Gather your supplies:
Round nose pliers
(You can buy a Set of 3 jewelry making tools)
Okay, first off, a few disclaimers. I’m not a professional jeweler. I’m not even an amateur jeweler. I learned how to do this through Pinterest and my BFF, Google. Wires and wire cutters are sharp. Beads are choking hazards. Safety first, people! I’m also not a hand model, and although I did get a manicure, it wasn’t a very good one.
I bought all of these supplies at Michael’s (don’t forget your coupons!), but Hobby Lobby And JoAnn’s will also carry basic supplies. You can buy a small set that comes with the gray tray, round nose pliers, wire cutters, and chain nose pliers for around $10. Or you could pick up a larger jewelry making tray to have more workspace.
These are headpins. You can get them in assorted sizes and other color metal finishes.
Assorted beads—I’ve had these since the late 1990s. Craft hoarding FTW! You’ll need some small beads because the holes in the larger statement beads are larger than the end of the headpins. If you don't already have beads, you can pick up assorted sets to have a variety of colors.
Ready to get creative? Thread on different colors, and play around until you find a combination you love. See my little Ariel made of beads?
Once you’re happy with your bead arrangement, trim the headpin to leave approximately ½” of empty space at the top. The one on the left is too short, and the one on the right is a bit too long.
Be careful when you snip off the end with your wire cutters. The tiny pieces like to fly! I usually snip inside of a bag to keep the pieces from winding up everywhere.
Now grab your round nose pliers. You’re going to make a small loop in the top of the headpin. Hold the wire close to the end to start.
Then bend the wire around until you’ve formed a loop that closes against the headpin near the top of your beads.
The first few times, you may make a weird, lumpy oval or even snap the piece off entirely from too many readjustments. (Oops.) If you aren’t happy with your doodad, just snip off the loop, grab a new headpin, and try again.
Once you’ve made your doodads, attach them using a split ring or jump ring. I like using jump ring pliers, but they're not necessary.
Thread your doodads onto the jump ring or enclose them in a split ring. Attach the doodad to a zipper pull, key ring, or other piece of hardware. I'm using a lobster key ring for this snap tab.
The world is your oyster! Go forth and create endless options for custom zipper pulls and snap tab accessories.
Pick up some alphabet beads to make word/name doodads.
Have fun accessorizing your favorite POP snap tabs and zipper bags! Come show off your creations in our Facebook group.
POP design links: