Cold Connection: Easy Riveted Pendant (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

In this tutorial, we’ll use an eyelet rivet (a rivet with a hole) to fasten two pieces of metal together into a single pendant.

Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Easy Riveted Pendant – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This riveted pendant tutorial is an easy two-part project.

Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here in Part 1, we’ll start out by making two metal pendant blanks, each with a hole for the eyelet rivet:

Metal pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then, in Part 2 of this tutorial, we’ll use alcohol inks to color our two pendant blanks:

Coloring Metal with Alcohol Ink - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And finally, we’ll hop back over here to Part 1, to rivet the two pieces of colored metal together.

Supplies:

  • 24-gauge metal sheet, large enough to make 2 pendant blanks:
    one 40mm x 50mm (1.57″ x 1.97″)
    one 30mm x 40mm (1.18″ x 1.57″).
    I used yellow brass:
    Brass sheet for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Ruler – to measure and mark your pendant blanks on the metal.
  • Ultra-fine point Sharpie marker – to draw the outline of your pendant blanks on the metal.
  • Metal-cutting shears or tin snips – to cut out your pendant blanks.
    This is the cutter I used:
    Jewelry metal cutter for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • 1 metal eyelet:
    Metal eyelets for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
    I bought a box of hundreds of these 1/8″ (3.175mm) eyelets in various colors, in the paper-crafting aisle at my local craft store:
    Box of metal eyelets for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Metal hole punch, made to handle 24 gauge metal, and capable of punching a hole of the right size for your eyelet.
    There are several different metal punches that would work for this.
    I used a Eurotool EuroPower punch, and its 1/8″ punch bit:
    Jewelry metal punch for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Jewelry file – to smooth and round the edges and corners of your metal pendant blanks.
  • #0000 Steel wool – to do the final smoothing on the edges and surfaces of your pendant blanks.
  • Jeweler’s steel block – for a hammering surface.
  • Nylon, plastic, or rubber hammer – to flatten your metal pieces.
  • Texturing tool – to give one of your metal pieces a textured surface.
    I used the sharp, flat end of one of my hammers.
  • Hammer for flattening the end of your eyelet – preferably a hammer with a ball end.
  • Jump ring – for hanging your finished pendant.
  • Cord or chain.

How to Make an
Easy Riveted Pendant

Caution:

Be very careful with handling your metal sheet – the edges and corners can be razor-sharp!

We’ll start by making 2 metal pendant blanks – one small and one large.

My larger one is 40mm x 50mm (1.57″ x 1.97″)

My smaller one is 30mm x 40mm (1.18″ x 1.57″).

First we’ll measure and mark the outlines of our pendant blanks on the metal sheet, using a ruler and fine-point Sharpie marker:

Measuring pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your metal-cutting shears or tin snips to cut out your pendant blanks, along the the lines you just drew:

Cutting out metal pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If your cut-out pieces of metal are warped or bent, you can place them on your jeweler’s steel block and gently pound them flat using your nylon, plastic, or rubber hammer.

Your metal pendant blanks should look like this:

Metal pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now let’s find out what size of hole we need to punch in our metal pendants.

If your package of eyelets didn’t state the eyelet diameter, you can simply measure the stem of one of them, using your ruler.

My eyelet here is about 1/8″ in diameter:

Measuring eyelet for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your ruler and Sharpie pen to measure and mark where to punch the hole on each metal pendant blank.

Remember, the holes will need to line up together at the top center of each pendant blank, where the eyelet will go through both of them:

Marking punch hole for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to punch the holes, one at a time.

Hot Tip:

On a piece of scrap metal, practice marking holes and punching them out – to develop your technique before you punch the holes in your metal pendant blanks.

I’m using my 1/8″ punch bit, to fit my 1/8″ eyelet:

Punching a hole in pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

After punching, your pendant blanks should look like this:
Punched pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to smooth off the edges and corners on both of our metal pieces.

Start with a file to smooth and round all edges, and to round the corners slightly:

Filing edges of pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use your #0000 steel wool to smooth and buff all edges, corners, and both flat surfaces of each of your metal pieces:

Smoothing off pendant blanks for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to texture one side of your larger metal pendant blank.

I used the sharp end of this hammer to create a pattern diagonally on the metal:

Texturing pendant blank for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’re finished with your texturing, your pendant blank may have curled up a bit.

You can place it texture-side down on your steel jeweler’s block, and gently pound it flat using your nylon, plastic, or rubber hammer.

Now your larger metal pendant blank should look something like this:

Textured brass pendant blank for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’re ready for the really fun part – coloring the metal!

So hop over to Part 2 of this tutorial – where we’ll use alcohol inks to color our two pendant blanks.

After coloring your metal pieces, come back here and we’ll rivet the two colorful metal pieces together into a single pendant!

OK, now your colored pendants may look something like this:

Coloring Metal with Alcohol Ink - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s how we’ll rivet them together.

Hot Tip:

On a the piece of scrap metal where you practiced marking holes and punching them out, practice riveting eyelets in these holes.

That way you can perfect your riveting technique before you rivet your two metal pendant blanks together.

Place the eyelet on your steel jeweler’s block, with the large flat end of the eyelet against the steel block:

Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now place your smaller metal piece face-down on the steel block, with the eyelet stem threaded through the pendant hole:

Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Place your larger metal piece face-down on top of the smaller metal piece, with the eyelet stem now threaded through both pendant holes:
Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now use the ball end of your chasing hammer (or whatever hammer you’re using that has a ball end), and GENTLY start tapping on the stem of the eyelet to flatten it out uniformly around the pendant hole.

It’s better to use a series of gentle taps for this, instead of a couple of big whacks:

Hammer-flattening the eyelet rivet for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your two metal pieces are fastened together into a finished pendant.

Your flattened eyelet should look like this on the back of your riveted pendant:

Finished eyelet rivet for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and the eyelet should look like this on the front of your pendant:

Finished eyelet rivet for Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now you can put a jump ring through your eyelet rivet:

Jump ring in Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And you can run a cord or chain through your jump ring to turn your pendant into a necklace.

I used 2mm dark turquoise leather cord to bring out the dark lines in the blue-green part of my pendant:

Leather cord on Easy Riveted Pendant - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And your easy riveted pendant is now a lovely piece to wear!

easy-riveted-pendant-012-w

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Comments

  1. Colleen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial Rena. I have been wanting to do this for awhile. Now I can do this with confidence!! I am really excited about doing the acid dye. Thanks for sharing and giving us a tutorial that is easy to understand!

  2. Love this tutorial, Rena. You do make everything so easy. Anyone who loves the look of cold connections can accomplish this technique with very little effort. Thank you for sharing it. I will be sharing and pinning it as well 🙂

  3. Just the project I need to get me started in riveting-thank you for sharing your excellent tutorials Rena!

  4. Christine says:

    Thank you, Rena! I wonder — how long do you find your punch bits last? Mine wear out so quickly that I’ve started drilling instead any time it’s possible.

  5. Thank you all for the lovely comments!

    Christine, my punch is fairly new but I’ve put it through its paces a bit and have found it pretty robust so far. I haven’t worn out any punch bits yet.

    I’ve also been careful to stay within the 16-gauge metal size limit the manufacturer recommended. And I haven’t punched any coins yet.

    If you make a lot of holes, you’re probably better off drilling, as you mentioned – and I think drilling might be faster if you’re doing a project that will require several holes.

  6. Kathy Szmolke says:

    Thank you! I’ve always wondered how….and now I know! I work at Michael’s Craft Store, so I will be looking for these inks and try this method out real soon.

  7. sunny mcnair says:

    This is one of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen. After reading and looking at the pictures, I do believe I can make a piece of jewelry that looks professional and beautiful!

  8. Great tutorial, thanks!

  9. Kirsten M Blair says:

    Hooray! Comprehensible instructions about alcohol inks and metal!

  10. Jenn Kessler says:

    Hi. I’m a novice searching for an excellent sealant for copper or brass jewelry that’s been coated with alcohol ink. Something that shows off the gloss of the ink coloration and remains stable, meaning that it doesn’t distort the ink on the piece after several weeks. Does anyone have this information? Thank you for assisting me in this endeavor.
    Jenn K.

  11. So pretty and easy-to-follow instructions! Thank you!

  12. You’re very welcome, Mimi! Have fun! 🙂

  13. Hi Rena,

    Do you seal your pendant after using the alcohol inks? If so, what do you recommend?

    Thank you!

  14. Thank you, Shirley! I’ve purchased genuine copper washers at Harbor Freight and at Amazon.com . You might be able to find additional sources with a google search for “copper washers”. Hope this helps! 🙂

  15. Betsy (Yindala Designs) says:

    To Jenn, I may be on planet Zargon (a place I visit early and often) but after some research on coating/sealing metal (I’m not sure about the color although it states it protects the colored wax known as Gilder’s paste (go To Rio Grande.com – they will answer anything for you and have everything one would need to look like a real jeweler – that’s how get by). Check out Varathane urythane – although it’s a liquid and may not work. Also try Renaisance Wax. It’s a tiny bottle and smell like shoe polish. It works over colored metal. But remember, the metal has colored wax on it. Check out Rio, I call them weekly for really silly questions and they’ve been so helpful. Is it ok that I used their name?

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