Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant ProjectI love to hammer! I’m a hammering fool! Nothing works out your frustrations faster and better than picking up a hammer and banging on some metal or rivets. And if your hammering produces a nice piece of jewelry (maybe with cold connections), so much the better!

I came up with this simple, basic riveted pendant just playing around with my hammers, metal, and my other favorite tools. It’s an easy metal project which you can modify to develop your own design. You just need some basic tools and materials:

Jewelry Materials

  • 1½″ round copper blank, 24 gauge
  • 2 sheets of anodized aluminum in two colors, 26 gauge
  • Pre-made rivet or eyelet
  • Jump rings, 3
  • Leather cord
  • Crimpable cord ends
  • Lobster claw clasp
  • Disk cutter
  • Lubricant
  • Mallet
  • File
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Hole punch pliers
  • Dapping block and punches
  • Chasing hammer
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Renaissance Wax
  • Polishing cloth
  • Crimping tool

Cut the Disks

Step 1 With the disk cutter, cut a 1-inch disk of 26-gauge anodized aluminum. Be sure to lubricate your cutter well. You want to make your disk with as few strikes of the mallet as possible so you have perfectly even, well-shaped disks.

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

Step 2 With your second color of anodized aluminum, cut a ⅝-inch disk.

Step 3 Gently file your disks to remove any rough spots or metal tabs. Be careful not to change the shape of your disks; just make them smooth.

Punch and Dap

Step 4 Use a ruler to determine the centers of both disks. Mark the center spots with a marker and punch a hole in those spots. (If you want to make a “funkier” piece, you can put the holes off-center for fun. It’ll vary the look of the piece and make it unique.)

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

Step 5 Using your dapping block, dapping punches, and mallet, dome both aluminum disks.

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

To properly dap, place your metal into the larger hole on your block then gradually move to smaller holes to get the dome you want. Work from the outside of the disks to the inside for a perfect dome.

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

Step 6 Punch a hole in your 1½″ round copper blank. (If you have a large disk cutter, you can cut your own. I usually keep a supply on hand. I purchased this particular copper blank on Etsy.) I don’t usually punch the hole in the center of the blank; I prefer it to be off-center. But you can put the hole anywhere you’d like.

Rivet the Disks

Step 7 Line up the holes of your aluminum disks and copper blank and place a pre-made rivet or metal eyelet through all three holes. Sometimes, I like to make my own wire rivets, but to keep things simple, I used a pre-made eyelet that I purchased at my local craft store. Besides, I like the rather industrial look of eyelets.

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

Step 8 Gently–oh, so gently–use the round end of your chasing hammer to secure your rivet. The best riveting advice I ever got was to think of your metal as a sheet of glass that will shatter if you hit too hard. You want to use a very light touch.

Add a Bail and Cord

Step 9 Determine where you want the top of your pendant to be then punch a hole in that spot. Open a jump ring with your chain-nose pliers, slide it through the hole, and close it.

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

Step 10 Polish and seal your pendant with Renaissance Wax and a polishing cloth. Concentrate on cleaning and shining your copper for a sparkling look.

Cold Connections: How To Make This Free Easy Riveted Copper and Aluminum Pendant Project

Step 11 At this point, you can hang your pendant from a nice chain and call it a day. But I like the look of a good leather cord. Cut an 18-inch length of cord and pass it through your jump ring bail. Crimp a cord end to each end. Open two jump rings. Attach a jump ring to one of the cord ends. Attach the other jump ring to the other cord end, add your clasp, and close the jump ring.

And that’s it! Fifteen minutes with some metal and basic jewelry-making tools, and you get a piece that’s all set to wear. That’s what I love about easy metal and wire projects–creativity and satisfaction that you can fit into a busy day. While working out your frustrations with a hammer too, of course!

More Easy Projects

You can find a lot of simple metal, wire, and chain maille projects in Interweave’s latest special publication, Best of Easy Wire and Metal Jewelry, which includes some the best projects from the pages of Easy Wire, Easy Metal Jewelry, and Step By Step Wire Jewelry. Whether you’re new to wire and metal jewelry making and looking for a place to start, or you’re an experienced jewelry artist looking for projects with which to practice your skills, you’ll definitely find plenty of stuff to play with. And as far as I’m concerned, playing is what it’s all about!

Happy Hammering!

–Karla


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