A reader, Julie, commented on our brooches post “Break the Rules, Not the Bank: ‘Not Really A Thing",
“Okay, maybe this is dumb, but how do you wear brooches without poking deadly holes in your clothes? I have a favorite sweater ruined by a pinback name badge and I’m brooch-shy now.”
Let’s be honest, wearing a brooch may be a bold move for those of us who are vintage-wearing novices. For some, our grandma’s fist-sized, bedazzled brooch is an image we try to avoid, and for others, these embellishments may have actually piqued our interest. But, we may be tempted to give up on the brooch battle altogether when they poke unfriendly holes in our precious blouse or jacket!
Before you abandon the idea of sporting these fabulous, albeit puncture inducing accessories, we have a solution. Protect your polyesters and save your silks from unsightly pinholes with our very own DIY tutorial.
Here’s what you’ll need:
brooch (new or vintage)
epoxy glue (preferably one with a short cure time)
NOTE: Do NOT use a hot glue gun as the heat can demagnitize the magnets.
1/2-inch round magnets (4 or more)–we used these ones, but choose a shape and size appropriate for your brooch
acetone (or rubbing alcohol for cleaning purposes)
1 bobby pin
latex gloves to protect your hands when dealing with epoxy glue
Part 1: The Brooch
1. Detach the pin on the back side of the brooch–pliers may be necessary. Using acetone/alcohol and cotton balls, wipe the surfaces of both the magnet and back of the brooch clean (trust me, you don't want to skip this step).
2. Following the instructions on the epoxy glue package, apply glue to the surface of the magnet. Press the magnet firmly on one side of the back of the brooch.
3. Repeat with the second magnet, applying to the opposite side of the back of the brooch. Allow 30 minutes to set (or as package instructs) and 24 hours for full strength to bear weight.
Part 2: The Backing
4. While waiting for the magnets to set on your brooch, clean off the surface of two more magnets. Apply epoxy glue onto the backs of these magnets, setting them at an approximal distance similar to the two already adhered to the brooch.
5. Press a bobbypin firmly onto the magnets to create a single backing strip and wait for glue to dry.
6. Use this piece underneath your clothing to place your brooch where desired.
Using magnets to secure a pin is a simple and inexpensive way to wear brooches on even your most delicate clothing. We hope this little DIY inspires you for a full-on brooch bout. Enjoy the finished product!
intern, Lexi, is studying Journalism and Communications at Bethel University. She works for her college newspaper and is spending the semester in NYC for a writing program. So far, her favorite NYC spots have been Serendipity 3, the Strand Bookstore, and the rooftop of her apartment building.