Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vintage Pen Nib Charm

One of my favorite vintage pieces to use in collages, on cards and jewelry are vintage pen nibs!  I absolutely love the array of sizes and styles which all had their specific purpose.   

Pen Nib Charm 1

Since they are made using steel it's a bit tricky turning them into charms.  To drill through the nibs you're going to need a drill or drill press that has a very slow speed and the correct drill bit.  This is a time consuming and possibly expensive process if you don't already have the correct drill/bits.  Dh as them but I hate to keep bugging him to drill them for me.  So I went in search of other ways to put holes in these puppies.  It took a bit of trial and error to see what would work but I did find that I can punch holes in some* vintage pen nibs with my Crop-a-Dile (the original).  

*I say some because it doesn't work with all types of nibs.  I'm sure the type of metal, how it was made and whatever hardening process the metal went through all makes the difference.  I broke several nibs before I found one that will take the pressure of the punch and not break in two.  So keep in mind that it's going to be trial and error on various styles of nibs.

After I punched holes in several nibs I was ready to assemble the charms.  Yes, you could just put a jump ring through the hole and call it good enough but it's more fun to add an extra bit of something to each nib.  I decided it would be nice to add a little bling and use pre-made charms with a faux gemstone to add a bit of sparkle.

Pen Nib Charm 2

and here are the assembled charms...

Pen Nib Charm 3

A very fun way to turn a nice bit of history into a way cool altered charm!

And yes, these as well as the other charms I have been sharing will show up in the swap ;)


  1. Very Cool! I just found a box in an antique store for not much money so I bought them all. Hope I can find a way to drill holes that won't cause me to lose too many!

  2. if you can't drill them what about wire wrapping?
    Thanks Roni.

  3. Ok Roni -

    Where the heck to you find all these things? I've come to the conclusion that NY does not have very interesting thrift stores - LOL! I love how these sweet charms turned out.

    Elaine Allen

  4. Another wonderful charm!

  5. I have an Esterbrook 788 oval nib, but I use it for drawing....


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!