There are three standard jewellery pins: head pins, ball pins, and eye pins.
On top of this are unique jewellery pins that provide a cap within the pin itself. Stones and Findings has a wide variety of pins, including: ball pins, eye pins, head pins as well as fancy pins in sterling silver, gold filled & gold vermeille.
You won’t always want to use one of these pins, there are times when all you need is just the bead. If your design requires nothing fancy on the end of your pin 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 drilled pearl. The examples below demonstrate how you can make different types of pins using Sterling Silver Wire. You can however, just as easily use Gold Vermeille or Gold Filled wire.
- Cut off the desired length for your pin from sterling silver 22 Gauge wire.
- Hold the section of wire with your parallel pliers and leave a small tip, of a millimeter or so, peeking out at the end.
- With a flat nose hammer, hammer the exposed tip a few times.
- Hammer in one direction, take out the pin and rotate it a quarter turn, then continue to strike the sterling silver tip. This will expand the metal just enough to stop your bead/pearl from sliding off the end of the wire. By rotating your piece of wire, you will ensure that the end of the pin is fanned out equally. And there you have it; you’ve created your own sterling silver head pin.
To the naked eye, it may not look like the hammered end will stop the bead/pearl, but by creating a small flat end on your wire you will stop it from sliding off.
TIP: To achieve a professional finish, either 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 silver pins.
- Take the end of your sterling silver 22 Gauge wire, and using your round tip pliers, bend the end into a small circle creating the eye of your eye pin.
- After you’ve created the eye, cut the sterling silver wire, how much you cut depends on how much you need for your pin. Keep in mind you’ll want a little extra wire to wrap with once you’ve put your stones/beads onto your sterling silver eye pin.
- For this project, it would be ideal to have a torch. With it you can heat up the end of your sterling silver wire to create a ball, the temperature you want is 1640 fahrenheit, or 893 celsius.
- Once your sterling silver wire has started to ball, take the heat away, quench the end in some water and polish it once it has cooled enough to touch it, now you have your own 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 of wire and, using two sets of parallel pliers, hold it at each end. Then twist the wire in opposite directions and it will harden a bit. The more you twist it the harder it will get!