Thursday, June 7, 2012

Do-it-Yourself: Cuff Me

In keeping with last week’s theme of big, bright accessories, here’s a fun (and ambitious) lesson in how to make a metal neck cuff and bracelet. Crafter Geneva at A Pair and A Spare posted the tutorial in January in her weekly column for Harper’s Bazaar Australia.

The jewelry is made from aluminum flashing, which is normally used to help waterproof roofs. Geneva recommends 0.03mm flashing, but I couldn’t find anything thinner than 0.25mm at my local hardware store. So, I took her advice and ordered it here. I warn you now, flashing isn’t easy material to work with, but once you get the hang of cutting, bending, and “hemming” it, the project goes much faster. Remember to wear gloves so you don’t cut yourself on any sharp edges!

How-to photos courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar Australia
I did have to add an extra step between seven and eight. The metal was too stiff to easily curve around the can I used as a mold, so I took flat-nosed pliers and gently bent the necklace into a semi-circle. It did create a few tiny dints in the metal, but it was the only way to make the collar fit closely around my neck.

To make the wrist cuff, I followed Geneva’s first eight steps but added a ninth. I opened the “hem” slightly on one end of the bracelet, slid the other end underneath it so that the metal overlapped, and hammered the hem back down to hold everything in place.
The result was a light, futuristic set of cuffs that make me feel like Wonder Woman fending off a hail of bullets. Ka-pow!

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