March 4, 2013

Vintage Style: 1930s Velvet Shamrock Pin Tutorial

velvet tubing shamrock pin
This week my mind is focused on studying for the CSET in order to start student-teaching in the fall.  So, to keep the creativity and merriment going here while I revisit ancient Mesopotamia, navigate through mitochondrial DNA, and tango with the Pythagorean Theorem, I've dusted off a simple little St. Patty's Day project from the Rook No. 17 archives.
velvet tubing shamrock pin

These very chic and charming little shamrock pins look just like them came out of a fancy millinery shop from the 1930s.
Grab some buttons, glue, wire and velvet tubing and let's go...

velvet tubing shamrock pin tutorial

Velvet Shamrock Pins
  • 18" Velvet Tubing (a.k.a. piping or cord) per pin 
  • 18 " of 22 gage floral wire
  • pretty buttons
  • hot glue gun
  • pin backs
  • Optional:  Fabric rosettes made from scrap fabric or lace

Step 1:  Remove the cord from inside the length of tubing.
Step 2:  Insert wire into tubing, and seal tubing at both ends with a small dot of hot glue. 
Step 3:  Use three fingers, as shown in photo below, to bend three loops in the wired tubing.
Step 4:  Use a small dab of hot glue to connect the three loops at the base.
Step 5:  Using your forefinger and thumb, stretch each loop to widen at the top.
Step 6:  Twist "stem" several turns to tighten the grain.
Step 7:  Glue a vintage button in the center of shamrock.  I layered two buttons.
Step 8:  Bend each petal in the center.

st. patrick's day jewelry diy
Step 9:  At this point you can embellish further by mounting the velvet shamrocks on a fabric or vintage lace rosette, or leave them as a simple outline as pictured above.  Use a dab of hot glue to affix a pinback to the back of the shamrock and it's ready to wear.

For this rosette, I used a 10" strip of frayed muslin, gather stitched.

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  1. Oh Jenn, I love these pins so much! I had one as a kid, believe it or not...and NOW I'm sitting here wondering what ever happened to it. Guess I'll need to make some! Happy Studying! :)

  2. Thanks for showing it. We do not celebrate St Patrick in the Netherlands, but I"m Irish and Scottish minded so I will make this for the March 17.
    Hendrika from the Netherlands.

  3. How very clever. I'm sending this post to my sister. She'll love it.

  4. Gorgeous, Jenn! That velvet piping looks so rich!

  5. It's gorgeous Jenn!!
    We don't celebrate this holiday, but it's a beautiful pin anyway, and I'd love to wear it :)

  6. Cool technique Jenn... on my must try list now!

  7. Love those ... the vintage feel is perfect.

  8. I love this sweet, vintage look. The velvet tubing is So pretty!

  9. Thanks so much for linking to my Etsy shop! One of your readers bought the green cording from me! She also let me know how she found me! Wow! I am blessed! (Prince Snow Farm on Etsy!) THANKS!


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