Wire Jewelry Ideas: Homemade Headpins and Eyepins

By on December 26, 2012
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by Rose Marion, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Resource for
December 26, 2012

Homemade Headpins

Commercially-made eye pins and headpins are a big time-saver if you’ve got a lot of earrings or charms to make. But if you’re not in a rush, why not take some time to slow down and perfect the art of the homemade headpin?

Eyepins are simply a piece of wire with a simple loop at the end. To make an eyepin, simply roll the end with round nose pliers, then as you close the loop, bend the straight wire away at a 90 degree angle. Easy as pie!

You can hammer or wiggle this loop around until it looks perfect. Be sure to close the loop as tightly as you can, so wire, hair, and fibers won’t catch on it!

A headpin is the same idea, but you typically can’t connect anything to the headpin, while you can keep connecting components to the loop of an eyepin. You can make spirals, swirls, flatten the wire with a hammer – there are all sorts of ways to turn the end of a piece of wire into a stopper.

Hide the wire or make it into a decoration – the decision is yours! What would happen if you turned the headpin "stopper" into a design element for your piece? What would happen if you hid it along the back of the bead? There are no wrong answers here, just ideas.

Just look at the way Dale used spirals her Jump Start Series:

By the way – don’t tell anyone, there’s a pattern from our Free Email Patterns Series that will show you how to ball the ends of your wire, so you can make head pins with heat! These types of headpins are sometimes called ballpins (as opposed to flattened headpins). Click here to see Albina Manning’s great earring & balled wire tutorial.

What are your favorite ways to make your own headpins and eyepins, or what do you love to use them with? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. avatar


    December 26, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I appreciate ALL of your tips!thanks!

  2. avatar


    December 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I’ve been making my own headpins by balling the ends of wire for years. The Argentium sterling works really well and has a beautiful smooth finish. My copper pins have a sort of rough texture, but the texture is even so I don’t really mind. Sterling, on the other hand, is terrible. Every time I try to ball up the wire I end up with an ugly, pitted, misshapen knob. I’ve tried several different kinds of flux (which generally made the problem worse) and I’ve tried double-firing them, but nothing works.

  3. avatar


    December 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

    When I’m working with extra-heavy gauge wire, I flatten the end of it so it flares out, then file away the sharp corners. It works pretty well, and looks rather nice! The only problem is if you’re using plated wire, where the metal underneath may show.

  4. avatar


    December 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I make swirls, spirals, simple tiny loop as small as I can, then I can put a small bead on the end, I try to vary them as much as is possible!!! I haven’t learned to make a blob with heat, am very nervous about using a torch and besides, I only use copper and copper plated wires in my work. Thank you WS for all your wonderful tips and advice, very much appreciated.