How to Make a Bird’s Nest Pin

How to Make a Bird’s Nest Pin – by Zoraida

Supplies:

22 or 24 gauge, dead soft, round wire – 4 feet

3 – 6mm round beads, or 5 – 4mm round beads or pearls

16 gauge, dead soft, round wire – 12 inches.

16 gauge, dead soft, half round wire – 9 inches

Round nose pliers

Small cutters

Small nylon jaw pliers

Chasing hammer and block

Ruler

Section One – The Nest

Step 1

Make a loose spiral with the 16g wire leaving a short tail of approximately ½”.  The finished spiral should measure about 1 ¼” across.  Make a small loop facing in with the tail.

Step 2

Create a shallow cup shape by pushing into the center of the spiral.

Step 3

Attach 2 feet of weaving wire (22 or 24 gauge) to the outside of a spiral wire and begin a loose spiral at the end of that wire until it is very close to the 16 gauge wire.

Step 4

Insert the second spiral into the first spiral with your fingers. It should fit comfortably inside it.

Step 5

Attach another 2 feet of weaving wire to the outer rings of the spirals. Weave the new wire in and out of the two spirals in a slightly random pattern using about 1 foot of the wire.  Be sure to keep it slightly loose and incorporate both spirals.  Do this all around the nest until both spirals are secured.  End up with the wire coming up, inside the center with about 6” left.

At this point, you may wish to oxidize the nest with liver of sulphur or leave the copper as is.  If you do oxidize it, you should create the pin back in section 2 now so that the oxidizing can be done at the same time.  The beads should be added after the pieces are oxidized and brushed with steel wool.

Step 6

Attach the 3 – 6mm or 5 – 4mm beads to the wire.

Step 7

Sit the beaded wire inside the nest. Curve the beaded wire in a circular, natural looking pattern.

Step 8

Insert the wire into the bottom of the nest.  Bring it up through one of the wire spirals.  Keep weaving the wire up, over the sections of wire where the beads are attached and back down to secure the beads to the nest all round.  End up with a piece of wire sticking out the bottom.

Hopefully you’ll still have about 5” of wire left depending on how much tethering you’ve done.  If not, don’t fret,  just attach an 8 inch piece of wire at the bottom of the nest, slightly off center.  This will be used to attach the pin mechanism to the nest.

Section Two – The Pin Back Mechanism

 

Step 1

Curve an 8 inch section of 16 gauge, half round wire into a “U” shape with your round nose pliers.

Step 2

Using the round nose pliers, make two small loops about half way down the wire.

Step 3

Make a small loop at the end of bottom wire with the loop facing in towards you, flat side of wire inside.  Do not close the loop.  Leave a small space about 1/8” for the catch.

Step 4

With nylon jaw pliers, turn the top and bottom sections of wire so that the round side of the top wire faces you when you hold the piece pointing towards your right. Most of the bottom wire will be hidden by the nest.  Curve the wires into a fish-like shape as shown – a flounder?

Step 5

Flatten the last ½” of wire with your hammer and cut at a sharp angle with your cutters to create a point.

Step 6

Use a needle file to smooth out rough edges and burrs.  Use #0000 steel wool to smooth it.

If you have at least 6” of wire still left at the bottom of your nest (step 8 ) you can use this to attach the nest to the pin mechanism.  If not, just cut another 8” piece of weaving wire (22 or 24 gauge).

Step 7

Position your nest about halfway onto the bottom wire of the pin mechanism you just made.  This is the wire with the loop (catch) at the end making sure it fits snugly in the space.

Once you’ve found the right spot, hold it in place with your fingers and turn the whole thing upside down and to the back.  The loop/catch is now on top and you’re looking at the back of the nest.  With piece of weaving wire that is either sticking out of the back or added and attached to the nest, begin weaving the wire in and out of the nest capturing the pin attachment in the process.  If the wire is in the center, start there but make sure to attach it to both sides as well.  It should feel stable, not wobbly.  Neatness doesn’t count.

Step 8

Wind the weaving wire around the bottom wire of the pin several times to secure it and snip it close to the pin wire.

Step 9

Turn your bird’s nest pin toward the front.  Play with the top, pointed wire to make sure it has a little spring to it.  Hook it on the catch by moving it over from front to back and sliding it into the loop.

This little pin works best on sweaters, hats, scarves and fabrics with a somewhat open weave.  For finer fabrics I suggest a higher gauge, 18-20 gauge, half round wire that has been hardened by manipulation.  You can also purchase a pre-fabricated pin back.

You can also create a pendant out of this little nest by adding a jump ring instead of a pin attachment.

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About zoraidabros

I'm Zoraida and I design and create handmade, one of a kind jewelry. My work is inspired by the art of ancient world cultures that have endured the shifting trends of fashion. I prefer to work in copper and semi precious gemstones but also appreciate fine lamp work beads, wood and other artistically crafted materials. Please visit my studio at http://zoraida.artfire.com and my website at http://zoraidajewelry.com
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29 Responses to How to Make a Bird’s Nest Pin

  1. Oh so clever! Thanks for sharing…this is splended! ^_^

  2. Karen says:

    Awesome, thanks!

  3. If you have not sent this to a beading magazine, you need to do it. I swear they will publish it. They are always looking for articles like this and since you have given the instructions step-by-step, they will love you! Seriously!

  4. zoraidabros says:

    Thanks Diane. It sounds like a good idea but I don’t know where to start and I don’t think the photos are great either.

  5. Nancy Pace says:

    Finally! Yayyyyyyyy! I can’t wait to try this, it is very clear, good explanations and wonderful photos! You really should publish this in CWJ. I am not the only fan of your wonderful design.
    xoxo
    Nancy

  6. beadinggem says:

    I’ve seen birds’ nest jewelry before but never with one integrated with a hand made pin! The result is most artistic! I will definitely feature and link to it on my blog because readers will love it! Pearl

  7. Anna says:

    This is something I’ve always wanted to try, just have never had the nerve. 🙂 You have a great tutorial here and I really like the fact that you’ve finished the piece with your own handcrafted pin, this makes it very unique and very special. 🙂

  8. Natasha says:

    I love your jewellery and in particular your nests and always wondered how they were so much neater and sweeter than everyone elses. I keep some of your photos on my inspiration board as I love nature inspired pieces. Thank you so much for this tutorial – it looks really simple to follow – I will enjoy having a go. I know my sister-in-law would love one of these too!

    • zoraidabros says:

      Thank you Natasha for checking out my tutorial and the compliments 🙂 It is really simple and neatness does not count (unless you want them that way). Have fun making some birds’ nest. I love making these and nature inspired jewelry is my favorite.

  9. Pingback: How to Make a Bird’s Nest Pin from Jewelry Wire

  10. Theresa says:

    I have made bird nest necklaces and earrings before but in a totally different way. I must try this way too. Love the pin.

  11. Albatz Blog says:

    I made this little bird’s nest yesterday and am thrilled with it. Thank you for the detailed instructions…

  12. nancy beegle says:

    Much neater than a tut I just watched yesterday – liking this one much more! And yes – you should share/sell this. Heard of jewelrylessons.com? You can sell it there. They’d love it!

  13. Pastora says:

    Zoraida, you have inspired me to start making wire jewelry out of copper! Because of your designs and wonderful work I now make my own chains and clasps using copper wire. I have fallen in love with copper. You are very gracious and kind to post these tutorials on allfreejewelrymaking. I make jewelry as a business and I started making wire jewelry from copper only two months ago. I have already sold two copper bracelets, earrings and rings. I love going to your website to look at all the lovely pieces you have made and to get inspired. I tell everyone about your work. I am your biggest fan!! I am practicing so that I can be as good as you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Pastora 🙂

  14. craftytrog says:

    Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing x

  15. deliasstones says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve loved your little nest so much and now I can give it a go myself – which I surely will be doing. Thank you Zoriada!

  16. zoraidabros says:

    Thanks so much, Delia. I’m sure you could have made one with your eyes closed, you’re such an accomplished artist. I appreciate the compliment anyway 🙂

  17. BoHoChick says:

    Wow! I love copper too but it’s expensive so my husband (an electronics tech) spent hours stripping the rubber off of his old spare wires for me. Sadly I have no talent for it and everything I tried turned out, well..ugly. you amaze me, and seeing your tutorial has inspired me to try again. Your pieces are so beautiful. Thank you!

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