Bullets typically hold negative connotations, in that their main purpose is to cause harm to another living being. However, bullets can be used for something more positive: fashion. People wear bullets as pendants, charms and earrings. Bullet jewelry can be found in specialty jewelry shops, and because they are usually made with real bullet casings, they are often expensive. Fortunately, there is a way to make custom bullet jewelry at home for very little cost. With a basic wire-wrapping technique, beautiful, edgy bullet jewelry can be created.
Things You'll Need
- Jewelry cutter
- 20- or 22-gauge round wire
- Long-nose flat pliers
- 20- or 22-gauge half-round wire
- Round-nose pliers
- Bullet casings
Preparing the Wire
Cut a length of jewelry wire. The length of the wire will depend on how large the bullet casing is. If not sure how long to cut the wire, measure the bullet casing, double the measurement and add a little give. The wire is better too long than too short.
Grip one end of the wire with the long-nose flat pliers. Then, holding the cloth, slide the other hand along the wire to straighten it. Do this by pulling the wire while sliding. Repeat Step 1 for two additional pieces of wire at equal length. Hold all three pieces together and straighten them in the same manner.
Cut three 3-inch pieces of half-round wire. Then, use the round-nose pliers to curl one end of each piece.
Wrap one piece of half-round wire around the center of the three round wires. Make sure the round wires are positioned next to each other, and not on top of each other. Wrap the wire using the round-nose pliers, making sure the wrap is nice and round.
Repeat Step 4 using the two other pieces of half-round wire. This time, flank the wraps on either side of the center wrap. Depending on the size of the bullet, the distance between the wraps will vary. For an idea of how far the wraps should be positioned, place the bullet casing bottom-first flat against the center wrap. The side wraps should be about halfway from the top of the bullet.
Setting the Bullet Casing
Wrap three wires around the bullet. Do this by placing the bullet bottom-first flat against the center wrap. Then, mold the wires so they conform against the sides of the bullet. Taper the wrap near the top using fingers or round-nose pliers. Make sure the wires are very tight against the bullet.
Cut another piece of 3- to 4-inch half-round wire and wrap it around the tapered top to close the wrap. It may take several attempts to do this will keeping the bullet casing in place.
Use the long-nose flat pliers to pull the round wire slightly over the bullet in the front and back. This will hold the bullet in place. Be creative with the positioning of the wire, but make sure it still holds the bullet casing.
Use the round-nose plies to curl the excess half-round wire (the wire wrapped around the tapered top of the wrap) to create a loop. Cut off any excess and finish the loop so that it can be strung through jump rings, cord or chains.
Cut off any excess wire with the cutters, or use the round-nose pliers to make decorative curls or loops. String the finished casing through a necklace cord or chain, earring hooks or a jump ring to attach to a bracelet.