How to Make a Mixed Metal Bracelet: Easy Jewelry Tutorial
How to Pick Jewelry : Mixing Metal Jewelry
I am a huge fan of mixing metals. I frequently wear combinations of gold and silver. Typically I work with beads and buttons for my own jewelry making. However, I've been eying some hardware designs lately and decided that I need to step up my game and make a piece myself. I am so excited about the result and am happy to share it with others.
I give you the basic steps that you'll need to put together this project. The hardware that you choose and specific combinations that you put together are entirely of your choosing. If you have any questions about anything, don't hesitate to leave a comment. Happy creating!
I did not invent this concept and am simply sharing my insight about it. I welcome you to sell your mixed metal hardware creations if you desire to do that.
Supplies and Tools
- One pair of needle nose jewelry pliers.
- One jewelry clasp of your choosing.
- Selection of open jump rings in different finishes, sizes ranging anywhere from 6-12mm. The number that you need will depend on your specific jewelry design. The larger the mix of sizes and finishes, the better.
- Selection of genuine hardware, such as washers, in at least two different finishes. Again, the specific number will depend on your original design. I used 7 different designs in a variety of sizes and two different metal finishes.
How to open and close jump rings
Scout the local stores for neat hardware pieces.
Some people will benefit from using a bead board for this type of jewelry design.
I chose to freestyle this piece and designed it as I went without laying out a lot of pieces ahead of time. However, sometimes I choose to lay out my designs before I start the assembly work and know that others do, too. A bead board is a perfect tool for this process. If you don't have a bead board and aren't interested in purchasing one, a flat, padded surface, such as a piece of felt, will also work well.
- Jewelry Making Bead Boards - Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
Use for stringing necklaces; this grey flocked board has space for three strands. There are recessed wells for beading supplies such as needles, pliers, small accent beads, etc.
Grab your trusty needle nose pliers.
The only tool that you need to make this piece of jewelry is a pair of needle nose pliers. If you don't already own them, they are an inexpensive investment that will last through many different projects. They are available at any craft store.
Select your jump rings.
I used 4, 6, 9, and 12mm jump rings in silver, gold, and brass finishes for my mixed metal hardware bracelet. You can purchase all of the these jump rings at Michaels. I didn't have any black, copper, or brass hardware and liked having the brass jump rings to give my piece a third metal finish.
Select your clasp.
The most popular clasp options for bracelets are lobster and toggle. I have provided a few examples of common toggles in different finishes in the photo on the right. It's entirely up to you what type of clasp you'd like to use. Don't feel limited to lobster or toggle. There are lots of other options as well. If you will be giving the bracelet as a gift or enjoy having an adjustable piece, consider using a lobster clasp and a small length (1-2") of extender chain.
Gather your mixed metal hardware components.
If you're buying hardware, you can either opt for packs like I did, purchase individual components, or a combination of the two. Many people like to use random hardware that they already have at home and/or pieces that they have re-purposed, which is fine, too. I encourage you to use at least two different metal finishes.
Experiment with different hardware combinations.
It can be helpful to lay out different combinations of hardware before you break out the jump rings. See what sizes and finishes fit well together. Don't be afraid to scrap your design at any time. If you aren't happy with it, take the time to start over.
Starting putting together jump ring combinations.
As you can see in the photos of my finished piece, sometimes I layered two jump rings together with a piece of hardware or as a linking component. It is entirely up to you if you want to do this. I wanted to create a full piece with a lot of texture, but if you want a more minimalist look, you can opt for single rings instead.
Then put it all together.
You're ready to start assembling your piece. As I mentioned previously, you can wing it, assembling one hardware component at a time, or you can lay it out ahead of time. Whichever method you choose, I urge you to stop from time to time and evaluate your progress to make sure that you're happy with the piece as it progresses. It is easier to undo work in the middle of the project than to take a big chunk of it apart later. Make sure that you keep mixing up the metal finishes to create a varied look for your piece. My close up photos of my finished before will you give you a lot of inspiration and direction for putting your piece together. As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
- Length. I sell a lot of bracelets and can confidently say that wrist size varies widely. If you'll be giving your piece as a gift, make sure that you get a length measurement. I chose to make a double stranded piece that I could wrap around twice. If you would like to make a double or triple length bracelet, make sure to adjust the length accordingly.
- Converting this design into a necklace. This design converts easily into a beautiful necklace by simply making it longer.
- Making matching earrings. It is also easy to make coordinating earrings for this piece. Check out some beautiful examples of mixed metal hardware earrings from Valerie of additionsstyle.
Admire your beautiful work.Click thumbnail to view full-size
More Mixed Media JewelryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do you enjoy making metal jewelry? Check this out: How to Make A Pair Of Textured Metal Earrings
Great resources for purchasing mixed metal jewelry.
- Handcrafted Recycled Upcycled Hardware Jewelry by additionsstyle
Additions is a collection of jewelry & accessories made from recycled, upcycled, & repurposed hardware for women & men. ►Flat Rate Shipping $3
- Personalized Hand Stamped Custom Jewelry by zbet on Etsy
Personalized Hand Stamped Jewelry, Initial Hand Stamped Necklaces, Hand Stamped Mothers Necklaces, Bridesmaids Necklaces & other inspired jewels
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