25 Brilliant Uses for Toothpicks in Your Home and Workshop

Updated: Jun. 11, 2024

Who knew the humble toothpick could be so useful?!

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Use Toothpicks as Dowels

Round toothpicks work great for joining boards. When the boards are cut and ready to assemble, drill pilot holes (the same diameter as the toothpick) in two corresponding spots on each board. The pilot holes must be in the exact same spot on each board, so it’s smart to use a square when measuring. Next, apply glue to the toothpick and tap it into the hole. When the glue sets, cut the toothpick to the right length to fit into the other board. Then add glue to the toothpick and the board edges and join the boards. Clamp to dry. You’ll have a nearly invisible fastening job.

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Keep Pots From Boiling Over

No one wants to clean up the mess from a pot that boiled over. Avoid the mess by sticking a toothpick between the lid and the pot, ensuring the device is laid flat. The small space will allow the steam to escape, thereby keeping the pot from boiling over.

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Control Your Salad Dressing

It’s always a bummer when you dump way too much salad dressing on your just-prepared salad. Get just the right amount every time by leaving the foil seal on a new bottle of dressing and using a toothpick to punch holes in it.

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Family Handyman

Fill in Stripped Screw Holes

When the screws in your hinges or drawer slides turn but don’t tighten, it means the screw holes are stripped. Here’s how to fix that! Remove the screw and hardware. Dip toothpicks in glue, jam as many as you can into the hole and break them off. Either flat or round toothpicks will work. Immediately wipe away glue drips with a damp cloth. You don’t have to wait for the glue to dry or drill new screw holes; just go ahead and reinstall the hardware by driving screws right into the toothpicks. Here are 8 more easy kitchen cabinet repairs.

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HH emergency candle lit butter

Make an Emergency Candle

When the power goes out unexpectedly and you don’t have a back-up plan, get creative! Make an emergency candle by using a stick of butter and a toothpick. To do this, you’ll want to cut the stick of butter in half. Cut a single sheet of toilet paper into four squares. Then fold one square diagonally and twist. Now make a deep hole in the stick of butter with a toothpick and place the makeshift wick inside. Rub the top of the wick with butter for starter fuel and light. Check out these 12 common home emergencies and how to deal with them.

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Replace Speedometer Needle in Your Vehicle

In the extremely unlikely event that the speedometer needle on your older model car breaks off, paint a toothpick with bright nail polish, dab a little superglue on one end and stick your makeshift needle in place. You’re back in business! Here are 10 car problems you can easily fix yourself.

Photo: Courtesy of Auto Meter/Amazon

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Mark the Start of a Tape Roll

Finding the beginning of a tape roll takes time and is totally frustrating! Avoid the hassle every time with this tip: The next time you cut a piece of tape, wrap the end around a toothpick when you’re done. That’s it! You should also check out how you can use a toothpick to tune up your outdoor gas grill.

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Magi Bagi/Shutterstock

Repair a Bent Plant Stem

Is the stem of your favorite plant looking a little droopy? Straighten it up by supporting it with a toothpick. Simply place the toothpick against the stem and wrap it with soft tape. When the stem regains its strength, you can remove the DIY splint. Here’s how to use a toothpick to re-glue loose laminate.

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Sornram Yamtanom/Shutterstock

Fix a Leaky Garden Hose

Before you throw out your garden hose due to a leak, give it one more chance! Find the hole, insert a toothpick and cut off the excess pick. The water will make the wood swell, which will ensure the leak remains plugged every time you turn on the hose. Here’s how to fix leaks at the garden hose spigot.

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Make Sewing Easier

Make sewing projects faster and easier with a toothpick. You can use a round toothpick to push fabrics, lace or gathers under the presser foot while you sew.

You may also like these 50 extraordinary uses for ordinary things.

Photo: Courtesy of Fairfield World

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Jakub Krechowicz/Shutterstock

Make Doll Furniture

Whether it’s a hobby or you’re looking to make the perfect doll house for your little one, toothpicks can be big help! Use them as doll-size lamp stands, curtain rods, table legs and much more. Check out how one DIYer took the IKEA Billy bookcase, along with some screws, glue, paint and beadboard, and transformed it into a dream dollhouse.

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Plant an Avocado

The best way to start an avocado plant from seed isn’t by planting the seed in soil. Use toothpicks! Wash your avocado seed and push three toothpicks in it. Now place the seed over a glass with water, covering the bottom inch of the wide end of the seed. Place this in a warm spot with indirect sunlight, keeping the water level consistent. When the roots and stem are established, plant the bottom half of the seed in rich soil. A well-cared-for avocado plant will grow for years!

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Deter Cutworms

Don’t let your young tomato plant fall victim to pesky cutworms! Instead, push three toothpicks into the soil close to the stem. This will keep cutworms from curling around the plant and eating it. Here are the 10 worst garden insect pests and how to get rid of them.

Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Walliser/Hobby Farms

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Design Icing

You probably already know a toothpick makes a great way to test if your cake is done or not, but did you know it can also be used as a “pencil” for sketching designs onto the icing? The thin tip is perfect for making intricate designs and letters which can then be traced with icing and other edible decorations.

Love to create in the kitchen? Here are 8 things you should do to keep your pantry organized for hassle-free baking and cooking.

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Martina Roth/Shutterstock

Cook Potatoes Extra Fast

If you’re planning to cook your potato quickly by utilizing the microwave, double down and cook them even faster by suspending them on little toothpick legs! They’ll cook quicker and more evenly, even on the bottom. While many people store potatoes in the refrigerator, this can actually cause them to become mushy and bruised quicker! Find out the best way to store them.

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Igor A. Bondarenko/Shutterstock

Paint Touchups

When there’s a tiny clip on your painted furniture or walls, instead of getting out a small brush, use a toothpick. Dip the toothpick in the paint and apply it to the chipped area only. The repair will be almost invisible.

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Sebastian Loewer/Shutterstock

Tackle Bacterial Hot Spots

Because toothpicks are so tiny and pointy, they can get underneath hard-to-reach spots, like the buttons of your TV remote control. Remove the grime from such household items to limit germs that can make you sick Check out these 9 spots in your home that need serious cleaning.

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Marina mrs_brooke/Shutterstock

Get Creative With Your Manicure

Liven up your manicure by skipping the same old shade of polish and creating a swirl accent. To do this, select two of your favorite colors. Coat an entire nail with one of the shades, and before it dries, place a drop of the second color on the nail. Use a toothpick to blend the two colors together.

Got screws that won’t stay put? Paint a thin coat of nail polish on screws to keep them from coming loose!

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Levent Konuk/Shutterstock

Clean a Pet Brush in Seconds

Get every last piece of fur out of your pet’s brush by running a toothpick down each row of bristles and pulling up the fur as you go. The pointed tip will ensure you get every last piece of fluff in one fell swoop. Check out these 14 cleaning tips every dog or cat owner should know.

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Ulf Wittrock/Shutterstock

Make Drink Umbrellas

Ever wanted to make your own drink umbrellas? Well, grab that box of toothpicks and get going! For this project, use a coaster or the bottom of a glass and trace a circle onto a piece of paper. Cut tout the circle and fold it in half. Unfold the circle, and then fold it in half again, now making a crease perpendicular to the first one. Unfold and fold again, making a diagonal crease across the original cross. Do this until you have 8 creases. Next, scallop the edge of the circle, cutting almond-like shapes out between each crease. Cut a slit down one of the creases, stopping at the center of the circle. Overlap the two new edges to form the umbrella shape. Finally, add a small piece of tape to the underside to keep it in place, and poke a long toothpick through the top of the umbrella.

Be sure to make these umbrellas for your ultimate backyard barbecue!

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Marina Lohrbach/Shutterstock

Knit Tiny Things

Knit baby socks using toothpicks?! This takes patience and great vision, but they are SO cute! Check out these 14 DIY gifts you can make in a weekend.

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Light Candles

Use toothpicks to light candles. Because toothpicks burn slowly, and are a bit longer than normal matches, they give you a little extra reach when you need it!

If you love candles, you may like these DIY beeswax candles made in glass yogurt jars.

Photo: Courtesy of PixCove

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Make Food Flags

For Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween or birthday cupcakes or muffins, festive little paper flags are always a hit. Instead of buying them, have everyone help make them with things you already have around the house: paper, markers, glue or tape and toothpicks!

Check out these 15 DIY Valentine gift ideas.

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Fix Your Glasses

For a quick fix when your glasses fall apart and you lose a screw, try this: Replace the missing screw with a toothpick! Line up the holes in the bow and the glasses and poke a toothpick in as far as it will go. Break the toothpick off and seal it with a piece of tape. It’ll look pretty dorky, but it’ll do in a pinch.

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Fix a Guitar Strap Holder

If the screw that holds the guitar strap button on your Strat is stripped, you can break a couple of toothpicks off below the top of the hole, squirt in some wood glue, re-screw the screw and let it harden overnight. It’s cheaper than getting it plugged and re-drilled! Check out these 45 brilliant gluing tips and tricks.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube/Music Go Round Albuquerque

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