Unique Uses for Pins and Brooches

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There are many ways to wear pins and brooches, here are a few typical and unique ways I thought you might enjoy.

Typical Ways to Wear a Pin:

  • On a lapel

Lapel Pin

  • On a scarf
  • On a coat

Unique Ways to Use a Brooch:

  • To keep a blouse from revealing too much

Gap protection

  • Add sparkle to a purse or tote

Purse Pin

  • On a hat
  • To bling up a dress (Here’s an example of two dresses made with a spot that is perfect for a pin.)

Pin on purple dressPurple dressPin on dress collar Pinless dress collar

  • On a hip pocket
  • Add to a picture frame, mirror, or artwork to embellish

Brooch on mirror frame Pin on artwork

  • Add to a set of pearls (Pin the brooch across all the strands.) Adorable!

Pearls with pin Pins on pearl necklace

  • As a pendant. You will need to purchase a pin converter. This is great item to turn a pin into a necklace.

Pin converter Converted Pin

Wearing brooches in fun and different ways is interesting.  My previous post shows a fun way to display a brooch collection.

How is do you wear your brooches?

4 Steps to Displaying Your Favorite Pins

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Read My Pins


I read a interesting book by Madeleine Albright called “Read My Pins.”  She relays fascinating stories from her collection of brooches with a diplomatic twist. Her collection of pins are beautiful and each one is filled with meaning. I too have a collection of pins and after reading this book decided to display my pins rather leave them hiding in my jewelry case.





Here is the finished pin display.



You will need:

  • Open picture frame – size, color, and style of your choice. (I picked a 16” x 20” frame.) If your frame does not come with mounting hardware you’ll need this to mount it to the wall.
  • MDF board (or plywood, particle board, or something similar) cut to fit the frame size you purchased. (This will be the back of the display board.)
  • Fabric of your choice to cover the board with an added 3” to all four sides. (Example: my board is 16” x 20” so I got material that measured 22” x 26”.)
  • Staple gun and 1/4” staples and 1/2” staples.
  • Batting or polyfill to use as stuffing.
  • Scissors.

First, place your batting on the MDF board. Cover the board between 1” to 1-1/2” thick.

Second, place your fabric on top of the batting. Turn the board, batting, and fabric over. Pull taut on the back side. Using 1/4” staples, staple one side, then the opposite, pulling the fabric tight as you staple. Staple the other two sides pulling the fabric evenly taut. Trim the excess fabric away from the frame with scissors.

Staple Gun, Fabric, and Board

Third, put the stuffed board in frame. Then staple 1/2” staples every 4” around the frame at a slight angle so that the staples protrude about 1/4”. These will hold the MDF board in place.

Fourth, place you prize pin collection in the batting and hang the frame and pins on a wall.

Finished - White Fabric

Initially, I covered my MDF board in a solid white fabric because I wanted my pins to be prominently showcased. When I was done the pins looked washed out. So, I covered the white fabric with a black fabric. (It seems jewelers already know this trick.) I was very pleased with the results.

On the wall, pins and all

Now my pins have a new home, and I have them displayed proudly.

 Mary Brooch

The oldest pin I own, I received as a gift was when I was nine and wore it for my 4th grade school picture.  

Many of my brooches have a story of their own. Some I received as gifts from grandmothers and friends. Others I found while on vacation or looking at antique stores; these were vintage finds. I even have different holiday pins. Mine don’t have a diplomatic meaning but, they do have sentimental meaning to me.


Do you have any special pins? Why are they special?

Spring Cleaning

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Simplify Simplify: I have a place in the garage where little by little I put the things that I want to give away. When I have two or three boxes, I donate the items. I love that feeling! What continues to astound me though is how quickly I can start another box.

I have become quite fond of having big clean out sessions a couple times a year.  I truly get an emotional lift from unloading and getting rid of stuff I don’t need. Stuff in my house is stuff I have to either keep clean or continue to store. Maintenance! Ugh! I do spring cleaning because I don’t want to be on Hoarders. Why do I need 20 spatulas? Isn’t 3 or 4 enough? We all need to simplify; it gives us freedom.

Hoarding is a disease. It is a form of greed, proof that you are not relying on God. 

Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15 – NIV)  

7 An Experimental Mutiny against ExcessIf you struggle with excess you need to read: 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. It is about a family that experiments with drastically trimming excess in different areas of their lives. They focus on one area for a month, for seven consecutive months. The seven areas are clothes, shopping, waste, stress, media, possessions, and food.

Hatmaker’s findings are worth your time. You should read the book. It will challenge your concept of excess.

Is spring cleaning on your calendar?

Easter Traditions

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Easter Baskets Easter is almost here.

For years my kids were involved in a wonderful event with our church to help them develop as leaders for Christ. The problem was that it was always on Easter weekend. The event was held in the town my parents live in so we quickly adapted and we did Easter at my folk’s home. Each year mom would fix a dish called, Ham Pie. Everyone loved it, and it soon became our traditional Easter meal. We still to this day have Ham Pie, salad, vegetables, deviled eggs, and made-from-scratch banana pudding. Below is the recipe for Ham Pie. We decorate the dining table with toys eggs filled with candy and surprises.

When you celebrate Easter as a family, gather your kids around and have fun coloring eggs. Read the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Talk about what Easter really means. And, be thankful – He Lives!

Do you have any Easter traditions?


Ham Pie Recipe

  • 3 Tbs. onion
  • 1/4 cup green pepper
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 cups diced cooked ham

Cook onion and pepper in shortening in a 2 qt. pan until tender. Blend in flour, milk, and soup; stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When thick, stir in ham and lemon juice. Pour thickened mixture into greased 9” x 13” baking dish and cover the mixture with uncooked cheese biscuits (see recipe below). Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

Cheese Biscuits

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. shortening
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup milk

Mix all ingredients into a formed ball of dough. Sprinkle flour on a clean counter-top to keep the biscuit dough from sticking to the counter. Roll dough on floured counter-top to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with round 2” diameter biscuit cutter. This will make approximately 24 biscuits.

Child vs. Aging Parent

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iStock Photo


Recently, we put my mother in a nursing home. Over the years I have seen my mother become more and more like a child. I work with children ages 3 to 5 everyday and the resemblance is uncanny. I’m sure if your parents are getting older, you too have seen the regression that takes place. Although a bit sad, here are my observations about aging parents and children. What are your thoughts?



Child                               Aging Parent
Needs someone to dress, feed, and bathe them. Needs someone to dress, feed, and bathe them.
Goes through three outfits a day. Goes through three outfits a day.
Drools and messes in diaper. Drools and messes in diaper.
Stumbles, falls, gets up. Stumbles, falls, can’t get up.
Someone older tells them what to do. Someone younger tells them what to do.
Learns to eat and tie shoes. Forgets how to eat and tie shoes.
Likes to play ball. Likes to play ball in physical therapy.
Others smile at them. Others frown at them.
Is growing. Is shrinking.
Is learning. Is forgetting.
Loves adventure and exploring. Loves routine and schedules.
Likes new ways. Likes old ways.
Whines and complains to get their way. Whines and complains and don’t get their way.
Learn to eat, walk, and go to the bathroom by them self. Wish they could eat, walk, and go to the bathroom by them self.
Likes to be held and loved. Likes to be held and loved.
Someone tucks them in bed and kisses them goodnight. Someone tucks them in bed and kisses them goodnight.
Tries to keep up with you with a hop and a skip. Tries to keep up with you with a walker and new hip.
Grows stronger everyday. Grows weaker everyday.
In child care. In assisted care.
Gets love unconditionally. Gets love unconditionally.
Knows that God loves them. We know that God loves them.