Clothespin Refrigerator Magnets

Activity, Grades K-8, Fine Motor, Art, Summer, Seasonal, Elmer’s

Turn the refrigerator into the Museum of Us!

Displaying the drawings and other artwork that children create lets them know that you value it and them. Recent research indicates that displaying children's work at home may be more important than displaying it on a school bulletin board because it conveys the sense that it is important and adds meaning to what they create.

Turn ordinary clothespins into fun refrigerator magnets to display those marker masterpieces, watercolor works of art, and paper collage creations. Create a flower garden magnet set with tissue paper or a reminder of the beach with some of the shells you collected there. Whatever the theme of the magnets, this simple activity is a great way to showcase your child's work all through the year and demonstrate that his o!r her work is important.

Cognitive Benefits:

Fine motor skills

Social-Emotional Benefits:

  • Enhances self-esteem

  • Celebrates achievement

  • Promotes creativity

Family Advantages:

  • Demonstrates a value for the creative process

  • Instills a sense of belonging and worth

Supplies Needed

Wooden clothespins
Magnetic tape or magnetic cards cut into strips
Elmer's Glue-All®
Tempera paint or markers
Elmer's Glitter Glue (optional)
Air-Dry Clay (optional)
Tissue paper, construction paper, lace, ribbon, gemstones, and other embellishments


Prep, create, and clean-up time:

  • 1 hour


Encourage your child to be creative and think about what they would like to add to the clothespin. You may suggest adding shells that you collected at the beach or make a fun creation out of construction paper or tissue paper. You could also provide Air-Dry Clay for your children to sculpt bugs, bees, animals, etc. After they have sculpted the object, let the clay dry completely and then paint it.


Tissue paper flowers are simple to add to the clothespins. Simply cut squares of tissue paper approximately 3" x 3". Pour a small amount of glue into a shallow container or paper plate. Place the eraser end of a pencil in the center of the tissue paper square and twist the ends around the pencil. Dip the eraser end into the glue and then affix to the end of the clothespin. Trim the ends of the tissue paper to look like the petals of a flower, and add leaves from tissue paper or construction paper.


Measure the length of the clothespin and cut a strip magnetic tape to attach on the back of the clothespin. The adhesive on the back magnetic tape is not sticky enough to adhere to the wooden clothespin. Add a thin line of Elmer's Glue-All® to the strip and press and hold it to the clothespin for a moment or two until it sets. You can also use an old magnetic business card or calendar by simply trimming a strip the correct size and gluing it to the back of the clothespin.

The possibilities for this activity are endless. You can use lace or ribbon, gemstones, glitter glue, or foam shapes to embellish the clothespins. Just be creative, have fun with it, and display your child's work proudly!

Start with a Story

Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail by Laurence Anholt describes the story of a world-famous artist and a little girl who learned how to have con9idence in her own artistic abilities. The illustrations of Picasso's art are beautiful and the factual information threaded throughout give children an understanding of his life. This story is a great springboard for the activity because it shares how Picasso often used ordinary objects or trash to create art. This book not only teaches children about Picasso, but also communicates an underlying message of courage and self-esteem in each individual's ability to create art.

Laurence Anholt's Camille and the Sunflowers is another wonderful picture book that tells the life story of Vincent van Gogh. Like Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail, this book includes pictures of van Gogh's work and factual information about how his work was criticized, and for many years, was not appreciated.

This project is provided by Elmer's Products, Inc. For more Summer Learning Crafts download its intire Summer Learning Crafts Booklet: