Click here to Enter TOBY 2016


Find us on Facebook


Artist’s Toolbox: Pins vs. Clips PDF Print E-mail
Written by Helen Gleeson   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:21



When I’m holding workshops, many students ask me why I do not use pins. For me the answer is simple – when you’re working with leather, you do not want to create unnecessary holes! But there is more to it.


soldering-clipsI feel that pinning is restrictive and will prevent you from working with a pattern and easing where required, such as on a gusset, etc. On the other hand, sometimes you need something to help you keep things in place. I have seen people use all types of clips - paperclips, bulldog clips, alligator clips - those little electrical clips can be used very effectively, but I don’t like the idea of those little sharp teeth. So here’s another option for those of you still searching: soldering heat-sink clips.


These little clips are flat and less than an inch in length. They’re available from Radio Shack and similar electrical outlets. They work great, as they do not damage your fur but do keep pieces from slipping. I like to place one on the opposite end of a limb that I am working on to make sure everything is lining up. If you’re not happy with your current clipping method, I highly recommend that you try these clips. I just love them!


Australian bear artist Helen Gleeson runs Bare Cub Designs, where she offers her own creations as well as patterns and bear-making tutorials. She also runs the website Easy Artspace, which aims to help artists start their own businesses. E-mail your questions and topic suggestions for this blog to her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Want to comment on this post? Join our conversation on Facebook!