Sunday, March 25, 2012
How to Make Headpin Rosettes
After I posted my most recent pair of earrings at Earrings Everyday (the copper flowers textured with a foreign coin), some of you asked that I do a tutorial on them. Today I'm going to show you how to create the little rosettes that I put on the tips of the petals of those flowers, but on a different item. In this case, a copper heart charm. The technique is the same.
First, create a little shape of your choosing from some metal sheet. In this case, I'm using 22 gauge copper sheet. You could, of course, use any metal, or gauge, you want. I cut mine out with some metal snips. The snips marked up the edges somewhat, but since I was going to texture it anyway it didn't matter. In this case, I planned to use one of my foreign coins in a technique I shared here a week ago.
After texturing, punch holes in your piece near the edge, wherever you would like the rosettes to be. The holes should be far enough in from the edge to leave room for your rosette. (You probably want to practice this on some scrap first.) I used my Bead Smith metal hole punch pliers. I think they have about a 1.8mm punch size. I wouldn't use them on anything thicker than 22 gauge sheet, they don't want to go through things much thicker than that. Be sure not to put the holes too close together, because the rosettes are going to take up room.
Make some ball headpins in your torch. I used 4" lengths of wire. I find 22 gauge wire easiest to work with, while still having enough weight to satisfy my preference for a substantial looking piece. It will be nice and soft, too, after coming out of your torch. Pickle and clean with steel wool, but don't tumble--you want them to be pliable when you wrap them onto your metal piece.
Put your headpin into the first hole as pictured.
Pulling the ball tight against your charm, bend the wire up, bring it over the edge and around the ball.
Make sure the wire is nice and flat against the back and front--if it's rounded it means there's slack in your wire and the rosette will wiggle too much. You can use your chain nosed or bent nosed pliers to press the wire tightly in place, giving it a tight, crisp bend around the edge of the metal. Continue wrapping the tail of the headpin around the ball.
Wrap as many times as you like, keeping in mind how much room you have between the holes; the closer together the holes are, the smaller your rosettes have to be, obviously. If you wrap too many times it will be harder to get the rosette to be really secure. I think I wrapped about three times around.
When you have it the way you want, snip off the wire with your flush cutters and tuck in the end with your bent nose pliers.
And there's your first rosette! Ta-da!
Keep adding rosettes, being sure to wrap them in the same direction. Here I was wrapping them counterclockwise but you can do them any way you want--it just seems to look better if they're all wrapped in the same direction.
I think they look most striking antiqued and then polished up. This one is destined to be one half of a double-sided, riveted bracelet charm. I'll share pics when it's done. One day.
You can make a rosette in the middle of something too, with two holes, side by side. Just pop your headpin in, bring the tail up through the adjacent hole, and wrap until you've covered up the adjacent hole. Tuck the end of the wire in as above.
I think doing this with commercial headpins would be a challenge, as they don't generally come in long enough lengths and they tend to be very stiff. You could probably adapt this with small beads though, and a doubled length of wire. (We'll try that next time!)