How to Make Silver Bracelets

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The possibilities are endless once you have mastered the technique for making this easy stamped silver cuff bracelet. Using only a few simple tools, you can turn a plain piece of sterling silver sheet metal into a stunning bracelet that will wow your friends.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterling silver sheet metal
  • Hammer(s)
  • Stamps
  • Steel block
  • File
  • Mandrel
  • Purchase, or cut, a piece of 18-gauge sterling silver sheet metal 3/4 inch wide by 7 inches long.

  • File the edges of the metal until they are very smooth.

  • Place the sheet metal on a steel block. Using a ball peen hammer, stamp the letters with your design or message on the bracelet.

  • Form over bracelet mandrel using a plastic or rawhide mallet until you like the shape and it looks and feels like a bracelet. Using a plastic or rawhide mallet prevents you from marring the metal.

  • Using the ball end of a ball peen hammer or a bordering hammer, hammer the top edge of the bracelet to texture and thicken the metal. In addition to adding a nice decorative detail to your bracelet, hammering the edges of the bracelet will "harden" the metal so it will not lose shape when worn.

  • Turn the bracelet over and repeat for the bottom edge. File again to smooth if needed. Reshape over mandrel if needed.

Tips & Warnings

  • While this design is in sterling silver, any sheet metal -- including copper, brass, nickel silver, gold fill and gold -- can be used.
  • If you do not have a bracelet mandrel, many common household items can be used in substitution. Pipes come in a variety of sizes and can be used to form curves needed to make a bracelet. Many large shampoo bottles are shaped like a bracelet mandrel. These bottles can be filled with sand, dirt or cement and used for shaping.
  • Inexpensive ball peen and plastic hammers and letter/number stamping sets can be found in many sizes at the hardware store.
  • To make a smaller bracelet, reduce the length of the sheet metal. To make a larger bracelet, increase the length of the sheet metal. For example, to create a bracelet for a teenager or small woman, reduce the length of the sheet metal to 6 inches in length.
  • Be sure to take your time when filing the metal smooth. Jagged edges are not comfortable or safe to wear.

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