Project: Steampunk Pins

Monday, November 12, 2012

A simple kilt pin finding forms the base of this brooch and the charms hanging on it all relate to my Steampunk alter ego, Emilly Ladybird. By Jema Hewitt

The charms used on this pin are an assortment of vintage style and antique cogs and beads which seemed appropriate to the character of a Victorian Lady adventuress. The genre of Steampunk lends itself wonderfully to an altered art style and this pin also demonstrates how to create an altered cloisonné heart using filigree bead and polymer clay. This delightful pin was presented to Miss Ladybird by The clockwork girls of Caledon. 


Antiqued brass kilt pin with 5 loops

Filigree brass heart

Red polymer clay

Liquid polymer clay

Silver key charm

Glass ladybird bead

Silver ladybird charm

Natural brass leaf drop
(Vintaj DP270)

5mm coral bead

Mother of pearl button

Tiny brass cog (from an
old watch)

Peach freshwater pearl

1.5 cm cog

Small natural brass scarab (Vintaj DP130)

Natural brass fleur de lis connector (Vintaj C2H80)

An antiqued brass eye pin

An antiqued brass headpin

Approximately 20cm of 0.4mm antiqued brass wire

3 x 4mm brass jumprings

Round nosed pliers

Flat nosed pliers

Wire cutters


Step 1

To create the cloisonné heart, pack the filigree shape with the red polymer clay. Don't worry if it's not flat; trim the clay so filigree shows on both sides. Bake according to manufacturer's instructions. When cool, paint liquid clay over the heart front. Wipe off any on the brass parts. Bake again to set, then shine to a glass like finish with a heat gun.


Step 2

Thread the glass ladybird on an eye pin, make another loop at the top of the eye pin with your round nosed pliers. Twist the bottom loop open and slip the key inside. Twist to close again.


Step 3

Attach the connector to both the leaf and silver ladybird charm with a jumpring. Thread the coral bead on the headpin, make a loop but don't trim. Thread the long end of the wire through the bottom of the leaf and finish your loop with a neat wrap. Trim excess wire.


Step 4

Place the tiny cog on the button and secure with brass wire. Wrap one end of the wire and trim
neatly. Thread on the peach pearl and make a loop, don't trim the excess wire.  Thread the long end of the wire through the second loop on the kilt pin and finish with a neat wrap. Now trim any extra wire.


Step 5

Place the scarab beetle on the large cog and secure by wrapping the pieces together through holes in the beetle's legs and cogs centre. Make a loop, don't trim the excess wire. Thread the long end of the wire through the first loop on the kilt pin and finish with a neat wrap. Trim any excess wire.


Step 6

Attach all the remaining drops
and charms to the Kilt pin, using
a jumpring for the leaf and heart and just twisting the eye pin loop open and shut for the silver key. Make sure the charms are facing the right way as you attach them.



Charms and altered art pieces:


Brass filigree:


Fashion tips:

Pins such as these are very romantic. If you are making them as a gift they could be made even more personal by using charms or deconstructed jewellery that has been retained as a family heirloom. With chunky knits on trend this season choose necklines that have been knitted with frills or crocheted collars to retain the vintage theme.

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