Thursday, September 10, 2015

Straightening and Organising Head Pins and Eye Pins

There's nothing more annoying than running out of  head pins or eye pins in the middle of a project. Sometimes I buy them in bulk to avoid that happening and whilst it can save a bundle of money, it can bring with it the extra effort of having to straighten them if they are mangled inside the package. And you can't always tell that from the outside of the pack. It's not until you open it that you might find they look more like the photo below.
Bent head pins

So my job today is to straighten out the kinks on the mangled ones hidden amongst them.
Bulk packet of head pins

Sometimes you can just run the pin through nylon jaw pliers but for ones with kinks like these or if your pins are made of a heavier gauge, you need to get rid of the kinks first. My method is to place the bent part into the jaws of my flat nose pliers and press down firmly.
Gripping the bent head pin with the pliers

You can see how it has flattened that kink quite well.
Squeezing the kink flat with the flat nose pliers

Once you've removed the major kinks, then you can run the pin through the nylon jaw pliers to straighten it out completely.
Running the head pin through the nylon jaw pliers

You can see that there's still a slight bend in the pin but now it's useable.
A straightened head pin

Here's that same pile after straightening.
Straightened head pins

If you'd like to see this method in action, check out my YouTube video: Straightening Kinked Head Pins.

The second part of my job today is to tidy up my collection of head pins and eye pins. I store my gold and silver pins in ziplock bags in a portable chest with tilt out drawers. 
Tilt tray caddy filled with head pins

It's a handy storage container because I can just pick up the whole thing and take it to my work space but at the moment, those ziplock bags are becoming shabby and have begun to split from being opened and closed so many times. I've outgrown the ziplock bag system for storing them so I've decided to try seed bead tubes instead. I purchased 3" tubes which will fit pins up to 70mm in length - the perfect fit for the compartments of the chest.
 Clear seed bead tubes filled with straightened head pins

I still have a huge pile of those gold head pins to straighten so it will be a job for in front of TV for the next few nights. But here's the chest looking much more orderly with everything in neat tubes.
Head pin tubes stored in a portable caddy

As with my beads, I keep the labels with the pins for easy identification and also to make reordering easy.
Pin this Tip!
Straightening bent head pins inspiration sheet

'Til next time.....

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