Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin. Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. Head pins are a staple in every jewelry makers arsenal.
Balled and Paddled Head Pins
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Findings
  • Technique(s): Dapping, Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Beginner
Head pins are a staple in every jewelry makers arsenal. Making your own head pins means that your design possibilities are endless. Sometimes, the addition of balled or paddled headpins are all that is needed to complement a design and kick a it up a notch

Hint: You will probably make LOTS of headpins at one time. Store them in clear marked plastic bags labeled with wire gauge used.

Materials

20 Gauge Round Full Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-20FH
  • Lesson Quantity: 5.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $14.07
  • Gold Club Price: $10.55
Add to Bag
22 Gauge Round Full Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-22FH
  • Lesson Quantity: 5.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $7.67
  • Gold Club Price: $5.75
Add to Bag
18 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 5.00 feet
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 5FT
  • Price: $20.28
  • Gold Club Price: $15.21
Add to Bag
Add All Items to Cart

Tools

Blazer Big Buddy Turbo Torch, Black
TRCH-8010
  • TRCH-8010
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $40.00
  • Gold Club Price: $30.00
Add to Bag
Fire Brick
SOL-485.00
  • SOL-485.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.96
Add to Bag
Cross Lock Tweezers Straight
TWZ-740.00
  • TWZ-740.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.35
  • Gold Club Price: $2.51
Add to Bag
7 Piece Mini TruStrike Hammer Set with Stand
HAM-520.70
  • HAM-520.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $140.54
  • Gold Club Price: $105.40
Add to Bag
Premium Steel Bench Block 2 1/2 X 2 1/2
G17-9
  • G17-9
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.98
Add to Bag
Acculoop Precision Round Nose
PLR-741.00
  • PLR-741.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.97
  • Gold Club Price: $14.23
Add to Bag
plastic tubing sleeve
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Design Stamp, Contemporary, Star
PUN-103.09
  • PUN-103.09
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $9.95
  • Gold Club Price: $7.46
Add to Bag
Design Stamp, Whimsical, Thick Swirl
PUN-109.07
  • PUN-109.07
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $10.57
  • Gold Club Price: $7.93
Out of Stock
Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
CLN-584.00
  • CLN-584.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $31.95
  • Gold Club Price: $23.96
Add to Bag
NATURE'S TOUCH CITRIC PICKLE, 2LB PLASTIC JAR
CLN-163.00
  • CLN-163.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $16.95
  • Gold Club Price: $12.71
Out of Stock
Stainless Steel Shot - 1 lb Bag
G24-4
  • G24-4
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $31.95
  • Gold Club Price: $23.96
Add to Bag
Thumlers Tumbler Model A-R12 Rock Tumbler
G34-130
  • G34-130
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $348.17
  • Gold Club Price: $261.13
Add to Bag
Add All Items to Cart
Instructions
Step 1:
Balled Head Pins
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies being used and the space you are working in.
Cut a 2¾" to 3" long piece of 22, 20, or 18 gauge round Argentium wire for each head pin. Each wire will be 3/8" to ½" shorter after the ball is made.
Step 2
Safety consideration: It is important to work over a surface where metal cannot bounce or roll off. Notice the ball of silver on the soldering surface in the last photo. The wire was heated and balled to a point where the ball became too heavy and fell off the wire. You certainly do not want a hot metal ball to bounce in your lap!

Hold the wire end over a soldering surface with cross lock tweezers or old pair of chain nose pliers. Ball one end using the butane micro torch for 20 or 22 gauge wire or a torch head on a butane canister for 18 gauge wire. A butane micro torch will work on 18 gauge wire, but it will take much longer to ball the wire.

You may think that the torch is directly under the wire, but it is not. NEVER use your torch directly under the wire. The tip of the blue part of the flame, the hottest part of the flame inside the cone-shaped flame, should come at the wire from a bit of an angle so the ball does not get pushed off center too much by the force of the flame. The ball should be just outside tip of the blue part of the flame as the flame follows the ball "crawling" up the wire. Wait a few seconds until the ball is no longer red before placing it on the solder brick or on a bench block to cool.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 3
Pickle, rinse and dry the balled wires.
Step 4
You may find that the balls on the end of your head pins droop to one side and look like a little golf clubs. An easy fix is to firmly grasp a head pin as close as possible to the ball with the tips of a flat nose pliers. Gently press the ball on a flat surface, moving the ball to a more centered position on the wire.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 5:
Paddled Head Pins
Paddled Head Pins are made using balled head pins.
Copper and sterling silver are prone to pitting or having small dents when melted and cooled. Since the balls will be flattened, there is no need to worry about the pitting/dents.
Using a flat faced hammer, flatten the balled wire ends on a bench block. To avoid dents, try to not strike the ball or the wire with the outer edge of the flat faced hammer. You may wish to use the domed face of the planishing hammer to make the head pin more rustic in appearance. If not, continue to flatten the ball, occasionally turning the piece over, until it is round and about the same thickness as the wire shank.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - Paddled Head Pins, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - Paddled Head Pins, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - Paddled Head Pins, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 6
Tumble the head pins for 30 minutes or more to bring up a shine
Step 7
The first photo shows the difference in size of the paddled ends, left to right, of 22, 20, and 18 gauge wire. The second and third photos show 4mm and 8mm beads on each of the sizes of paddled head pins. It is important to note that most 4mm beads do not have holes large enough to accommodate 18 gauge wire, so before making head pins, check to make sure the chosen wire gauge will fit the bead hole.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 8:
Paddled Head Pin Charms
Cut 1½" pieces of 18 gauge round wire. One end will be flush cut, and one end will be pointed.
Step 9
Ball and paddle the pointed end of each wire.
Step 10
Design stamps can be used to make the head pins even more custom. Place the paddled head pin on a bench block. Center a decorative stamp on the flattened ball. Stamp. Place a piece of plastic, such as from disposable whipped topping containers, on the bench block. Place the stamped side of the paddled head pin down on the plastic. Center the stamp and stamp the second side of the paddled head pin. A paddled head pin stamped with metal content can be hung on the end of a chain.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 11
Even though the ends are flush cut, you may wish to file the end of each paddled piece for a more secure solder join.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 12
Since each wire tail will be slightly different in length, an Acculoop precision round nose pliers is used to make loops with each wire tail. The wire tail end should be coiled slightly beyond the paddled end of the wire. When pulling it back to slide over the top of the piece where the paddle and the wire tail meet, the join will be tight.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 13
Place a dab of medium paste solder inside the wire loop at the join. Place the charm on a soldering surface as shown. Heat until the solder flows. Cool the pieces on a bench block before continuing.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 14
Pickle, rinse and dry the pieces.
Step 15
Slide a bit of plastic tubing onto the smaller side of the Acculoop precision round nose pliers to help avoid plier marks in the soft wire. Slide the soldered paddled charm onto the larger side of the pliers. Squeeze gently all around the loop to round it, if needed. Hint: Save little bits of plastic tubing because they come in handy for lots of things. The tubing comes in a variety of sizes at stores that sell aquarium/pet supplies as well as hardware stores.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 16
Center the paddled end by pushing/bending it over the smaller jaw with the plastic tubing sleeve.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Step 17:
Headpins In Use
This is a bracelet I made years ago using odds and ends of beads. It is still one of my favorites, but I felt it would benefit from an update using a few balled and paddled head pins, as well as a different toggle. It also was missing a bead on one of the head pins.
While restringing, the silver beads and findings were cleaned up a bit. BUT, that is when I found that many of the beads and findings that I purchased at a street fair as being sterling silver were actually plated base metal. I even went back to the packages where I keep a few of the beads with the labels, and yes, they are labeled "sterling silver." I was upset to lose the six cute little clapper bells, but since there were already Bali spacer beads on the bracelet, small Bali ones made nice replacement dangles. Lesson learned: Purchase from established, reputable dealers.
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - Headpins In Use, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins
Judy Larson's Balled and Paddled Head Pins - Headpins In Use, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, balled and paddle headpins