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Now that we know what the sun can do to our skin, we've re-discovered the hat: functional hats, floppy hats, frilly hats, all sorts of hats. And, in rediscovering the hat, we've rediscovered breezes that try to blow our hats away! And so, we need a hat pin! Or two!
I can remember when my grandmother came to visit: the ritual of sliding the pearl-tipped hat pin out of her Tiffany-blue satin pillbox hat with veil. I remember marveling silently at how she must be oblivious to pain to effortlessly slide that rapier-like pin in and out of her skull. Of course, it was later that I learned that the hat pin goes through the hair, not the skin!
Hat pins are quick and easy to make once you know the trick. It's simply a matter of selecting beads with big enough holes to slide onto the hat pin stick, as they tend to be a little on the thick side.
You can make your hat pin as simple or as ornate as you like. It can be a splash of color to accent your outfit, a way to showcase a favorite bead, or a statement unto itself.
Crimp pliers or chain nose or flat nose pliers.
You need to check and ensure that you bead will slide onto the hat pin. Remove the safety knob from the bottom, and slide your bead onto the stick pin. You can see from this picture, that the stick pin flares a little, and so this bead does not slide right to the end.
Follow up with a crimp bead. Slide it up next to the bead and crimp it into place.
A crimp bead is a metal bead that is designed to be crushed or squashed into place without breaking, so that it can grip what ever it has been squashed onto and hold it.
Usually, they crimp over a doubled-line, but they can crimp onto the single wire of the stick pin just as effectively.
|Place the crimp bead in the second set of holes, and crush it firmly. Alternately, you can use your chain nose or flat nose pliers to crush the crimp bead firmly onto the wire.|
If you want to showcase a favorite bead, like this Tibetan agate D'zi bead, hand polished to show off the beautiful banding of the natural stone, you can display it on a hat pin. Another natural choice would be a fine collectible lampwork bead.
This bead has much larger holes, and would slide off the end of the hat pin, and over the crimp bead. But putting a flat, washer-like sterling "daisy" spacer bead at either end, the bead will no longer slide off the end of the stick pin. Crimp as before.
|This hat pin is more ornate and does not use a crimp bead. (shown in extreme close up below so that you can see the detail better.|
Slide a large focal bead onto the stick pin.
Take a length of wire approximately 8 inches long. Use the round nose pliers to put a loop in the end. Open the loop to the side, and slide a small bead such as a seed bead to the end, and close the loop again. Slide on a few seed beads, and another bead, and a few more seed beads.
Hold the wire at 90 degrees to the stick pin.
Wrap the wire around the stick pin, tightly, twice, and then wrap around the 1st bead on the stick pin.
Wrap the wire tightly around the top of the stick pin, and then back down around the 1st bead.
Add a few more beads to the wire, and another bead onto the stick pin.
Continue to add beads to the stick pin and the wire, and use the wire to wrap and hold in place each new bead added to the stick pin. Finish with a few tight wraps around the stick pin under the last bead, and end with a decorative spiral or a loop with another bead.
Go back to the original piece of wire, and curve it back up decoratively next to the first bead.
It may take a few tries until your fingers get used to bending the wire, so experiment and try a few different designs. Remember, as always, enjoy and have fun!
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