Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This is a great necklace for men – and also for women.

I decided not to clean up the metal surface, to keep its grungy look.

Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It feels both industrial and rustic, and it’s a good project for finishing up odds and ends of metal sheet.

Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I created this piece of jewelry without having any plan other than to use some of my copper sheet scraps.

I just totally made up this piece as I went along, and took photos for you as I created.

As I worked along on it, I had no idea how the finished piece would look – the result was a surprise to me!

Supplies:

  • Scraps of sheet metal.
    (I cut 2 pieces from a scrap of leftover 22 gauge copper sheet; you can purchase jewelry sheet metals from most jewelry suppliers who carry metalworking supplies.)
  • Rugged, rustic chain – I cut a piece 660.4mm (26″) long.
    (I used antiqued brass curb chain with link size 7mm x 9mm [0.276″ x 0.3543″].)
  • 6 heavy gauge jump rings.
    (I used antiqued copper jump rings in 12mm [0.4724″] size.)
  • 2 jump rings, to attach the metal pendant to the chain ends.
    (I used antiqued copper jump rings in 10mm [0.3937″] size.)
  • Ruler.
  • Sharpie marker.
  • Metal cutting shears or tin snips – for cutting out your sheet metal shapes.
  • Metal file, for smoothing the edges and corners of your cut-out metal pieces. (Alternatively, you can use a piece of #0000 steel wool if you don’t have a file.)
  • A hole punch for making holes in 22 gauge metal (or whatever thickness your metal is).
    (There are a variety of punches for making holes in jewelry metals. I’m using a Eurotool metal hole punch, plus its 1/8″ punch bit.)
  • Steel jeweler’s block, plus a nylon, plastic, rawhide, or rubber hammer – for flattening your metal cut-outs.
  • Flat nose and chain nose pliers – for opening and closing jump rings.

How to Make a
Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace

Caution:

Be very careful with handling your metal sheet and the metal pieces you cut out from it.

The edges and corners can be razor-sharp!

Here’s my scrap piece of copper sheet, and my metal cutting shears:

Metal shears for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I decided to cut two pieces out of random areas of this copper scrap.

I didn’t measure or mark the metal – I just cut freehand:

Cutting copper sheet for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The first piece turned out to be a rectangle, measuring 12mm x 40mm (0.4724″ x 1.5748″).

Cutting metal for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

For the second piece, I wanted to use the corner of the scrap that already had a hole punched in it:

Cutting metal for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The second piece turned out to be an irregular shape, measuring 24mm x 40mm (0.9448″ x 1.5748″)

Here are the two pieces I cut from my scrap piece of copper:

Cutting metal for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The first piece:

Measuring for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The second piece:

Measuring for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next I used a metal file (you can also use a piece of #0000 steel wool if you don’t have a file) to smooth every edge and corner of each metal cutout piece.

File in one direction (NOT a sawing back-and-forth motion) – moving around the entire perimeter of each cutout metal piece.

Then flip your metal cutouts over and file around the entire perimeter of the second sides, making sure every edge and corner is smooth:

Filing metal edges for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When all edges of both sides of your metal pieces have been filed smooth, it’s time to flatten your pieces.

Place one of your cut out metal pieces on your steel block.

Use a plastic, rubber, nylon, or rawhide hammer to pound first one side, then the other side of your metal piece, until the piece lies flat, without any warping.

Do the same with your second metal cutout:

Flattening metal for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next I punched holes in my metal pieces.

Remember that my second metal cutout already had a hole punched at one end.

So I decided to punch a hole at each end of both pieces of metal.

I decided I’d attach my two metal cutouts together, using jump rings.

So I wanted the two metal pieces’ holes to line up with each other.

Both of my metal pieces are 40mm (1.5748″) long, so I laid my rectangular piece down on my work surface, and lined up my irregular-shape piece on top of the rectangle.

Then I used a Sharpie marker to mark the placement of the hole at one end of the rectangle piece:

Marking punch holes for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then I flipped my irregular-shape metal piece over, and used its punched hole as a template to mark where the hole would be punched on the second end of the rectangle-shaped metal cutout:

Marking where to punch - Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here’s how the rectangle piece looked, after marking where the holes will be punched:

Marking where to punch - Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now for the hole-punching instructions, pop over to my free How to Punch Holes in Metal (Tutorial).

Then pop back over here after you’ve finished punching your metals!

Now that I’ve punched the holes at the ends of my rectangular metal piece:

Punched metal for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . I’ll use my punched rectangular piece as a template for the second punch-hole in my irregular-shaped metal piece.

I laid the rectangular metal piece on top of the irregular-shaped metal piece, with the irregular piece’s punch hole lined up with one of the holes in my rectangular piece.

Next I used my Sharpie to mark where the second hole will go in my irregular-shaped metal piece:

Marking for metal punching - Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

After punching the second hole in my irregular-shaped metal piece, this is how my two metal pieces look.

You can see how their punched holes line up for attaching them together with jump rings:

Punched metal for Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to put the necklace together.

If you’re new to using jump rings, see my quick tip, How to Open and Close a Jump Ring.

I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open two of my heavy 12mm [0.4724″] jump rings:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then I threaded these jump rings into the holes in my irregular-shaped metal piece.

I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist these two jump rings shut again:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open two more of my heavy 12mm [0.4724″] jump rings:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then I threaded these jump rings into the first set of jump rings, and used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist these two jump rings shut again:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open the last two of my heavy 12mm [0.4724″] jump rings:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . and threaded these jump rings through the last pair of jump rings, and then through the punched holes my rectangular-shaped metal piece.

Then I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist these two jump rings shut again.

My two metal pieces are now attached together with jump rings, making a metalwork pendant:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next I attached the chain to the metalwork pendant.

Because my chain is long enough for the wearer to put the necklace on over the his / her head, I’m using a single piece of chain with no clasp.

So each end of my chain will be attached to one side of the pendant.

I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist open my two 10mm [0.3937″] jump rings:

Putting Together Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then I threaded the jump rings through the holes at the top of the pendant (the holes in my rectangular metal piece), and then threaded the jump rings through the ends of the chain:

Then I used my flat nose and chain nose pliers to twist these two jump rings shut again.

My necklace is finished now!

Your finished Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace may look something like this:

Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rugged Scrap Metal Necklace - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And be sure to see the wonderful version of this project that Shirley Gerchman created – I love it!

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Comments

  1. Absolutely love this idea…I printed it out for future reference. Thank you.

  2. You’re very welcome, Veronica! Thank you for your lovely comment. 🙂

  3. This necklace is so cool thank you for sharing. I too have a bag of scrap copper.

  4. You’re very welcome, Lindsay, and have fun creating with those scraps!

  5. Love it I am going to try and make this one.

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