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At the Cricut Circle Meet Up in Las Vegas last month our hostess asked everyone to participate in a Pin/Button Swap. The pin or button had to be 3″ x 3″ (or smaller) & have ‘bling’ (rhinestones, glitter, etc). The event theme was ‘Only in Vegas Baby!’ and the colors were red & black.

Honestly, I was stumped on what to make for my fellow crafters. What does one make for 30 fabulously creative women? Needless to say, I was feeling a bit intimidated & worried that no one would like whatever I could cobble together… I thought about paper (not durable enough), fabric flowers (not enough time to learn how), buttons (can’t use dimension on snap-together buttons & would need new tools/supplies for custom buttons), something with shrink plastic (I was out after making tags for the ribbon swap)… After a week of this, my sweetie finally chased me out of the house so he could have a few hours of peace while I browsed the craft stores.

When I have a no idea where to start on a crafting project & nothing in my supplies has jumped out at me, I’ll go wander thru crafting stores & let ideas simmer in the back of my mind. I find wandering thru shops is an enjoyable way to say ‘Hi’ to your personal Muse, see the latest crafting toys (tools) & trigger divine moments of inspiration.

After a few unsuccessful strolls thru the paper crafting & fabric areas, I decided to wander the bead & jewelry aisles. Besides being a beautiful distraction, most of the beads were on sale & I was hoping to find something to incorporate into my pins.

I found two beads that I had to use: a wire ball & a circle shell bead with an open center. Then my Muse woke up from her nap & asked ‘why not make pins with beads? who said you had to make a flat pin?’ ~ Brilliant!!

I began looking at different pin options… Hat pins were too large & a little costly for the 30 I would need. Safety pins didn’t work with the design I had in mind. Regular pin backs would require an embellishment to cover the backing… After looking thru the available options, I decided that a stick pin was a perfect fit; unfortunately, none of my local stores had stick pins longer than 2 inches in stock. Before I scrapped the whole idea (no pun intended), I paid a visit to my favorite online bead supply store Fire Mountain Gems. Not only did they have exactly what I wanted, they had it for an unbeatable price. Here are the stick pins & beads I selected for my project.

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All the beads came from my local JoAnn & Michaels stores. I believe the circle shell beads & the wire balls were available at both stores. The small silver beads & red glass beads were at JoAnn. I threaded the beads on eyepins (using a jewelry awl to carefully widen holes when needed), finished each eyepin with a loop, then attached that to a stick pin with jump rings.

This is what the finished pins looked like:DSCF3018_edit

I had actually bought two yards of black fabric from JoAnn for making small pouches or handkerchiefs. Unfortunately, at that point I still had to finish my calling cards, so I ran out of time to use the fabric to package my pins. Fortunately, none of the ladies seemed to mind the lack of pretty packaging. I even received a few compliments which totally made my day.

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