Delicate Swarovski Rhinestone Hairpin Tutorial--the Danielle Hairpin

Yesterday, I showed you how to make the most basic, simple Swarovski crystal hairpin.  I'm building on the very basic techniques from yesterday's post, and am going to show you how to make a somewhat fancier dainty hairpin, the Danielle hairpin.

A dainty trio of Swarovski rhinestone leaves, a genuine pearl berry...the Danielle hairpin is a great way to add elegant sparkle without wearing a full-up tiara.

Materials and Equipment Needed for Swarovski Rhinestone Danielle Hairpins:

  • Swarovski foil-backed navette stone, 6x3mm size, item #4228
  • genuine pearl, approximately 5mm in diameter
  • metal hairpins
  • craft wire, 26 or 28 gauge
  • glue (details below)
  • wire cutter, needle nose pliers, and flat nosed pliers.

The first step is to make the setting in which to attach the rhinestones.  Cut a length of wire about 10" long (it's easier to have extra to trim away), fold the wire in half, and twist a loop in the center of the wire.  I usually give the wire four twists.  Add a second loop, and twist three or four times.  If your loop looks too large, you can twist the loop itself to make the loop smaller, and that adds a little stem for that rhinestone leaf and looks great, anyway.  Add the third loop, and twist the remaining wire.  

TIP:  If you're going to be making a lot of these, save your wrist using the power drill technique!  You'll still have to twist the three loops by hand, but the rest of the wire can be twisted in a flash using the drill.

Now it's time to glue the rhinestones in place.  I've tried a lot of different glues.  E6000 works very well, but is awfully thick and gloppy and hard to work with.  Various hobby super glues work well, but you have to be excruciatingly careful not to get any of the glue on your fingers or anywhere on the sparkly surface of the rhinestone, or it gets cloudy and dull (and the whole point of using Swarovski rhinestones is that fabulous sparkle!).  

The fastest, easiest, most dependable method I've found turns out to be a low temperature glue gun.  Really.  You have to move quickly, of course.  Put a daub of hot glue on a loop, and set the rhinestone in place.  Before the glue sets entirely, use your finger to smooth the back and wipe away excess bulky glue.  This is why we use the LOW TEMP glue gun.  Otherwise, that step would be really painful and dangerous.

Once the rhinestones have been glued to the wire setting, it's time to add the rhinestone branch to the hairpin.  Wind the wire stem around the top curve of the hairpin three times, pulling tightly with the needle nose pliers (see yesterday's tutorial for an explanation of why I specify three times).  Trim away excess wire with the wire cutters, and use the flat nosed pliers to squish the pointy, trimmed end of wire safely down.

To add the pearl "berry" to the hairpin, cut a new length of wire, at least 6" long.  Use the needle-nose pliers to curl one end of the wire into a loop, so the pearl won't slide right off the end.

Thread a pearl on the wire with the loop at the end, and wire it to the hairpin, right at the base of the rhinestone leaf stem.  Trim away excess wire (there will be a bunch), and squish the cut end of wire firmly in place with the flat nosed pliers.  

I recommend at least six or seven of these in a bridal hairstyle.  Fewer looks too skimpy and sparse.  More certainly looks good!  

Want to know where to buy all of these supplies?  Stay tuned next week!  I'm sharing all the trade secrets.

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