Introduction: Safety Pin Jacket

Picture of Safety Pin Jacket

A while ago I bought a package of 200 safety pins for a specific purpose and only used up about 50 of them. A few weeks later I looked at the pins and thought that they kinda looked like feathers. I took a pinstripe jacket out of my closet and used the safety pins to make a pair of wings on the back. I got a lot of compliments on that jacket, so I ended up making several more . This is my most recent one.

Step 1: You Will Need:

Picture of You Will Need:

1: A jacket made of something sturdy but not too thick. You will be putting a lot of pins into this thing, so thin fabric is likely to tear. Fabric that is too thick will be harder to work with. (I've used a few denim jackets before, which have worked pretty well, but something like polyester or a wool blend is easier.) Jackets with lining are nice, because then it is possible to hide the backs of the pins by only pinning through the top layer of fabric. Also, choose something with a simple pattern that won't overwhelm your pin design.

2: Safety pins of various sizes. (For this jackets I used size 0, 1, 2, and 3 steel and brass pins.)

3: A light colored pencil or chalk

4: A needle and thread

5: Optional: a dressmaker's dummy. This is very useful because it lets you see the overall effect of the image as you work. I like being able to constantly see what the worn jacket looks like, but working this way is harder on your arms. You also need to be careful not to pin th jacket to the dummy, as many of them are fabric-covered.

Step 2: Sketch

Picture of Sketch

Choose an image that you want to go on the jacket. Something to keep in mind: not all images will translate very well into this medium. Try to pick something that will take advantage of the shape and texture of the pins.

Step 3: When Pinning:

Picture of When Pinning:

When you close a pin, make sure that you don't have too much or too little fabric inside. Too much fabric bunched up on the pin will cause the material to pucker, too little will let the pin slide around and can cause the shape you make to get messed up as the pin moves out of place. Ideally, you should go for a snug fit like the pin on the far right.

Step 4: Start Pinning!

Picture of Start Pinning!

Start inserting the pins. Be systematic about it, finish an entire line before you start on another; you can mess with them later if it doesn't turn out just right. Don't be afraid to deviate a little from your original pattern as you go along; sometimes when you start putting the pins in you realize that the design needs a little tweaking to make it look better. Use different sizes and colors of pins to add variety and detail. You can also get different effects and textures by changing the spacing of the pins.

Step 5: Stitch

Picture of Stitch

Gravity will tend to pull all of your pins downward. If the pins need to lie a certain way, use the needle and thread to stitch the pins down. (I use silver thread because it is less visable.) This will stop them from moving around when you wear the jacket, but it's not always necessary.

Step 6: Wear and Enjoy!

Picture of Wear and Enjoy!

Ta da! Go and show off your awesome new bit of wearable art! These jackets are extremely versatile, great for formal or casual occasions. They are machine washable, if you run them on delicate and you dry them off right away. (Don't put them through the dryer though, that could end painfully with scorched fingers.) I've also been told that you can get rid of smelliness by spraying stinky spots with cheap vodka to kill bacteria.


Dakota Joel98 (author)2014-08-12

Wow you should be the new Katniss Everdeen.

charge22807 (author)2011-05-15

what if you pined with the sharp point out, slid beads onto the safety pins and had the beads showing on the outside instead??

Thundertydus (author)2010-08-04

Ohmygod, Firstly, great ibby, and I love your hair. Secondly; You look exactly like me, only, female, my friends always say I look very feminine, but, Wow, I'm- err, You're beautiful.

Junebugbanjo (author)2010-05-11

Wow, this really cool! I'll have to remember to get a package of safety pins when I'm next out!

Phsycoduckie (author)2010-01-25

Okey I like this idea allot. But being the weird kid i am im worried. I would like to make one but im a guy and yeah it seems more like a girl thing comments ideas??????

Miscelinious (author)2009-11-02

This is one i made last night:

Catling (author)Miscelinious2009-11-02

Beautiful! I'm a fan of your minimalistic approach. Thanks for sharing :D

Miscelinious (author)Catling2009-11-02

Thank you for the idea. (:

crafthooligan111 (author)2009-09-21

this is so awesome, i am totally going to try this. Thanks!!

RoboChic99 (author)2009-09-21

Oh this is awesome; I gonna try this on one of my jackets =].

Jeannie Marie (author)2007-07-26

Since you are usually wearing jackets over other clothes, they usually will only need a spot cleaning if something spills on them. If you do feel its getting a bit smelly, you can always pour vodka in a spray bottle, dose it with the alcohol and then let air dry or let a fan blow on it for faster results. Vodka is a little trick us wardrobe crews use because it kills the stink-causing bacteria, and once dry, will no longer smell like alcohol. Febreeze can be used, but it layers its own scent over the fabric, which doesn't always go with your own perfume, and can cause allergic reactions. oh, and the cheaper the vodka, the better!

Catling (author)Jeannie Marie2007-07-26

Awesome! I'm so glad someone could provide a solution for the cleaning problem since I didn't know what to do. Thank you so much!

Th33w0krap15t (author)Catling2009-09-15

Febreeze works just great on that stuff. It's my best friend when it comes to unwashable/borderline dirty clothes.

liquidblackout (author)Catling2007-07-27

If you really did want to dry clean your jackets after wearing them for a long time, I'm think it should be fine. They don't really do anything very rigorous to them and I doubt the colours would come off that easily, but ask your dry cleaner first just in case.

In response the comment above, I think rubbing alcohol should work, too. It's even cheaper and very pure.

Great instructable and beautiful work!

I would be careful about the rubbing alcohol. I've had it discolor some of my darker jackets before.

happylue (author)2009-09-01

Loved this so much that i did it to my bass bag, its soo cool, everyone loves it

BlissfullyDoomed (author)2009-08-23

Beautiful. Thanks for the idea.

riceWitAdobo (author)2009-08-14,AMAZING.

codongolev (author)2009-08-13

this kid tried to do this on a hoodie once. except he didn't know what he was doing and did a general outline of a kinda sketchy sword. it didn't look good. you've gotta know what you're doing with this.

annafavela (author)2007-08-10

OH MY.... that's soo... Sexy and cute! o.o *rubs her face on his pins*

Catling (author)annafavela2007-08-10

Thanks! Just make sure all the pins are closed... those things are sharp. (I tend to hold a few in my mouth when I work, and sometimes I forget to make sure they're pointing outwards...)

thinker (author)Catling2008-06-24

a month or so ago!!
And ive only Just found this instructable!!
*feels proud of having a cool idea*
i did flames from the bottom going up, with smaller pins as embers.
I thought it looked absolutely Ace
but i got SO much jip from everyone around here i just took em out
that and i was frightened of running in case i got stabbed in the leg

the reason for this comment is
i have a few spare suit jackets and such
cheapo ones like
and ive been wondering what to do with them
and you have re-instored my faith in this medium of design

shyamiko (author)thinker2009-06-11

could you upload a picture of them?

Catling (author)thinker2008-06-24

Yaayyy! I'm so glad I helped!

annafavela (author)Catling2007-08-10

haha! yeaah it's like when you make yourself clothes and forget to remove the needles! : D

Seanzee (author)2008-06-24

Where do you get those jackets? they're really cool and i want one :D -Seanzee

Catling (author)Seanzee2008-06-24

I get most of my jackets at Goodwill 'cuz it's cheap and there's so much random stuff you're bound to find something cool.

Seanzee (author)Catling2008-06-24

Yeah I shop there all the time as well, my town has quite a few local thrift stores too that have more vintage stuff, you're lucky those jackets fit you, though. Most of the stuff I get needs alterations, luckily I can do it myself.

$ NAB $ (author)2008-03-27

This Instructable is way too cool.You made me become a big fan.

Kaitlinthegreat (author)2008-01-01

Very cool!

BlindSight (author)2007-11-19

I'm discovering your instructables, and I'm positively surprised. Great job.

originalwynne (author)2007-11-05

what size safety pins should i use? i know you said size 0, 1, 2, 3 but can you tell me in mm please? thanks. :)

Catling (author)originalwynne2007-11-08

... Um... (grabs ruler) Size one appears to be 25 mm, size two looks to be about 38, and size three seems to be 50 mm. Size zero looks the same length as 1, but they're teenier somehow. Basicallyu, you just go with the size that looks best with the design. (I end up using size 1 the most though.)

originalwynne (author)Catling2007-11-11

cheers :) now i just have to go and buy them _

originalwynne (author)2007-11-04

woah that totally ROCKS!! i am soooooo gonna try that!

ch3rry (author)2007-08-09

beautiful work! you have a great imagination - keep using it.

Ward_Nox (author)2007-08-02

could u but up the patterns for other designs?

Catling (author)Ward_Nox2007-08-03

Well, I don't have the other designs documented this extensively, but if you want to look at my other jackets, they're all posted on my website. I'm also making another wing jacket now, and I'll post it as soon as it's finished.

CostumeGal (author)2007-08-02

Warning to girls with long hair: I had safety pins all over the back of my jeans jacket, and I had long curly hair (can you tell this was the '80s?) and my hair kept getting caught on the pins...but everyone thought the jacket was cool so I kept wearing it, of course! Il faut souffrir pour être belle!

megziewoodles (author)2007-07-26

That looks pretty sweet. I think I'd do my shoes up in safety pins if I did anything. Won't they rust when you wash them, though? Or have you got superduperawesome pins?

newkiraj (author)megziewoodles2007-08-01

no i dont think they will rust... a few of my pairs of pants have safety pins all the way down both legs and havnt rusted but sometimes a few come of in the washer xD

Catling (author)megziewoodles2007-07-26

Well I've seen pins that are supposedly coated with sometyhing special that stops them from tarnishing, but I don't have any. I've never tried to wash one of these jackets, though my mom suggested they might be drycleanable.

megziewoodles (author)Catling2007-07-27

Ah, that works too. You have the most awesomest username I've seen on this site. Or perhaps I've been around computing students for too long and so think necrophilia is awesome.

Catling (author)megziewoodles2007-07-27

...okay... thanks I think... It used to be "dead smexy" but that was a little awkward to say, "smexy dead" rolls off the tongue a bit easier.

megziewoodles (author)Catling2007-07-29

That it does. I'm not sure whether you should take that as a compliment or not either.

deadly.jello (author)2007-07-26

this is fabulous! i have to make one now!!! mmm... i think i would make something radical like...bat wings or something... except knowing me it wont end up looking right XD.... ahaha hey do you have a deviant art? you should join if you don't, this is really artistic..if you have one friend me or something ---> nice work.

Catling (author)deadly.jello2007-07-26

I don't have a deviant art, don't need one. I post all my drawings on my webpage.

deadly.jello (author)Catling2007-07-26

oh..sorry. i just think DA is pretty cool...not trying to advertise or anything............... -_-'

Catling (author)deadly.jello2007-07-27

Oh jeez, I wasn't trying to be hostile or bash DA or anything. I think it's an awesome site.

deadly.jello (author)Catling2007-07-27

oh's ok. haha i just thought you were a little annoyed...y'know. heh misunderstanding! well anyways, i took a look at your site. it's pretty rad! (please excuse my outdated manner of speaking XD haha, i love that word!)

About This Instructable




Bio: I like taking things apart then putting them back together, only better.
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