Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Paperclip Pizazz

If you've ever worked in an office and/or been confined to a cubicle, you've probably made at least one paperclip chain, or you've bent those clips into different shapes. I'm guilty, too; I used to make butterflies out of mine.

It seems other people have been bored enough to experiment with paperclips, as lately I've spotted a number of new spins on the old reliable paperholder:

Numberclips are a set of ten page markers that look and function like paperclips but have number shapes from 0 to 9. I found this set at World Market for $5.99.

Silly Clipz are shaped wire clips sold in themed sets of six, and judging from the suggested use on the packaging are being marketed toward kids as clip-on decorations for their clothing and hat brims. I picked up the Zoo and Myth editions for $1.99 each at CVS.

You can get conversational with your paperclips with Talk Bubble, a tin of 25 caption balloon-shaped clips; $6.99 at World Market.

As to how well they work, Yours Truly broke out some from each package and field-tested them:

The Numberclips are just like straight-forward, large size paperclips; you do have to remember to put the number-shaped part on the front of your clipped items. If you're working on drafts, scenes, chapters or something else you need to keep in a certain work sequence these might be a painless way to mark the sets.

The Talk Bubble was actually a bit heavy with plastic-coated wire that looks about double the gauge of regular paperclips; probably best for clipping sets of sheets versus one page. When I saw these I thought they'd be great for flagging a specific note you need someone else to read.

The Silly Clipz were the hardest to figure out; the company that makes them included their logo as part of the clip which only adds to the layered confusion of wires; these are of a smaller gauge wire than regular paperclips and will likely bend out of shape pretty easily. I'm also wondering why they're marketing them to children as clothing accessories -- maybe hoping to cash in on the shaped rubber band craze of a few years ago? -- but they don't seem like something I'd give a younger child.

My biggest objection to all three brands is that they're are too pricey for ordinary, everyday use. That said, if you have a special project, don't use a huge amount of clips, recycle ruthlessly or are working on a limited project, the pricetag might be worth it to you.


  1. Some of them are quite cute :) I've seen a few kids at my school with shaped paperclips on their jumpers. I distinctly remember someone wearing a little green star. I'm not a big paperclip user; I'm a sticky-notes person. But paperclips are cool too, if not for holding paper together then certainly for making chains out of... a friend and I even attached some to our earrings at one points just for the fun of it. Some people freaked out cuz they thought we actually put them through our ears, and then she decided she would. She's a bit weird.

  2. Fun! I see these in the office supplies aisles too but I've never bought any. I buy regular paper clips that are different colors and designs, though. I also buy the binder clips in fun designs!

  3. ooohhhh... I like the myth ones

  4. I saw the word bubble ones among others at the art supply store last night and immediately thought of you. Ha! They also had cool flowers. I admit, I nearly bought some but don't have any paper edits looming as an excuse.

  5. Ahhhh! These are a teachers dream!! The number ones would be perfect to keep track of classroom paperwork by hour. It would save me so many sticky notes. I need these now.

  6. I use too many paperclips to spend that much on them - I even have the kids trained to check library books as they're being put in the return slot, because half of mine usually still have clips still attached at that point in time.

    And homeschool stuff... to keep the work-in-progress shelves simple, I keep future assignments clipped and filed.

    Those myth clips look like they would make cute bookmarks. If they could be used without tearing up the page, that is.

    As for earrings. I went through a phase in middle school (late 80s, early 90s) when I did bend and wear paperclips as earrings. Can't remember if that was just before or after chopping up soda cans and attaching bits to jewelry findings... Remind me not to mention that to my 13 year old son. And not to complain about his part-dog-chain-part-I-don't-know-what-all recycled treasures necklace. :)


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