A few years back I found this post on how to make a Shamrock Pin. It continues to inspire me! I made a few pins, but I don’t have much luck with glue guns, I make a mess. For me, it was hard to put a safety pin on the back and fasten it. But each year I pull them out and my daughter and I wear them. The instructions on the post include a free PDF download, and it would be easy enough to make this into a print and cut file and then make them. But this post is not about how to do that.
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 easily make the fixings for multiple pins that small kids could put together themselves, without a glue gun or glitter should they so choose.
clover pin components
The file is posted up on Make-The-Cut Gallery under “Clover Pin” for anyone to download.
if you make some, send me a photo and I’ll add it to this post.
Here’s what the finished ones looked like after some help from first graders.
finished Clover Pins
And in case you don’t have MTC, below are directions for designing your own. Quick, easy, and inexpensive. What’s not to like?
Clover 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 clover of heavy weight stock.
- #1 safety pins
- ⅛” brads
- Optional materials: glitter, clear or white glue, decorative brad.
Leaves: 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.
Heart from Basic Shapes
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).
three hearts aligned to make a shamrock
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.
Stem: 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.
Stem showing bezier curve handles
Position your “stem” over your “leaves” until you are happy with it.
Stem and Leaves
Then select all and weld.
Welded hearts and Stem
Now that you have your first clover done, you want to size it. We’ll layer 6 clovers of varying sizes together. Just duplicate your first clover (I used 2.5 inches wide) and then make each successive clover about ¼ inch smaller than the last. Put each clover into its own layer. But place each clover 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 clover.
Stacked layers – note how the crosshairs on each are all over one another.
Brad Hole: To put all the layers together, we will use a ⅛ inch brad. Make a 7th layer, and put a ⅛” circle 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 clover, 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 clover, pasting in place, selecting all, boolean join.
Brad Hole with 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 clovers. Duplicate each clover to fit your paper, and cut them out! If you download the file from the MTC gallery, you’ll find sheets already made to cut multiples from 8 ½ x 11 sheets.
Assembly: 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 clover, stacking successively larger clovers, with the pin clover being last. Open the brad.
Hope to see your creation! If you send me a photo, I’ll post it below.
Happy St. Pats!