Monday, April 11, 2011

Office Supply of the Month | Pushpins

I love a good bulletin board for its utility and versatility, and no bulletin board would be complete without pushpins to secure things on it! Also known as thumbtacks, map pins, or drawing pins, these small supplies pack a lot of punch into a tiny piece of metal. It is basically a short pin or nail with a rounded or otherwise enlarged head for easy insert and removal using your fingers. They work best when used on a porous but somewhat dense surface (not great for those padded cubicle walls).

There are a few notable differences between thumbtacks and pushpins, and even among pushpins there are several varieties (map pins being among those). In daily vocabulary, however, they're often rather interchangeable (unless you work in the office supply business, I suspect).
  • Thumbtacks generally lie flat. You push them in with your thumb.
  • Pushpins usually have a plastic handle of some sort.

The invention of the pushpin is usually credited to Edwin Moore of Pennsylvania, and dates back to 1900, although some reports identify his invention as what we now call the map pin. The modern pushpin is often credited to Heinrich Sachs of Austria (1888), Johann Kirsten of Germany (1902), or Mick Clay of England (1903). Mass production began shortly after, and the rest is history!

Posting things on walls, bulletin boards, and other pin-able surfaces
Making nail-head lined things (using the single nail head-type pins, not the trim that comes in a strip)
Making art
Jewelry display
Mark places you've been on a map

Fun with thumbtacks

Or make your own decorative thumb tacks [Project Orange].

What are your favorite uses for pushpins? Favorite types?


Completely unrelated
Sweet Cassie over at Oh, Say Can You Say? gave me the Versatile Blogger award last week! I'm supposed to share seven random facts about myself and tag 15 other bloggers to do the same. Since I've shared facts on here several times already, I'll be doing my (all new) things on Facebook this time and instead of tagging other bloggers, I'd like you to share something each day in response to my fact! If you'd like to see which bloggers I enjoy the most, just click on over to my blogroll--I could never narrow it down to just 15.


  1. I use them mainly for jewelry organization. I got a dark brown bulletin board from Target for about $6 and a package of clear pushpins, then I just lined up the pushpins in different rows to accomodate different lengths of necklaces. It looks so chic and was so simple! I wish I had a photo to show you.

    I love your office supply features! I am such a freak for supplies, and a bit of a hoarder as well! ::guilty face::

  2. @elizabethashleyphoto - I'm glad you like them! It's one of those things that I really like to do, but I don't get much feedback from readers, so it's good to hear that someone out there is reading. :)

  3. if you lose one from a pair of stud earrings (or a pair you don't wear anymore), you can also use them instead of pushpins. :)

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