Hand Torched Headpins | Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial

Hand Torched Headpins - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #267: “Head pins are a must for jewelry making! I use them in so many ways.” ~Phaedrakat

As a jewelry designer you can never have enough headpins. You need them to make charms, dangles and flower stamens. Plus they are fabulous for making classy looking, custom earwires that would be difficult to find from suppliers… not to mention expensive!

Hand Torched or Flame Dipped Headpins are especially great to have on hand. They have a beautiful ball head which gives any handmade artisan jewelry piece, that extra level of handcrafted uniqueness to set your jewelry apart from others.

Now there are many tutorials out there, that will demonstrate how to make hand torched, balled headpins. I have even shared a few of them in a previous post (SEE: Making Your Own Jewelry Headpins). But still, each month new requests come in, requesting thaht Doug and I create a PcT video for the members library.

I have been a member since November 2009. I am enjoying all the projects you have brought to all of us. I have a request… would you teach us how to put a ball at the end of wire. It would be nice to be able to use it as a ‘stopper’ on the bottom of a bead when you attach it to a bracelet or earrings. I understand you need a butane torch or something like it. Just a suggestion. I am very interested. Thanks. ~Carolyn-K

Head pins are a must for jewelry making! I use them in so many ways when making earrings, dangles, etc. While you can find cheap ones at craft stores, they are only in certain metals, and you have no choice in how thick they are, or if they have a “ball” on top. Although there are other tutorials available, I always prefer a Cindy-video, since your tutorials are the best! Every video you produce is so well done. You cover every aspect of the technique, and throw in tips, tricks, money-saving ideas, etc. That’s why I’d put my faith in you when playin’ with fire! ~Phaedrakat

I have tried making headpins and have had limited success with fine silver and no success with copper. Anything you can show to help would be much appreciated. I took a workshop where the instructor said that getting copper to ball up is more difficult. So, since you’re having success, it must have to do with the type of copper wire that you use (as well as your method) or maybe the torch. I’m using one of the small kitchen type torches. I would love to make my own with different sized balls at the end. I’ve been buying copper headpins thru etsy, but the ball at the end is smaller than I’d like. ~Rose-M

I’d be especially up for learning how to make the head pins with the torch. ~Ken-H

So… without further ado, coming up tomorrow (Friday, July 27, 2012) in the Vol-050-4 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I will share all the tips and tricks I’ve discovered over the years, while making hundreds, if not thousands, of flame dipped headpins… using Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, Bronze and Copper wires… in several different gauges.

Here’s a sneak peak of this week’s tutorial…

The full version of the “Hand Torched Headpins” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-050 Back Issue Package.



Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials so low… at only $3.32 per month. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay. So please do feel free to click whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for supporting this site :-)

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I now know what kind of torch to look for, that will fit my needs. THANK YOU AND DOUG BOTH for giving us more than we paid for once again. I will be headed into town later today to pick a few items up and see if I can’t do some advertising for the worlds best tutorial duo. Uuuuuuugggs. ~Peggy-B

The work you did with sheet metal around the little squares was beyond beautiful and very unique. I can’t think of anytime that you haven’t had amazing tutes repeatedly. No complaints of your system whatsoever. Very happy with ALL that I learn here. Thanks ever so much Cindy. ~Debi-S

Many moons ago I started off buying a tiny amount of polymer clay to add colour to my metal clay work, but then I stumbled on Cindy’s site and became hooked. So anyone reading this who is not yet a member, what are you waiting for? It is the best value ever, with so much information (and giggles), friendly helpful members and the Lietz team are the greatest. ~Elaine-F

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Hand Torched Head Pins video tutorial:

  • See examples of hand torched headpins made in a variety of different metals and gauges, used in several examples of handmade polymer clay jewelry pieces.
  • Find out how simple it is to create your own unique headpins in the metal, gauge and length you need, on demand… right when you need them!
  • Learn the reasons why you must stay focused and alert whenever using a torch and how you can stay safe doing it.
    Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Hand Torched Headpins” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-050 Back Issue Package.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Marion Rayner, 26 July, 2012

    I am so delighted you’re doing these head-pins Cindy. I bought a torch 2 years ago but never had the courage to try myself and it’s been sitting there gathering dust. Now at last I’ll be able to watch you and learn the right way to use a torch – making head-pins as well will just be a bonus!

    I can’t thank you enough Cindy and Doug, bless you both! Marion

  2. Jocelyn, 26 July, 2012

    Same here, Marion. So glad to see this tute!

  3. pattw35, 26 July, 2012

    As a multi-media polymer clay NUT, I am still trying a lot of new stuff. The balled head wire is still beyond my imagination!!! I have put it on my wish list. Cindy, you teach such a wide range of tutes,absolutely no one will lose interest !!

    I definitely want to learn how to do this tute. But it will have to wait – till I am brave enough to buy and use a torch………….teehee. Several ladies have mentioned burning down their studios IF they used a torch. Guess I am with them. BUT- I WILL LEARN HOW !!!!!!!!!!! I do so enjoy all your tutes, even if I don’t use them right away.

    I am sort of a spazmo , when it comes to torches, although I do stained glass. So I am an oxymoron! LOL

    Can’t wait to see what is in store for all of us , with you new series of tutes. What a grand ole time we will have……….

  4. Natalie Herbin, 26 July, 2012

    Hi Cindy and fellow PCers
    Interesting that you are going to have a tut on making head pins but I am petrfide of using a torch….My work area is surrounded by drapes.. plus I have two cats that a constantly jumping up on my work table..so afraid of a fire…I thought it was cheaper and safer just to buy ready made had pins but I am willing to watch the video and see how you make it safe and easy..I am also allergic to silver ..what other metals can I use besides copper if I do decide to try this?

    On another note,,,,,I have been have a hard time selling my creations to people other than friends.people just dont want to spend the money if its not GOLD….and they do not understand all the work that it put into making each item…I hate when they try to bargin you down for a much cheaper price….I have started to work on a web site but not getting to far..I think I am afraid of success..sound silly but its like selling off your babies…which I know that most people wound never do…I did check Etsy to see what the prices were for similar items..so I know that I am in the right price range….Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…I don’t want to invest much more if there is no market for my stuff….I have held off on getting the die cutter… but am buying better quality tools..they do make a difference

  5. Cherie, 27 July, 2012

    Hi Natalie

    I know how you feel. I’ve had good sales with my friends and very good sales at the school where I volunteer and accompany the school choir but absolutely no luck with my online store with Art Fire. I’ve had the store for over a year now and not a single sale. A friend is trying to help me out; I’m meeting with her next week.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 08 August, 2012

    I know it can be tough sometimes learning how to market your product. It is more than just making something nice and putting it out there. It is about branding yourself… telling your story… and presenting it all in a cohesive manner.

    Over the years here at the blog there have been several articles and comments about that very topic. Just type “sell your stuff” into the search box at the top of the page for links to pages and pages of helpful tips on selling your polymer clay jewelry. Hope that helps!

  7. pollyanna, 26 July, 2012

    I am thinking of showing my daughter this so she can learn how and we’ll work on the back deck…….lol. If she doesn’t burn that down, then maybe I’ll get the courage to try it. I like the look and hope with Cindy’s tips I get it right.

  8. Lesley Symons, 26 July, 2012

    Bought a mini torch over a year ago and never got around to using it! Just like SO many other things that are sitting around in drawers waiting for their moment to come …. this will be an interesting tute for me. Wire is pretty much a passion for me at the moment …. sooooo … looking forward to yet another fab tutorial tomorrow. Thanks Cindy, you always come up with interesting ideas!!!

  9. Jamie Hibbs, 26 July, 2012

    Ooooh this looks like a hot one! I have been wanting to try this for a while now. But I have to admit I am kind of leery of the torch I was hoping to get the hubbster to do them LOL. Maybe I can get him to watch the tutorial with me wink nudge LOL.

  10. Dixie Ann, 26 July, 2012

    At Last!! I was so hoping we would get a tutorial making head pins. I bought a mini torch and it just didn’t seem to get the job done…..(probably because I was not doing it right) Someone suggested to get a Max Flame Torch and I just got it last week so am hoping to be able to make the head pins after watching the video! Thank you so much Cindy.

  11. Monique U, 26 July, 2012

    As someone who can’t just run down the street for supplies, I appreciate any tutorials like this which allow me to produce needed findings on my own. The upshot is that even though you can order lots of these online, many times the quality just isn’t what I demand. So looking forward to this one!

  12. Elizabeth S., 26 July, 2012

    Hey guys,

    How can you compare the minor inconvenience of burned down studios, houses, garages, etc. to the opportunity for enhanced creative repertoire? I’m truly disappointed!!! Where is your adventurous spirit? Where is your “throwing caution to the wind”? Where is your willingness to follow Cindy to wherever she may lead us? As for me, I have donned the cape of determination! I will not stop until I have picked the foolproof lock between me and my little torch. I WILL defy and prove to Manny (husband who feels lock was necessary) that fire is not to be feared if the glow (and the burning stuff) results in cool Cindy Headpins! ARE YOU WITH ME?

  13. Monique U, 26 July, 2012

    Elizabeth, you could have starred on Star Trek: “To boldly go where no man (artist) has gone before! Beam us up, Scotty… and don’t forget all these supplies we bought on this uncharted planet!”

  14. Elizabeth S., 27 July, 2012

    Love it!!

  15. Cherie, 27 July, 2012

    The torch is not scary;I’ve used it to fire silver clay and also made a few copper headpins. I think the torch was really good for firing the silver clay but not strong enough as I know now from Cindy’s video to make headpins of copper. It would probably have worked with silver but it took a really long time with the copper wire. Just follow the safety precautions – nothing inflammable close by and no loose clothing etc and you should be good.

  16. Jocelyn, 28 July, 2012

    I’m with you fearless leader. Just going to also have the garden hose ready and grab able at the window, and the fire extinguisher unwrapped from the box on the table…..lol…..I’m clumsy.

  17. Andrea Paradiso, 12 August, 2012

    Elizabeth S.

    I just joined and just saw the headpins video. You are perfectly right. Burned down what-have-yous certainly are just a minor inconvenience. The MAJOR inconvenience is having to BUY headpins because they seem to me to be rather expensive for such a little thing a girl can make herself. Also, I was stumped as to what to do with my old pizza stone and I think it can serve some sort of fireproofing service here. Elizabeth, I AM WITH YOU!

  18. Marion Rayner, 27 July, 2012

    I don’t know how you do it Cindy, but you made even this look easy. I am so grateful, I shall get my torch out straight away and try it out! Thanks for all the tips and advice, you are the best!

  19. cara letho, 27 July, 2012

    thank you for the pickle recipe- I have always been so paranoid about the acids used in commercial pickles and the homemade recipes i have seen in the past involve swimming pool chemicals.
    This is fabulous and i won’t be worried about harsh chemicals anymore.
    I also love the rosy colours, but there are times that bright silver is needed- so thanks again- this is an amazing tip!!!

  20. Cindy P, 27 July, 2012

    Execellent video…thanks for sharing the way you torch your head pins. I would love to see more of these type of videos. You are the Best. Just want you to know we appreciate everything you do for us. (Cindy and Doug)

  21. Karonkay, 27 July, 2012

    Cindy, GREAT JOB on the head pins tut ! Just a word of caution… if you are clumsey like me spend a couple of dollars and buy a clamp and “L” bracket to hold your torch securely to the table instead of holding it in your lap. I can just see me trying to hold it and drop something and leaning to pick it up and there goes the torch and my house! I use a hose clamp and just a “L ” shaped bracket to hold it to the table. Put the hose clamp around the tank with the “L” backet in the clamp also and just use a “c” clamp to secure it to the edge of the table. That way I will not move suddenly and drop the torch off my lap.

  22. Sylvia J, 27 July, 2012

    Good idea! Thanks for another safety tip, Karonkay

  23. Cindy Lietz, 27 July, 2012

    Awesome safety tip Karonkay!! Thank you for sharing that. Anyone else with ideas for making torch work as safe as possible, please do share. Safety is always of highest priority!

    In regards to dropping things while torching, which can happen, it is very important to stop everything and turn off the flame, before reaching to pick up something that has dropped or is out of position. Be aware of where your body is at all times and stay focused. Make sure to keep any distractions like pets or children away and do make sure that you are properly insured. Better safe than sorry.

  24. Jonalee M, 27 July, 2012

    Karonkay – Would you be able to post a picture of your torch holding mechanism? I am such a visual learner, it would really help me understand. Loved the headpin making video and the safety tips.

    Awesome tutorials, Cindy and Doug!!!

  25. Karonkay, 27 July, 2012

    Here is the photo… also posted it on the Cindy’s FB profile.

    Clamped Propane torch


    I wanted to pop in here quick to address the questions that came up below, about what only look to be screw heads in the photo above. They are actually NOT screws heads at all… just the “empty” holes that come pre-drilled in that type of hardware store “L-bracket” that Karonkay used.


    As Jocelyn implied, the result would end a very BIG AND DANGEROUS BOOOM!

    The “L-bracket” is secured to the propane tank with what’s called a “hose clamp”… and then to the table with a “C-Clamp” (both available commonly at your local hardware store).

  26. Jonalee, 27 July, 2012

    Thank you so much! You are fast! I have been wanting to attempt the head pins for some time, but truly have almost burned my house down several times from kids and candles. I have a very healthy respect for fire. I also worked in a burn unit for a long time. That will make you try to be VERY careful.

    Thanks again for posting the picture, whenever you do. I will think of you when I try it all out.


  27. Jocelyn, 29 July, 2012

    Lovely idea, Karonkay….will feel so much safer using this approach. A question….it looks like that L bracket has screws attaching it to the table, and also screws attaching it to the propane tank??? That cannot be right can it? How could you screw bolts into the tank itself without a problem (boooom)?

    What am I missing, could someone please explain? Many thanks! Jocelyn

  28. Dixie Ann, 29 July, 2012

    Hi Karon, thanks so much for the picture. My only question is are there actually screws in your L-bracket? It looks like you have it screwed right into your gas bottle and the table. Or is it just an illusion?

  29. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 29 July, 2012

    I wanted to pop in here quick to address the questions about what only look to be screw heads. They are actually NOT screws heads at all… just the “empty” holes that come pre-drilled in that type of hardware store “L-bracket” that Karonkay used.


    As Jocelyn implied, the result would end a very BIG AND DANGEROUS BOOOM!

    The “L-bracket” is secured to the propane tank with what’s called a “hose clamp”… and then to the table with a “C-clamp” (both available commonly at your local hardware store).

  30. Dixie Ann, 29 July, 2012

    Thanks Doug for verifying the photo for us. I personally would never penetrate any kind of aerosol or container thats under pressure. My hubby taught me all about safety in the workshop.
    The photo did raise a good question though since it does appear to look like there are screws in the L Bracket. I’d say that was a good bit of photography. LOL Thanks again for coming to the rescue!

  31. Jocelyn, 30 July, 2012

    Whew, thanks so much Doug.

  32. Dixie Ann, 23 October, 2012

    KaronKay, was looking at your torch set-up again and want to do this in my garage. I am interested in the torch head. What brand name do you have in the photo? It looks like a good one.
    Can you share this information? Pretty Please………..

  33. Karronkay, 23 October, 2012

    It is called a hot head torch. I love it. But I use it for many things,I bought it for glass bead lampworking. awesome torch head. But I now have a torch that mixes oxygen and propane for the lampworking.

  34. Linda Kropp, 28 July, 2012

    Karonkay, Thanks so much for this information. I was nervous about using the propane tank in my lap, too, and I was wondering if there was a way to clamp it to my table.

  35. pattw35, 27 July, 2012

    Good info Karonkay ! Sounds like you had an “Incident” somewhere sometime. !!!

    Cindy -Now this is the way this tute SHOULD be taught. I’ve seen several, and they all fall short in the information dept ! Using a Propane torch is the KEY. You explanation is superb ! You just gave me courage to try this ! Thank you. I’ll try not to burn any thing down LOL

    I not be trying this anytime soon. I am having back surgery Monday the 30th. This is the. 2nd time, and hopefully the last. Good thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated………….

  36. Jocelyn, 28 July, 2012

    Patty so wish you a quick recovery! You will be in my prayers.

  37. Elizabeth S., 28 July, 2012

    Prayers sent for a quick and full recovery

  38. Cindy Lietz, 28 July, 2012

    Patt, my love and well wishes for a successful surgery and a super fast recovery! Hopefully this one will be the last and that it improves life considerably. My Dad had back surgery a year or so ago, and it sure made a difference for him. He looks younger because he sleeps better and no longer has that far away look in his eyes, from dealing with the pain all the time. Good luck and we will see you when you get back!

  39. Natalie Herbin, 28 July, 2012

    I wish you a speedy recovery from this 2nd back surgery…. Just don’t rush with your recovery time ….. Take it do a easy .wouldnt want you to have any problems with this one
    Natalie herbin

  40. PATTY JORGENSON, 27 July, 2012

    Again your teaching style so clear that it makes it appear doable. thanks again for your professionalism Patty

  41. Sylvia J, 27 July, 2012

    Thanks, Cindy for this great tutorial. I bought a small butane torch, but since my preferred metal is copper, I’ll “borrow” my husband’s small propane torch. I can’t wait to try this technique. Your help is once again appreciated.

  42. Carol M, 27 July, 2012

    Thanks, Cindy. That was a wonderful tutorial. I bought several small butane torches in hopes of getting good results, but it did not happen. I can’t wait to get a torch head and a tank. Thank you. I am so glad you posted this one.

  43. Dixie Ann, 27 July, 2012

    Cindy, that was a great tute. I do have a question on using the propane. Can you use it inside? I have a workroom in the lower level in the laundry room with a workbench and have the same identical setup you showed in your video. Also my propane tank has a long hose attached to it so it will sit on my workbench. I don’t have to hold it but I do have to hold the hose end. I am more concerned about any fumes since the water heater and furnace are directly across the room. I have used the micro torch many times in the same area. What are your thoughts, concerns?

  44. Cindy Lietz, 27 July, 2012

    Hi Dixie Ann, those are important safety questions. I work in a well ventilated area with the window open right next to me, but if you have concerns about working inside with your torch, that would be a good thing to contact the torch manufacturer/retailer about. They would have safety data sheets on the proper use indoors. As well, I do have concerns about your tank with the hose. Sounds like you will need to have the tank and/or your torch, secured in some manner, so that the tank isn’t falling over and pulling the lit torch with it. That would be another thing to ask the manufacturer or the retailer of the torch for that type of safety advice. Safety is something that needs to be taken seriously.

  45. Jocelyn, 30 July, 2012

    Whenever I am going to use heat inside, I always place a series of small clip on fans angled to pass fumes out the windows. It does help.

  46. Elaine Faulks, 27 July, 2012

    just had to watch the opening ceremony of our Olympic games and the seven young athletes who were chosen to run with their lit torches to ignite the copper petals for the spectacular ending. My heart was in my mouth in case one of them tripped up, but all went well and it was an amazing finale.

    So have courage my friends, take CINDY’S advice. and follow her safety tips. I would certainly find a way to clamp your torch safely to your work bench.

    When using my butane torch I wrap a damp piece of chamois leather around the can and clamp it in my vise, just tight enough to hold it securly but not too tight to dent the can. The jaws of my vise are covered in rubber and it has a swivel joint that I can position at any angle. It works well for me as couldn’t trust my hands to hold it. I love making silver torched headpins. Now will have to explore the possibility of upgrading to a propane torch as love the look of the rosy headpins. So a big thank you CINDY for another great video especially on this special day of the final destination of the Olympic flame for London 2012………………………….cheers xx………………………………………………………………………………………….TO…….

    Pattw35……………….. our thoughts and good wishes go with you for Monday 30th..

  47. Karen S, 28 May, 2016

    Hi Elaine

    Quick question: what type of butane torch do you use? I read the previous comments carefully and it seems that some have more success with the butane torches than others. I wanted to try one before going ahead and trying the larger, more unwieldy(?) propane torch. Thanks and have a great weekend!


  48. Paige F, 27 July, 2012

    Cool video! Just wondering if I could use the pickling solution for silver that has turned black with age? Because I I see jewelry findings that go on clearance when they turn black.

  49. Cindy Lietz, 28 July, 2012

    Good question Paige, I don’t know if I actually tried using the pickle to remove tarnish before. It would be easy enough to try. Why don’t you, and then let us know?

  50. Jocelyn, 01 August, 2012

    Gel toothpaste used with a very soft brush does a great job cleaning tarnish.

  51. Mrs Rainbow, 28 July, 2012

    I don’t have a torch…and was previously considering just buying one of those small torches that are used for kitchen work too… Now I don’t know… as most of the wire that I use is copper.

    Tbh, the thing that worries me the most is the whole can exploding in front of me… not so much getting burnt from the flame stream….although of course that is a concern too… but if the whole thing went ka-bang…that is utterly major. I think it will be a while before this Miss Scaredypants gets to do this.. :D

    As to tarnish… I generally wash silvers (mexican silver works too) in freshly squeezed lemon juice.. being acidic it does remove tarnish…and looks great after a rinse off in running water and a rub up.

    Interesting tutorial… thank you!

  52. pattw35, 29 July, 2012

    Mrs Rainbow -I hate pickle ! I use, 1 t salt. 1 t lemon juice ( use the bottled stuff if you don’t have fresh) to about 1/2 c water. Work like a dream. I like my copper to be shiny. Soak it in the above for about 1 min. Rinse and enjoy.

  53. Linda Kropp, 28 July, 2012

    Cindy, this is a fabulous tutorial. I bought one of those “creme brulee” style butane torches after reading your “Making Your Own Jewelry Headpins” post and watching all the videos in 2010. I bought that small torch because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it, but it was a big disappointment. I had no idea that you could get a propane torch so inexpensively, so I’ll be getting one of those–and the clamp that Karonkay suggested–very soon. Guess I’ll have to get a creme brulee recipe and get some use out of that small torch!

    Your tips on using a propane torch answered many of my questions, especially the safety tips. Thanks for such a great tutorial!

  54. Cindy Lietz, 29 July, 2012

    Hi Linda, great to see you! I have not yet bought a small torch, though I think they still would be nice for projects that need less heat (silver fusing, balling fine silver and annealing metal sheet, etc. ) since they are small and easy to hold. But Doug had the propane torch in the shop for soldering copper plumbing pipe, so I just used that one. When I saw that the small torches weren’t working for bronze and copper very well, I was happy that I had started there. I too was surprised how cheap they were when I started looking at them in the stores. Better and cheaper… sounds good to me!

  55. Jocelyn, 29 July, 2012

    Caught a quick glimpse of some pretty spectacular sweet pea earrings. Cannot wait for that flower tutorial……

  56. Sylvia J, 29 July, 2012

    I noticed those cute sweet peas too. It seemed to me that it took a very long time to move the camera down for us to see them . . . . . hahaha
    You two do such a great job. You are amazing. Thank you.

  57. Natalie Herbin, 29 July, 2012

    Hi Doug
    Glad you cleared up that propane problem for my fellow pcers…. I liked the idea of using the hose clamp and l bracket….I. personally would not be comfortable holding the tank since my work area is surrounded by drapes…. I’m thinking of asking my hubby to set something up either in his work shop or am area Ing basement away from anything flammable … I could not respond earlier…can’t respond on Sat and Saturday night we lost power up until about 4pm Sunday afternoon…. That does not make. Me any more comfortable with using flames ……I have a lot of other tuts to do yet. Before I worry about making head pins…. Do you have to use silver or can you use silver plated ?
    Natalie Herbin

  58. Karonkay, 30 July, 2012

    Thanks so much for answering the bracket question. I was out playing with grandchildren yesterday and did not see the questions. You folks are so vigilant, while I was out playing so glad we all have you here.

  59. Peggy Barnes, 31 July, 2012

    Great job you guys. Today was my first chance to watch the tutes and as always when adding your special tips you make it much easier than reading about it in a book. I have been making some headpins since you had your 5th Friday demonstration on them in 2010. I might be remembering wrong but I think it was a 5th Friday you went over this for us. Who knows with me. I just remember you touching base on the red ball at the end of the copper head pins. I have always loved the way the copper ones come out.
    Thank you Cindy and Doug, for another super tute.

  60. Elaine Faulks, 03 August, 2012

    Just had a thought and remembered my grandma boiling up apple peelings (those big green sour cookers) and also using the chopped-up big sticks of rhubarb (the old stringy ones you couldn’t eat) both very acidic, to clean her copper pans.

    Wonder if this would get the tarnish off silver or fire scale from torched copper/stirling silver head pins?.
    Will not have a chance to shop for either for a week but if anyone has tried this, would be interesting to find out if it would work. Great way to recycle stuff that would be thrown away if you do not have a compost heap (I take no responsibility for ruined burnt-out pans though)……………………….cheers xx……………………………

  61. Monique U., 03 August, 2012

    Elaine, I am bookmarking this comment for when I eventually start making copper head pins. While we do have a compost pile, I don’t think it will miss a few apple peelings and rhubarb trimmings LOL This is one trick I hadn’t come across, possibly because no one I know (or knew) used copper pots. And I promise not to hold you liable when I burn the gooey mess. *TeeHee*

  62. Cheryl D, 04 August, 2012

    Love making the headpins. I have some sterling wire, 20 and 21 ga – bought it when it was still cheap and had it tucked away. So, I can feel good about using it for headpins, they are 36 cents + each in sterling at fire mountain gems! That tute alone is worth a fortune to me!

  63. PATTY JORGENSON, 27 September, 2012

    I guess I was frustrated reg what wire to buy pure silver. pricy and sterling silver will prob be my next bet but still a little pricy. Im finding limitatinos in which projects I can do unless I learn the torching and I want to down the road. but due to my beginning and slow process, Im afraid to spend too much on it until I get better in general. I made the sweet pea earrings and adore them and have given several pairs out. I used some 2-/1/2 inch head pins that had a dangle little ball .on the end. but…. I wanted the ball head pins. I FOUND THEM WITH 3 INCH 20 GAGE WIRE YAHOO AT RINGS AND THINGS based out of Spokane. so when I get more profiocient in other earrings then I will have more confidence to invest in torching some prob stainless silver. rings and things has all those wirse too. I still get a little confused on hard, half hard etc etc steriling or pure silver. and costs etc. does anyone have a good breakdown. so I can prob start to even approach the torching w/o investing tuns of coin. I love Cindy’s tutorials. and share her witih all my peeps.

  64. Cindy Lietz, 30 September, 2012

    Thanks Patty! SO glad to hear you found the headpins at Rings & Things! It is a great place isn’t it? We filmed an awesome segment while we were visiting there which will air in the next week or two. I think you are also going to enjoy the behind the scenes tour!

  65. PATTY JORGENSON, 27 September, 2012

    ah hah… I get so lost on facebook. I see the sectoin where it shows where you can get all the supplies and it clarifies quite a bit for me. So sorry for being “e” compromized and when you click on teh item it takes you right to Amazon which I use a lot. so… duh. will move on

    Thanks again Doug and Cindy. need to get the extuinsher. pronto be for eanything else. lolol

  66. Lesley Symons, 04 October, 2012

    I’ve only just got around to trying this one. I bought a plumbers’ torch for the kitchen a few years back …… and needless to say, haven’t made a single creme brulee since ……

    DH didn’t think it would be hot enough to melt copper, but I was determined to have a go. A short time later ….. lovely red-tipped copper headpins! I am so thrilled!!

    A great tute, thank you!!

  67. Susan R, 23 October, 2012

    Hi Cindy,
    I just joined on Friday and WOW Im so thankful a friend recommended me to you ! I have purchased every back tutorial my monthly allowance would allow :) I have had so much fun watching all of your awesome tutorials and couldnt wait to try each and every one of them out. Kind of like a kid on Christmas with too many toys LOL. Today I finally got my wish ! I was working on a project and sure enough a pretty head pin was just what I needed so I had my hubby get out his torch and we had a blast making some beautiful headpins ! Im not sure who had more fun, me or him ! He had to “show” me several times how to properly do it. HA ! Im no dummy ! He was enjoying making them. Thank you for a project that both me and my husband could both enjoy! He leaves the Polymer Clay and Jewelry “Pretties” as he calls them to me. Today gave him a chance to bring out his torch and be a part of my world.
    Not only did your tutorial teach me how to make beautiful headpins, it made a great project for me and my husband to do together. I love my husband and me time :)
    Thanks again for your great tutorials ! I’m off to “pickle” some headpins.
    ~ Susan

  68. Cindy Lietz, 24 October, 2012

    Susan I just want to Welcome you to this sweet and helpful polymer clay family! It is so much fun for me to hear that excitement in your voice. I still feel that way whenever I try out a new idea I have been thinking about in polymer or pick up some new tools or supplies that I can start playing with. I hope you never lose that Newbie Fire inside! Always keep playing, never take yourself or your work too seriously and enjoy the journey. So happy you (and your husband) are along for the ride!

  69. Dixie Ann, 23 October, 2012

    Thanks for the name of the torch Karonkay, Rio Grande has the
    whole set-up.

  70. Joy Davis, 01 July, 2014

    Hi Cindy,
    I though I knew how to do this process, but I sure learned a thing or two, I really enjoyed it and the clean up, I also learned about a home made pickle! Also the different kinds of metals and their reactions as well as the all important safety rules, I used to copper enamal in college so safety is big with me. Thanks so much, I’m enjoying all my new video’s, even they are old, I haven’t seen them so they’re new to me!
    Take care,
    Joy :)

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