Our recent call for accessible clip/clamp ideas for securing stacked boxes (wood, cardboard, plastic) to make d-i-y  clipped-together shelving got a big response, all offering the same solution: large binder clips. These cheap, ubiquitous clips seem to be the go-to solution for many niggling problems. Wine writer Anthony Giglio wrote:

“I have improvised with these binder clips for years. Currently they clamp open a window that won’t stay up, and clamp those brackets flaps on the window air conditioner in place. For those shelves you would but the extra large, clamp them on and them squeeze/remove the wing handles for aesthetics. Voilà!”

…San Francisco Architect Kim Sykes elaborated on removing the handles:

“I agree that the binder clip is a magical tool. The metal wire looking handles not only fold forward as Joan mentioned but can actually be taken off once you position them in the desired place by squeezing the handles and taking them off their hinges. I think this would create a better look from the side at the vertical connections of these shelves.”

Two inches seem to be about the right size; their one-inch opening would sandwich two half-inch (or thinner) boards. Now we’re hunting for two-inch binder clips in white or colors, rather than the usual black clip. So far, we found a pack of assorted colored clips, but we’re wondering if anyone has a source for buying all of one color –  say orange, or white, or green? That would make life easy…otherwise, we imagine they could be spray-painted if you sanded and primed them first (a pain in the neck). We’re also thinking the clips would be nice sandblasted, and the naked metal left to rust.


Related posts: Clipped-Together Shelving Pt. 1: Wood (Help Needed)

Clipped-Together Shelving Pt. 2: Cardboard Boxes

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2 replies on “binder clips for d-i-y shelving and other improvised solutions

  1. Binder clips are also handy for hanging posters and other art should you be pressed for cash and unable to afford frames.

  2. That’s a GREAT reminder. I actually have some strung on a wire (held between two thumb tacks) on the back of a door. I clip the big sheets of paper I use for photo backgrounds to store them out-of-sight. Similar idea…

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