How to Make Your Own Pins

I love pins. I have pins on everything - jackets, bags, hats, shirts, etc. Here's a DIY so you too can make as many pins as you can dream up.

What you'll need:

- your choice of acrylic paint

- super glue

- ModPodge

- cut wooden shapes (I bought pre-cut hearts)
- bar pins
- X-Acto knife or scissors
- paintbrush (I'm using a foam brush)
- pictures
- clear duck tape (optional)
- glitter

Step 01

Paint the shape - front, back, and sides. It's okay if one side is messy - that can be the back no one will see. Although the front will be covered, it's important that the paint is smooth so you don't have bumps under your image. Wait for the paint to dry.

Step 02

Gather your images. These could come from a magazine or book, but I usually just print mine from my computer. I tend to make a document with lots of different sizes of the same image so that I have a lot of options for fitting the image to the pin. Cut out what you want and format it to fit the pin. 

Step 03 (Optional)

In experimenting with making pins, I found that images printed from my computer usually bled when I tried to put ModPodge over them. In order to avoid this, I put a lay of clear Duck Tape over my image and then trim the tape. You should be left with your image the same way it was, just with a layer of tape.

Step 04

Paint a layer of ModPodge on the back of your image and paste it onto the pin. Gently smooth it out to make sure no air gets trapped underneath the image.

Step 05

Spread a layer of ModPodge over the entire pin. The ModPodge will cover the pin at first, but it dries completely clear. Wait for one layer to dry before adding another. Add enough layers so that you're sure your image will stay on (I'd say 2-3).

Step 06

Mix your ModPodge and some glitter. Apply the mixture to any blank space on the pin. I tend to keep the glitter thick and leave no transparency, but you could do a lighter layer so the paint could still be seen. Let the glitter dry.

Step 07

Put another layer of ModPodge (without glitter) over the entire pin. 

Step 08

Super glue the bar pin to the back of the pin. Bar pins sometimes come with an adhesive, but I've found these are not strong enough to hold on to the pin. Let this dry for a few hours.

Final Product

You're done! Be careful though - making these pins can be addictive (I have way too many). It only takes about 30 minutes to do (if you don't count the time waiting for stuff to dry) so it's efficient, and not too expensive. Have fun!

Text + Visuals : Penny Mack

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