Intro: How to Make Bubble Push-pins (or Fish-eye Thumb Tacks)
Don't you just love it when someone comes over, notices something and says, "Why, that's just plain awesome," and you can puff out your chest proudly and say , "Thank you. I made it." Well, this Instructable is designed to get that kind of reaction even if that someone is checking out all the confidential documents you hang on your bulletin board!
Push pins, or thumb tacks, are pretty essential, so why not spice them up? With a few household items and some cheap additions, you'll be hanging those papers in style.
Step 1: Stuff You're Going to Need
The ingredient list is pretty short:
- clear half-marbles (I found mine at the local Dollarstore, in the flower arrangement section)
- wide diametre earring posts (mine were 11/16")
- colourful scrapbooking paper or other snazzy designs
- White glue (important: must dry clear!)
Step 2: Drawn and Circled: Cutting the Paper
For an exact measurement, place the earring post circle-side down on the paper and trace around it with your pencil. Note: you'll want to use either a mechanical pencil or a very well-sharpened one to keep the line fine. (see image 1)
Make sure that you pick the nicest part of the pattern for the center. Half-marbles aren't precision-made, so you can expect a little 'warping' of the pattern depending on the marble you choose. If you have a word or design you definitely want to see, make it close to the middle and it should show up just fine. (see image 2)
Using your scissors, cut out the circle as precisely as you can. Don't worry if you go into the circle a bit, but try not to go out (making it bigger than drawn). (see image 3)
Step 3: The Quest for the Perfect Half-marble
Like I said, half-marbles are definitely not precision-made. So it's worth it to spend a little time carefully choosing the marbles you want to use. Place them on top of the paper you just cut and see how the pattern shows through. Is the marble too flat or too rounded or too small? This step will pay off in the end.
The one I chose in the photo is just the right size, and has a nice little sunburst coming out the side. Imperfections aren't always a bad thing.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
Once you've picked your pieces, it's time to get out the glue. With or without the help of Tiny Hands, dip the toothpick in the glue and spread a thin layer directly onto the marble. (see image 1)
Next, place the cut-out circle of paper pattern-side down onto the marble. Center it approximately. (see image 2)
Press down on the edges of the paper to round it to the marble. You don't have to hold it down very long before the gluing action takes effect. (see image 3)
Step 5: Adding the Stinger
All that's left is to place your marble round side down on a table, slather a bit of glue via toothpick onto the circle of the earring post and centre it on the marble. Let dry about 30 mins, to be sure, and voilà! Fantastic, inexpensive, personnalised push-pins that will amaze your friends and delight your coworkers!
Variations: I've seen it plenty around the internet, but it's worth a mention. Instead of an earring post, glue a small earth-magnet to the back of your papered marble for a unique fridge accessory! Or if you're feeling jewelry-frisky, just use the papered marble as a cabochon and wire-wrap or bead weave that sucker into a necklace. Have fun with them!
Remember: There is no box!
--- No tiny hands were harmed or glued in the making of this Instructable. ---