Everyone in my office is completely hooked on the Hunger Games. Every single one of us has read the trilogy and is a huge fan. With the opening of the movie at hand, my brilliant sister (and artist in residence), decided to make her own Mockingjay pins out of duct tape. She gave me one as a present the other day, and I was so impressed by it that I needed to blog about it right away.
When I informed Freda that I wanted to write about it, she jumped right in and gave me the steps for making one so that I can pass on the technique to those of you who wish to make your own. One note though: this is not an easy craft! It definitely takes time and patience to make this pin. However, once the technique is learned, it can be used to make any variety of cool jewelry, not just this pin.
To make the pin you’ll need the following supplies:
- Duct tape. Freda also used Mylar tape in her sample, but standard duct tape is fine. You will want black, and then at least 2 contrasting colors – maybe red and yellow. Freda used copper and gold Mylar tape but she doesn’t recommend it. Even though the effect is beautiful, the tape is extremely hard to work with and rips easily. However, they now make metallic silver and gold duct tape that gives you the same look.
- Wax paper
- Permanent markers with a good point
- One large safety pin, or pin back (found in local craft stores)
- An image to trace (in this case, we used the Mockingjay image from the cover of the Hunger Games' first book)
- Seed beads
- An eye pin (used in making dangling earrings; can be found in craft stores) or thin wire (use needle nose pliers to form a little loop at the end to keep beads from slipping off)
Step 1: Place your waxed paper over the image on the cover of the book. Using your permanent marker, trace the outer perimeter of your artwork.
Step 2: Cover the backside of the traced image with black duct tape, make sure to extend past the lines a tiny bit.
Step 3: Cut along the lines. Make sure to leave a tab of wax paper, as removing the duct tape from the wax paper is tricky if you don’t have a tab.
Step 4: Remove the wax paper backing, trim the wax paper tab.
Step 5: Cover the sticky side of the duct tape with a layer of gold duct tape (sticky side to sticky side).
Step 6: Trim just inside the black duct tape pattern (cutting two sandwiched pieces of duct tape is easier than cutting sticky tape).
Step 7: Using a second piece of wax paper, trace the negative space (the black areas) around the bird on the cover art.
Step 8: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each section -- remember to leave tabs for easy removal of the wax paper. Cut pieces one at a time (see next step); do not cut all the pieces out at once.
Step 9: Freda found it easier to cut the pieces one at a time and place them before cutting the next piece. It helped in making sure that she worked her way around the circle and had the correct piece for each section. It’s a bit like putting together a puzzle. (Remember, I told you this was a tricky project!)
Step 10: If you have really good fingers and lots of patience, you can add accent colors to the wings and body of the bird. Just repeat steps 7 through 8 for each new layer of color.
(Special note: when photographing this project, Freda realized she had not made accommodations for the wings and tail that extend past the main circle of the pin. She had to come back and place black duct tape on those overhanging pieces and then trim away the excess black tape. However, when you are doing your first tracing, if you trace around those areas to start with, that will not be an issue.)
Step 11: To make the arrow, use your 2-inch eye pin. Place seed beads on the eye pin, leaving a bit of metal pin sticking out the end.
Step 12: Wrap a square of duct tape around each end of the metal eye pin.
Step 13: Trim both ends to look like an arrow -- a point on the front and feathers at the end.
Step 14: Place a piece of black duct tape on the back of the pin so it over hangs where the arrow point and tail will land. Flip over, and place the arrow between the beak and tail, so the ends hang off the circle and connect with the duct tape. Press the ends to secure the arrow. (Personally I think a little hot glue applied to the middle of the arrow would work just as well -- but that’s just my outside opinion!) Trim excess black tape.
Step 15: Turn the pin over and secure a pin back or safety pin to the back of the pin with duct tape.
Step 16: You’re done! Enjoy your pin (you earned it).
As I said in the beginning, this is a seriously advanced pin. Freda says it took her over an hour to do, so be warned, this takes patience, time, and good scissor skills. However, the technique lends itself to lots of fun jewelry making options -- we'll be bringing you lots more duct tape jewelry in the coming weeks!
Happy Hunger Games, and may the crafting odds be ever in your favor!