This past Friday night, I was getting ready for shabbat. I took a shower, and got dressed. As I was putting on my kippah, I realized that I didn’t have any kippah clips. I had to be at dinner in about ten minutes, so I didn’t have time to look for my kippah clips. Fortunately, I never stray far from my handy wire and pliers, and where you have wire and pliers, you can have kludge kippah clips in a few minutes. So keep this page bookmarked in case you’re ever in need of emergency kippah clips.
I like to use 19 gauge stainless steel wire for most wire-based kludges. In particular this product, but anything of a similar type and thickness will do.
One thing to be wary of is that it’s very hard to find reasonable thickness stainless steel wire at any kind of store—jewelry, hardware, etc. None of them carry it, so I always have to remember to order it online when I’m running low.
It might seem like galvanized steel is just as good. And it’s certainly more accessible in stores, but I’ve done some research on galvanized steel and while it’s not clearly bad for you, there are definitely some questionable health risks. It’s probably not a problem for a few small projects, but I didn’t want to be using it or wearing it on a regular basis.
19 gauge is a good thickness generally for a balance between sturdiness and malleability. I’m sure depending on the project you might want other gauges, but I’ve never personally wished I had a different gauge.
You’re going to need pliers that can cut the wire.
And pliers that can bend the wire.
The details aren’t important; use what you’re comfortable with.
After you cut a segment of wire*, you’re going to want to cap off the ends. Any time the ends of the wire are going near you, this is a good policy.
* It should be about twice as long as you want the clip to be. They can be a variety of sizes though, so it’s hard to get this wrong. If you make it too short or long, just make another one. They don’t take that much wire.
Honestly. I always have extra scraps of wire left over after any project.
Twist the end back on itself but only use the very tip of the wire.
Clamp down on the end to make sure it’s tight against itself
Watch out for the wire getting pushed past itself. The point is to bury the pointy end.
For this project, it’s probably helpful to have the caps facing each other, to add extra grip.
Though to be fair I never tried it the other way.
There’s not much more to this process. You’re going to bend the wire in half and clamp down on the bent end similarly to before. You want to get a good kink here so it grips your kippah and hair.
Make sure the whole length of the wire is relatively aligned, too, so it grips all the way down.
These clips have a tendency to cross over themselves at the ends because of the caps
So hold the wire apart enough that it can get around your kippah.
Be careful taking them off, since they tend to get caught in your hair.
If you make a longer one, you can push it down to mold to the contour of your head once it’s on.
Honestly, I didn’t expect this to work at the time. It seemed like there wouldn’t be enough grip to hold the clip in place, and it would just bend back. But they’ve lasted me ever since.
I guess a moral of this story is to try kludges, even if you think they won’t work. Half the time, they’re just kludgy enough to.