How to Make a Bird’s Nest Pin – by Zoraida
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 nylon jaw pliers
Chasing hammer and block
Section One – The Nest
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.
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.
Insert the second spiral into the first spiral with your fingers. It should fit comfortably inside it.
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.
Attach the 3 – 6mm or 5 – 4mm beads to the wire.
Sit the beaded wire inside the nest. Curve the beaded wire in a circular, natural looking pattern.
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
Curve an 8 inch section of 16 gauge, half round wire into a “U” shape with your round nose pliers.
Using the round nose pliers, make two small loops about half way down the wire.
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.
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?
Flatten the last ½” of wire with your hammer and cut at a sharp angle with your cutters to create a point.
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).
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.
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.