Smiley Pin





Introduction: Smiley Pin

About: American mom of 2 boys & 1 bunny. Crafter of some, inventor of none, admirer of many here on Instructables!

My first Instructable...
Here's a cute little Smiley pin made with seed beads and 12 safety pins. With a little attention to the placement of the beads this is an easy project. I looked online to credit someone because I got the idea over 12 years ago in a book but I couldn't find the original creator so I figured out the design on a piece of paper.

I've also included the history of the Smiley. Just skip to Step 1 if you don't care about history!

Kids can make this but with an adult's help because the pins are sharp and the beads are tiny and will scatter! I lost a few in the cracks of my porch!

I live in Worcester, Massachusetts USA. We are the second largest city in New England (don't tell Providence, RI I said that). Worcester has many claims to fame but one I am especially proud of is the Smiley. Yes, the big yellow icon that has been around forever(?). Nope! Just since 1963! Harvey Ball, born and raised in Worcester was an artist and he created the Smiley we all know from the 1960s and 1970s. He was hired by a Life Insurance Company to boost morale. In 10 minutes he created the iconic Smiley (which has one larger eye than the other). He was paid a whole $45! He never tried to trademark his Smiley even after thousands of pins were sold over the years.

In 1999 Mr Ball founded World Smile Corporation a non-profit which raises funds for children in need. The first Friday of every October is World Smile Day - "Do an act of kindness - help one person smile."

The next time you place a smiley in a text you will know where it all began...just 45 minutes west of Boston but the Smiley is famous worldwide!

Step 1: Items Needed

black seed beads

yellow seed beads

12 one inch (3 cm) safety pins

Step 2: Adding the Beads

First, follow the chart (or picture) and add the seed beads to each pin. Be careful to add them in the correct order (not upside-down). Take your time and count how many of each color or your Smiley will have a crooked smile or missing eye!

Step 3: Add to the 12th Pin

Next, bend the 12th (empty) pin so you can add the full (beaded) pins to the part that doesn't open/close. Unbend it gently so it doesn't break.

Step 4: Put Smiley Together

Now, add the 11 full pins in the correct order onto the bent pin. Be sure to have all the beads facing out/same direction. Look at the Smiley. Is he okay? Eyes? Mouth? Great!

Bend the 12th pin back into its original shape gently.

Step 5: Pin on Your Smiley!

Now pin Smiley on your jacket, shirt or bag and share a Smile with the rest of the world! Especially on World Smile Day!



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    11 Discussions


    Very nice

    TheRealBlobFish, I saw your project before I posted mine (didn't want to replicate). Yours is much more involved! I like the song suggestion at the end! :)

    I also did a smiley based project, maybe not as cool as yours, but i like it!

    Thank you! I'm so happy to finally be an "author"!

    Cute! I remember making these back in elementary school art class. :)

    Nice! This is a great little project.

    First instructable too - woohoo, congrats!!