What are these small black clips/hangars on doorways in my home. They are on 6 of the open frames in the house, but only on one side.

A questioner said: What are these small black clips/hangars on doorways in my home. They are on 6 of the open frames in the house, but only on one side.


r/whatisthisthing - What are these small black clips/hangars on doorways in my home. They are on 6 of the open frames in the house, but only on one side.


r/whatisthisthing - What are these small black clips/hangars on doorways in my home. They are on 6 of the open frames in the house, but only on one side.


More info: It seems like the front half may spin on a small steel rivet, but other than that, they are exactly what you see in the pics.

Some of the people opinions on it:

  1. I was wondering if maybe a door had a piece of metal on it that this black clip could be swing into to create a locking mechanism.
  2. Camera or speaker mount?
  3. For a curtain rail maybe?
  4. Are they in places where it would make sense to hang clothes from or are they in more ‘central’ parts of the house?IOW, what doorways are they mounted to?
  5. Is it a possible mount for a motion sensor? Walk into the room and lights turn on?
  6. I was gonna say the previous owners were hippies with beads instead of doors but then you said only on one side. Still though, maybe something like that?
  7. A long shot, but were the previous owners Jewish? My sister-in-law hangs “Mezuzahs” at the entry points of her home in a similar location to this.
  8. I know people that would mount small fans in the upper corner of their doors to help circulate air. I think they are a mount for something like that
  9. Wait! Wait! Describe the server room, please. Size, electrical supply? special access flooring? special hvac? Thank you

What do you think? Let us know in the comment!

Read Also: What are these glass things attached to the cieling? They’re all over the house by the windows. House was built between 2010-2015.

When you move into a new home, especially one with some history, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon features that pique your curiosity. One such mystery might be the small black clips or hangers found on doorways in your house. These unassuming fixtures, often overlooked, can have a variety of purposes and origins. Let’s delve into what these clips might be and why they are present in your home.

Historical and Practical Uses

  1. Drapery or Curtain Rod Holders

One common use for small black clips or hangers in doorways is as holders for drapery or curtain rods. In earlier times, it was fashionable to have curtains or draperies over doorways to add a decorative touch or provide privacy. These clips would hold a rod in place, from which a curtain could be hung.

  1. Portieres

Similar to drapery, portieres are heavy curtains hung over doorways. They were particularly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, used to keep drafts out and to provide a sense of separation between rooms. The clips would secure the portiere rods at the top of the door frame.

  1. Swag Holders

In some homes, especially those with a more traditional or classical style, decorative swags or fabric garlands were used to adorn doorways. These small black clips could have served as holders for such decorative elements, contributing to the aesthetic appeal of the room.

  1. Plant Hangers

In homes with a penchant for indoor greenery, these clips might have been used to hang small potted plants or decorative plant holders. This was a popular trend in the 1970s and 1980s, adding a touch of nature indoors without taking up floor space.

Modern Interpretations

  1. Holiday Decorations

These clips might have been installed to hold holiday decorations, such as garlands or lights. Positioned strategically on one side of the doorway, they would make it easy to hang and remove seasonal decor without damaging the walls or door frames.

  1. String Lights or Lanterns

In more recent times, small black clips could be used for hanging string lights or lanterns, particularly in homes with an eclectic or bohemian style. These fixtures add ambiance and warmth to interior spaces, making them popular in contemporary decor.

  1. Temporary Hooks

Some homeowners use these clips as temporary hooks for a variety of purposes. They could be used to hang bags, keys, or other lightweight items that need to be easily accessible near doorways.

Investigating Your Clips

To determine the exact purpose of the clips in your home, consider the following steps:

  1. Examine the Positioning

Look at the positioning of the clips on the doorways. Are they all at a uniform height? Are they located in high-traffic areas or more secluded spaces? The positioning can give you clues about their intended use.

  1. Check for Wear and Tear

Examine the clips for any signs of wear and tear. This can indicate how frequently they were used and for what purpose. For instance, clips used for heavy drapery or portieres might show more signs of use compared to those used for lightweight decorations.

  1. Consult Previous Owners

If possible, reach out to previous owners or neighbors with similar homes. They might have insights or historical knowledge about common practices in the neighborhood or the specific features of your home.

Preserving and Repurposing

If you appreciate the historical charm and functionality of these clips, consider preserving them as part of your home’s character. You might even find new uses for them that blend the old with the new. For instance, you could use them for contemporary decorations or as part of a unique organizational system in your home.


The small black clips or hangers on your doorways are more than just a mystery to be solved; they are a window into the past and a testament to the evolving functionality and decor trends within homes. By understanding their potential purposes and origins, you can appreciate these features and perhaps even find new and creative ways to incorporate them into your daily life. Whether they held portieres in the early 20th century or holiday decorations in more recent years, these clips add a unique story to the tapestry of your home’s history.

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