The idea for this craft came from dltk-kids.com. I modified it to make it easier and would like to share my modifications… and the reason for doing so. Perhaps you’d like to make one for a veteran you know and give it to him or her this 4th of July!
I was asked to attend Girls Camp in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest earlier this month and to find a service project that about 80 teenage girls could do at camp.
Some of the girls recommended helping military veterans somehow. I looked on justserve.org and discovered an agency that serves veterans near me. When I asked if there might possibly be something these girls could make while out in the woods and give to the veterans, the kind woman at the agency suggested making these adorable patriotic items that can be pinned onto a hat or jacket.
Up at camp, we gave each girl a paper plate for her own workspace and poured several beads onto it. We also had them place a few rocks on their plates in case the wind blew a little. Fortunately, there wasn’t more than a pleasant breeze, and the project worked great!
Only 58 girls wound up with time for the project, so back at home my daughter Sydney and I leisurely made a total of 30 more while enjoying all 3 of Marvel’s Thor movies. Sydney, with her incredible skill, chose to pick up each bead and slip it onto a pin. What worked easily for me was keeping the bead on the plate and poking the pin down through it.
As you can see from the photos, we pinned the beaded gift onto a card with a hand-written thank you note. Some of the girls at camp wrote a very thoughtful message (especially those aged 12 and 13).
From a few of the 13-year-olds:
“Thank you for all that you do for our country. It really means a lot to me.”
“What you do to protect our country is a big deal and you deserve a lot more credit. You have a lot of courage– more than most people.”
“Thank you sooo much for your service. I really appreciate and admire your courage!”
“I respect you so much (even though I don’t know you).”
“Thank you for being and staying strong for us.”
“Thank you for serving us and protecting our freedom. I hope that this will help you remember why you are [were] there.”
From a couple of the 12-year-olds:
“Dear Veteran, Thanks for serving our country and families. You helped keep the U.S. safe–and me.”
“Thank you for risking your life for our country. I hope you know that I love you and have a wonderful day.”
The agency was happy to receive the pins. They know how grateful the veterans will be!
Here are the Materials I recommend:
- 10 small silver-colored safety pins—size 1 (27mm)
- 1 large silver-colored safety pin—with no loop (57 mm)
- 1 small, clear earring back
- red, white and blue glass seed beads—size 12/0
1.Each small safety pin holds 9 beads. For the first pin, thread on the beads in this way: 5 blue, 1 white, 1 red, 1 white, 1 red.
2. Repeat with the second, third, fourth and fifth safety pins.
3. With the sixth thru tenth safety pins, start with red and alternate the 9 beads red/white.
4. To make step 5 even easier, line up the beaded pins on the table so they look like the American flag— with the blue beads on the left. Pick up the first small safety pin (on the left), and turn it around so you’re looking at the side with no beads.
5. Slide the coil end (little loop) of that first small safety pin onto the large safety pin—all the way around the curve onto the other side of the large pin. Add the other small pins the same way. (You need the pointed part of the large safety pin free to attach to a card, hat, jacket, etc.)
6. Thread the earring back onto the large safety pin— also somewhere past the pin curve onto the other side— so the small safety pins can’t move back around the pin curve.
Have a beautiful day!