Daily Wire Tip Aug. 23: Making Tiny Headpins Larger

By on August 22, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 23, 2010


I have a lot of head pins with very, very small heads – they slip right through bead holes. Is there a way to make the heads larger without soldering on something?

-Meta in Albuquerque, New Mexico


The easiest way to enlarge the head on a fine headpin is to simply put a 2.5mm metal bead on first! We have round, smooth 2.5mm beads available in both Sterling Silver and Gold-filled that will blend in with whatever color metal you are using. You can also find other small beads in our 2-4mm round category.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Heidi Jeffries

    August 23, 2010 at 6:40 am

    It’s really annoying when that happens! I do as has been suggested or occasionally been able to get away with using a loop end pin by bending it to form a flat base and then threading a bead onto it. It depends on the bead so that it will cover the circular base but that has worked for me for large beads. You could give that a go?

  2. avatar


    August 23, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Just wanted to offer another trick for this! In some designs, the addition of 4mm bicones (such as a Swarovski) can work great with an added benefit! I had some cute pumpkin (jack-o-lanterns, actually) beads that were glass and had rather big holes. I put a bicone on the ball headpin first, then the pumpkin bead, followed by a second bicone. Not only did this keep the ball of the headpin from sliding through the pumpkin bead, but the cone-shape of the bicone created a “self-adjusting” effect, as the points of the bicones slipped just far enough into the large holes to keep the pumpkin beads from wiggling around loosly on the headpin! It was held stable on each end by the bicones! I really hate when large holed beads wiggle around on headpins, often making the design look sloppy. The bicone shape alleviates this entirely! Good luck with your project!

  3. avatar


    August 23, 2010 at 8:57 am

    As long as the headpin is long enough….Why not make a small rosette at the bottom?

  4. avatar

    Marie Yeomans

    August 23, 2010 at 9:20 am

    if they are silver, you can dip the ball end in flux and apply a gas flame and the ball at the end will grow and shorten the pin.

  5. avatar

    Linda B

    August 23, 2010 at 10:16 am

    You can also add a flat spacer bead between the head and the bead. Spacers come in different sizes and shapes and can brighten up the bead they are next to. Check out the Bali bead selection and go from there.

  6. avatar


    August 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Hi Meta,

    I use a silver plated charlotte first and then put my beads on the head pin. Depending upon the size of your bead holes this may be all you need.

    Good luck,

  7. avatar

    Jody Daniels

    August 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Meta! I have just started making jewelry and have been searching the Wire Tip archives this whole weekend for the same problem. Now, I have the answer! :o))
    Jody in Texas

  8. avatar


    August 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    That is a great suggestion, you can also use seed beads as well or any type of smaller bead that fits with your project.

  9. avatar


    August 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    I put a delica bead on to coordinate with the metal or first bead.

  10. avatar

    Mary Phillips

    August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I love the look of metal spacers (they look like a daisy from the top) for this application. Put one next to the “head” string on your stone bead, put one on the other side, do a wrapped loop and voila, great little earrings in a few minutes.

  11. avatar


    August 27, 2010 at 12:11 am

    You can also take a hammer and flatten the head which will sometimes make it just the right size. Just be carefull not to work harden it too much or it can break.