Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tutorial - Layered stamping necklace

This is a step by step tutorial on how I make most of my pendants, with manufactured brass and sterling plated brass stampings and filigree.
Click on the images to see them full scale!
1. The example of what I'm making. The brass piece is already finished, the stampings on the side are the ones I'm using for this project, the same necklace in silver. I use a board for my projects because I don't always sit at a table, I prefer to sit on the floor or the couch. The white fabric is felt, it keeps the materials from slipping around when I design. 2. These are the sterling plated brass stampings I'm using for this pendant. You may notice that you don't see the really large round stamping in the finished necklace, that's because I only use about a quarter of it, I often take stampings apart and just use the pretty bits I like.

3. These are the tools I use for this project.

  1. Safety glasses, to be used whenever I use the Dremmel tool

  2. Needle nose pliers (Or chain nose pliers) these are jewelry pliers, not hardware pliers. The hardware pliers come with alligator teeth that can mark up your metals, you don't want to use that kind. Invest in a nice pair of jewelry pliers if you want your stuff to look nice.

  3. Flat pliers

  4. Round nose pliers

  5. Bent chain nose pliers

  6. Bail making pliers

  7. Wire cutters

  8. Fine tip tweezers

  9. Jeweler's file (Or hobby file)

  10. Cut off wheel bits for the Dremmel

  11. Electric Dremmel tool

  12. Amazing brand GOOP for CRAFT adhesive

  13. Amazing brand E-6000 adhesive

  14. Cardboard and toothpick for applying the adhesive

-Note- there are two different types of glue, I'll go over these later

3A. I have a protective coating on the flat pliers, I use them to handle and bend my metal pieces. The protective coating keeps the pliers from scratching the soft brass. I use Tool Magic, you just dip them in and let it set over night.

4. The large round piece of filigree needs to be broken up, I only used a portion of it in this piece. I used the Dremmel tool to cut away the larger pieces around the outside of what I wanted to work with. You can use wire cutters, but this type of work is rough on them and it can be rough on your hands. Once the larger pieces are cut off, you can normally bend the brass where the stamping process has left indentions in the metal. Bend it enough times and it will break. This can work to your advantage, but always keep this in mind when you're bending and folding pieces that you don't want to break, and be extra careful.

When you're done cutting and bending away the extra pieces, the edges will be really sharp where you've taken the metal away. Use the jeweler's file to file down the burs until they're smooth.

5. Making a bail is simple, and it's a cute way to hang your pendant from a chain or cord. Most small flat pieces of filigree will work, there's not a single piece you need to use. You can get as creative as you'd like. Wrap the piece around the bail making pliers and pinch the ends together. Make sure there's enough room for the chain to slide through it. You can use round nose pliers to make bails as well, but they're tapered and it takes a little more work to get it perfect.

6. Decide which glue is going to be the best for the pieces you're currently working with. I've already glued the wings down and now am going to glue the filigree piece on top. Like the wings, this piece is hallow in the back. For hallow pieces, I use the Amazing Goop for Craft, because it fills in the gaps nicely. For perfectly flat pieces, like cabochons, I use the E-6000. The Goop takes a little bit longer to set before you can handle it than the E-6000. Whenever your glue is still wet, the pieces can slide and your design will suffer, so make sure it's completely dry before you continue to work.

-Notes about glue-

  • These glues dry clear, but that doesn't mean you can't see it at all. Try to avoid getting globs seeping over the edges. While it's still wet, use an exacto knife or the tip of your tweezers to swipe away any excess. The glue is much easier to remove when it's wet than it is dry.

  • Apply the glue where the two pieces you're combining come into contact the most. If you're not sure, put a little glue there anyway.

  • Make sure all your pieces are bent before you glue. If you try bending anything after the gluing is done, the glue will loosen. I only bent a couple pieces of metal in this pendant, the filigree in step 6, and the winged figure I'll be gluing at the end.

The following pictures are the continuation of the gluing process.

7. Before I finish gluing, I need to bend the winged figure. You can see in the first picture that his wings stick up just a little bit, and I want them flattened to the filigree he's resting on. I used my protective coated flat pliers to bend the wings down and back just a little bit.

8. To attach the Swarovski crystal flat backs, I use the E-6000 glue. You can apply the glue directy to the back of the crystal, but they get difficult to hold when they're so tiny. I prefer to apply a small amount of glue on the metal where you're placing them. I use the tweezers to apply the tiny crystals, it's much less clumsy than trying to use your fingers. The glue will probably seep out from around the crystal, make sure to swipe this away with a razor as soon as possible, while it's still wet.

9. There are several ways to attach the bail to your pendant. I used the simple technique of connecting the bail and pendant with a jump ring. When using jump rings, remember not to pry the loop apart, twist one side of the break toward you and one away.

Once your piece is totally dry, overnight or 24 hours, you can slip a chain or cord through the bail and and call it a day.


TheAdornedArticle said...

Great tutorial! And btw I love love love E-6000 (if one can love a glue that much)
I popped over from EBT and am following now :)


hopeandjoyhome said...

Very pretty! Great job! Julia

The Beading Gem said...

Absolutely stunning when the stampings are combined and embellished! Okay to feature and link in a future post so others can come visit?

SisterBatik said...

WOW - stunning!

It is really beautiful - think I leave it to the experts (like you), but great for sharing your tutorial : )

Following you.

Peacock Tres Chic said...

The Beading Gem, you sure can =) Thank you.

Thank you everyone. As my first tutorial, I'm happy to have some feedback =)

Pamela Bates of Mercantile Muse said...

really enjoyed seeing your process..thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

That is beautiful! Is there any way you can make one of those for me?

Peacock Tres Chic said...

Unknown, I can make one of these for you. I'd need to order the stuff to make it, and I can get the gems in any color you'd like.

You can email me at and we can work out the details.

Nirriana said...

Amazing! so proffessional ;)

Divya N said...

Just came over from Pearl's blog...these are mind blowing...these dont look glued together at all...I guess it all lies in the selection of pieces and how you put them together...hats off to you

TorqueStory said...

Your work is absolutely stunning, and I love your clear tutorial.

(I found your blog via Craft Gossip, which linked to the Beading Gem.)

Ruth Trowbridge said...

I too have come from Pearl's blog. You are very generous to share so much, and gracious, thank you. I read your whole blog and think you are nothing short of a creative genius. Peace