Jewelry Tools: How To Make Your Own Sandbag

Perhaps the most underrated jewelry tool in a studio is the old-fashioned sandbag, an excellent tool for straightening or forming thin metal sheet. Sandbags are available commercially from most jewelry suppliers these days but they come with a hefty price tag. Instead, many prefer to make their own.

It’s a simple process:

  • Cut out two circle or square shapes of material approximately 1 – 1 ½” larger that the desired finished size to allow for seams.
  • Sew by machine or hand a ¼” seam around the outside edge, leaving a 2” opening. Sew another ¼” seam inside the previous one.
  • Turn the bag inside out – press the outer edge flat with an iron, if necessary.
  • Sew ½” seam from the edge leaving the 2” gap open. Then another 1/8” seam inside the ½” seam. These four seams provide a sufficient barrier to eliminate any leakage.
  • Place a funnel into the 2” opening then pour in the sand.

WARNING: Don’t overfill the bag. You want the bag to be loose enough so you can make a depression in the center with your fist.

  • Pin the 2” opening closed. Then sew 2 seams that match up and overlap the previous stitching. And, “Bob’s your uncle” you are ready for many years of service.

Jewelry Tools: How To Make Your Own Sandbag
We find sandbags so useful that we have several of various sizes scattered about our shop for general use.

Side note: Tom prefers canvas and I prefer leather.
Tom & Kay

Tom & Kay Benham are Contributing Editors to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and author its Ask the Experts column. Have a question for them? Please leave a comment below.

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