Jewelry Making 101: Make a wire spiral head pin

A while ago, I posted a tutorial for making ball-end head pins using a torch.

Then I realized that not everyone has a torch, or wants to use a torch, and all of the non-torch people might be feeling left out. I felt like I owed it to the non-torch crowd to make a tutorial for head pins that doesn’t involve any fire.

So here it is: how to make a spiral head pin from wire. I hope you find it useful! {another head pin tutorial is coming soon: hammered head pins, because they are cool, and I like hammering metal}.

The first step and the last step in this tutorial require you to already know how to make a simple loop. If you’ve never made a simple loop, go check out that tutorial first, then come back once you are comfortable with it. You’ll start your spiral by making the tiniest little loop you can possibly make, so practice a little bit if you are new to wire jewelry making.

You’ll need flat or chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, and wire snippers for this tutorial. I recommend flat nose over chain nose in this case, but both can work.

Now for the how-to:

step one: make a tiny loop
step two: start curving the loop onto the wire
step three: keep wrapping 1/4 turn at a time
step four: keep going, until the spiral is the size you want
Step Five: when it's the size you want, bend back 45 degrees to complete the head pin

The last step of bending the wire back at a 45 degree angle isn’t shown here, so check out my simple loop tutorial to see what I’m talking about if you are confused.

There is another optional step now – to strengthen your wire, and smooth out the spiral, you can {gently} whack the spiral with a rubber mallet. If you use a metal hammer, it will squish the wire, which might be good or bad depending on the look you want. I use rubber, rawhide, or plastic mallets when I want to smooth and strengthen wire without flattening it, and a metal hammer when I want it partially flattened. The surface you use for hammering is important too – I usually use a steel bench block, because it’s nice and smooth and won’t leave marks on the wire.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments – thanks!

I’m linking this project at: