As with many items around the house, safety pins are often overlooked as exciting raw materials. However, there is a fun and productive craft activity for kids that uses tiny, colourful seed beads and safety pins. The end product is fantastic jewellery in a range of designs from the simplest motifs to the most intricate patterns.
Safety pins are readily available and seed beads are sold in craft shops in a whole rainbow of colours and effects such as translucent, opaque and pearlescent.
Making a Bracelet
Kids should start by thinking about what type of bracelet they’d like to make. It could have a random, abstract design or perhaps a bespoke pattern created using a very simple method.
First of all work out how many seed beads you can thread onto the bar of each safety pin. Now, you are able to draw a grid to make the pattern.
The vertical columns represent the threading pattern for each individual safety pin. When the individual safety pins, represented by the columns are pushed together in the right order, the pattern is formed.
Finish threading each individual safety pin. Don’t forget, you will need to bead enough pins to match the circumference of the wearer’s wrist. This usually means that the grid pattern will be repeated several times over within a single bracelet design.
When the pins are complete, it’s time to form the bracelet. Cut two pieces of elastic yarn, which fit the wearer. Thread the first piece through the hole in the head of each safety pin. Make sure that the pins are ordered to fit the pattern requirements.
Now carefully thread the second piece of yarn through the hole in the bottom of the safety pins. When the pins are all threaded, top and bottom, bring the ends of the yarn together and tie firmly so the bracelet is strong and secure.
Some craft shops sell more ‘exotic’ safety pins that are designed specifically for homemade craft projects such as a good range of coloured safety pins to add real individuality to your designs.
Making Brooches and Charms
Using the same principle as above, it’s really easy for kids to conjure some stunning charms and brooches from seed beads and a few safety pins.
Start by thinking about the overall design. Translate these ideas onto a grid pattern. Again, each column represents a safety pin which are arranged together to make the overall design.
Instead of being threaded onto yarn, the beaded pins are threaded by the holes at the bottom onto another safety pin which is secured shut by a tiny dot of strong glue. Use another pin as the means to attach the new brooch to the wearer’s clothes.
Safety pin crafts are fun, entertaining and very rewarding. The use of the sharp pins and very small beads make it a craft which is more suited to older kids. Potentially it is a craft that can be shared and enjoyed equally by a young teenager and their parent. Give it a go and see what patterns come to life with simple use of beads and pins.