How to Make Metal Jewelry

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Designing your own original metal jewelry can be very satisfying. Not only can you express yourself, but you can also save money. Creating a pair of earrings would be the perfect project to begin with; here's how to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel punch or Phillips screwdriver bit tip
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Manicure file
  • 2 ear wires
  • 18-gauge sterling, copper or brass sheet
  • Steel wool
  • Stain (optional)
  • Jewelry glue (optional)

Select the design tip of your choice, place a sheet of 18-gauge sterling, copper or brass on a hard surface such as an anvil or large piece of metal, then punch your selected design over the metal. Carefully punch identical designs on each section.

Cut in identical squares the size you want your finished earrings to be. After you have completed cutting, punch the hole for the ear wire using a sharp-tipped nail to punch a dot. Locate the hole in a comfortable area near the corner where the earring will hang. Repeat this on the next earring.

Smooth the edges carefully where the designs were punched with a manicure file, such as one used for acrylic nails. Smooth all edges around the entire earring for a finished look.

Polish the entire surface of both earrings. If an antique effect is desired, you can gently put on a thin layer of dark stain. The design of the earring and the holes that were punched will determine the style of your jewelry.

Attach the ear wires in the corner holes when the smoothing and polishing process is completed. To give your earrings a dramatic look, you can attach rhinestones using jewelry glue or adhesive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Design matching charms for a pendant or bracelet using the leftover metal.

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