Make a Mixed-Media Bangle Bracelet: Wire, Cold Connections, Cold Enameling, and Ribbon
Bracelet season is upon us again! Time to break out the short sleeves and show off all your favorite bangles, cuffs, charm bracelets, and such.
|Karen’s alternative design|
This stylish bangle by Karen McGovern of Nunn Design’s Innovation Team is a great fashion-forward project for spring and summer because of all the opportunities for color in it. You can use ribbon/cording, cold or traditional enameling powders, wire, and components in any monochromatic or mixed color palette you like. Since the products are affordable and the processes are so easy, you can make a whole stack-worthy armful of these bangles in no time.
Enameling A Hippie Chic Bangle
By Karen McGovern
antique gold Nunn Design channel bangle bracelet
antique gold Nunn Design crest tag circle
Nunn Design glue
9″ of 1/4″ wide ribbon/fabric*
1-1/2″ enamel disc with a hole in the center**
8″ of 18g steel wire (or brass, copper, silver, aluminum, colored wire, etc.)
brass Nunn Design micro screw and nut set
turquoise Iced Enamels***
Euro Tool 1/16″ hole punch
small paint brush
clear acrylic sealant spray
metal shears or wire cutters
* 9″ is enough to cover the channel in one layer; you can use a thinner cord and wrap it around the channel multiple times
** You can buy these from jewelry supply shops or enamel your own–learn to torch enamel here.
*** Turquoise Iced Enamel powder was used in this project; you can use another color, a patina product, metal paints, nail polish, traditional enamel powders, etc.
|1. Prepare the bangle: Punch a 1/16″ hole in the brass bangle.|
|2. Clean the hole with the needle file. Apply a generous coating of Nunn Design Glue to the bangle using a small paint brush.|
|3. Lay the ribbon/fabric on the bangle and wrap tightly, overlapping the ends over the hole you punched in Step 1. Make sure to glue the ends down and to each other. Allow the glue to dry. When completely dry, use the needle file to gently make a hole in the ribbon/cloth through the hole in the bangle.|
|4. Prepare your focal elements: Punch a hole in the center of the Nunn Design crest tag circle and dap into a gentle curve, creating a cup. Clean the center hole with the needle file. If you decide to make your own enameled disk, learn more about enameling with the resources below!|
|5. Create the wire bundle/ball by wrapping the 8 inches of wire loosely around the tip of your round-nose pliers. Using the pliers and your fingers, wrap and shape the wire into a loose, knot-like bundle.|
|6. Use the bent nose pliers to tuck the wire end into the bundle. Tap with a hammer to shape if needed. Make sure you can slip the micro screw into but not through the wire bundle. Squeeze the wire together on the back so the screw head will be held in place inside the bundle and not slide out of the knot of wire. If needed, add a small metal washer to keep the screw from slipping out of the bundle.|
|7. Cold enamel the bundle of wire. I used ICED Enamels in the turquoise color. Simply apply the product binder/adhesive, sprinkle on the faux enamel, and heat with a heat gun until it’s all melted and pretty! You could also use metal paints, chemical patinas or torch patina the metal if you are using copper or brass, in addition to traditional torch or kiln enameling techniques. When finished, seal the colored wire bundle with clear acrylic spray and allow it to dry completely.|
|8. Assemble the bangle: Layer your elements on the screw in this order: wire bundle, dapped Nunn Design crest tag circle, then the large enameled disc. Feed the end of the micro screw through the hole in the ribbon/fabric (from Step 3) and bangle, add the micro nut on the inside of the bangle, and fasten it tightly by holding the excess micro screw with needle-nose pliers while you tighten the nut with bent-nose pliers or another set of needle-nose pliers.|
|9. Make sure the nut is tight and that the focal assembly sits tightly to the bangle and doesn’t move. Snip off the excess screw flush with the nut with metal shears or wire cutters, file away any excess or sharp metal, and add a drop of E6000 to hold the nut in place.|
Thanks to Karen McGovern and Nunn Design for another great project!
Add more color to your jewelry designs with these enameling resources!