Safety Pin Wings





Introduction: Safety Pin Wings

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

This is the design that my friends like the most out of my safety pin jackets, and a few people have told me they'd like an instructable on how to make them. So here we go! A more general set of instructions for a safety pin jacket is available here.

Step 1: You Will Need:

1) Jacket (or whatever you want your design to go on)
2) Sizes 1, 2, and 3 safety pins. (This jacket used around 200 size 1, 4 size 2, and 14 size 3 steel pins)
3) Ruler
4) Light colored pencil or chalk
5) Needle and thread

Step 2: Measure and Mark

Measure across the back of the jacket, starting and ending at the seam connecting the sleeve to the body. Draw a line straight down the middle of the back. This will help you center the wings on the jacket.

Step 3: Start Pinning!

Begin the design by making the lines that create the inside and top edges of the wings. Doing these lines first will give you a guide to follow when adding the "feathers". Experiment with different shapes! Subtly altering the shape will change the overall feeling of the piece. I usually make more slender wings; these are a bit more rounded and cutsey.

Step 4: Adding Feathers

Add the first row of feathers using size 1 pins. To create a more feathery texture, make the line zigzag in and out. It doesn't matter immensely if the right and left sides are perfectly identical.

Step 5: More Feathers!

Add second and third rows of size one pins, following the curves of the first row.

Step 6: Bigger Feathers

To make the pinion feathers, use a few size three pins to make a partial row on each side. Use the size twos (and maybe a couple size ones) to slope this row into the previous one so it looks more natural and there are no abrupt edges.

Step 7: One Stitch, Two Stitch.

Use the thread to stitch down the pins so that they lie the way you want them to. It's good to use thread that more or less matches your pins so it's less obvious.

Step 8: Share and Enjoy

All done! These jackets are machine washable, if you run them on delicate and are careful to dry them right away (do not put them in the dryer though! That would end painfully). A couple friends have told me that you can kill smelly bacteria by spraying vodka on stinky spots, and when it dries it will no longer smell like alcohol.
Have fun with your new jacket!

Step 9: Accesorize!

Now that you know how, you can embellish anything as long as it's made out of nice sturdy fabric. In addition to my jackets, I have now put wings on my school bag, and some stretch fleece wristbands. (I plan to make myself some wing high-tops next, Hermes style!)
Have fun!



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    46 Discussions

    I'm working on one now and putting beads on the pins as I go. It's going to take a long time, but I think it will be pretty.

    I sort of want to do this to my old Moleskin jacket, But as it's a WW2 German Moleskin I'm worried that the safety pins might leave noticeable holes in it, in case I wanted to take them out. :/

    I did this on my jacket with copper safety pins a few months ago. Alas, they slowly fell off before I could take a picture. I have a new jacket now, perhaps I'll redo it.

    I'm thinking of doing this on my jacket, and threading feathers through the safety pins...bit hard to wash though...

    If you crimped the safety pins, they wouldn't come undone.
    I found a crimper at walmart for cheap and it works fine.

    Very nice. Sooner or later someone is going to figure out that crafters want colored safety pins. Let's hope sooner. Hmmm. I am envisioning various colored ribbons wound through the pins. Or thread or yarn looped on the pins. OK, this opens doors. Thanks!

    You should enter this in the book contest! I'd vote for it.

    I finally got around to do it. Although the wings doesn't look as perfect as yours, my satchel looks much better now. Here's a before and after pic:

    1 reply


    I can't wait to do this. Currently I have a plain hoodie that I decorated by safety pinning a giant UPC symbol that I cut off from the front of an old t-shirt. I love the look of the safety pins all around the edge of the logo. But this is gonna look way better. I'm planning on getting a tattoo soon of a dove with flaming wings in the center of my back, so this will be awesome because it will be my "outside tattoo"

    This is sort of spooky, but it's wonderful too!

    heyy im on skl holidays atm and saw your instructable and thought yehhhhh lets do that so i went nd bought loadsa pins nd yeh turnd out gd :)

    1 reply