Crafting Viking brooches

Letting the 'brooches' dry

Letting the ‘brooches’ dry

One of the first accessories for my Viking costume that I wanted to focus on was the turtle/tortoise/oval brooches which hold the apron.  The half-necklace/festoon hangs from these brooches as well, as does any other accessories like keys, needle cases, or grooming tools. I really didn’t think that I’d be able to make my own, so had been trying to figure out if I wanted to order them or not, when a friend said she had picked up hers as belt buckles from Tandy Leather.

From my previous post, here are the options I was considering:

  • Their Victorian Oval Trophy Buckle was  my first choice – it has a vaguely celtic look that I think will work well.
  • The Rope Edge Buckle Blank might also have worked – though it is only the starting point – but I decided against it when I went into the store and saw it in person.
  • The Night Sky Trophy Buckle was too blingy, and also too big for what I had in mind.
  • Finally the Oval Buckle Blank is another plain version that needs some embellishment, and the focus for this post!


  1. I started off with the buckle blank, along with a piece which I think is intended to be a frame for a decorative rivet. It’s called the Double Petal Bezel Concho. I’m glad that I picked it up – originally I was thinking of picking up some filigree, but when I went to shop for that – I couldn’t find anything that I liked – so the bezel concho filled in well enough!
  2. Next I grabbed two different shades of alcohol inks – a brown and a gold –  and used a Q-tip to ‘paint’ the ink all over the face of the buckle blank and the concho too. I think that this keeps the metallic look of the buckle, but tones it down a little bit.
  3. Finally I glued the concho onto the buckle blank. That black and blue tool is painter’s tape, taped down, with the sticky-side-out on the top of a pencil – I used this to pick up the concho and set it down onto the blank without getting glue on my fingers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Although I’ll be making a festoon to go with these brooches too, I also thought it would be cute to make a few other little things to hang from my brooches. I picked out some chain, some lobster clasps (which are totally inappropriate, but they’ll be hidden), and two vintage/antique keys – which aren’t right for the period either, but are simple and ‘close enough’ for the time being.

I also took a small scrap of leather and a metal ring and made a “needle case” – which is actually a little holder for my lip balm.

Keys and a 'needle case' to hang from the brooches

Keys and a ‘needle case’ to hang from the brooches

Stay tuned… I’ll be posting about my festoon soon!

4 comments on “Crafting Viking brooches

  1. […] I could loop them through the front loops and secure them with a very short pin. Since my “turtle broaches” so far aren’t really broaches.. hopefully this means I can thread them on to the […]

  2. […] Attempt at tortoise brooches – the ones I made from belt blanks. For some really odd reason I couldn’t FIND my other brooch-options, festoon, or the dangling bits. I have no idea why since I photographed it a week ago, and there shouldn’t be any reason not to find them… […]

  3. […] I actually have another set of make-shift “brooches” that I made for my very first event, but they are 100% fantasy, and I was happy to quickly replace […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.