Thursday, January 30, 2014

How To Make Beaded Stickpins and Hat Pins

While wandering through Pinterest recently, I've noticed a lot of pictures of stickpins and hat pins.  And so I thought I should try to make a few of my own.  They are great to use in crafts such as scrapbooking but can also be used to hold fabric together for a variety of projects such as fabric flowers, etc.  I think I will use mine for props and on jewelry displays.

So after reading a number of other tutorials on the internet, I jumped right in and made some of  my own.  Here is my tutorial on how I did it, but you can use my technique or anyone else's.  Here are a few links to the sites I used information from:

LittleBirdieSecrets - this is a very simple and well presented tutorial using corsage pins.

LollyDollyCrafts  - this tutorial shows you how to incorporate wire-wrapping into your stickpin design and requires you to have some basic skills in wire-wrapping.

Ashmita Roy uses wire to form her own stick pins, then glues the beads onto the wire.

I chose to make my own pins using 20 gauge wire, but you can also use pre-made headpins or corsage pins.

1.  First gather your supplies:
  • 20 gauge wire
  • E6000 glue
  • Wire cutters
  • Flat nose nylon jaw pliers (optional)
  • Beads of your choosing

2.  Cut your wire into whatever length you want - I cut mine into 3 inch lengths.  You might notice the ruler is from Fire Mountain Gems - one of my favorite suppliers for basic beads and supplies.

3.  Straighten your wire as much as possible using your fingers.  

You can also use your flat nose nylon jaw pliers if you have them to further straighten the wire.

Also check out a great tutorial on how to straighten wire and headpins from CraftyLoops.  I found this tutorial after making my stickpins but plan to use this technique in the future - not just for stickpins but all kinds of projects.

4.  Next you want to place some glue on one end of your wire.  This can be done by rolling your wire through a dab of the glue or by using a toothpick.

5.  Finally for the fun part - adding your beads!  Just thread your beads onto the pin making sure you have enough glue at the top of the first bead and the bottom of the last bead to securely hold them on the wire.  Allow 24 hours for the glue to dry.

And voila - you have a nice set of pretty stickpins or hat pins!

Happy beading and thanks for stopping by!  Feel free to leave a comment - I love to read them and I respond to every one of them.

Till next time,
Irene at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fire Opal Statement Necklace

This week I completed a custom design for a client.  The client is actually one of my co-workers who was looking for a unique bold statement design to give as a birthday gift to her sister.  I showed her some previous designs of mine in which I had used glass fire opals and she felt sure her sister would love these.  She wanted a design that would stand out and make a statement - nothing small and dainty would do.

So I put together this design using a total of five glass opals.  Also called Dragon's Breath, these fire opals are a fiery red with electric flashes of blues within them.  I personally think they are one of the most beautiful man-made stones ever!

I created the unique settings for each stone by layering a combination of antique silver filigree stampings together.  Then I connected them together with a combination of bright silver and antique silver textured jump rings.  The teardrop pendant is actually an antique silver filigree bead cage in which I placed two small Siam red Swarovski crystals that peak through the openings of the filigree - just enough to add a bit of shimmer.

The chain around the back of the neck is a medium weight antique silver curb style chain that has a beautiful sheen and lies flat against the skin.  It is choker length measuring 16 inches plus a 2 1/2 inch extender chain.

The finished design turned out quite nice.  It has both an exotic and vintage look to it and I hope the recipient will be as pleased as I am.

If you would like your own custom jewelry design, contact me and I will work with you to create the perfect piece!

Or if you are interested in making your own design, I purchased these magnificent fire opals as well as most of the metal components from

Thanks so much for stopping by!