5 Rings, Unlimited Possibilities: Ring-Making Projects for Every Skill Level

Rings are my favorite jewelry to make. While I was at Bead Fest last week, I made several "tops" to go on rings and bought some metal and lampwork glass components that I intend to wire or solder into rings. "Everything is a ring to me," I said many times, and it's true–every big bead or metal component I see that I like, I place it on my hand to see how I might like it as a ring.

Here are some of my favorite ring projects from Jewelry Making Daily, several of which can be modified by wiring on a different metal or glass component or by creating a different top. The silver stack rings are the perfect base for soldering on a unique handcrafted topper–or a purchased metal component that you like. Enjoy!

 

How cute would these rings be on your hand holding a frosty, fruity drink? Making jewelry using shells is a great way to keep a special vacation with you all year long–and to remind yourself, in the dark days of winter, that summer isn't so far away.  This sparking shell ring by Eleanore Macnish features crystal chatons set in Crystal Clay for some quick and easy bling. You can purchase the shell ring form or use one you find during a beach stroll and drill it yourself.

sterling silver soldered flower ring Flowers have always been a source of joy for me. When I was growing up, one grandmother had a garden full of hydrangeas, pansies, irises, roses, and lilacs, and my other grandmother was always surrounded by flowers in her home décor and clothing. They both made quilts laden with flowers using floral fabrics, too, so it's no surprise that I've always associated flowers with comfort and happiness. Now flowers are a favorite motif in my own creative projects, jewelry especially.

So a few years ago when my friend and metalsmithing teacher Lexi Erickson told me to "cut out a shape, any shape," a flower was the obvious choice. After some sawing, filing, sanding, hammering, fluxing, soldering, polishing, and buffing, this pretty ring is the end result. You can make one, too.

Rings are my favorite piece of jewelry to collect, wear, and make. Fortunately, the ring design possibilities are endless when you combine sterling silver wire with texturing tools such as hammers and files. (I prefer standard 8-gauge half-round, but you could use 6- to 10-gauge round, half-round, flat, or square wire as well.) Branch out to alternative metals such as copper, and you've multiplied your ring jewelry-making options even further. And then you can add patinas or even solder a design onto the top . . . endless! Learn to make simple textured sterling silver stack rings.

Once you've mastered the basic metalsmithing skills required to make the simple band/stack rings above, you'll probably want to start jazzing things up a bit with textures and other designs. Here's a way to turn those plain bands into stylish bamboo-style rings with just a few basic metalsmithing tools and well-placed design elements, by Elizabeth Ann Tokoly. It builds on simple metalsmithing techniques–forming, soldering, filing–but demands a degree of proficiency and attention that can challenge the beginner or advanced beginner. After the ring is formed and soldered, the bamboo texture is slowly revealed through scoring and filing.

It's fun to wear an eye-catching ring to a dinner party or just for everyday, especially if it's a conversation-starter that you've made yourself, and it's easy to make one in just a few minutes—such as this copper wire ring by Step by Step Wire Jewelry Editor-in-Chief Denise Peck. "It's so simple!" Denise says. "But it looks like a lot more ring because of the bead I used. . .a beautiful fabricated metal bead by Jennifer Ionta. And, you can make the ring look completely different by using a glass bead or clay bead." Learn to make it in minutes.

As Denise said, there are endless possibilities for personalization with her copper ring project, as well as many of the rings shown here. Use alternative metals or mix in lampwork glass, gemstone, wood, clay, or enameled beads. . .whatever you like! I love quick projects like wire rings that I can make in minutes and show off (or give to a friend) right away. For dozens of other fun-to-make, fun-to-wear wire jewelry projects, download the Step by Step Wire Jewelry eBook, 10 Fun & Easy Wire Rings.

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