Whilst in preparation for camp I discovered that I had somehow bypassed an essential girlhood rite of passage, that is, the swap. I will explain. When a girl goes to camp nowadays, she is expected to glue bits of ribbon, felt, foam, and beadwork to a safety pin and trade it with other girls. It’s supposed to be some sort of female bonding exercise. In the spirit of tradition, I made some swaps. Here’s how you can get in on the system too.

When I was about six, my parents gave me a crafts book. I was quite taken with it. It featured a little metal home made heart-shaped pendant suspended from a bow. I never got to make that. I altered the design a bit for these.

Needed for the exercise is a spool of thin wire or some 1 inch headpins, flatback pins, e beads as well as tube seed beads, ribbon not wider than  about 1/2 of an inch, needle nose pliars/wire cutters, a ruler, scissors, and a hot glue gun.

  1. If you went the cheap, adventurous route that I did, you’ll be using the wire to make your own headpins. This involves twisting the wire in a small circle around the end of the pliars, measuring a bit more than an inch, and cutting the wire off.
  2. Add the beads to your creation in whatever design pleases you (making sure that the loop keeps them on there).
  3. Twist the wire around and through the flat back pin until it stays. I pushed the wire through the hole from the back, bent it over the top of back of the pin, and finally hooked it under the bottom of the front of the pin.
    This made my thumbs sore.
  4. Now, tie a miniature bow of the size you want to put on the pendant. Untie and measure it. It should measure somewhere between five and six inches. Cut a lot of ribbon pieces and tie bows around the flat-back pins.
  5. Adjust the bows and hot glue securely into place like so.


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