DIY – Hat Pin Tutorial

April 5, 2019

Did you know that all of Rings & Things’ hat pins meet the guidelines set forth by the Arkansas hat-pin ruling of 1909? Curious? You can read about the history of hat pins on the American Hatpin Society’s website: (And yes, there is an American Hatpin Society!)

While the history of hat pins at Rings & Things isn’t as colorful, we have offered the necessary findings for years, and they are still popular.  You too can make hat pins (whether for personal adornment, weaponry, or both). Just follow the step-by-step instructions in this free Rings & Things jewelry-making tutorial.

Purchasing beads by the strand is a great value. They aren’t just for stringing necklaces; I used the large-hole beads pictured here to create hat pins. And the leftover beads will be an inspiration for future projects. Can you have too many beads? I don’t think so.

You will need these supplies:


Large-Hole Base-Metal Beads

Hat-pin findings are made of hardened 16-gauge wire, which requires beads with 1.3mm holes. Rings & Things lists the bead-hole size on each item listing’s detail page

Large-hole base-metal beads are organized by hole size on the Rings & Things’ website. Now you can find the perfect bead with ease for your jewelry-making project.


You will need these tools:

Plan the design and lay out the beads in your desired pattern.

The “Ocean Pearl” color-changing Mirage bead has a 3 – 4mm hole-a little too large to sit evenly on the 16-gauge hat-pin wire. But no worries, you can use white-rubber earring keepers to keep it firmly balanced on the wire.

String the first three beads on to the hat pin finding: 3.4mm heishi-style metal bead, 3.4mm heishi-style metal bead, and 6mm beaded spacer bead. String on 2 wire keepers and space them to match the length of the Mirage bead. These will serve as “bead adjusters”.

String the Mirage bead on so both wire keepers tuck inside the bead. No wobbly bead now.

String on the remaining beads: 6mm beaded spacer bead, 12mm Aventurine Rondelle, 6mm beaded spacer bead, 8mm round brushed-finish bead, and fancy metal barrel bead.

Jewelry-Making Hack

Follow these steps to make a base-metal “smart bead”:

Use sharp scissors to cut a white-rubber wire keeper in half.

You will now have two half-sized wire keepers. You will only need one for this project.

String the half-sized wire keeper on to the already beaded hat pin (positioned a few inches from the sharp end is fine).

Insert the half-sized wire keeper into a base-metal crimp cover.

Use the large, rounded part of the “Mighty Crimper” pliers’ jaw to close the crimp cover over the half-sized wire keeper. Pivot the crimp cover in the jaw and squeeze from a few positions until it is fully closed and rounded.

Slide the homemade smart bead up the hat pin until it positions firmly against the decorative beads, thus holding everything in place.

Finish the beaded hat pin by adding a stick-pin clutch. The clutch comes lined with a rubber insert that protects the sharp end of the hat pin (and you)!

“Ocean Pearl” Hat Pin by Rings & Things designer Mollie Valente.

“Chinese Lantern” Hat Pin created by Rings & Things designer Mollie Valente. Supply list and instructions for this project are coming soon to the Rings & Things Design Gallery!

Make Things!


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