by Rena Klingenberg.
This rustic foldover pendant tutorial is an easy two-part project.
Here in Part 1, we’ll make a simple square pendant from copper, with a bail that’s created by folding over a piece of the pendant:
Front of the copper foldover pendant:
Then, in Part 2, we’ll use an easy homemade patina to make our pendant look like an archaeological find:
My finished pendant is a square that’s 2″ x 2″ (5.08 cm x 5.08 cm), plus extra for the foldover bail.
If you decide to make your pendant a different size or shape, you may need a different size piece of copper sheet.
- A piece of copper sheet – 22 or 24 gauge (I used 22 gauge), that measures at least 2″ x 3.5″ (5.08 cm x 8.89 cm).
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 pendant, make sure your copper has NOT been varnished. Many craft-store and hardware-store metals have been varnished.)
- Ultra-thin Sharpie marker.
- Jeweler’s saw or tin snips (tin snips are scissors that cut metal – you can get these pretty inexpensively at a hardware or home improvement store). I used tin snips.
- #0000 steel wool – a small piece.
- Round nose pliers.
- Size 10 (metric size 6.5) knitting needle (or a pen, dowel, or other item) to use as a mandrel for folding over your pendant’s bail.
- Nylon or rawhide hammer for flattening and hammer-hardening your copper.
- Jeweler’s steel block or other smooth surface for hammering your pendant.
How to Make a Rustic Foldover Pendant:
First, get out your piece of copper sheet:
Next, use your ruler and fine-point marker to measure and mark your pendant on the copper sheet.
I’ve marked my copper for a pendant that’s 2″ x 2″ (5.08 cm x 5.08 cm), plus a built-in bail that’s 0.5″ x 1.5″ (1.27 cm x 3.81 cm):
Now use your jeweler’s saw or tin snips to cut out your pendant:
When you’re done cutting, you should have a piece of copper that looks something like this:
The corners of your pendant are really sharp, so use your tin snips or jeweler’s saw to round them off:
The edges of your pendant are also razor-sharp.
Take a small piece of steel wool, fold it over the edge of your pendant, and “sand” each edge and corner of your pendant till it’s smooth and no longer sharp.
Be careful not to cut your fingers on the metal.
Now your pendant should look like this:
It’s time to flatten and work-harden your pendant, so place it on your jeweler’s steel block and start pounding it with your nylon or rawhide hammer.
Do enough hammering on the big square part of your pendant to work-harden it and make it sturdier.
Do only a small amount of light hammering on the thin strip that’s going to become the bail. (You don’t want to work-harden it too much, or it will be hard to fold it over to form the bail.)
When you’ve finished hammering one side of the pendant, turn it over and hammer the other side:
Now we’ll start making the bail.
Use your round nose pliers to grasp the end of the thin strip on your pendant, and curve it over into a C-shape:
Now place your knitting needle (or pen, dowel, or other object) across the thin strip on your pendant, and bend the strip around it.
Keep bending till the C-shaped curve at the end of the strip touches the back of your pendant:
Now the back of your pendant should look like this:
The front of your pendant should look like this:
. . . and this:
Now head over to Part 2 of this tutorial to put a blueish or greenish patina on your copper.
(Alternatively, you could use this patina recipe instead.)
We’re going to transform your copper pendant from new and shiny to aged and rustic: