Found-Object Jewelry: Make a Mixed-Media Spoon Necklace

I love the freedom of making mixed-media and found-object jewelry, don't you? Anything goes! I'm constantly amazed and inspired by the this-and-thats and any-ol'-things designers turn into art jewelry. This cheerful "Stirring Up Sunshine" spoon, metal filigree, chain, and ceramic bead necklace by Candie Cooper is no exception. I'm always looking for new ways to use pretty old silverware. Candie designed this project exclusively for Jewelry Making Daily subscribers. Enjoy it!

 

 
   

Tools and Materials:

2 decorative iced-tea spoons
3 brass connector bolts
2 ceramic pinwheel links, 28mm
1 ceramic pinwheel link, 45mm
1 bird bead
filigree pieces
jeweler's saw and bench pin
jewelry-making pliers
permanent marker
hammer, center punch, and steel bench block
Dremel tool and #55 drill bit
copper and silver chain links (odds and ends work great!)
hook finding for clasp (you can make your own with half-hard wire)
1 silver balled head pin, 20-gauge
safety glasses

 

Steps:

 

  1. Make the Spoon Links: Mark the desired length of the spoon link on the spoon handle with a permanent marker.
 

2. Place the handle on your bench pin and saw along the line. Repeat for the second handle. 

Additionally, you can saw off an extra 1" piece from the handle to create the bird's perch for the toggle clasp.

  3. File the sawed ends of your pieces.
  4. Mark the hole placement on each end of your links and in the center of the toggle piece with a permanent marker. Lay the pieces on the steel block. Place the point of the center punch on top of the hole mark and strike with end with a hammer. Repeat for remaining holes. Center-punching creates a start of a hole for your drill bit.
  5. Wearing safety glasses, drill the holes in your links and toggle piece with a #55 drill bit.
 

6. Pinwheel Centers: String one or two filigree pieces onto the mini bolt, followed by the pinwheel. Screw the nut onto the bolt and trim, leaving a little extra. File the trimmed end so it isn't sharp. You can also add a touch of adhesive around the nut to ensure it doesn't come undone.

 

7. Assembly: There is no right or wrong way to use these spoon links—make a long chain of them for a belt or use a single one as a focal pendant! If you've come this far in your jewelry-making adventures, I know you know how to make connections. Have fun with it!

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8. Bird on a Perch Toggle Clasp: String the bird and toggle piece onto the balled head pin and finish with a wrapped loop.

 

For this piece, I wanted to use up some odds and ends of large linked chain I had in my stash. With these pieces, I made two 4" sections of chain and connected them to the small pinwheels. The spoon links were connected to the large pinwheel with more big links. Attach the clasp to the end of the chain and you're good to go! —Candie

   

 

While it's nearly impossible to re-create any mixed-media jewelry creation exactly, you can get pretty close! Plus they're incredibly inspiring, and you can always pick up a little detail or technique to incorporate into your own jewelry making. For more inspiring mixed-media jewelry projects–including tips and step-by-step instructions for using a variety of materials, such as resin, paper, fibers, and found objects–check out Handcrafted Jewelry. You can download it through December 15, 2011, for an amazing 10 cents!

 

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