Can you believe this colorful bracelet is made out of safety pins? No jewelry making tools needed to make this fabulous rainbow beaded safety pin bracelet!
I totally have these days where I don’t want to do what I need to do. It’s, like, I’m totally rebelling on being an adult and something inside of my simply REFUSES to be okay with going around the house and picking up or, working on a commissioned project, or whatever it is that NEEDS to be done. Do you ever do that? Where you’re willing to do ANYTHING but what you NEED to do at that moment even if it’s something you would normally enjoy doing, even?
I was knees deep in one of those days and I found myself doing anything and everything but what I needed to do and not really accomplishing anything at the same time. Frustrated with myself, but not willing to force myself to go get stuff done, I decided to make lists. Because I totally dig lists. It’s an O.C.D. thing that I share with my sister and she thinks was nurtured into both of us since birth. We straight up will make a list to keep up with our lists. In fact, I have four right now on my work clipboard (as opposed to my household clipboard)… Active craft projects, Craft projects I want to do very soon but need to source supplies for, a list of supplies I need to look for when I go to stores or flea markets or whatever for the projects I can’t work on for lack of supplies, and then crafts I’d like to do soon, but am not super stoked about so I will work on them later. Is that kind of nuts? It might totally be kind of nuts.
At any rate, this one day I was making lists and working on brainstorming ideas for “current craft projects” because I just didn’t want to fold laundry. I was working specifically toward some rainbow crafts that are totally suitable for adults. Like, not something that is for kids only, you know? So many rainbow projects are childish, which is great for the kids, but not so fab for a color loving adult like myself. And while I was thinking things up, looking at supplies online I remembered a safety pin bracelet my mother bought for me when she took me to Affair of the Heart, a gigantic yearly craft show in Oklahoma City, OK.
Affair of the heart has been going on for, like, 33 years now and it’s a crafty person’s dream. Held at the state fairgrounds there are tons and tons of handmade goods to buy and some of the most amazing crafty ideas to be seen. When I was a kid, we went to it every. single. year. And every single year I got some kind of a present. One year it was a balloon that was filled with sand, or something, attached to a rubber band that was kind of like a yoyo. And then one year I got one of those spinners where there’s a dowel topped with helicopter-like wings you run through your palms like you’re trying to start a fire and hope you don’t have your face too far over it when it shoots up into the sky. Because if you DID have your face too close, well, that business hurt. Badly.
Somehow while I was thinking up ideas I remembered that safety pin bracelt. It was made with, like, super jumbo safety pins and each pin had tons of different colors for a super colorful, super big bracelet and I LOVED it. In thinking of it I decided I wanted to make my own version, still with all of those crazy colors, but a little more sophisticated looking. I put on a bra (which is a big deal for me) and ran straight to the store, not patient enough to wait for an online order and made this bracelet that same day. And guess what? It’s colorful, it’s vibrant and it’s fun but it’s still totally acceptable to wear as a grown ass lady. Cool, right?
Want to make your own gorgeous rainbow beaded safety pin bracelet?
For this project you will need:
- 19 mm gold safety pins
- Seed beads (I actually purchased this beading kit because it was cheaper than buying separate colors individually)
- Tacky glue
- Strong glue (like e6000 or Aleene’s The Ultimate)
- Jewelry elastic cord
To fit my wrist my bracelet measured 7″ when laid flat. Using safety pins that measure approximately 3/4″, I used a total of 78 safety pins for 1 bracelet utilizing a rainbow color scheme is blue, aqua, green, yellow, orange, red and pink.
Although crafting doesn’t necessarily need to be quick to be enjoyable, I often find myself trying to cut corners timewise, especially when I plan on making multiples of something. It’s definitely fastest to get a whole mess of beaded safety pins ready to go. I’d start with prepping 78 for a smaller bracelet up to 102 for a much bigger one.
The easiest way to get these itty bitty beads on those little safety pins is to empty your beads into a small bowl. Place your safety pin inside of the bowl and flip the bowl front to back, tipping it so that the beads slide from one end to the other, but don’t fall out. As the beads move they will automatically run onto the pin. You’ll need to have enough of the pin area clear for it to easily close, so don’t stack beads all of the way to the top.
To keep your bracelet from coming apart easily while worn, apply a small dab of glue onto the top of the safety pin and then snap shut. A small pointy item like a toothpick or wooden skewer works like a dream for this. Wipe away any excess glue from the sides of the pin’s head. I used a lot, and I do mean a LOT of glues trying to figure out my favorite for this project. In the end, Tacky Glue was the winner, hands down. Glues like e6000 work but dry up quickly as you are working meaning you have to keep squeezing out more and more watching most of it dry and go to waste.
Once your pins are prepared, cut 2 pieces of jewelry elastic to about a foot long apiece. Stretch the dickens out of this stuff to get rid of any extra stretch or give. If you don’t do this, when you wear your bracelet a few times that stretch is going to happen making the elastic stretch out and bunch up and when worn your bracelet won’t be nice and smooth, it will sort of bulge out in places.
Add a large bead onto the end of both pieces of elastic and glue it into place. Trust me on this one, glue that darn bead into freaking place. Mine slid of THREE times, with the pins heartbreakingly sliding right off onto the floor as I worked before it dawned on me to glue the dang thing down. Use a strong glue like e6000 or Aleene’s The Ultimate to securely hold the elastic. It also dries significantly more quickly than the Tacky Glue which is an added bonus.
String your safety pins onto elastic alternating whether the head or tail of the pin is run along the cord like seen above. Be sure to also follow your pattern, in this case, blue, teal, green, yellow, orange, red and pink. Be sure to string the beads always facing toward you so that they show up in the bracelet when finished.
Every color set slide the second elastic cord through the other ends of the pins. It’s much easier to work this way instead of running all of the safety pins through onto one cord and then coming back and catching the bottom sides. This also helps you to keep an eye out to make sure you’re getting your pattern right with all of the beads and pins facing the right way instead of realizing it 20 pins in and having to remove 50 to start over at that point and fix it. Again, trust me on this one. :)
And if you’re wondering what beading with a cat looks like, well, here it is. Say hi to my cat craft assistant for the day, Maybe.
Keep working to increase the length, double checking the pattern occasionally as you go.
Bad cat craft assistant :)
Once you get a good length for your braclet it’s tie off each strand of elastic onto itself tying the knots very tight and pulling to remove any excess stretch.
Be sure when you go around to tie up that second elastic that your bracelet forms a neat, wearable circle shape rather than this business. Ugh, am I right? Pry the pins on either side of your knot slightly apart and using your super strong glue, e6000 or Aleene’s The Ultimate, apply a daub onto the knot, holding it until the glue is mostly dried. Repeat for the second knot and trim the excess elastic from both sides.
Before gluing your knots, you can double check that the size of the bracelet is adequate.
Now isn’t that just so lovely? I’m seriously in LOVE with this bracelet and I’ve been wearing it quite a bit. In fact, I’m wearing it right now as I type!
The rainbow color scheme is vibrant and pretty but the gold pins give it a more grown-up feel despite the wild colors. And would you ever guess those were safety pins from a distance? I bet not!