How to Make Silver Jewelry

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Making silver jewelry at home requires specific supplies, patience and practice. Absolute beginners may benefit most from taking a beginning-level class in silversmithing under the supervision of a professional metalworker.

Things You'll Need

  • Silversmithing manual
  • Hand-held propane torch and propane
  • Protective eyewear
  • Old clothes and/or apron
  • Pickling compound
  • Pattern or design to work from
  • Silver sheet
  • Round nose pliers
  • Small jeweler's hammer
  • Solder, a mix of metals you melt to join other pieces of metal together
  • Stones to set in silver
  • Tongs
  • Bowl of water

Get Ready to Make Silver Jewelry

  • Look at a basic silversmithing manual before you start to familiarize yourself with overall safety procedure for working with silver. You can find an online manual at the Basic Silversmithing webpage (see Resources below).

  • Gather your supplies.

  • Tie back long hair and remove dangling jewelry.

  • Make sure your workspace is clutter-free, well-lit and well-ventilated.

  • Check the propane level in your torch. If it is low, replace the propane tank before you begin working. Check also for any leaks or interruptions in the propane flow.

  • Put on protective glasses, old clothes and apron.

  • Check your pickling compound for cleanliness or prepare new compound.

  • Have a copy of the pattern you want to create on hand.

Make Some Basic Silver Jewelry

  • Cut your silver sheet to the size necessary for your project.

  • Shape your silver using your round nose pliers and a jig or small ball-peen hammer, if necessary.

  • Shape any additional pieces you wish to attach and set them aside.

  • Heat solder and apply to any pieces or jewels you want to attach one by one to your jewelry piece.

  • Using tongs, place piece in warm pickling compound to remove waste materials.

  • Rinse your jewelry in water.

  • Repeat as necessary until project is completed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Beginners may want a mix of soft, medium and hard solder to get the feel for each type.
  • Consider enrolling in a basic silversmithing class at your community center, local college, crafts store or online.
  • Always wear protective glasses and old clothes or an apron.
  • Avoid wearing gloves, as they can decrease your finger sensitivity. Instead, be cautious when handling torches or pickling compound and keep first aid supplies on hand.
  • Always take care when working with torches. Never touch heated objects with your bare hands.
  • Always make sure you understand how the tools work before attempting to use them.
  • Never touch the pickling compound with your bare hands. Always use tongs.
  • Keep torches, pickling agent and small pieces of jewelry away from pets and children.

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