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.

 

 

IMG_1894_thumb.jpg 

 

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?


Those hard to fasten bracelets

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Many times when I’m ready to put on my jewelry (accessorizing is the highlight of my day), I need help fastening my bracelet. It never fails, everyone else has left for work or school and I’m alone. For $10.00 I could buy the Bracelet Buddy or some other type of bracelet fastener to help me with this situation. Instead I reach for a piece of scotch tape. I tape one end of the bracelet to my wrist and then fasten the bracelet by myself. Voilà! What tips do you have to share?

Holding the bracelet in place with tape.


Completed Valentine Necklace

Valentine Necklace

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I love jewelry. The bigger and gaudier the more I like it. I like to go to craft shows to gather ideas. I discovered this adorable necklace and wanted it badly. The price tag on it was $98.00! Whoa! So, I made my own for about $20.00.

Here is how to make one for yourself:

  • Start with a chain that has large links that you can find at a craft store or maybe recycle an old one you already have. My chain was 20 inches long.

    Heart Photo Frame

  • Add a heart shaped photo frame to the center point of the chain. I got this photo frame from a heart shaped Christmas ornament. Insert a cute picture of a heart or the words, Happy Valentine’s Day where the photo would go.
  • Get some miniature charm resin hearts. These look like heart-shaped cookies. I got these at a craft store in the Valentine section.

    Heart charm with attached jump ring and glue

  • For those hearts that do not have a way to attach them to the chain, get some jump rings and glue them to the back of each heart. Jump rings are available in the jewelry department of any craft store. You will need to use high quality jewelry glue. I prefer E-6000®. The glue will harden for use in 24 hours.

Bangle charms from old Christmas ornaments

  • To add color between the heart charms, take white, red, or pink bangle charms to put between the miniatures. I took apart old Christmas ornaments with needle nose pliers, added a jump ring to each one to make my bangle charms.
  • To attach the heart and bangle charms to the necklace chain, I use needle nose pliers to open the jump ring. Then I put the chain link and the charm on the jump ring and pinch the jump ring shut with the pliers. (I also use my 2+ reading glasses!)

Attaching heart charm to necklace with jump ring

  • Wear and enjoy!

    Completed Valentine Necklace