When you picture a brooch in your mind, you probably see the design on the front. It might be a unique flower made out of rickrack, a colourful gemstone or a vintage charm. Very rarely do people think about the pin backing that holds the brooch to your lapel, collar or dress. When making your own brooch, give the pin backing the credit it deserves. The wrong pin back can make your unique flower slouch. Even worse, if the backing is incorrectly attached it can fall apart, and that vintage charm ends up lost forever.
Select a brooch. If making your own brooch, go to the department store and look at brooches created by different designers or look through craft catalogues to be inspired. If you are repairing an existing brooch or using a vintage object, select the object that you will be using. It is important to have the brooch in hand before creating the backing, as different brooch materials require different types of pin backs.
Let the material determine your backing. If you are making a soft cloth brooch, you will add a circle of felt to the back so that your brooch will not flop over. If you are using a rigid charm made of metal, a piece of ridge mat board makes a good back.
Cut your backing material to fit the brooch. The backing material should be only slightly smaller than the brooch. The backing should not show, but it needs to be large enough to hold the brooch securely. Affix the backing with adhesive or needle and thread, depending on your design.
Add a brooch pin to the backing. Brooch pins feature a straight pin and safety clutch mounted to a brace bracket. Don't be tempted to use a safety pin. Brooch pins are more stable and will last longer. If you are using mat board, apply hot glue or epoxy to the pin's brace bracket and wait one day for the pin to dry. Your adhesive should cover the back of the bracket and come up over the sides of the bracket to hold it securely in place. If using a felt backing, attach the brooch pin with needle and thread using a whip stitch back and forth across the brace bracket.
If you are using a felt backing, stitch the brooch pin to the backing using thread the same colour as the felt so the stitches don't show.
Tips and warnings
- If you are using a felt backing, stitch the brooch pin to the backing using thread the same colour as the felt so the stitches don't show.