How to Use a Shawl Pin: 12 Best Styles To Use Them

If you love wearing knit or crochet wraps, shawls, and stoles, then you may have discovered that they can be difficult to keep in place while you go about your day.  This problem is easy to resolve with a shawl pin.  However, adding a shawl pin to your wardrobe accessories can bring its own hassles.  

Resolving hassles such as this is exactly why Craft & Stitch was created.  Our website is designed for crafters to learn and to understand every aspect of the crafts they love.  Today we are going to tackle the world shawl pins.  We are going to learn what they are used for, the different types available, how to use them, and where to find them.  Along the way, we are sure to discover many other enlightening facts about this accessory that will only make our wardrobes better.

Are you ready to dive deep and make some beautiful discoveries?  Let’s get into it.

What a Shawl Pin Does

These pins are more than just decorative add-ons for creative folk; they are, in fact, highly functional wardrobe pieces.  If you are wearing a shawl throughout the day, you will notice that it slips and slides around and its corner ends will sometimes even fall off your shoulders.  This can be uncomfortable and in some cases, a little dangerous since extra fabric flying around can get caught in things along the way.  

Shawl pins are designed to reduce this frustration by keeping the shawl pinned together.  This reduces the range of motion a shawl can slip and slide and it nearly eliminates a shawl from completely falling off a person’s shoulders.

What Types of Shawl Pins are Available

The types of shawl pins available for purchase are more than just a nod to the different materials used to design and create a shawl pin.  These items can come in a wide variety of materials, and while that is an important factor to consider, it is secondary to the actual design of the shawl pin.  But, since these are both important factors, we are going to learn about each one in detail.

Common Materials:

Shawl pins can be made of many different materials and different designers have their preference for which material they use the most.  Let’s look at some of the most popular materials used and talk about why one might be more suited to your style than another.


When a product is made from ceramic, it can be fragile, but since this crafting medium is so versatile and can be so colorful, it is well worth the risk.  To get an idea of what wonderful designs can come from this material, look at these Ceramic Buckle Shawl Pins.


This material is probably the most popular and the most versatile.  With metal, any shape can be formed, plus it allows designers to add jewels and extra finishing touches to their products.  Compare this Simple Silver Shawl Pin with this Metal Shawl Pin accompanied by an aquamarine stone to get an idea of how grand and how basic metal designs can be. 

Recycled Materials

If you’re environmentally conscious and want to cut down on waste, you are in luck.  There are shawl pins designed from repurposed and recycled materials, and they are fabulous.  See for yourself how uniquely stylish a shawl pin can be with the Knitting Needle Shawl Pin from Bur Oak Studios.


Wooden shawl pins are beautiful and natural-looking pieces that almost anyone will love to own.  They can be designed in sophisticated and whimsical styles.  Just compare this Boho Fox Shawl Pin with this much more refined Rosewood Shawl Pin.

Popular Designs:

Now that we have covered some of the most common materials used to design and create shawl pins, we can focus on some of the different designs of shawl pins.  This is a very important feature to consider when you are looking for a shawl pin because you may find some designs are difficult to fasten and some designs do not work on your particular shawl.


When you select a shawl pin, consider its color because this will cause the pin to be more or less prominent on your shawl.  It may be best to bring your shawl with you when you shop so that you are certain of how the pin and shawl look together.  In general, though, light-colored pins will show up better on dark-colored shawls and vice versa.

Penannular Shawl Pin

This design is often used in Celtic-style wardrobes such as those you would find at Highland Games.  It requires that you pin the shawl then flip the decorative brooch over the pin, and finally, twist the pin so that it will be unable to fall out of the small gap.

Shawl Screw

A shawl pin of this design is a little more complicated to use.  This is because it will require that you screw it into the yarn in a manner that will not twist and pull the yarn but still hold the shawl together.  This design by Leslie Wind will give you an idea of what a shawl screw looks like and how it works.

Shawl Sticks

These are easy to use and very stylish pins for shawls.  To use them, simply requires that you weave the stick through both sides of your shawl.  Shawl sticks are also very easy to find a wonderful array of colors, materials, and designs, but they are not always labeled as shawl sticks.  This is because any type of stick will work, even sticks designed for hair. 


If your shawl is made from thick yarn, you should definitely select a large shawl pin.  A pin that is too small will not be strong enough to hold a thick and heavy shawl.  Conversely, a pin that is large will stretch delicate yarn and weigh down lightweight shawls. 

Two-Piece Shawl Pin

Pins that come in two pieces are might seem difficult to use, but they are actually very simple.  It requires that you put part of your shawl through the circular area of the pin and then, pin the material.  Simple, safe, and stylish.

Using a Shawl Pin

While some may say that you don’t really need a shawl pin to wear a shawl, and this is true, however, the addition of a shawl pin makes a shawl more pleasant to wear and offers versatility in how a shawl is worn.  Let’s look at a few different ways to wear a shawl using a shawl pin.

Bunched Scarf Shawl Style

This can be done in both a thin and a wide style.  For a thin bunch style, drape the center of the shawl over the back of your neck and even out the ends of the shawl.  Next, pin both sides of the shawl together near your sternum.  Depending on the thickness of the shawl, this may require a large pin.  For a wide bunch style, drape the shawl just as you would for the thin bunch style, but pin only the inner edges of the shawl that touch in front of your sternum.

Cape Shawl Style

This is a style that can be worn long or short depending on your preference.  For a long style, fold the shawl in half so that it forms a long rectangle.  Next, drape the center of the shawl over the back of your neck and pin the top two corners together.  For a short style, you will need to fold the shawl twice before draping it over your neck and pinning the top two corners together.

Collared Scarf Shawl Style

In this style, you will need to drape the center of the shawl over the back of your neck and even out the ends of the shawl.  Next, you will need to fold up several inches of the shawl to create a collar around your neck.  Finally, pin the shawl where the inner edges of it meet in front of your sternum.

Cowl Neck Shawl Style

This is a simple style that requires that you only wrap your shawl around your neck twice and then pin together the ends of it.

Necklace Drape Shawl Style

This super simple style begins by rolling up your shawl into a tube shape and draping the center of it over the back of your neck.  Pin the ends together and pull them to shoulder level as a decorative feature.

Off the Shoulder Shawl Style

This is a nice style to use when you want to keep warm without covering up too much.  To make this style work, you will need a shawl that is 11 inches wide by 76 inches long when it is folded in half.  Once the shawl has been folded, drape the center of the shawl over the back of your neck and even out the ends.  Place it in a comfortable location off your shoulders and pin it securely at chest level.

P-Drape Shawl Style

This style is easy and fancy all at once.  Simply drape the center of the shawl over the back of your neck and even out the ends of the shawl.  Next, pull the left end of the shawl up to the right shoulder and pin it at shoulder level.  

Q-Wrap Shawl Style

This is another style that will require a shawl that is 11 inches wide by 76 inches long when it is folded in half.  Once the shawl has been folded, drape the center of it over the back of your neck and even out the ends.  Pull the right end of the shawl to meet the left shoulder and pin it at shoulder level.

Rolled Ascot Shawl Style

Begin creating this style by rolling your shawl into a tube shape.  Next, fold the shawl in half and drape the center of it over the back of your neck and tuck the ends of the shawl through the loop.  Pin the shawl in a decorative fashion.

Roman Centurion Shawl Style

For this style, you will once again need to fold your shawl into a rectangle and drape it over the back of your neck.  Next, pull the shawl to the right side of your body but leave a small tail on your left shoulder.  Finally, pin the tail end of your shawl that is resting on your left shoulder to a piece of your shawl that is in front of your chest.

Shoulder Drape Shawl Style

For extra warmth, try this style by wrapping your shawl around you so that your right shoulder is covered, but more length is on your left shoulder.  Next, pull the material that is on your left shoulder under the draped end on your right shoulder and place a pin at shoulder level to hold the warp together.

V-Neck Shawl Style

To create this style, you will need to fold your shawl so that it is a long and thin rectangle, preferably 22 inches wide and 38 inches long.  Once the shawl has been folded, drape the center of it over the back of your neck and pin the two ends together.  Finally, pull the shawl down in the back so that it forms a V-shape around the front of your neck.


Question: Where Can I Find a Good Selection of Shawl Pins?

Answer: Online shopping is a great way to begin searching for shawl pins.  This type of shopping experience offers a huge selection of material, color, size, shape, and design options.  Some of the best places to get shawl pins online are Etsy, Amazon, Knit Picks, and

Question: Can I Make My Own Shawl Pin?

Answer: Yes, you can, especially if you enjoy working with wire.  Homemade wire shawl pins are actually quite easy and very satisfying to make.  If you’re interested in designing and crafting your own shawl pins for gifts, to sell, or for your own collection, follow this excellent tutorial by Marly Bird.

Question: Are Shawl Pins Only for Shawls?

Answer: Actually, these pins are more versatile than you may have previously thought.  Some of them can double as a hairpin.  The best type to use in hair will be either a shawl stick or a two-piece shawl pin.

In Conclusion

Shawl pins are lovely accessories that are easy to use and able to make a simple scarf or shawl into a work of art.  The next time you pick up your knit shawl try a few of these styles and discover how comfortable and cozy it is to wear one.

Here’s our guide on how to make a pin loom to use in crafts.

Research Citations


Marly Bird

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