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Head Pins - Paddled

Free instructions for making a "Paddle Head Pin" jewelry finding using jewelry wire and common jewelry making tools:

Square Earrings made with a handmade head pin finding made out of jewelry wire shaped on jewelry making tools.Earrings made with a handmade head pin finding made out of jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies.



A head pin is a jewelry making finding similar to a straight pin.  It is basically a straight piece of jewelry wire with one large end.  The "paddle" end is large enough so that it cannot pass through the hole in a bead.  Most head pins are manufactured by a machine with a head that is identical to the head on a pin.  These head pins are made by hammering jewelry wire on an anvil or bench block to flatten the end of the jewelry wire. 




Jewelry Making Supplies Required:

Jewelry Making Tools Required:

  • 20 gauge jewelry wire
  • Metal Chasing Hammer
  • Jeweler's Anvil

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to hammer jewelry wire on a jeweler's anvil using a metal chasing hammer jewelry tool described below.

Making a Head Pin Finding by hammering jewelry wire on an anvil jewelry tool.

Instructions for making a head pin finding using jewelry wire shaped by common jewelry tools.

Our technique makes a "paddle" at the end of a wire segment by  flattening the wire using a chasing hammer and anvil.  Start with a segment of 20 gauge jewelry wire about 2 1/2 inches long.  Place this segment of jewelry wire on your anvil and hammer the last 5/8" of wire with the rounded side of your chasing hammer.  You will need to do a lot of hammering.  Each of the wire segments shown here were hammered for about 4-5 minutes.  Note that the wire is not perfectly symmetrical after the hammering.  When you have flattened the wire adequately, you will need to cut the end of the jewelry wire with your flush cutter.  You can cut the end square as shown above-right, or you can cut the end into a point. 

This style of head pin is called a "paddle" because it resembles a paddle for a canoe or boat. 

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

Making your own head pin findings out of jewelry wire is something that you can do when you run out of head pins.  Unfortunately to properly shape the jewelry wire into a head pin shape you would be proud of takes more effort than it would seem.   We like the look of the head pin finding we made with the pointed bottom, shown above-left, but to be fair to our readers, it took more time to make these head pins than we wanted.  Four minutes to make a head pin finding is more effort than purchasing head pins which can cost between 10 and 25 cents each.  Our best recommendation is to keep extra head pin findings on hand so that you won't run out.




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