Using Safety Pins for Jewlry
We are so familiar with utilitarian safety pins, that it may seem strange to think of them as a craft material.
However, when used in conjunction with beads, it is possible to make some original and beautiful designs to wear as jewelry.
Below are some general Instructions for working with safety pins and beads and some simple designs for brooches.
Once you get used to working with the safety pins, you can later extend the designs to form belts, necklaces or pendants.
Safety pins are generally available in silver, gilt and black. If you would prefer to use a different color, they can be spray painted to any shade you desire.
With beads, there is a great variety to choose from, all that is required is that they fit well along the spear.
Working With Safety Pins
Pins have differences between one side and the other, and when you start to work with pins, it is necessary to define these different parts.
Spear - This is the pointed part when a pin is open.
Head - This is the part that the point of the spear is clipped into.
End - This is the small loop of wire at the opposite end to the head.
The part where the spear clips into is the back side of the pin, the smooth side is referred to as the face.
The head may also be used in two ways - with the 'face' down (where the part into which the spear clips is facing upwards).
Or with the 'face' up (where the part into which the spear clips is facing downwards).
Beads of various shapes and sizes may be threaded onto the spears, the spears closed and the pins then threaded on a 'connector pin' which may be used either horizontally or vertically.
As you can see, in the pictures of the connector pin, the spear of the connector can be threaded through either the head or the end of the pins.
If this pin is well filled with beads, it will be less conspicuous.
Once the pins have their beads threaded, pinch pin heads with pliers to prevent them opening by accident.
Strong, fine wire may be used to form motifs and these can be linked together - perhaps into a rosette such as this pearl brooch.
How to Make a Pearl Brooch
You Will Need:
- 7 Pearl Beads - 1/4" Diameter
- 16 Pearl Beads - 1/8" Diameter
- 1 Thick Gilt Wire Ring - 3/4" Diameter
- 21 Small Gilt Safety Pins
- Epoxy Resin Adhesive
- On six of the pins, thread two small beads each and on another six of the pins, thread one large bead on each.
- Place the pins on the central ring with the heads facing outwards.
- Link the threaded pins at the back in groups of three by a connector pin.
- Link these connector pins head to end by four other pins
- Push these other four pins through one end, threading on a small bead and fastening it through the next connector pin head.
To make the brooch firmer, run a pin through each beaded connector in to the center of the brooch.
Thread a hanging pin from the back of any connector pin to finish, and stick a large bead with a spot of epoxy resin adhesive in the center of the brooch to cover the pin ends.
How to Make a Black Pin Brooch
You will need oval and small round gilt beads and turquoise beads of the straight type, as well as twenty-four black pins.
Thread the beads and link as shown in the picture.
The top connector pin should be threaded through the back of the top row of beads in such a way that it can be opened to allow the brooch to be pinned on.
How to Make a Gold & Silver Brooch
Thread six large silver pins with alternate gold and silver beads and thread six small black pins, four with silver and two with gold beads.
Thread the silver pins on a black connector pin, then use two black pins as connectors between the silver and black pins as shown in picture.
Thread a large silver pin through the back to fasten the brooch.
How to Make an Orange, Lemon & Lime Brooch
Using small gilt pins, thread three with green beads, two with orange beads and two with yellow beads.
Thread eight pins with one bead of each color.
Using the same size pins as connectors, thread as shown in picture, attaching a further pin at the back for hanging.
How to Make a Variegated Brooch
Thread four gilt pins with variegated beads and hang on a connector pin in such a way that the spear may be opened for hanging.
These are just some general ideas that can get you started. Use your imagination to come up with even more beautiful and unique designs. Enjoy and have fun!
Safety pins can be used to make all sorts of beautiful items.
I hope you have found something interesting and delightful in the above information.
Thanks for stopping by & Happy Crafting!
© 2012 Dawn
Nancy Kenyon from Orlando, FL on March 26, 2013:
.Great info here! And not so "outdated' as some may think...There are still some "Left" whom would easily consider these delicate gems perfect "protection" for women!.........no?
Thanks for sharing!
Dawn (author) from Canada on November 21, 2012:
Office supply stores have rings that have hinges on them to open them up, almost like the ring binders only by themselves and I think they are thin enough to fit through the bottom rings of the safety pins. Maybe that would work. :)
debfrench on November 20, 2012:
Nice work I'll have to do some I am making beaded curtain's but not sure what to use to hang them with.?
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 08, 2012:
Not too many years ago safety pin jewelry was all the rage. I even have a few pieces in my jewelry box that my daughter made for me. This is a fun and clever craft to do. So glad you are spotlighting it. ps