by your dryer (or wherever those lone socks disappear to). Try it with gloves, too! (We bet you’ve never thought of these brilliant ways to use bobby pins.)

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Create DIY picture hangers

Any flea market find can become cute wall decor, even without a nail and hammer. Hot glue a safety pin to the back of the frame, making a little hook to mount on your wall. These little details reveal what your house says about you.

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Keep curtains closed

No matter where you stay, it seems like those hotel curtains never completely close, leaving a shaft of bright light to disrupt your beauty sleep. On your next business trip or vacation, pack a safety pin to hold the curtains closed and eliminate that awful glare. You’ll finally catch some much-needed z’s. (Here’s why you always seem to sleep worse on vacation.)

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Prevent pickpocketing

When you’re surrounded by people at a crowded event or in a city, it’s easy to get distracted and lose track of your most valuable belongings. Protect against pickpocketing by safety pinning the zipper of your purse to a strap or the purse’s fabric. That will make it harder for thieves to sneakily poke through your bag, and will give you peace of mind as you go about your day.

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Make samples last longer

Samples of ointments, lotions, or makeup can get gunky and dry if you tear the package open or even snip a corner. Instead, try poking a hole in one side of the pack with a safety pin. The cream will come out much more sparingly, and you’re guaranteed to extend its shelf life. Just make sure to mind their expiration dates.

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Elongate a necklace

Your favorite necklace isn’t hanging just right for the neckline on your outfit? Never fear! With one easy step, you can wear that one necklace two ways. String a few safety pins to the fastener of your jewelry, and that choker becomes a longer necklace.

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Clean the hard-to-reach places

From salt-and-pepper shakers to garlic presses, kitchen appliances tend to accumulate gunk. You can clear out all the nasty buildup by poking the tip of a safety pin into small holes and narrow strips, and twisting until it’s clean. Goodbye, grime!

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Replace a broken zipper or button

There is never a convenient time for the tab on your zipper to break off, or for your shirt to lose a button. For a quick (but temporary!) fix, you can easily attach a safety pin to hold the outfit together. Here’s how to fix almost all your wardrobe snafus on the fly.

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Decorate a cake

You don’t have to be on a TV cooking show to decorate a gorgeous cake. Simply use the tip of a safety pin to plan out your design instead of eyeballing it; the icing will hide those fine lines completely.

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Tailor your clothes

No sewing machine? No problem. A safety pin is just one of many random items you can use to tailor your own clothes. You can use them to shorten a strap, tighten a waistline, or even close up a low-hanging top. The trick to making safety pins invisible on your outfit is to turn the garment inside out before pinning, so only a sliver of the pin is visible from the front.

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Create nail art

A salon-worthy manicure is all in the details. Dip the tip of a safety pin into nail polish to create a delicate floral, swirl, or polka dot design. Just make sure the bottom coat is dry first! This is what your nail polish color reveals about your personality.

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Add one to your outdoor survival kit

A safety pin always comes in handy when you’re in a pinch during hiking or camping trips, from securing a bandage to removing a splinter to creating a makeshift fish hook. If you’re really in the outdoor spirit, you can also make a compass by rubbing a safety pin against a magnet, sticking it in a cork, and placing the device in a small bowl of water.