- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Bezels
- Tube Set Charm by Kim St. Jean
- Prong Basket Pendant by Kim St. Jean
- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Cold Connections
- New DVD Series – Stone Setting with Wire
- NEW DVD Series: Introduction to Stone Setting by Kim St. Jean
- Featured Tool: Bracelet Bending Plier
- NEW Dvd by Eva Sherman
- Fun, Fast Fold Forming DVD Series
- Double Band Ear Cuff from Alex Simkin
Daily Wire Tip May 24: All About Headpins
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
May 24, 2011
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t know what headpins are, and I don’t know what they are used for. I guess it went completely over my head! Please elaborate on this subject?
-Ruth in Morristown, Arizona
No need to be embarrassed Ruth, you can ask me anything that is related to wire jewelry creation and design. If I don’t know the answer, I will certainly find it! A headpin is a metal component that resembles the straight pin you would use in sewing, or a nail in carpentry. It can be made of about any metal from 14kt solid gold to stainless steel, and headpins are available in many sizes and gauges.
Jewelry artists most often thread beads on headpins, and then incorporate the beaded headpin (or “headpin charm”) into a design. For example, by connecting the headpin charm to an ear wire, you can create a simple earring. You can also attach headpin charms to chain or a necklace or bracelet to create a lovely design.
To add a beaded headpin charm to a design, simply attach the headpin with a wrapped loop: Use round nose pliers to make a loop at the top of the headpin, just after the last bead. Insert the top of the headpin in a chain link, ear wire, or another existing loop. Then, wrap the headpin’s loop closed: wrap the tail of the loop around and down the stem of the headpin.
Here’s an easy earring idea: slip a couple large beads on a headpin, then start your wrapped loop, slide on an ear wire, and wrap the loop closed!
For step-by-step photographs of making a wrapped loop, check out Charley Key’s Functional Zipper Pull. You can also watch Sherrie Lingerfelt making wrapped loops in the free video Creating a Rosary Link.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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Anne, NSW, Australia
May 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm
Thank you for your explanation for using headpins. I have been looking for headpins with the small ball at the end instead of the flattened end which can be rough on delicate fabric. What would you recommend?
May 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm
Hello Anne – if you have an order coming in from WS, you might want to check out the headpins on this page – several of which have ‘ball’ ends and are on sale. If you are into torch work, a lot of wire artists make their own ball ends by heating wire. Have fun!
May 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Hi everyone. I’ve found it really easy to not only make cute spirals at the end, but taking my torch and heating the end into a ball. Of course that is only with fine silver or argentium silver.