I know that we all love to have beautiful accessories for our stitching. And since more of us are splashing out on fancy bits and bobs, more of it is available. Sometimes, though, I think some things cost a bit more than they should, given how simple they are to make.
Take counting pins, for example. A quick search of Etsy shows the going price to be about $6 for 3 pins. The fancier the pins, the more they cost. Since I needed counting pins for a class I’m taking this week, I ordered a set of two. I have to say, I was pretty surprised when they arrived. They are pretty, but they are something I could whip up very easily at home. (The pins above really are exactly the same length.)
If you’d like to make your own, I’m willing to bet you’ve got most of what you need in your stash already.
- extra long dressmakers pins
- small Swarovski bicones (3mm or smaller)
- fancy beads with small holes*
- E6000 glue
- a couple of toothpicks
First, a note about using sewing pins–yes, some counting pins do have blunt ends. If you can find blunt end pins, they would be the best to use if you are planning to use your counting pins for canvaswork/needlepoint exclusively. However, some counting pins that are sold (include those by “big name” designers/companies) do indeed have sharp points. So, using sewing pins to make your own counting pins is not any different from what other people out there are doing. And, if you are going to use them for cross stitch or hardanger, they make more sense.
1. Select the beads you’d like to use, and place them on the pin to check if the design is pleasing, and to make sure a usable amount of pin remains. Remove the beads.
2. Dip a toothpick into the glue, and spread a generous amount on the shaft of the pin in the area that will be covered by the beads.
3. Slide the beads up the pin, turning the pin so the point is facing upwards. This will make sure the beads butt up against the top of the pin.
4. Use your fingernail or clean toothpick to remove any glue that has seeped out.
And that’s it. Allow your counting pins to dry overnight, and then use them to help beautify your work and keep your place.
(* If your fancy beads have holes that are just a bit too big, and they slip right off the pin, try placing a small Swarovski bicone on the pin first, and then the fancy bead.)