“Beaded Ornaments,” “Fauxberge,” “Push Pin,” “Pin Art” are all words used to describe a technique for creating ornaments by pushing sewing pins, usually holding a variety of beads and sequins, into a Styrofoam form. Styles range from fairly simple ribbons held by a line of pins, to elaborate and intricate designs that take several hours to complete.
A number of companies produced kits for the home hobbyist/crafter to create these ornaments. You can still get vintage brand kits on online auction sites – look for names like Craft House, Frank’s Nursery, Sulyn, Walco, Mary Maxim, Fibre-Craft, Distasio, and Herrschners. You can buy vintage ornaments at your local thrift store, yard sales, antique shows, and online auction sites.
They were most popular in the 70s and early 80s. Crafting your own ornaments was popular then, with craft stores providing kits for felt, wood, imitation stained glass, clothespin, and beaded decorations.
Very crafty self-starters also made their own. You can usually tell which ones are totally homemade and which ones are from kits. To be honest, the ornaments made from kits tend to be better designed. Nothing against the totally original home artist, but often you had a greater level of design knowledge from kit makers, as well as access to a larger set of materials.
Kits came in a wide variety of difficulty levels, and when you find an elaborate pin art ornament that was executed well, you have a find. You will pay more for the more detailed, well-done ones, and be careful not to pay a lot for a simple, not-so-well done one.
Also if you have the ability to, carefully examine the ornament for missing elements – many of the pins and sequins can come loose over time, and you don’t want to pay a premium price for something that is missing parts.
One company that has been making kits of the highest quality for years is The Cracker Box. They have amazing designs, and although sometimes quite complicated, if you follow the directions carefully you will end up with a wonderful ornament to enjoy for years to come.
Here are a few examples of Pin Art Ornaments in my collection: