Sometimes things were just meant to be 🙂 My crafting is often about happy accidents, so I think this story is pretty fitting! Not too long ago, I stumbled across an etsyian and fellow Richmonder who was decorating bobby pins with vintage buttons, jewelry, etc, such as these by Historically Inspired Designs. I was reminded of some old clip-on earrings that had fallen into my possession when my grandmother passed away (I was 10 at the time, and already quite a hoarder, so I was the only one interested in some grimy old clip-ons with a couple of jewels missing). I’d taken off some of the fake rhinestones for other projects, but had held onto the earrings themselves in the hopes that I might some day make use of them. So after seeing Historically Inspired Designs’s bobby pins, I thought I’d try my hand at my own.
I’m something of an immediate gratification crafter- if I don’t start something the minute I think of it, I’ll never do it, so I usually have to work with the materials I have on hand (which is part of why I have such a HUGE craft stash). So, I dug out Grandmother’s earrings, opened the epoxy glue I had recently purchased for marble magnets (which still haven’t happened, although that E-600 glue is amazing stuff which has come in handy several times), and raided a couple of rooms for different types of bobby pins – eventually opting for a pair of my mom’s goldtone ones to coordinate with the earrings (the bobby pins themselves are vintage as well).
After ripping off the clip-on backs using some heavy-duty wire cutters, I glued them to the bobby pins and propped them against some stacked newspaper and the like. The gluing didn’t go very smoothly as there’s very little of a bobby to glue to anything, so I started to wonder if there were bobby pins specifically made for such a thing (I’ve just discovered that there are, but I’ll get to that in a minute). Still, I don’t think they turned out too shabby (I think you can click the photos below for larger versions).
Some things I wish I’d done differently – taken photos of the process, I really wanted to get into the habit of doing that. Found the correct materials before starting the project (that never happens with me – wishful thinking!). Left the rhinestones in the earrings long ago (although I think that several of them were missing already, so I guess it really doesn’t matter that much.
Now to the second part of the happy accident – I’ve worn them several times, and really love them, but had kind of forgotten about sharing them here. I’ve wished I could make some more, as they are simple but beautiful, but I know it wouldn’t work very well with regular bobby pins. So, tonight while roaming craftster.org I wandered into a section I’ve never been in before – “Opportunities for crafters” – where I spotted a post directing me to a bobby pin challenge, with details here. There’s a prize of some findings, including some silver bobby pins with plates on them specifically for decorating! It looks like no one has entered yet, even though the deadline is tonight, so if I can get some good photos of grandmother’s earrings I might have a chance, but at least, now I know that decorating pins exist and where I can find them 😀 Score!
You can see photos of more decorated pins on the flickr group for this and presumably future challenges as well. If you aren’t ready to tackle this project yourself and would rather buy some, be sure to check out Historically Inspired Designs on etsy. I’m curious to see if the contest sponsor lists any on etsy as well, but that shop is currently in vacation mode, so I’ll have to wait and see!