Helens 10 Ideas for Textured Metal Treasures

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily


One of my fave additions to my personal jewelry making has been metals and wire. I love adding textured metals to my fabric beads for loads of fun and unusual textures. So I'm always looking for a few new tricks to keep up my sleeve for new jewelry designs. New techniques, materials, etc.

Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist's resident goldsmith, Helen Driggs, has just launched a new double-disk DVD set Metalsmith Essentials: Basic Fabrication. She has more than a few secrets and tricks to share. I can't wait to work on some new ideas I learned from Helen and plan on texturing metal this weekend!

Texturing metal is one of the quickest and easiest ways of introducing metalwork into your current jewelry making. I find it very satisfying on so many levels (give me a hammer to pound after a stressful day in the office, and I’m a happy camper). You don’t have to be a metalsmith to create some super simple metal pieces for YOUR jewelry. You can apply textures to metal blanks from your bead or craft store. Helen even shows you how to use inexpensive tools from your toolbox such as a nail! This metal working is much easier than it looks, trust me-I’ve done it!


Once you texture your metal, what to do next, you may ask. Here are some suggestions from Helen herself (and a few ideas for each tip from me):


1. Saw it out into a cool shape.


2. Use a disc cutter to make circles out of it.

Kristal: For smaller circles, file the edges then attach to a bracelet with strong glue. For larger circles, go to step 3.


3. Drill it and make a pendant.

Kristal: Add some bling then string on a simple chain.


4. Rivet something else on it.

Kristal: I find myself searching through those steampunk parts and found objects for unique things to rivet.


5. Solder it to something else.

Kristal: The possibilities are endless . . . I am thinking a flower shaped ring with layers of metal adorned with pearls and crystals (of course).




6. Dome a circle of it in a dapping block or on a stake.

Kristal: Glue it to a ring base.


7. Cut an opening in it.


8. Create a bend or twist in it.


9. Cut identical shapes in different textures for links.

Kristal: Make a long chain necklace by connecting the links with simple jump rings.


10. Combine two textures on one sheet and go back to number one.

I think I'll start with custom dog tags for my pups. They've chewed the plastic tags I got from the store, so I'm going to outsmart Thing 1 and Thing 2 (my nickname for them), and make metal tags; texture one side, and stamp our phone number on the other side. Join me in exploring Helen's Metalsmith Essentials and make your own creations! 

Come bead with me!


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