Jun 26 2009
July 4th is right around the corner and I wanted to create a special quilling project to celebrate America’s birthday. I was looking around the Internet for patriotic images when I happened upon an American flag made with safety pins and pony beads. Now, this is not a new craft; children have been making safety pin jewelry for years. But this time when I saw the photo something clicked and I began to wonder if I could substitute quilled beads for the plastic pony beads. I pulled out a safety pin from my sewing basket and made a few tight coils as test beads. I slipped them on the safety pin and realized that the idea would work. After a trip to my local craft store for the safety pins, I was ready to make my own version of this childhood crafting classic.
You will need
Basic quilling tools (discussed earlier)
Quilling paper, 1/8″: red, white, blue
(1) Size No. 3, 2″ safety pin, silver
(8) 1-1/4″ coiless* safety pins, silver
10-inch piece of 20 Gauge wire, silver
6-inch piece ribbon, 1/4″ wide, yellow
Acrylic spray sealer (optional)
Needle nose pliers
What to do
Quill (9) blue 3″ tight coils, (26) red 3″ tight coils, and (21) white 3″ tight coils. If you think that your pin will be handled a lot, spray the quills with several coats of sealer to protect them. Next, take a 1-1/4″ long coiless pin slip on three blue tight coils, then four more tight coils in this order: white, red, white, red. When it is fully loaded, shut the pin and crimp the clasp with your pliers so it cannot come open. Repeat for two more pins. Load the five remaining coiless pins with seven tight coils in this order: red, white, red, white, red, white, red. Crimp the clasps to secure the beads.
Using the photo as a guide, assemble your American Flag pin by placing the eight 1-1/4″ pins on the shaft of the 2″ pin, making sure they are in the right order. With the front of the pin facing you, wrap one end of the wire around left-hand side of the shaft of the 2″ pin several times then run it through the pin loop to secure it. Wrap the wire several times around the handle of your quilling tool to form little coils. Secure the remaining end of the wire to the clasp end of the 2″ safety pin. In honor of our brave troops, tie the yellow ribbon onto the wire loop and clip the ends.
Wear your American Flag pin on July 4th or any day you want to show your national pride!
For my international readers
I encourage you to take this idea and adapt it to your own country’s flag.
*Coiless safety pins have the same basic shape as regular safety pins, but instead of having a circle loop of wire at the end, the wire simply bends. I used The Jewelry Shoppe brand coiless pins that I found at Hobby Lobby. If you can’t find coiless pins, you can certainly use regular safety pins, but you will have to purchase them a bit longer because you will lose a bit of available space due to the coil. Also, if you use regular safety pins to hold your tight coil beads, you will need to pull apart the double looped end of the two inch long safety pin wide enough to slide the other safety pin loops through to the other side of the pin.
Quilling Tip: A Google image search will bring up a multitude of wonderful pictures when you need creative inspiration. Don’t limit your search to quilling, but look at all types of images from clip art to photographs. You never know what you might find … or where it might lead you in your creative journey.