Have you gotten caught up in the pin craze yet? I’m referring to the colourful enamel pins (also called flair pins) that are a throwback to the days when I was a kid. Anytime I was anywhere with a gift shop, I had to see if there were pins available. These days they’ve made a huge comeback, and kids and adults are now collecting and trading them again.
Flair pins might not sound like something you can craft yourself easily, but they’re actually a lot easier to make than they look! While creating them was totally for me, now I’m hooked (or should I say “pinned”?). The process wasn’t without some trial and error. Fortunately, I managed to work out all the kinks with Shrink Film Paper, so you can recreate these without any fuss.
My DIY pin tutorial below celebrates all things spring, but the design themes are endless. Plus, these affordable crafts make fun gifts for the entire family—and you can use this technique for keychains and magnets too.
Keep reading to learn how to create your own DIY pins.Happy pinning!
DIY Pin Materials:
- Shrink Film
- Acrylic paint
- Sharpie Pens
- Parchment Paper
- Hot Glue gun
- Pin backs or
- Butterfly Clutch Tie Back Pins
- Restaurant turner or spatula
DIY Pin Directions:
Step 1: Print out the images you want to create. You can use a printable, clipart you find online, or an image from a colouring book or magazine. You can even print images from your printer directly onto the Shrink paper. So, if you want to skip the painting altogether, go for it. The images need to be at least three inches in size because they will most likely shrink three or four times smaller than the image you trace and paint.
Step 2: Trace the image onto the Shrink paper with a Sharpie marker.
Step 3: Paint the images. My paint was too thick. I like the rich colour, but there’s more texture to the pins than I’d like. Next time, I plan to thin out the paint with water because when the paper shrinks, the colour gets darker. Once you paint the images, trace them again with the same Sharpie for cleaner edges. If you don’t have acrylic paint or don’t like to paint, you can use permanent markers to colour in the lines. Even watercolour paint will work for this craft. Also, it’s best to pick images that don’t have thin lines (such as a sun with thin rays, or umbrella with a skinny handle). The lines were not easy to shrink, and not as durable.
Step 4: Cut around the edges of the images.
Step 5: Bake the Shrink paper. Read manufacturer package instructions for this step. I found it worked best when I placed the paper images on parchment paper, and then placed another sheet of parchment paper on top of the images. The weight of the paper on top helped the images from bending onto themselves or flipping over. Another really important tip is to have a spatula on hand. My images were slightly curled when I removed them from the oven, so I had to flatten them with the back of a spatula. I baked the paper at 300 degrees for three minutes.
Step 6: Once the images have cooled, use a hot glue gun to glue the pin to the back. Add your DIY pins to your favourite jean jacket or clutch, and rock your new look!
Step 7 (optional): Add a waterproof sealant, similar to Mod Podge.