Saturday, July 4, 2009

How to Create your own Jewellery Pins

There are three standard jewellery pins; head pins, ball pins, and eye pins. And then, there are always unique jewellery pins that provide a cap with in the in pin itself. Stones and Findings a wide variety of pins, including ball pins , eye pins , head pins as well as fancy pins in sterling silver, gold filled and gold vermeille.

However there are times when all you need in your design is just the bead. If your design requires nothing fancy on the end of your pin, then there is a great way to create your own pin head. This works especially well with pearls. Often basic pins are a little too thick for your standard drill hole on a pearl, too. The examples below demonstrate how you can make the different types of pins, using Sterling Silver Wire. You can however, just as easily use Gold Vermeille or Gold Filled wire.

Head Pin

Simply take a section of your sterling silver 22 Gauge wire, and cut off the desired length for your pin. Then put this section of sterling silver wire, into your parallel pliers, leaving a millimeter peeking out at the end. With a flat nose hammer, hammer the exposed bit of your sterling silver wire with a few strikes. Hammer in one direction, and then take out the pin and rotate it a quarter of the way. Then continue to strike the sterling silver tip. This will expand the metal just enough to stop your bead from sliding off the end of the wire. By rotating your piece ofsterling silver wire, you will ensure that the end of the pin is equally fanned out. And there you have it; you've created your own sterling silver head pin.

Now to the naked eye, it may not seem like you've created something that will stop the pearl, but by creating a small flat end on your sterling silver wire you will essentially stop it from sliding off.

*TIP* - to get a professional finish, use an old pair of parallel pliers, or wrap masking tape around your pliers ends to ensure that you do not leave any hammer marks on your sterling silverpins.

Eye Pin

Start by taking the end of your sterling silver 22 Gauge wire, and using your round tip pliers, bend into a small circle at the end of your wire piece. Then, depending on the length you need for your project cut about 1cm or more from your sterling silver wire. This will allow you to have extra room to wire wrap once you've put your stones or beads onto the finished sterling silver eye pin.

Ball Pin

For this project, it would be ideal to have access to a torch. With it you can heat up the end of your sterling silver wire, applying a small amount of heat and the metal will ball at 1640f/893c. Once your sterling silver wire has started to ball, take the heat away, quench and polish the piece and then you will have your home made sterling silver ball pin.

*TIP* - if you are using soft sterling silver wire and find it too soft for your project, take the section needed and hold it from end to end with your two parallel pliers. Then twist the piece of sterling silver wire in opposite directions and it will harden a bit. Twist it a lot and you'll have your soft sterling silver wire to harden in no time!

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