Fair warning, friends: I just tried adding eyelets to my jewelry projects last night. You probably know where this is going… get ready to see eyelets on all kinds of things now. Seriously, how am I just now trying this?? It’s SO easy, and it finishes punched holes in blanks such a professional-looking way! An eyelet hole is great for stringing charms and blanks onto chains, and it’s also great for the idea I’m sharing today: adding a sweet charm to a simple stamped design. I’m going to show you just how easy eyelets are today. Ready? Let’s go!
So I had to resist all temptation to call it a dangle-bangle. Because, of course, that just sounds silly. ;) But the dangling charm adds so much character to an otherwise-plain stamped bracelet. It occurs to me now that I’m sharing these photos that “passion” with a heart may be mis-read… it’s totally innocent. I was thinking of my passion for creating when it popped into my head, so I just ran with it. I figured you guys are probably getting tired of seeing my kids’ names plastered all over my stamped projects, haha.
I got the supplies for today’s project from Goody Beads, which is one of my favorite sources for my metal stamping projects. Because these are specialty supplies, I’m going to leave links below to the exact products I used. They are affiliate links, which means that if you decide to make a purchase, it does support my blog. Relationships like this keep me in supplies to keep bringing you new project ideas. ;)
So let’s get to it! Here’s what you will need:
If you’re going to get started in metal stamping, Goody Beads has a dedicated category to stamping essentials for beginners. It’s actually a list that I hand-picked. You can also learn more at my jewelry stamping for beginners post from a few years back. I’m not going to get into how to stamp today, but I really do have lots of projects on the topic that you’re welcome to check out, including a video tutorial.
Assuming you have stamping supplies, or if you skip stamping a word to your bracelet and you’re going straight for the charm, here’s what else you’ll need for the eyelet part of the project.
- Bench block and hammer
- Eyelet Setting Tool
- 3.7mm eyelets – I used a silver finish here, but you can choose a contrasting metal, too (hint, hint: I’ve got a project next week where I do exactly that!)
- 1/4 inch aluminum bracelet blank (6 inches long)
- Small 2-hole punch for a 3/32″ hole
- Bracelet Bending Pliers
- Jump rings, Jewelry pliers, and a charm you love
First, I stamped my blank, and then punched a 3/32″ hole. I made it lower-than-center, so that it would appear more that the charm was at the bottom of the bracelet, but that’s not really a critical placement. Just make sure you don’t punch off the edge of the bracelet blank.
Next, I set my eyelet. Here’s how that works.
Put the base of the eyelet setter on a hard, flat surface – on your steel bench block is ideal. Putting it on a soft surface (like a wood table) is likely to mar that surface. Set the eyelet in the ring of the base. Place your blank on top so that the eyelet comes up through the hole, and then position the setter tool so that it fits into the eyelet’s grooves.
Hammer the top of the setter tool until it’s flattened down onto your piece – for me this was 6-8 taps with my hammer. I found that the front and back both looked equally good, so you can set your eyelet from either the front or the back of your blank. You’ll have a beautifully smooth finished hole!
Next, you’ll need to bend your blank into a wearable curve. Some bracelet-bending pliers work great for this; just go around the bangle to create a continuous curve.
Finally, just add your charm with a jump ring to finish your piece! You may also want to use a small file and smooth the sharp edges on the blank, so that it doesn’t scratch the wearer.
What do you think? Doesn’t it look so much more professional? And for so little effort… I’m never leaving an unfinished hole again, haha. You can even stack multiple blanks together and use eyelets to secure them, just by choosing longer lengths of eyelets.
Hope you had fun with this idea – I sure did. :) Do you already add eyelets to your pieces? What other uses do you like them for?