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.

Wow you should be the new Katniss Everdeen.

charge228074 years ago
what if you pined with the sharp point out, slid beads onto the safety pins and had the beads showing on the outside instead??
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.
Wow, this really cool! I'll have to remember to get a package of safety pins when I'm next out!
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??????
This is one i made last night:
Catling (author)  Miscelinious5 years ago
Beautiful! I'm a fan of your minimalistic approach. Thanks for sharing :D
Thank you for the idea. (:
this is so awesome, i am totally going to try this. Thanks!!
RoboChic995 years ago
Oh this is awesome; I gonna try this on one of my jackets =].
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 Marie8 years ago
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!
Febreeze works just great on that stuff. It's my best friend when it comes to unwashable/borderline dirty clothes.
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.
happylue6 years ago
Loved this so much that i did it to my bass bag, its soo cool, everyone loves it
Beautiful. Thanks for the idea.
codongolev6 years ago
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.
annafavela8 years ago
OH MY.... that's soo... Sexy and cute! o.o *rubs her face on his pins*
Catling (author)  annafavela8 years ago
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 Catling7 years ago
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
could you upload a picture of them?
Catling (author)  thinker7 years ago
Yaayyy! I'm so glad I helped!
haha! yeaah it's like when you make yourself clothes and forget to remove the needles! : D
Seanzee7 years ago
Where do you get those jackets? they're really cool and i want one :D -Seanzee
Catling (author)  Seanzee7 years ago
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 Catling7 years ago
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 $7 years ago
This Instructable is way too cool.You made me become a big fan.
Very cool!
BlindSight7 years ago
I'm discovering your instructables, and I'm positively surprised. Great job.
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)  originalwynne7 years ago
... 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.)
cheers :) now i just have to go and buy them _
woah that totally ROCKS!! i am soooooo gonna try that!
ch3rry8 years ago
beautiful work! you have a great imagination - keep using it.
Ward_Nox8 years ago
could u but up the patterns for other designs?
Catling (author)  Ward_Nox8 years ago
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.
CostumeGal8 years ago
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!
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?
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)  megziewoodles8 years ago
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.
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)  megziewoodles8 years ago
...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.
That it does. I'm not sure whether you should take that as a compliment or not either.
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 ---> www.dark-alacrity.deviantart.com nice work.
Catling (author)  deadly.jello8 years ago
I don't have a deviant art, don't need one. I post all my drawings on my webpage.
oh..sorry. i just think DA is pretty cool...not trying to advertise or anything............... -_-'
Catling (author)  deadly.jello8 years ago
Oh jeez, I wasn't trying to be hostile or bash DA or anything. I think it's an awesome site.
oh no...it'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!)
zenilorac8 years ago
Wow thats cool i have often wondered what to do with the 197 safteypins left over from the large pack! full wings would look awsome but i think i might start smaller, maybe on a bag... great instructable
technick298 years ago
Cool! Simple, yet the results are spectacular. Keep up the good work!
Kiteman8 years ago
This is really nice - I want to call it "grown up punk-rocker" (especially after the shots of pins in tartan fabric), but that's not right, given the way UK punk rockers acted.

How about...

...gentle steel?
Kiteman Kiteman8 years ago
And I just had a look at your site - wonderful stuff. You ought to do an instructable of the bottle-top bracelets.
Catling (author)  Kiteman8 years ago
I was just thinking about making some more of those... Good idea. Did you look at my other jackets? Which one is your favorite? (I like the one with the wave best.)
Kiteman Catling8 years ago
Sorry, I liked the (raven?) wings. The pins really suit the sort of thing that can be seen as lots of short straight lines.

I guess your wave is Hokusai's Great Wave (http://www.andreas.com/pixs/hok-1b.jpg). I would like to see that as big panels of appliqued colour, but maybe with the boats replaced with something clashing, like a Venetian gondola or a surfer.
Catling (author)  Kiteman8 years ago
Thank you! Ha ha, I don't think I'm allowed to be a "grown up" punk anyway, i'm still a teenager (with the maturity of a twelve-year-old).
finfan78 years ago
I am going out and getting a pack of pins ASAP. I will post when it is finished if I don't get to carried away on some other project afterwards.
Catling (author)  finfan78 years ago
Awesome! you should send me a link when you're finished, I want to see what kind of design you come up with.
finfan7 Catling8 years ago
Well knowing me it will probably be the same thing I was thinking of having embroidered on the back of my vest. A giant brass cog. Or maybe several interlocking cogs. I am loving the clockpunk/steampunk world right now.
Catling (author)  finfan78 years ago
A steampunk eh? Have you seen this yet?
finfan7 Catling8 years ago
*laughs maniacally* yah i saw that a ways back. Jake has done some amazing stuff. As has his buddy Datamancer. http://www.datamancer.net/ I have actually started to work on a few of their projects for myself recently. I just need to find a different keyboard and a pair of cheap lcds.
Catling (author)  finfan78 years ago
*drools* Shiiiinyyy... I wish i had a laptop so I could mod it into some big gold leafed tome or something.
finfan7 Catling8 years ago
Take a poke at the usual sites: ebay, craigslist, etc. etc.
If you have any computer experience you can usually fix em. I found mine laying around with a destroyed lcd. So i went online and got a replacement for ~$80. Can't quite beat 80 bucks for a laptop with actually ok specs. and check out http://ironwork.jp/monkey_farm/computer/pc2.html
i need another screen though so i can make a "magic candle" lcd projector.
Catling (author)  finfan78 years ago
I don't have any computer experiece at all though.
finfan7 Catling8 years ago
You probably have a friend with some though right? Theres usually a techie in every group. You can usually get the work done just for the asking or at most the cost of lunch and parts. Just even if you don't find one easily keep your eyes open. The trait that will serve you best in everything you do will be observance.
finfan7 finfan78 years ago
this is getting absurdly long so if you reply please do so by messaging me ok Kath? bye
Glad to see you finally instructablize these, I like your newest one but just wish I had the patience to make one of these.
Catling (author)  imanalchemist8 years ago
Yeah, these are pretty labor-intensive. I am seriously in love with this site! Thanks so much for getting me to start an account here!
ryzellon8 years ago
I'm very impressed at your ingenuity and artistry. I wear my hair down most of the time, so a jacket wouldn't work for me, but I might try this on my bag. It'll be an awesome and unique way of marking the bag as mine.
Catling (author)  ryzellon8 years ago
Ha ha, my sister has that problem. I made her a denim jacket with a butterfly on the back, but she has super long hair so it gets stuck in the pins unless she puts it up. Thanks for the compliment!
Yeah, my hair's past waist length, and I've got a narrow frame, so it pretty much veils my entire back. Though the prospect of putting steel wings across my shoulders is very tempting. Perhaps I shall have to think up a solution--maybe run the wings from the shoulder blades to the arms. Or figure out a way to prevent snags. *Ponders*
Catling (author)  ryzellon8 years ago
Have you considered wearing your hair over your shoulders? When I had long hair, I usually had it in a braid. Should I post instructions on making the wings specifically? They seem to be my most favored design among my friends.
I prefer having it down. Unless a braid is precisely centered and even, it really bothers me to distraction. And my ears get cold. I'd like to see some more details on the wing construction. You're absolutely right in that the shape of the pins truly look like feathers. I see that you have the openable end of the pin as the tip of the feather. What does the pattern look like when you reverse that? (And I absolutely approve of your choice of "smexy" as a name)
Catling (author)  ryzellon8 years ago
I've never tried putting them in the other way, but since the pins are wider at the openable end I figured they would be more featherlike with that end out. The opposite might make a nice downy effect though, I'll have to try it. The "smexy" word came from an email quiz that i made with a friend. One of the questions asked if you preferred smart or sexy people, and since I liked both I responded "smexy!"
Daykun8 years ago
Great idea !!! I love the butterfly denim you made. And btw, you look pretty grown up for a teen (in a good way).
Catling (author)  Daykun8 years ago
*smirk* thanks. A kid I taught at summer camp one time asked how old I was, and when I told her to guess she was like "thirty?"
Whoa, kitchin'! (killer + bitchin') That seems like it took a whole lot of hardwork and dedication, and paid off, too! Keep it up, -j
Catling (author)  T3h_Muffinator8 years ago
Ha ha, nice wordsmithing! A muffinator after my own heart! (Have you figured out what words combine to make "smexy"?)
hmmm... How about s'mores and Sexy? Or smelly xylene, I don't know which to go with.... ;P
Catling (author)  T3h_Muffinator8 years ago
Heh, not quite. It's smart and sexy, which is what I go for with my clothing hacks. Stylish, yet practical.
I like!!!!
Wait... how'd I miss that??

Anyway, I'd agree, your clothes are stylish and practical!
very cool. i think ill try it on a bag like ryzellon suggested. great instructable!
canida8 years ago
Catling (author)  canida8 years ago
*blush* thank you! This isn't the first jacket I've made (the rest are on my website) but it was my first instructable. I'm glad people like it! I can actually feel my ego expanding.
splodie28 years ago
that is a cool jacket i think i should try that sometime
Pretty shweet dude, alota kids cover there shoes in safety pins and striped paper clips it looks cool
Catling (author)  TheCheese99218 years ago
That's pretty wicked, I never thought of doing it on shoes. Glad you like!