Binder Clip ‘Life Hacks’ from Amylee!
Small or large, black or multicoloured, a binder clip has infinite uses. You just need some imagination, and then this small thing, although discreet in appearance, can bring many surprises to all your creative activities…
If we look carefully, this object is pretty ingenious. We appreciate its pure and functional design, its high-strength steel spring, its removable rounded handles and its long-life use. Everything is well thought out: to open, we press on the handles and to close, we release them. Really easy to use!
As usual, I like to share with you any tricks that facilitate the artist’s daily life. Here are 20 examples “life hacks” found on Pinterest or in my studio.
1 / A Brush Hook
2/ A Flower-Shaped Palette
MINI BINDER CLIPS | Take 7 jam lids with same diameter. Make a flower shape with them and attach the lids together with mini binder clips. Remove the handles. And here is a superb Flower-Shaped Palette!
3 / An Anti-Waste Idea
LARGE BINDER CLIP | To move the paint to the cap, roll the plastic tube on itself and hold the rolled part with a large Binder clip.
4 / To Close A Plastic Tube
MINI OR MEDIUM BINDER CLIPS | To reach all the paint in the walls of a plastic tube, cut it open, and access the colour like a jar.
To keep the paint fresh for several days (or even several weeks), make sure to close the cut part with 2 or 3 mini binder clips or 1 large one.
5 / Show off Your Art
LARGE OR MEDIUM BINDER CLIPS | Need to be seen at an art event? Take a few binder clips, several printed postcards (or photographs), remove the handles and stand them on a flat surface.
6 / A Roll of Paper
2 MINI BINDER CLIPS | To prevent a roll of paper from unrolling, add 1 mini binder clip at each end of the roll. Simple yet effective!
7 / A Roll Dispenser
3 MINI BINDER CLIPS | Place 3 binder clips on the edge of a glass. In one of the handles of the two opposite binder clips, insert a pencil or brush (as a roll-dispenser), then use the third binder clip to unroll the ribbon. This dispenser will make it easier to cut all your ribbons and strings.
8 / Binder Tongs
MEDIUM BINDER CLIP | To avoid getting your fingers dirty or to extend your arm length, this trick is good to know. The recipe is very easy: 2 wooden stirring spatulas,, 1 binder clip and 1 masking tape.
9 / A Drawing Board
MINI AND LARGE BINDER CLIPS | To draw on the beach, in the countryside or in a waiting room, use basic material such as a thick board (cardboard, wood, plastic) and some binder clips to hold the sheet of paper and the pencil. Truly economical!
10 / A Mini Brush Holder
LARGE BINDER CLIP| Fix a large binder clip (with handles up) on the edge of a glass with water. This small addition will be very useful for holding washed brushes or those waiting to be used.
11 / Wall Storage
LARGE BINDER CLIP | To clear your work table, use the walls of the studio by recycling half plastic bottles combined with binder clips. The idea is so useful!
12 / Suspended Tubes
MINI BINDER CLIPS | To have your paint tubes at eye level, simply hang them on a hook.
13 / Modular Storage
MINI BINDER CLIPS | Several half plastic bottles held by mini binder clips (without handles) creates a great storage solution.
14 / Magazine Storage
LARGE BINDER CLIPS| A binder clip + a magazine, together suspended from a small nail. Use the walls of your studio, your work table will only be lightened!
15 / A Portfolio
MINI OR MEDIUM BINDER CLIPS| Gather your sketches or drawings on loose sheets to make nice portfolios to flip through. The handles of the binder clips can be removed for a permanent and more discreet binding.
16 / How To Stretch Watercolour Paper?
MINI BINDER CLIPS | Place a sheet of watercolor paper (A5 or A4) on a thick board (plywood, masonite, or glass). Along the edge of the paper sheet fix a medley of binder clips and thus avoid the buckling caused as your paper dries. This tip requires a lot of binder clips but if you have a collection like mine, it is possible!
17 / Exhibit A Work Of Art
MINI AND LARGE BINDER CLIPS | Would you like to exhibit an artwork presented on wood, on cardboard or glass? The binder clips remain a good solution. A tip that also applies to postcards.
18 / A Sleeve For Painting
MINI CLIPS | Too often adhesive tape tears the bubble wrap, so I prefer the economical solution of mini binder clips to attach the bubble wrap when my paintings are stored in my studio. I unpack and re-pack very easily without tearing anything. I only use adhesive packing tapefor shipping.
19/ A Cleaning Roll Rack
LARGES CLIPS | To have cleaning roll always at hand, the recipe is simple: 1 wooden stirring spatula, 2 large binder clips and 2 hooks held on a wall.
20 / A Brush Dryer
MINI CLIPS | Brushes prefer to dry with the head pointing down because paint or water residues can stagnate in the metallic ferrule. Use part of an old clothes dryer. Its structure is covered with white PVC so does not rust. An accessory for all studios!
NOTE: THINK ABOUT IT!
Do not throw away the handles of the binder clips, instead put them in a box, they will serve you sooner or later!
Different sizes of binder clip are available:
Find all these products at GreatArt Online or in their art supply shop in London Shoreditch.
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