If you read here often, you know I love working with metal. I layered a bunch of pieces together to make today’s bracelet design, and it’s a really awesome piece (if I do say so myself). There’s a few different metal and jewelry techniques in this piece so I’m going to call it an intermediate piece, but in all honesty, once you learn how to set rivets, how to stamp metal, how to punch holes, and how to assemble leather jewelry, you would actually find this to be a very simple project. I know, I know – says the girl who does it all the time. But that’s why I’m going to walk you through most of the different techniques today, and you can pick and choose which things you would like to try on your own mixed media jewelry piece!
I’m going to link to the supplies I used today in case you’re trying to track them down. If you decide to make a purchase from Goody Beads, it does benefit my blog at no extra cost to you – though the inspiration is of course, free! The list is a bit lengthy today because you need a few specific tools when it comes to working with metal, but once you make the investment, you’ll probably find you use them quite a bit!
- Bench Block and Hammer
- Stamp set (optional – this is ImpressArt’s Newsprint font)
- Crystal Rivets
- Rivet setter and rubber block
- Hole punch to make a 1/8″ hole
- Bracelet blank base – this one is a 45mmx20mm Vintaj Brass
- Aluminum accent blank – like this 15mm heart
- Bracelet bending pliers
- 14 inches of 5mm flat leather (this is a chocolate brown)
- Optional slider beads for the leather
- Leather Cutter
- Glue-on end caps
- Super New Glue
- Jump Rings and clasp (I like a lobster clasp, though a toggle would work well, too)
I’m not going to get into stamping in this post – we’ve got enough other techniques going on, it’s long enough as it is! However, I do have a beginner’s metal stamping tutorial that has a TON of information, including a list of things to buy to get started and even a video tutorial. So I’m going to suffice it to say that I stamped this 15mm heart blank with the Newsprint font (in upper case) and polished it clean to get it ready for the next step. Yes – I chose “write” for this one. Fall=writing season to me!
The next step is to punch two 1/8″ holes somewhere they won’t get in the way of the stamping on your blank, and then use your bracelet bending pliers to curve the blank, to fit the curve of the base. Mark two holes where you will line up the base blank, and then punch matching 1/8″ holes in that, too.
I love the crystal rivets from ImpressArt. They snap together so that you can line your piece up, and then to set them permanently you use the setting tool on a rubber block. So, snap it on how you like it – and then place it crystal-side-down on a rubber surface. It needs to be rubber so that your crystal doesn’t crack – you are going to give it a firm tap with your hammer on the end of the setting tool. (If it seems loose, you may need 1-2 more taps.)
Now – you’ve got a great finished blank! The next step is to turn the blank into a cool leather bracelet. Cut two 7″ lengths of 5mm leather. Only one will fit through the holes in your blank, but that’s okay – string it on. Add a second strip of leather. Optionally – you can add a couple leather slider beads next to the blank, to dress it up just that much more and also to stabilize your bracelet. Glue on your end caps (it will take 5-10 minutes to set) and add a clasp. (Alternately, you can choose a clue-on clasp set and skip adding the lobster clasp. There are plenty of nice looking magnetic clasps available that will fit two strands of 5mm leather.)
Now – just make sure it’s dry before putting it on, but you are ready to enjoy your piece!
You can personalize it any way you want with different motifs, different inspirational words, and different colors! But this gives you an idea of what kinds of things you can do to metal to make it your own. Layers are your friend! ;)
Happy stamping ~