Headpin Brooch Tutorial

August 4, 2017 , In: Fiber, Inspiration, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Tutorials

If you’ve been following my posts on the blog, you will have seen that I’ve been working on some new larger designs with hares… it’s been a battle so far. They’ve all survived the first firings, and come out looking beautiful when glazed plain white, but each time I’ve put them through a lower colour firing, they’ve cracked 🙁 


I was so pleased with this one when it came out, but it acquired a great big crack across the back piece when I put it in for a lower firing. It doesn’t seem to matter how slow I fire through bisque and glaze firing, they’re just not surviving! Not one for giving up easily, I decided to try the idea out in a different way. I think the problem might be with the amount of clay on each piece, so hopefully by separating out some of the elements, there will be more chance of them coming out in one piece. I want to create a lush bouquet around the hare’s head, so I thought some floristry techniques might work. 

I made individual leaves as if I were making headpins, but larger and fired them with a clear glaze. Here they are ready to go in the glaze firing.


And afterwards, decorated them with china paints. They were woven together with florists tape to create an oak leaf branch. I think it’s turned out pretty well for a tester, and I can now carry on with my plans!


I had a few leaves and acorns left over, so I thought I’d try out an idea with them, taking pics as I went along

The individual pieces I have here are a bit too large for jewellery headpins, but I thought they’d make a fantastic brooch!


This would work for standard sized jewellery headpins, or make some yourself from polymer, metal or ceramic clay, or glass to fit what you’d like to do. 

As well as the headpins, you’ll just need basic materials… florists tape, glue, pliers, scissors, a brooch back and some nice thread to wrap the final piece.


Start by wrapping each of the individual wires with the florists tape.


Wrap the pieces together as you go to secure them and bulk up the stem.


Add more pins and wrap them to the stem to make a nice bunch. I’ve added a couple of Jen’s headpins here, but haven’t cut the wires down yet, you will need at least one pin with a long wire for attaching the brooch back later.


And finally a glass head pin from Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan to balance the design.


Trim all the long wires except one. Turn the design over and thread the wire through the brooch back and tape with florists tape to secure it. 


As the florists tape is waxed, it is a little sticky, so I wrapped the whole design with some green jute thread gluing the ends to secure it. 


Once it’s all glued and secured, bend the headpins in to a nice arrangement and you’re done 🙂

A perfect design for Autumn! 





Caroline Dewison

Caroline Dewison is a lifelong addict of anything creative. She settled on ceramic beadmaking 3 years ago and can be found most days at the bottom of her garden playing with mud in her studio. She draws her inspiration from the natural world and wishes there were more hours in the day to explore all the ideas in her sketchbook. You can see more of her work on her blog -
  1. Reply


    • jennifer
    • August 5, 2017

    So beautiful!

  2. Reply

    Thanks Caroline…I am so going to try this!! Love the Hare 🙂

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