f you ever find yourself with 500 clothespins hanging around, then OH BOY do I have the craft for you! I had this project in mind way back in November. I geared up for it, gathered the supplies, and then they sat there…but once I made it my goal for March to finish the job of making our house a home, I whipped out those clothespins. (I’m happy to report that I not only finished this project but ALL the projects I intended for March. If you’re aware of my track record of biting off more than I can chew, you’ll agree this is huge. It’s not even an April Fool’s joke!)
I’m endlessly inspired by the installations that are created in Anthropologie stores. Whenever we’re nearby an Anthro store, I beg Bobby if we can pop in and he always happily obliges. Then I take photo after photo of the incredible displays and dream about recreating them in some format. I already did one Anthro-inspired project a few months ago using white string and gold foil stickers – and it’s still standing, bringing a pop of joy to my craft area. I didn’t see this clothespin idea in person, but I found this photo online, via Niche White.
We needed some piece of art to go above our bed and I knew that this was it. I was about to be the Clothespin Queen. I ordered 5 packages of clothespins and 6 packages of RIT dye – 3 different shades of yellow and 3 shades of pink/red (here are the shades I bought: lemon yellow, sunshine orange, golden yellow, scarlet, petal pink, and fuchsia). Of course, you could do any color combination you’d like – I knew that these colors would complement our vibrant bedspread well.
RIT dye is easy to work with, so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used it before. This was my first time and I just eyeballed everything and it worked out. I put roughly half a packet of dye into each tupperware container and filled it with hot water. After giving it a little stir and making sure all the dye was dissolved, I added in as many clothespins as I could submerge.
Instantly satisfying to see that wood change color!
I dunked the clothespins as best I could with a plastic spoon…but as you can see, they were really nestled in tightly. (If you decide to try this, it would definitely be easier with larger buckets or containers, though not a necessity.)
I let the first batch sit in the dye for about 30 minutes. Then, I drained the water with the help of a slotted plastic spoon. I marched the wet clothespins outside where I laid them out in the sun, on top of a brown paper bag. They looked GLORIOUS.
Multiple batches were required to get all the clothespins dyed. I wanted a subtle array of LOTS of different shades, so it was actually great that I couldn’t fit a ton of clothespins into each tupperware. For the second round with each color, I put in less dye and let the clothespins soak for less time – between 5 and 10 minutes. In the end, this gave me 12 different colors of clothespins.
Then the Miami sunshine did its magic and baked the color into the wood. I let them dry for several hours.
Colored clothespins are the BEST!
While I don’t normally post on Thursdays, I’m going to break the rule tomorrow and put up part II of this crafting adventure…
come back tomorrow to see the finished product here is the finished product (with which we are totally enamored!).
(Note: All of the links to products in this post are affiliate links – meaning that if you purchase through them, the cost to you is the same but I get a tiny commission. Thank you so much for supporting this creative work!)
Hey – MY string-and-gold-sticker garland is still up, too! Great minds think alike. I love this project – how much fun is your blog?!
Martha, love that we both have gold sticker garlands! Kindred spirits. :) YOU’RE fun – thanks for reading and engaging with this space, it always thrills me when I hear from you!
William was impressed by all your colored clothes pins and he thinks you’re doing a great job. :) He tried to count them on the first pic (by multiplying the length, width and height) and wonders if they are 140?
Hey, thanks William! Love the little mathematician in you! :) I haven’t counted how many are in the first picture…but I’ll have to see for myself and report back to you!
Ahhh! The pictures of the clothespins need to be a textile print! Or just a wall print! There’s something about that patterning and color that’s bewitching.
For some reason, the colors remind me of Indian art? Maybe it’s their vibrancy…
You’re right, these colors do scream ‘India’! Never thought of that at the time, but they definitely remind me of colorful saris and bindi dots. A textile print of wall print could be so fun!