One of my favorite trends of 2017 is the popularity of enamel pins. Although inexpensive pins from well-known designers have been available at chains like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters for some time, we saw a sharp increase in the availability of cool pins from small indie craft businesses this year. They’re an affordable and easy way to wear your love for your hobby (and your favorite business) on your sleeve (or lapel, or bag, or backpack, or…)

My teen daughter has become a collector of enamel pins, but only wears one or two at a time on her backpack or jacket. I thought a cute pin board would be a nice way for her to display the pins she’s not using, and keep track of all those pin backs. This is a really easy project, which should take less than an hour once you have all your supplies.

Materials & Tools

  • Shadowbox–I used a 9″ x 9″ frame from Michaels. A shadowbox (as opposed to a regular frame) has a deep edge, which I used for the jar of pin backs. You can use a regular frame if you want to keep the pin backs separate.
  • Sheet of cork. I bought a pack of cork wall tiles, 12″ x 12′ from Michaels.
  • Cut of fabric the size of the cork + 1.5″ on each side. A fat quarter would be plenty.
  • Small jar or box for pin backs.
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Pen
  • Spray adhesive (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Remove the back from your frame.

Step 2: Separate all the pieces of the frame. You will not need the glass.

Step 3: Place the frame back on the corner of the cork and draw around the other two sides with a pen. This is where you’ll cut the cork to size.

Step 4: Use the utility knife and a ruler to cut the cork. (I was able to simply score the cork a couple of times, then bend it to get a clean break.)

Step 5: Place the cork on your fabric and cut to size. Leave about 1.5″ around each side.

OPTIONAL STEP (not shown): Use a spray adhesive on front of the cork then place the fabric on the adhesive. You’ll need to use something made specifically for fabric so it doesn’t stain. I didn’t do this step, so my fabric is a little loose, but barely noticeable.

Step 6: Use the glue gun to place a line of glue on the back of the cork. Fold the fabric around and press onto the glue.

Step 7: Make sure all four sides are secure, and corners are tight.

Step 8: My shadowbox can with a thin layer of canvas-covered styrofoam glued to the masonite frame back. Pull or scrape the foam off and keep the masonite.

Step 9: Run hot glue around the edges of the frame back, then secure the cork/fabric piece.

Step 10: Reassemble your showdowbox and you are done!

Gifting your pin board? It might be nice to include a cute pin. Check out Etsy for dozens of great designs.

Don’t forget to include a little jar or box for pin backs!

(Want to produce your own enamel pins? Check out this article on my other site, Craft Industry Alliance.)