A few years back I found this post on how to make a shamrock pin from the talented artist at A Fanciful Twist. It continues to inspire me! I made a few pins, but I don’t have much luck with glue guns, I make a total mess. Each year I pull them out and my daughter and I wear them.
With St. Pat’s coming up again, I was wondering what I could do for an inexpensive project for kids, and the Shamrock pin came back to me. With a little designing, I realized I could create my own version of this pin, and easily make the fixings for multiple pins that small kids could put together themselves, without a glue gun or glitter should they so choose.
The file is available through the shop.
Here’s what the finished ones looked like after some help from first graders.
- Finished Pins
And in case you would like to make your own, below are directions. Quick, easy, and inexpensive. What’s not to like?
Shamrock Pin Directions – Design and Fabricate
- 6 sheets of card stock or heavy weight paper in mix and match colors
- it is a good idea to have the bottom shamrock of heavy weight stock.
- #1 safety pins
- Optional materials: glitter, clear or white glue, decorative brad.
Open your design software and make sure you have the grid turned on . Now go to the “import basic shapes” icon (the examples below are from MTC). Import one heart.
Line that heart up so the bottom point just touches an intersection of grid lines. Copy and paste in place this one heart, and rotate this second heart until the horizontal grid line upon which the original heart is touching bisects the lobe of the heart. (the arrows are there just to help you visualize).
Make certain that the point of the second heart also just touches the intersecting grid lines. Select the second heart, copy it, and paste it in place. Then select this third heart you just duplicated, and without moving it, make a mirror image of it. Why not move them manually via duplication? Because they will be a little bit off, and when you go to the next step, welding, you will see that you have lost your symmetry.
Using your design tool pen that draws straight lines and bezier curves, make a rectangle and modify one end to swag to the side. Alternatively you can import a basic rectangle, turn on show nodes, and modify from there.
Position your “stem” over your “leaves” until you are happy with it.
Then select all and weld.
Now that you have your first shamrock done, you want to size it. We’ll layer 6 shamrocks of varying sizes together. Just duplicate your first shamrock (I used 2.5 inches wide) and then make each successive shamrock about ¼ inch smaller than the last. Put each shamrock into its own layer. But place each shamrock on top of one another so that they are perfectly nested. Copy, paste in place, select duplicate, resize. You get the picture. Use your grid lines to help you do this, and blow it up so you can really see it well. Now you should have 6 layers, each with a shamrock (the screen shot shows 5, but 6 looks better on the pin).
- Brad Hole:
- To put all the layers together, we will use a brad. Make a 7th layer, and put a circle made to fit the brad size on it. Align that circle with the intersecting grid lines so that it is right over the center. You’ll notice it is too close for comfort to the cut line of the smallest shamrock, so move it down a bit. Select your lowest layer, and copy the brad hole and do a paste in place. This will put the brad hole circle right where the original one is. With all other layers locked except the lowest layer, select all, and do a Boolean join of B-A to pop that brad hole cut in the center. Repeat for each shamrock, pasting in place, selecting all, boolean join.
Go back to your bottom layer. This is where you’ll make your holes for the pin to go through. I used a #1 safety pin (the size that seem to come home from the dry cleaners). I made two ovals for the pin to fit through, and did the boolean join as above.
Now you can delete your brad hole layer, and you have 6 shamrocks. Duplicate each shamrock to fit your paper, and cut them out! If you download the file from the shop, you’ll find sheets already made to cut multiples from 8 ½ x 11 sheets.
The pins are so easy to assemble, that even a child can do it. And that was the whole point of the project! If you plan on doing glitter, do it before you assemble. Put your safety pin through the bottom layer. Now take your brad, and push it through the smallest shamrock, stacking successively larger shamrocks, with the pin shamrock being last. Open the brad.
Happy St. Pats!