Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Making The Key to my Heart…found object pins

One of the things I love most about making these pins is that you can cut out a bunch of base pieces all at one time, and then you can spend a little time here and a little there putting the pins together using whatever little scraps come to hand. Or are lying around on top of your work table!

There are lots of materials that you can use for a base, but one of the easiest to work with is good old Foam-Core. It’s easy to cut, you can stick wires into it to embed things if needed, and it can be toughened up when you’re done by a coating of two-part resin. Like I said, I usually cut out a bunch of pieces in one session, and then work on them little by little.

This particular pin is called The Key to My Heart, and it features an antique skeleton key, some origami paper, a couple strands of fiber, and a couple of beads. Here’s how I made it…change the directions to suit your own projects!


1. Peel the upper layer of paper off the top of your Foam-Core base. Paint the piece front and back, and adhere a piece of decorative paper to the front. Use a gold-leaf pen to do the edges.

2. Use E6000 or resin to glue heavy items like the key onto the pin front. Diamond Glaze is a good choice too for lighter objects. All will leave a glossy area if they leak out from below your items, so clean it up while it’s still wet.

3. Attach fibers and beads to the bottom of the piece. Since the key had a natural opening, I tied a lark’s-head knot around it.

4. Flip the pin over and use E6000 or resin to attach a pin back.

5. When all glue is completely dry, give the pin a coat of two-part resin to toughen up the Foam-Core. For this pin, I only did the back since I wanted a matte finish on the front. For others, I do both sides, letting one dry completely before attempting to turn it and do the other.

Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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