Make the Tiny Bubbles Metal Stamped Tassel Necklace
Tassels are the new black! You’ll find them everywhere in fashion right now. This design incorporates some other trending design elements, too, like hand-dyed silk fabric, metal stamped copper, and vintage colors of crystals. The colors of the silk bring this tassel front and center and allow it to stand alone. Have fun choosing your own color palette and keeping the tassel trend going!
ABOVE: Opening image (left) Photo, Jim Lawson; process shots (center and right) photo, author.
Excerpted from Easy Metal 2015.
Make the Tiny Bubbles Stamped Tassel Necklace
26-gauge copper metal sheet, 2-1/8″ x 1-1/8”
14-gauge copper wire, 8″
20” of .019″ flexible beading wire
chain or cording of your choice
14mm x 7mm copper washers, 6
17mm x 10mm copper washers, 2
3mm Swarovski crystal antique pink bicone beads, 88
8mm x 10mm lampwork bead
2mm x 2mm sterling silver crimp tubes, 10
3-4mm crimp covers, 5
silk fabric, 36″ x 1″
E6000 adhesive, black
hammer, suitable for striking
steel bench block
rubber block or sand bag
steel stamps, circles
nail sets, various sizes
14mm and 12mm mandrel pliers
third hand with cross-locking tweezers
flush cutters (heavy duty and fine gauge)
Stamp the Metal
1 If needed, peel the protective coating off the copper sheet before metal stamping.
2 Place the steel bench block onto the rubber block, and the metal sheet onto the steel block. Place a circle stamp onto the surface of the metal sheet, and strike the end of the stamp with the hammer.
Continue metal stamping to create a pattern – random or planned. Repeat, adding other sized circles to the metal sheet.
Create the Tube
3 Using a ruler and marker, measure out a 1-1/8″ x 2-1/8″ rectangle on the stamped metal sheet.
Using metal shears, cut out the rectangle.
4 Using sanding blocks, smooth the cut edges and the corners of the metal sheet.
5 Place the edge of the metal sheet into the mandrel pliers. Begin to form the sheet on the pliers, forming the tube. Refine the tube as needed, closing up the ends so they overlap.
6 Apply a bead of E6000 to one side of a 17mm x 10mm washer. Set the tube onto the washer, and press the two surfaces together. Let the adhesive set.
Assemble the Tassel
7 Cut a 4″ length of flexible beading wire. Add a crimp tube to one end, and crimp the tube in place. Trim any excess wire sticking out from the crimp tube.
8 Place a crimp cover over the crimped crimp tube, and close it to conceal. String 21 crystals onto the beading wire.
9 Add a crimp tube. Feed the end of the wire back through the crimp tube, forming a loop. Tighten up most of the excess wire between the crystals and the crimp tube. Crimp the crimp tube. Trim the excess beading wire.
Repeat to create five crystal dangles of varying lengths. The amount of crystals on the lengths of this project are: 21; 19; 17; 16; 15.
10 Begin a large wrapped loop about 3″ from one end of the 14g wire. Open the formed loop and thread on the loops of the crystal dangles. Close the loop and complete the wrapped loop.
11 Thread on a strip of the silk fabric, placing it between two of the crystal dangles. Tie an overhand knot. Repeat with a second knot to secure. Repeat with more strips of silk to fill up the wrapped loop, until you are pleased with the look.
12 Pull the wire through the washer and into the tube. Check the arrangement. Add more crystal dangles and fabric if needed. Add five 14mm x 7mm washers into the tube to help fill the cavity (optional). Place the wire into the cross-locking tweezers of the third hand. Fill the tube with E6000 adhesive. Allow the adhesive to cure.
13 Top off the tube with more E600, and add a 17mm x 10mm washer, a 14mm x 7mm washer, and the lampwork bead. Clean up any excess E6000, and allow the adhesive to cure overnight. Form a wrapped loop above the lampwork bead to finish the tassel. Trim the silk as needed.
Add a jump ring to the wrapped loop, and add the tassel to a length of chain or a cord of your choice.
Optional: Add a patina to the surface of the copper to accent the metal stamped design.
Editorial Director, Interweave Beading & Jewelry