Can’t Wait Wednesday: Gravemaidens (and a Pin Display How-To!)

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Though I’ve never participated in Can’t Wait Wednesday before (as hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings, and previously by Jill @ Breaking the Spine before her), now seems like a great time, because Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon is almost here!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you probably know that I’m a member of Kell’s street team, and I am PSYCHED for this book (the bond between sisters? fending off DEATH? a cinnamon roll LI? count me in!). Today isn’t a review (keep your eyes peeled for that early next month!), but it is a sneak peek at the goodies that await you for preorders and library requests, and a fun how-to to celebrate one of those goodies, plus any other similar goodies you might already have: it’s an enamel pin display tutorial!

So grab a little bit of fabric, an embroidery hoop, and all the bookish pins you own, and I’ll walk you through a quick and easy way to display them!

Before we get to the pin display, though, I really do have to show you these stunning preorder goodies Kell is sending out as she receives preorder receipts.

Isn’t that pin just lovely? And even though I have major sticker commitment issues, I love the moth sticker so much. Might just have to put it somewhere!

And of course, shout-out to Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads for designing the Maiden’s Tonic recipe card! I don’t even like mint, but her design makes it look so tasty…

If you want to get your hands on these goodies, you can preorder Gravemaidens through any retailer and submit your receipt through the form here (and view the different goodies available based on US/international location or whether it’s a personal purchase or a library request)! Plus, if you’d like to get a signed and personalized copy, you can order from Kell’s indie bookstore, Oxford Exchange!

And now that we’ve got that established, let’s deal with what you can do once you’ve got those goodies, especially that gorgeous pin! For starters, you’ll need:

An embroidery hoop (I used a 9″ hoop), fabric sturdy enough to hold enamel pins (try home decor fabric; stores like JOANN Fabrics often have some in their clearance sections), a hot glue gun, scissors, and your enamel pins! An iron, washi tape, and needle and thread are all extras you can but don’t have to use to spruce up your display.

Pin How To 1


Step One

So you have all your supplies! Before you start, take a couple things into consideration. Do you want to iron the wrinkles out of your fabric? Do that now. Do you want your embroidery hoop to have some decoration around it? Try wrapping the outer hoop (as tightly and smoothly as you can) in washi tape! Both are optional, but they can make your display more you, so try and decide that now rather than later.


Step Two

Once you’ve decided on ironing and extra decorations, the first thing you should do is take the inner ring of your embroidery hoop and place your fabric over it. Once your fabric covers the inner ring to your liking, take that outer ring and fit it nice and snug over the inner one, then tighten it to prevent the fabric from slipping.


Step Three

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Trim your fabric (hopefully in a neater circle than I did)! You’ll want to leave about 2-3 cm of trim for the next couple of steps, but all that excess can go away. If you’re a crafty sort of person, maybe you can save that fabric for later, too. Personally, I’m saving the scraps for smaller displays I might make in the future!


Step Four

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Get your hot glue gun warmed up and ready, and then flip your hoop over. You’re going to want to put glue along the top edge of that inner embroidery hoop, then start folding the fabric down over it as you go. That way, the glue doesn’t dry before you finish going around the hoop all the way. Just be careful not to burn yourself, because I totally almost did.

To be fair, I’m a bit of a klutz, so you probably don’t really need the warning as much as I do. 😅


Step Five

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You can actually go about this step in two ways! I chose to go around the inside of the hoop with more glue, then press the fabric into that to tuck it in further. (And pardon the picture quality; this was the best I could get taking pictures with one hand, whoops.) This works well if you’ve trimmed your fabric more neatly than I have, and don’t have so much excess that the edges could touch the plane of fabric stretched across the hoop. The other way to do it, though, involves making sure your first round of hot glue is dry, and then carefully trimming away all the excess fabric. Less hot glue, but more delicate action with scissors. It’s up to you!


Step Six

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Believe it or not, now the only thing left is to tidy up your supplies and stick those pins in there! It helps to lay them out before actually pushing them through the fabric, since if you don’t like the layout, it’s hard to hide the giant holes pins leave. I wish I’d done that before sticking all my pins in, but I got a little too excited, and now I’m really feeling that whole “hindsight is 20/20” thing.

BUT. Whatever approach you take to filling your display, you now have a complete display, and in only ten minutes or so tops (and for roughly $8, or $15 if you need to purchase a hot glue gun too)! Super quick, super simple. Or, maybe you want to make it more complicated! It’s always an option to do some embroidery around the outer edge of your display for a pop of color and detail, or you can get really ambitious and do a whole design across the fabric, placing the pins around the design. In the end, that’s entirely up to you and your tastes and your craft skills and supplies.

Regardless of your DIY choices, it’s time to go forth, display your pins, and maybe also preorder Gravemaidens so you get your goodies soon and the book on October 29th! 💙

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