Ideas to display Enamel Pin Collections

This week I’ve been collaborating with Maker Valley – a company run by Holly and Dave Lesue producing quilting-themed t-shirts and enamel pins.

Check out how fun these shirts turned out! One is one of my favorite hashtags (#QuiltNerd)! The other is my Red Delicous Star on a red shirt. I love it!

And I’m so excited to share a brand new set of enamel pins that we’ve created to coordinate with my Sunnyside Ave collection.

Apple and quilt enamel pins by Diary of a Quilter and Maker Valley

Aren’t they cute?! There are two apples – one in gingham (of course!) and one in the popular kelly green with pin dots. Then, there is also a quilt block from my Red Delicous quilt pattern. I’m so proud of them. Both shirts and pins are available now for preorder from Maker Valley. (AND! They’re all 20% off through Monday, April 23 with code 20LOVE at checkout!)

How to display your flair: Enamel pins by Maker Valley

Are you a enamel pin collector? I know there are many avid fans out there. I have to admit, I’ve only recently joined the bandwagon, but I’m starting to see why people love it so much!  As my collection has grown, I’ve needed a place to put them all together in one place where I can enjoy them.

Easy DIY No Sew Enamel Pin Display Tutorial by Amy Smart

So I’ve created a simple tutorial for this hoop to hang and display a pin collection. It’s a no-sew project (except for some optional hand stitching) so it’s super easy to put together with lots of room for extra customization. I’ve also put together a list of 12 other ideas for displaying and using your pins below, so there’s sure to be something for everyone!

Sewing room flair display - Diary of a Quilter

For this project I bought a large 14″ quilting hoop at JoAnn’s, but you could use any size embroidery hoop you’d like. Other supplies include fabric slightly larger than the size of the hoop, Shape Flex 101 fusible interfacing, and a glue gun.

For my fabric I chose a woven linen/cotton blend. I like the slightly larger weave of the fabric for texture and to make it easier to put the pins through the fabric. (Be advised, the enamel pins are heavy so they need a large pin shaft. They will leave a small hole in fabric.)

Cut a piece of fabric and a piece of Shape Flex larger than the hoop you are using. Fuse Shape Flex to the back of the fabric.

Place fabric in hoop and pull taught. Tighten hoop. Cut away excess fabric leaving about 3″. Use hot glue gun to apply a small stream of glue on the back, inside hoop and pull fabric over to secure in place. Go all the way around the hoop. Trim remainder of excess fabric away (to about 3/4″) and glue to inside of the hoop.

Once your edges are securely glued down, trim away the remaining excess fabric, leaving roughtly the same amount as the depth of the hoop. You can then glue the fabric to the inside of the hoop if you want.

From there I used some embroidery floss (6 strands) and an embroidery needle to do some simple handstitching 1/4″ away from the outside edge of the hoop – just to customize a little bit.

Obviously there is SO MUCH more you can do to customize your hoop! You could:

  • paint the wooden hoop a different color before you add the fabric (just be careful about paining around the screw at the top for loosening/tightening so that it doesn’t get stuck!)
  • wrap fabric around the hoop for a colorful edge or add felt flowers like this example
  • add more decorative embroidery stitches, applique, buttons, etc to give it a really custom feel.

I purposely decided to leave the wood and use a neutral color of fabric so that the colorful pins would pop, but I do think at some point, when inspiration strikes, I may embellish my hoop. In the mean time, I’m so excited to finally have a place to display my growing pin collection.

Diary of a Quilter Enamel Pin collection + Hoop display tutorial
There are SO many great ways you can display a pin (or flair 😉 ) collection! You could wear pins on a jacket or bag.

Here are a couple of other cute hoop variations:

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection

A more graphic, modern variation by See Kate Sew

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection

Or you could make fun low-volume patchwork with quilting like this variation

  Banner tutorials to display your flair - enamel pins

These two banner variations are both so cute! Different details and embellishements give them their own style. The tutorial on the left (with those beautiful Liberty prints!) is by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt. The tutorial on the right with the adorable pompoms is by Sarah Ashford and found on the Polkadot Chair blog.

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection

Another option for making a banner is to use quality felt. The one pictured is by Benzie Designs who shares other ideas as well. Felice makes cute and simple double sided version variation with felt.

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection

An obvious option is to simply display them and use them on your bulletin board! Here’s an example from Andy of A Bright Corner.

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection - with Maker Valley

Holly of Maker Valley has been collecting enamel pins for a long time. (I have her partly to blame thank for my new collection…). She shares in her Instagram Stories how she displays and uses them on her bulliten boards in her sewing studio – combining all kinds of memories and memorabilia. (plus, don’t you love all of those mini quilts?)

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection

Here’s another quick and simple example using a frame and cork board.

There are also SO MANY cute corkboard options to buy. Target alone has some really good ones like this floral version as well as these cork hexagon tiles.

Diary of a Quilter - Amy Smart fabric and enamel pins

I also put a few on this cute little thread catcher made by my friend, Emily. It’s heavily quilted and sturdy enough to stand with the pins. (Thread catcher tutorial here.)

12 ideas to display your enamel pin collection

So there you go! I few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. I’m sure there are lots more out there.

I’ve started saving ideas to this Pin Board as I find them.


What about you? Are you a pin collector? What are your favorite ways to save and display?

Finally – tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll be announcing new t-shirts available as part of my collaboration with Maker Valley. Be sure to check in and see which designs were chosen by the popular vote!

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  • Reply
    April 21, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I love your ideas, I’ve collected pins for years. Hugs,

  • Reply
    April 21, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I collect this type of pin when I travel, and have a framed corkboard for them. I would love to know where to get sewing themed pins!

    • Reply
      April 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      I’ve got a bunch from https://statelytype.com/collections/enamel-pins. Camille Roskelly also sells some cute quilting pins. Some local quilt shops as well. I feel like I’m starting to see them more and more places, but it may ony be because now I’m looking for them more!

  • Reply
    Nancy Morneault
    April 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    I don’t seek out pins but I do have a few that I’ve received over the years. I use them as push pins on a bulletin board. I have charms as well. I think I might use the hoop idea and start collecting more. They are so cute! Hard to resist.

  • Reply
    Judy Sturm
    April 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Are these “pins” just like pins used as jewelry? In other words, what is on the back that enables a person to attach them to something? Thanks for further information.

    • Reply
      April 21, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      Yes – like pins used for lapels or jewelry. They have the clasp (kind of like the back of a stud earring) that holds them together.

  • Reply
    Julie J Vogel
    April 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    You are just too darn clever!! I love your ideas and your quilting!

    • Reply
      April 21, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks, Julie!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I LOVE this! I collect pins and badges and never know what to do with them. You are SO talented!!

  • Reply
    Katherine Gourley
    April 25, 2018 at 1:16 am

    I have pins all the way back to the 1960s and each brings a memory. I have an piece of an old cutter quilt in an embroidery hoop and it is incredibly packed with pins.

    • Reply
      April 25, 2018 at 9:58 am

      What a fun way to display those special memories!

  • Reply
    Sandra Dart
    August 12, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Just finished a hoop from your tutorial for the pins we collected while on holidays in the States. Love it and thank you.

    • Reply
      August 13, 2018 at 10:37 am

      What a fun collection!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Super cute! Can’t wait to try it tmrw! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Such cute key chains, AMY! I love the burned match one the most. I am searching gifts online for giving to mother on Christmas i love your one, my friend suggest me website GS-JJ for key chains now i tell him your website.

  • Reply
    DeNel Brister
    June 5, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Love the idea its a fun way of showing pins! Can you tell me where you got the little scalloped card with the hearts on it? Thank you!

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