Bracelet with Embossed Metal Sheet, Chainmaille and Leather Scrap
-- Designer --
Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
To learn more about Tammy Honaman, read her jewelry artist success story here
- Rivet, acrylic and brass, black, 3mm with 2.5mm hole, fits 3.5-5mm hole (4 rivets)
- Eyelet, black-finished brass, 3.5x3.5mm with 3x2.4mm tube and 1.7mm inside diameter, fits 2.5-3.5mm hole (32 eyelets)
- Jumpring, shiny copper, 8mm round, 16 gauge (78 jumprings)
- Clasp, hook-and-eye, antiqued copper-plated brass, 25x8mm with lines (1 clasp)
- Leather scrap, black, 9-1/4 x 3-1/2 inch double-sided rectangle
- Sheet, copper, half-hard with mirror finish, 6x6-inch square, 26 gauge (1 sheet)
- Embossing tool, Epic Six QuicKutz, plastic and steel
- Embosser folder, QuicKutz, blue, 5-3/4 x 4-1/4 inch rectangle with swirl designs, A2 series
- Rotary hole punch, steel, 9x3-3/4 inches
- Torch, Max Flame, steel / plastic / aluminum, black, 6x5 inches
- Bench-pin combo set, steel with wooden pin
- Tool, 5-piece titanium-coated steel file set, 180x8mm flat rectangle, marquise, cube, triangle and round with blue and yellow plastic handles
- Needle files
- Jeweler saw
- Cleaner, Penny Brite
- Polishing paper, green, 400 grit, 5x5 inch square
- Fire block
- Saw blade, steel, sizes 1/0 to 6/0, 5 inches
- Drill bit, high speed steel and plastic, 1-1/4 to 3 inches with 1-4mm twisted bit
- Rotary tool, grinding and polishing set with case
- Tool set, beading awl, 4mm, 3.5mm, 3mm, 2.5mm and 2mm 5-piece set in 5-3/4 x 3 x 3/4 inch plastic case
- Punch, EUROTOOL, tempered steel, 5 inches with 3mm tip
- Shear, Lindstrom, stainless steel and plastic, black and blue, 5-3/4 inches with 21mm shear length
- Pliers, eyelet and rivet, steel, purple, 9 inches with 3/4 inch opening
- Pliers, chain-nose
- Pliers, flat-nose
Piece of wood
Green Scotch Brite™ pad
Heat created the patina on the copper sheet. Embossing added texture as well as more interest. The black leather backing sets all of these enhancements off and is secured using decorative rivets. Eyelets were added as a way to finish the holes punched out in the leather and so the chainmaille would not wear through the fibers over time.
||Using the shears, cut out a section of the copper sheet that fits the width of the embossing folder and so it's a little bit taller than you'd like your overall design to be.
Place the sheet onto a fire block then heat with a butane-filled torch. Heat until the sheet is fully annealed. Annealing will make the sheet more malleable and able to receive the texture from the embossing plate (in the next step).
||Place the copper sheet into the embossing folder then place the folder onto the embossing pad. Cover the folder with the cutting mat then place into the embossing tool. Crank the handle to pass the assembled layers through the press.
Remove the metal sheet from the folder.
Each embossing turns out differently. Sometimes I get the look as seen in the finished design above and sometimes it's a shallower impression. You can reheat the sheet and try again if you'd like a different effect.
If you choose to re-emboss the metal do your best to align the pattern already impressed into the sheet with the pattern in the embossing folder or you may get a blurred image on the metal when you pass it back through the embossing tool.
If you reheat the sheet and no longer like the heat patina or do not want the heat patina, scrub the surface with a green Scotch Brite® pad or wash the surface with Penny Brite®.
If you clean the sheet and want to reapply the heat patina, place the sheet onto the fire block then use the torch to reheat until you reach your desired effect. The sheet will be squeaky clean so the patina will be much different this time around.
||Place the jumprings onto the fire block. Using the torch, heat the rings until they have changed color.
Allow the rings to cool to room temperature then brush them to remove the firescale, revealing a nice heat patina.
Note: The rings will be more malleable due to the annealing that takes place during the heating. If you want to harden the rings so they are stiffer, place them onto a steel bench block and tap them with a rawhide mallet.
Onto the embossed copper sheet, draw cutting lines for your desired finished size. The finished size shown is 2-3/4 inches long by 2-1/4 inches wide.
Using the jeweler's saw, cut out the finished shape. Use files and polishing papers to file any rough edges. Be careful not to file or polish off any of the heat patina.
Use the cut out piece of copper to establish the size leather needed for your cuff; do a light tracing using the tip of a beading awl. Using scissors, cut the shape out of the leather sheet. The size of the leather piece shown is 3-3/8 inches long by 2-3/8 inches wide at the center, tapering off a bit toward the ends.
Establish where on the metal sheet you want to anchor it to the leather base; mark these spots with the tip of the beading awl. Place the metal onto a block of wood. Use the center punch to create divots at the marks. Drill a pilot hole at each divot then enlarge the holes up to 3.5mm.
||Place the metal sheet onto the cut out piece of leather where it will rest in the final design. Press the tip of the awl through the holes in the metal sheet so the tip presses into the leather.
Set the rotary hole punch to the 3/32 inch punch and create holes in the leather where indicated.
Place a 1/8 inch rivet through the copper sheet and then through the leather. Place the 1/8 rivet settings into the eyelet/rivet tool then, following manufacturer's instructions, secure the rivet in place. Repeat for all of the holes in the metal sheet so the two layers are secured.
||Turn the rotary tool to the 5/64 inch hole punch, place eight evenly spaced apart holes along the short edge of the leather base. Insert a 3/32 eyelet into one hole. Insert the 3/32 eyelet settings into the eyelet/rivet tool then secure the eyelet to the leather. Repeat, filling each hole with an eyelet.
||Cut a piece of leather 1-7/8 inches long by 1/2 inch wide. Repeat to create two for use as end tabs for the bracelet.
Repeat Step 8, placing 7 holes and 7 eyelets along one long edge of each end tab and one hole and eyelet centered along the other long edge of each end tab.
||Using the heat-patinated copper jumprings, create a European 4-in-1 section of chainmaille that is eight jumprings long (counting along the outside rows--the center row will only be seven jumprings long).
||Open a heat-patinated copper jumpring. Place the open ring through an eyelet on the end of one side of the bracelet then through a jumpring at the top of either edge of one section of chainmaille; close the jumpring.
Repeat to connect a jumpring through each eyelet and through each matching jumpring in the section of chainmaille.
||Place a jumpring through the eyelet at the top of one end tab and through the first and second jumpring along the other edge of the chainmaille section.
Repeat, connecting the end tab to the length of chainmaille, passing each new jumpring through two jumprings along the chainmaille where they overlap.
Repeat to connect the other end tab to the other side of the bracelet.
Repeat to connect the other end tab to the other side of the bracelet.
||Place the bracelet onto the widest section of the bracelet mandrel. Press down on the metal to begin curving it against the mandrel. Continue to work the bracelet along the mandrel until the curve matches the curve of your wrist. If needed, gently tap the metal using a rawhide mallet until the metal conforms to the shape of the mandrel.
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