Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring (Tutorial)

This bold, rustic ring can be worn by both guys and gals – and it’s easy to make from a small piece of copper sheet, a length of wire, and a bead.

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

After making the ring, we’ll do a simple patina procedure to give the shiny copper a wonderfully worn, colorful look.

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s what this ring looks like before the patina:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • A piece of copper sheet – 22 or 24 gauge (I used 24 gauge).

    Most jewelry suppliers that carry metalworking stuff carry sheet metal. I got mine online from Monsterslayer.com.
    (If you’re going to do the rustic patina on your finished ring, make sure your metal has NOT been varnished. Many craft-store and hardware-store metals have been varnished.)

    Copper sheet for ring tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • A bead – I used a Czech glass nugget bead with Picasso finish, approximately 5mm size.
    I recommend using a bead that can accommodate an 18 or 20 gauge wire.

    Bead for Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

  • Copper wire, round soft – 1 piece that’s about 12″ (30cm) long, and preferably 18 or 20 gauge.
    I used 18 gauge wire; make sure your wire can fit through your bead.
  • Jeweler’s saw, tin snips, or other scissors that can cut metal (you can get these snips and scissors pretty inexpensively at a hardware or home improvement store) – for cutting your sheet metal. I used tin snips.
  • Ruler that measures millimeters.
  • All-purpose marker (such as a Sharpie) for marking your sheet metal.
  • #0000 steel wool – a small piece.
  • Metal ring mandrel (or dowel, PVC pipe, marker, or other sturdy cylindrical object that’s about the diameter of your finger).
  • Plastic, nylon, or rawhide hammer for hammer-hardening your ring.
  • Cup burr or jewelry file for smoothing off the wire ends.
  • Hot boiled egg – for the patina.
  • Sandwich size ziplock bag – for the patina process.

How to Make a
Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring:

Caution: The edges of your sheet metal can be as sharp as a knife. Please be very careful not to cut yourself!

First, measure your finger and decide what size you’ll need to make your ring; see my handy Ring Size Chart.

Since the wire we’ll be wrapping around the ring band will take up some room inside the ring, add a couple of extra millimeters to the length of your ring.

We’ll start by using a ruler and an all-purpose marker to draw the outline of the ring on our sheet metal.

My finished piece is slightly larger than U.S. ring size 7 (but is adjustable to fit slightly smaller or larger finger sizes) – and my ring measures 58 x 12 mm:

Marking copper sheet for Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your jeweler’s saw or tin snips to cut out your ring from the sheet metal.

Your ring should now look like this:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your saw or tin snips to cut off the sharp corners and make nicely rounded ends on your ring:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to smooth off the sharp edges all the way around your piece of metal, so the finished ring will be safe and comfortable to wear.

Take a small piece of #0000 steel wool and fold it over one of the edges of your metal.

Use the steel wool to sand and smooth every edge and rounded corner of your piece of metal.

Continue sanding until every edge is completely smooth and couldn’t possibly cut anyone.

Also use your steel wool to smooth and buff the two flat surfaces of your metal (front and back):

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now lay your ring across your ring mandrel, at the ring size you want for your finished piece.

Use your thumb to hold the center of your ring against the mandrel:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With the fingers of your other hand, wrap the sides of your ring around the mandrel:
Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

While holding your ring tightly against the mandrel, use your plastic, nylon, or rawhide hammer to pound every bit of your ring while it’s still on the mandrel.

Make sure you hammer the ends too:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ve finished making the ring band, and it should look something like this:
Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s time to do the wirework now.

Caution: When you work with long pieces of wire like this, it’s easy to accidentally poke your eye or face with it. I recommend wearing eye protection while doing this wirework.

String your bead onto your 30cm piece of wire, and slide the bead to the midpoint on the wire.

Then bend the wire downward on each side of the bead, and continue to bend each side of the wire tightly around your bead until the wires are spread in a straight line on the underside of your bead:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now place your wired bead on the centerpoint of your sheet metal ring band, and wrap each wire end tightly around the ring band:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The underside of your ring should look something like this:
Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down tightly on each spot where your wire bends around the edge of the ring band:
Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Continue to wrap each wire around the ring band, using your chain nose pliers to squeeze down tightly each time you wrap the wire around the edge of the ring band:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

We want the wire ends to wind up on the underside of the ring band, about halfway across the 12mm width of the ring.

You may need to trim your wire ends after your last wire-wrap on each side of the bead, so they’ll end up in the right spot under the ring.

After trimming your wire ends, use a cup bur, jewelry file, or steel wool to make the wire ends completely smooth and free from any sharp edges.

Now use the tips of your round nose pliers to make a small curve at the end of each wire, so the wire ends won’t poke your finger when you wear the ring:
Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then wrap those final wire ends around to the underside of your ring and use your chain nose pliers to squeeze them down tightly.

The underside of your ring should now look something like this:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Your finished ring should look like this:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

How to Add a Patina
to Your Finished Ring

We’re going to do a cheap, simple boiled egg patina process that creates wonderful colors on copper.

However, first I want to remind you that as with any homemade patina recipe, the color results are unpredictable.

There’s no telling exactly how your coloring will turn out – which is part of the fun of DIY patinas!

Here’s my ring surrounded by crushed hot boiled eggs (they’re steaming up the baggie):

Boiled Egg Patina on Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Follow the instructions in my How to Oxidize with Boiled Eggs tutorial.

However, don’t roll up your ring with the eggs – I got a quick, colorful patina just by having the ring surrounded by the eggs but mostly not touching them.

Also, don’t walk away during this patina process. The color on mine developed very quickly – within 10 to 15 minutes.

Keep a close eye on your ring so you can remove it when the color reaches the point you like!

To preserve your patina, first make sure your ring is clean and dry.

Then use a clear, matte-finish spray lacquer to seal the patina – three light coats of lacquer on every surface of the metal, drying each coat thoroughly before applying the next coat.

Here’s how my ring looked after the patina:

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged & Rustic Adjustable Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. Cindy Cherrington says:

    What great color on your copper! And to think just done with hard boiled eggs. The design is also great. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Rena, this is a great tutorial again – thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  3. LOVE this ring- thanks for sharing!

  4. As usual…a great tutorial!! I can’t wait to do this and try the hard boiled egg patina. Thanks Rena!!

  5. really like this and hoping to give it a try for the holiday trade. I have done the egg thing before…thanks Rena.

  6. Just wow! This is my new favorite of your ring tutorials, Rena. I love the wide band and the wire detail is just perfect. And thanks for sharing a non-toxic patina technique.

  7. Thank you, Rena, this is fabulous! I’ve only ever used the store bought chemicals for patina, so I’m anxious to try your organic method.
    xoxo
    Karen

  8. I LOVE this ring! I’ve been thinking about doing adjustable rings and never thought to do one in a wide band. This would look so good in sterling silver dipped in liver of sulfur. Also it’s so hard to fit people for wide band rings! Thanks so much!

  9. Wow – beautiful! Great tutorial!

  10. Love the ring! Will be using your great tut to make my own version of same. Thanks again for all the fantastic info. you share.

  11. Rena this is very cool! You said before to be careful washing patina items but would feel better if it was washed. Your opinion? Thanks for this project. Yours are always my favorite!

  12. Hi Julia, thank you for your lovely comment, and thanks for asking about washing patina items! I would definitely wash the item, especially when using an egg patina – but I don’t do any scrubbing while washing it. I simply put the patina’ed piece of jewelry in a small wire strainer (from the kitchen section of the dollar store), and run fresh water over it until there’s no egg residue left and the metal is clean. Then I set the piece on a small piece of paper towel and let it air dry. I hope this helps! 🙂

  13. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments on this ring project! 🙂

  14. How fun! The oxidation looks fabulous! I am going to have to try that technique. Thanks for sharing!

  15. That is such a great ring! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  16. Liz Juneau says:

    I can see this same design being used for a cuff bracelet.
    I have got to get some tin snips!

  17. Rena, Thank you so much for this site. It means so much to me to have this site to go to for just fellowship with others that do the same things as I do. Also to see what you come up with next is always exciting to me.
    I love this ring and to color it came to. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  18. Wow, this ring tutorial is awesome!! I have always been a little nervous trying new things like patina and even working with sheet metal, but this ring tutorial sounds easy and fun and is explained in very nice details, and so it makes me want to try it right away! Thanks so much Rena, for sharing this with us!! 🙂

  19. I really like this ring! It looks so easy to do. Very nice tutorial, thank you for sharing.

  20. Rena….what is the spray lacquer you use for this ring?

  21. Thank you for your kind words about JMJ and this ring tutorial. 🙂

    Carol, I have had good results with “Tree House Studio” Clear Acrylic Matte Coating, from Hobby Lobby. Krylon also has a product that’s pretty much the same thing, and about the same price ($5 – $6).

  22. I love this design and the rustic patina! I also thought it would make a perfect cuff bracelet when I saw it.

  23. The ring is gorgeous!

  24. Love the ring!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs!!!

  25. I love the rustic look! This was creative!

  26. You make it look so easy. I have always been a fan of handmade rings and this one is no exception… Beautiful

  27. I am in LOVE with this ring, maybe even obsessed!!

  28. Oh wow, what a gorgeous ring and a fabulous tutorial too. Hugs, Marty

  29. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I love the ring and hope I can find everything to make my very own 🙂

  30. I love how beautiful and unpredictable heat patinas can be! Beautiful work – thanks for the tutorial!

  31. Oh wow! So creative! I would love to make something so beautiful.

  32. This is such a creative idea, thanks for sharing.

  33. Question, does the hard boiled egg needs too be hot (ie recently boiled) or can it be used cold?

  34. Unbelievably fabulous tutorial, Rena. Linda

  35. Your tutorial was great..such a simple idea..Thank you…

  36. selma andrews says:

    what a great tutorial….thank you for sharing!

  37. Mary Ann Ford says:

    Fantastic! The only way I was able to achieve this kind of patina was to keep my flame to the metal for a long time. Positively brilliant!

  38. Thank you, Mary Ann! Flame patinas are gorgeous. I’d love to see some examples of yours!

    I’m not sure how repeatable this ring color is – with homemade patinas like boiled eggs, you never know what colors might turn up. 🙂 However, I’ve learned that with this egg method, it pays to keep an eye on it from the beginning, be open to whatever colors might develop – and be ready to remove the metal from the egg bag as soon as you see coloring you love, since it can continue to develop and change very quickly.

  39. Love the finished look of this ring!

  40. Seriously, in LOVE with that ring!

  41. Beautiful. You make it look so easy.

  42. Lovely!!! The outcome of your copper is just perfect. Thank you for sharing this awesome tutorial!

  43. Stephanie says:

    Wow! What a beautiful ring….everything about it is simply perfect 🙂

    Have a wonderful day!

  44. What an amazing ring! You are so talented. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us! Pinned and tweeted! We are always so impressed with your creations and can’t wait to see them! Lou Lou Girls

  46. Rena, I’m so grateful for your ever so inspiring tutorials! As a senior, my mind is constantly stimulated by your newsletters and ideas. This last one is a must try on my “bucket list”! You make the projects look so user friendly and do-able. Thank you!

  47. Where would I purchase a cup bur?

  48. Marilyn, thanks for asking! Most jewelry suppliers carry cup burs, especially if they sell wire. I’ve also seen them on Amazon.com and Etsy.com . This tool is also often called a “wire rounder”.

  49. Mary Anne Enriquez says:

    Fantastic RENA! I have all these amazing old beads that would be awesome worn in this way. THANKS! Beautiful ring!

  50. Jessica Broghan says:

    Rena,

    Your ideas are incredible. Thank you so much for your generosity and creativity.

  51. Jessica, you’re very welcome, and thank you for your lovely comment! 🙂

  52. Mary Anne, that’s so great to hear! And I would love to see some of the rings you make with your inspiration from this tutorial! 🙂

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