Sunday, July 7, 2013

Shirt or Collar Clips Tutorial

  Hey everyone! Some of you expressed interest in how I made the shirt clips, pictured holding the front of my jacket in this post, so I put together some photos. Click on any picture to get a close-up.
  This was an idea of mine ever since I used a small orange binder clip to hold together an open-faced shirt in one of my first blog posts. I poked around online to see if such a thing existed, and found this photo of collar clips:
  This is essentially what I wanted to make, I just wanted to use them on shirt halves. You can of course use them for whatever you like. (:  Here are the materials I used:
round nosed pliers, two headpins, thrifted clip-on earrings, length of chain
  You can use flat pliers instead. For the connecting pieces you can use wire, or even jump rings instead of head pins if they are large enough. (You can also make your own headpins with wire and round-nosed pliers.)
  Use a type of chain that has links or round rings at each end so you can thread the jump rings/head pins through them to hold them in place. Pick the length of chain you want for holding two ends of a piece of clothing together, and cut the chain if necessary.

   Look at where the hinge is on the earrings. You want a hole where the hinge articulates, and you want that hole not to close up when the earrings open and shut. This is where the headpin to hold the chain will thread through. If there is no hole, you can also wrap the wire around the bottom of the clip part that curves toward the hinge.

  Insert the headpin through the hinge opening, thread it through the chain, and wrap the wire around itself to hold it in place.

  You are done! Enjoy your new clips on whatever you'd like.

Please let me know in comments if you have any questions or if anything is unclear.

  Two notes: 1) Because clip-ons are meant to clasp earlobes, they don't grip very hard, so you can't use them to hold say, a skirt of heavy material up. Sudden expansive movement like stretching (to which I am given) may cause one of the ends to slip off the cloth. You can reduce this some by adding clip-on pads. These will add friction and narrow the clip opening.

  2) Experiment with other materials! For example, instead of plain chain, you can try other things. I have this broken bit of bracelet or necklace I found on the street years ago. I think it will make a snazzy chain between a set of clips, once I find some suitable clip-on earrings.

Edited to add: There is such a thing as this! Gracey at Fashion for Giants posted about vintage sweater clips. She went in the reverse direction- she took something to hold clothes edges together and put them on her collar. :D


  1. I love this. I love my vintage clips a lot and love the idea of making some more!