Before you start working with eyepins take a look at these four things you should keep in mind.
1. Never Use An Eyepin When A Headpin Would Do!
Eyepins are a jewelry-making staple and an absolutely essential part of any crafter’s toolkit, but they’re not always the best choice. Only ever use an eyepin if you’re going to actually do something with the ‘eye’ – attach it to something, thread another dangle through it, or use it decoratively in some way. If you just need something to hold your bead in place and only require a loop at one end of the wire, don’t use an eyepin; use a headpin instead. It’s what they’re there for, after all! On occasion, you’ll find that there are some beads with holes wide enough that no headpin can hold them – it’s okay to use an eyepin in these cases if you need to, but it’s better to look for an alternative solution.
2. Close Your Eyepins Securely – Every Time
It can be tempting to assume that a closure ‘will do’ and leave something looking a little rougher around the edges than perhaps would be completely ideal. The problem with this is that it simply doesn’t hold up to actual wear – you need to use your round nosed pliers to close eyepins as securely as possible every single time without leaving any gaps that will allow your pieces to slip apart again while they’re being worn. Paying attention to this is a really important part of making high quality jewelry that people will want to wear, receive and pay for.
3. Remember That Eyepins Come In Varying Thicknesses
Different projects will have different requirements, and you might sometimes need to use a different type of eyepin to normal to make everything look right. Most eyepins come in 20 gauge wire, but you should be able find anything from about 18 to about 25 if you look hard enough. Make sure you have a variety of eyepins in stock whenever possible, and you’ll avoid having those moments of having to try and figure out what to do to make up for using a slightly ineffectual eyepin! If you’re really in a fix, it’s usually possible to make eyepins yourself from a piece of jewelry wire of an appropriate thickness.
4. Eyepins Must Be Trimmed With Wire Cutters – Never Scissors
Eyepins are very rarely exactly the right length, so you’ll almost always need to cut them to size yourself once you’ve attached everything. It can be tempting to use scissors to do this, in a pinch – but please don’t give in to that temptation! You’ll damage not only the blade of the scissors, but also the eyepin itself – you’ll end up with everything looking unsightly, and you run the risk of bending the wire out of shape. Use proper wire cutters instead, and you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re not running any risks of damage.