T.G.I.F. Seriously. This week has been a killer! But it’s slated to be a gorgeous weekend around here, and I also have a fabulous new accessory to show you how to make today. All this craziness in my household has translated to MUST USE HAMMER. I’ve been playing around with a few hammered wire designs lately, and I finally hit on a design and supplies that I feel 100% comfortable encouraging beginners to try out – I’m excited to share with you how to make hammered wire jewelry. I started with earrings today, but I love them so much you better believe this will be part of a matched set, I’m thinking next week I’ll play with a few other designs!
The aluminum wire is different than what I’ve seen other working with out there. I’ve tried my hand at a few silver plated copper wire designs, but they just didn’t turn out that well for me and I wasn’t comfortable saying to you guys, “here’s how you do it!” when I wasn’t thrilled with my own results. So. I’ve done some experimenting and now that I have a project I’m in love with… well, you’re welcome. Haha.
What you will need:
- 12-gauge aluminum wire (you may have to try the floral department for this?)
- chasing hammer
- bench block (or anvil)
- wire cutters
- nylon pliers (optional, but helpful for straightening your wire off the coil)
- 1/16″ hole punch
- earring wires
The thing about banging on metal is, the impact hardens it. So this aluminum wire starts out really soft, but as you flatten and texturize it, you’ll have a much harder element to add to your designs.
First, if you’re working off a coil, you may want to straighten your wire with nylon pliers before you get started. Any curve in your wire will be retained once you start banging on it. Maybe that’s a look you’re going for, and if so, hey – that’s cool! But I wanted a slightly straighter start. It will take on a more organic shape once you start manipulating it but I wanted it as straight as possible to start.
Cut off two equal-length pieces of wire. I cut mine about 1.25 inches but this is really up to you and your tastes.
Now, it’s time to bang on stuff. I started at the ends of each piece, flattening with the flat end of my hammer. The flatter it gets, the wider it gets, and that’s what will accommodate a hole being punched. I also hammered the center, but not as much, so it’s got a thinner appearance in the middle. Once I had a shape and size I liked, I turned my hammer over and texturized with the rounded side. Finally I popped a small (1/16″) hole in one end with my screw-down hole punch. (If you have a hand punch, that’s fine too – this is just what I have for making holes.)
Then, just attach earring wires to each piece.
In just ten minutes, you get to take a hammer to something, form it and bend it to your will, and then put it on as a fabulous accessory. That’s my kinda project!
You’ve got this sort of free-form metal appearance that’s both unique and easy. And aluminum wire is really inexpensive, so if you need to practice a couple times before you get a pair of bars you like the looks of together, that’s okay!
What do you think? Does it make you want to hammer on metal too?