Daily Wire Tip May 24: All About Headpins

By on May 23, 2011
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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 Headpin
A simple headpin

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.

15 Minute Headpin Earrings
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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  1. avatar

    Anne, NSW, Australia

    May 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Dale,
    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?

    • avatar


      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!

  2. avatar

    Jan O'Neil

    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.