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8 ways to Repurpose a Vintage C Clamp

Vintage C Clamps are great for adding a bit of a not-too-harsh industrial vibe to your home or office. Once only used for woodworking and similar construction projects, C clamps can be used to support shelves, add hooks, or secure items where you need them. C-clamps blend well into interior decor and can be a subtle way to add a masculine industrial touch to interior decor. 

Eight ways to repurpose vintage C clamps and other hardware

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Today’s utilitarian, shiny silver plated C-clamps are the economized and cheapened versions of the elegant C-clamps made only a few decades ago. Older C-clamps tend to have a dark, or black, finish and styled turkeys (tops) which, although harder to tighten and loosen in a workshop, lend well to interior decor. Old clamps are fun to hunt at garage sales and old flea markets- or check out the vintage C Clamps on Etsy if you prefer instant gratification over the thrill of the hunt! 

I’ve been using vintage C clamps as decorative and functional elements in my studio’s decor for a few years, but when I spotted them recently employed in use at Seattle’s downtown Anthropologie, I was prompted to share with my readers the how I’ve used old C-clamps for utilitarian interior decor.


1. Pair with S hooks to Add Hanging Storage to the Edge of a Shelf

You can use the top of the clamp as an efficient hook, but in cover the top, you’ll lose much of the visual charm of the clamp. Instead, pair your clamp with an S-hook and hang items from the bottom. Use pliers to bend the top curve of your S-hook inward just slightly, so the hook doesn’t lift free of the clamp when you remove an item from the hook.

(If you are hanging on the edge of a shelf, be sure your shelf is mounted securely and avoid hanging heavy weights on the edge.)


2. Use Vintage C-Clamps as Bookends

3. Use C-Clamps as Craft Supply Holster

[photo coming!]


4. C Clamps as Table Legs

Though it requires welding, C-clamps can be turned into creative tables legs that attach to any board- making it easy to change your tabletop on a whim. Here’s a peek from a storefront near my Seattle apartment:


5. Use C-Clamps to move Rugs and Mats

Ever had to move something heavy, flat, and excruciatingly uncomfortable to between pinched fingers? Use a C-clamp to add an easy-to-hold handle.

I discovered that this works GREAT when deep-cleaning horse stalls. This requires dragging heavy rubber mats. Instead of pinching between thumb and forefinger to move, we clamp a C clamp onto a corner, tighten, and drag using the clamp as a securely attached handle. This works equally well for carpet or any heavy, flat object.

7. Use C-Clamps as Retractable Cable Holder for Phone or USB Charger

To adapt to use a C-clamp, just pick a clamp with a looped top and run your cable through the opening,

At Hawk Hill I often used cable clips to secure the cord of my phone charger to the back of my nightstand, but in my Seattle Apartment I discovered a C clamp does the job much better, and I love the eclectic look of this vintage C-clamp.

This vintage C-clamp, and many others, work perfectly to hold in place a phone charger cable- allowing the cord to feed through as needed, but neatly retaining it in an easy-to-reach place when you are not charging. Old c-clamps like this one are fun to hunt for at garage sales and flea markets, or you can source a Vintage C Clamp from Etsy for instant gratification. If your hunt turns up a rusty C-clamp- never feat- I’ve got a no scrub tutorial for removing rust that works great on C clamps. 

Vintage C-Clamp secures a phone charging cable to a nightstand
Vintage C-Clamp secures a phone charging cable to a nightstand and allows the cord to be retractable. I really appreciate using vintage hardware to solve modern problems with style.

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