Beau Dangles

Handcrafted Jewelry — Designed to be Different

Stuck on Pins

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Here it is, my first beaded pin. I’m delighted with it for two reasons: one, I think it looks kinda pretty, and two, I learned a lot of lessons about bead embroidery with this little rascal.

1. The first design idea isn’t necessarily the best. So don’t settle on it without trying something else.

2. You can colour Lacy’s Stiff Stuff with a marker. However, I think I’d rather use a dyed foundation layer or buy a solid-coloured one. The marker I used was fine for the surface but when I trimmed the edges the white showed up again so back with the marker. Luckily the beads I was using were about the same shade as the marker but it could have been a problem if they weren’t — hard to get them clean again if I messed up.

3. Make sure your backing material doesn’t fray. I knew that. But the “non-fray” stuff I was sold at a quilting store had a mind of its own and it began to fray on some of the edges. Sigh. On to Ultrasuede for the next one.

4. When you use faceted gems with a partial (one-sided) finish decide beforehand which side up you want. I didn’t want the AB finish to show when I started, then changed my mind part way through. Oops. I was able to gently fiddle a couple of them over but the others refused to budge. So be it. Next time.

5. Gluing. Ah, yes. Things went fairly well in this department. Glued the pinback on without any fuss. Ditto for the backing material. A bit of glue oozed up around the clasp end of the pin but a wet cotton tip removed that easily. This morning I went to try the pin on. When I went to open the pin, however, it wouldn’t budge. Not even a smidge. Dang. What good is a pin that you can’t, well, pin on? Out came the tools. I used my little round-nosed pliers and oh-so-gently tried to open the clasp. Nope. Then I tried a little harder. Nada. So with a devil-may-care attitude I leaned into the job with as much force as I could muster and voila! Open sesame and I had a workable pin.

Author: Sally

Beads? What can I say — they snuck up on me when I wasn't looking. Now I'm hooked.

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