Hat Pins and Stickpins Decorations

Hat Pins and Stickpins decorations are enjoying a resurgence of favor. Young women wear hat pins to decorate a turned up brim, never guessing that they once were functional, securing hats to long tresses. Other women adorn lapels of suits with stickpins to lighten the look. Here are some custom-made pins, each featuring a different natural material from around the country.

From left to right: large poppy pod with tassel, small chestnut with beads, Job’s-tears pod with silver tassel, oriental nigella pod wit gold button, a live oak acorn with gold ribbon, eucalyptus pod with a gold cord, strawflower with beads, and small poppy pod with an antique bead. 


For each pin:

  • Pod, nut, or flower (Here I used large and small poppy pods, an oriental nigella pod, and a strawflower from my garden in Pennsylvania; a live oak acorn from Texas; a Job’s-tears pod from Hawaii; a chestnut from Delaware; and a eucalyptus pod from California.)
  • 5-inch stickpin jewelry finding in silver or gold or 6-inch hat pin finding in silver or gold (This is available from a jewelry or craft supply store.)
  • An assortment of new and old beads, buttons, tassels, narrow ribbon, and cording
  • Crimp (the tiny last bead on the pin to help hold the others in place)
  • Clutch (the stopper at the bottom of the pin that keeps you from poking yourself)
  • Tube of glue for metal, like Bond 527
  • Toothpick
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Small scissors
  • More work from adults can be seen here


  1. Take a stickpin finding and slide the beads on in the order you prefer. I often start with a small round or tear-shaped bead for the top. When wearing a pin, people usually push it through their clothing by applying pressure on the top bead. Protect your flower or pod by having a hard bead at the top. For an article on pieces from clothespins click here.
  2. All the beads must be glued in place one by one. With a toothpick, put glue on the pin at the top. Slide on the top bead and twirl it around so the inside of the bead gets coated with glue. Continue to put glue on the pin and twirl on a bead until the design is complete. Remove any excess glue with another toothpick as you add the beads.
  3. The last bead is a tiny crimp. Put a bit of glue on the pin, slide on the crimp and squeeze it tightly with the pliers. The crimp will help hold the beads in place, but the glue is the main fixative.

Southern Live Oak Frame

For people who live throughout much of the South and Southeast, live oaks provide graceful shade. These long-lived trees often grow as wide as they do high, reaching from 30 to 50 feet.

Use the branches in arrangements and wreaths and the tough, leathery leaves for air drying and craft work. Use the elongated acorns to add color and shape to your project. See also this post about how to make letter holders from window shutters.



  • Dried live oak leaves
  • Bits of twig (optional)
  • Live oak acorns
  • Old or cheap purchased frame (Here I used a 9- by 12-inch frame.)
  • Clippers
  • Cool-mesh glue gun and glue sticks (Hot glue may discolor the leaves.)


  1. Glue the dried leaves onto the frame using the cool-melt glue and glue gun, overlapping the leaves as you go. When the frame is covered, glue a leaf on diagonally at each corner and add a bit of twig, if desired.
  2. Glue acorns to the leaves at the top, bottom, and sides, as shown at left, or in the four corners or any way you prefer. Add a few extra leaves to the acorn clusters.

NOTE: Bake acorns and other wild nuts at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three hours to avoid emerging pests. Glue the caps back onto the nuts if they loosen while drying. If you are more into yarning, go to this article!

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