Basic Skills - Knotted Headpins

Knotted Head Pin

Making your own headpins is an essential skill in jewelry making, this tutorial will demonstrate how to make a headpin with a lovely knotted end and how to wire wrap a bead onto that pin.

Headpins are a component used in jewelry making most often when using beads and making earrings adding wrapped beads to finished chains. Headpins are found in different finished, lengths and gauges to suit your jewelry making needs. When making your own headpins you can custom create with a variety of lengths and gauge sizes.

One thing to keep in mind when you are creating your own head pins is the size of bead you will be using with the pin- mainly the hole size. If the hole size is quite small, ensure you use a thin gauge wire. If the hole is larger, make sure that the knot you make will be large enough to hold the bead on the pin.

Materials: sterling silver wire, bead

Tools: Round nose pliers, wire cutters, chain nose pliers

Steps in making a knotted end head pin

Step 1: Cut wire to desired length- 2 inches

Step 2: Using round nose pliers grip the tip of the wire ensuring it is not coming past the jaws of the pliers.

Step 3: Twist away from you, slightly loosening grip, readjusting pliers back, tighten at some point and twist away again. Continue until you have 2 full coils

Step 4: Grip wire at the base of the last coil made and twist wire 90 degrees upward

Step 5: Using fingers bend wire at halfway point

Step 6: Feed end through the coils made, until a little tail is through

Step 7: Grip tail with chain nose pliers, while gripping the knot with your fingers pull the tail end fully through the coils 

Step 8: If needed, tighten up and secure the knot

Step 9: Straighten out wire

Here is your knotted head pin!

Continue with the following steps for a wire wrapped bead in the pin

Step 10: String bead or beads onto pin

Step 11: Using round nose pliers, grip wire about 2-3mm above top bead, slightly twist creating a kink creating about a 30-40 degree angle. 

Step 12: Readjust pliers to sit at tip of the twist

Step 13: Pull wire all the way around making a full loop with tail coming straight across where loop ends- use either thumb to push along round nose pliers or for thicker gauge wire use pliers

Step 14: Gently grip loop with pliers, do not squeeze too hard or you will mark the wire or distort the loop. 

Step 15: Grip tail with 2nd set of bent chain nose pliers and begin twisting, wrapping around the visible wire above the beads. Wrap as close to loop as possible and continue wrapping around keeping coils tight. Wrap all the way down to the top bead.

*NOTE: The space given above the last bead will determine how much wrapping you will need to do. The 2-3 recommended is about 2-3 coils depending on wire gauge. If you want more coil, leave more space and wrap all the way down to the top bead. This is based on your design alone, as long as there is one solid coil the beads will be secure.

Step 16: Once down to the top bead, you may have the excess wire. If needed cut the tail with wire cutters.

Step 17: Tuck the tail in, gently push it inwards toward the coil. Careful not to scratch the surface of the beads, especially pearls.Thank you

AZ Findings Team

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