Metalwork Arrowhead Pendant (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg.
Make this arrowhead pendant with a few basic tools, and finish it off with a leather cord (or chain, if you prefer).
This pendant can be worn equally well by both guys and gals! 🙂
In this design, we’ll texture the sides of the arrowhead to echo ancient flint-knapped stone arrowheads.
- Copper or brass sheet – 22 or 24 gauge.
I used 22 gauge copper sheet.
You can get metal sheets for jewelry making at most of the major online jewelry suppliers; I usually get mine at Monsterslayer.com .
- A scrap of paper and a pencil – for sketching your arrowhead pattern.
- Scissors – to cut out your paper pattern.
- Sharpie marker – to trace around your paper pattern onto the metal.
- Metal-cutting shears.
- Nylon, plastic, rubber, or rawhide jewelry hammer – for flattening your metal.
- Ball peen hammer (or other texturing tool) – for texturing the sides of your pendant.
- Jeweler’s steel block (or other smooth, sturdy surface for hammering).
- Metal centerpunch or other sharp pointed metal tool that can make a dent in your metal sheet.
- Metal hole-punch – I used a Eurotool EuroPower punch.
- #0000 steel wool – for smoothing the edges of your metal.
- 20 gauge soft round wire – 5″ (127mm) long – for a decorative wrap around the neck of your arrowhead.
I used Artistic wire in Gunmetal color.
- Wire cutter.
- Chain nose pliers.
- Chain or leather cord for wearing your finished pendant.
- Optional: Black Gilders Paste to darken your metal (or the supplies for another metal coloring / patina process).
How to Make a
Metalwork Arrowhead Pendant
Be very careful when handling your metal sheet – the edges and corners can be razor-sharp!
We’ll start by sketching an arrowhead pattern on a small piece of paper.
You may want to do an online image search for “arrowheads” or “knapped arrowheads” to get ideas for the shape of your arrowhead pattern.
On my paper, I drew a 2.25″ x 1.25″ (57mm x 32mm) box as a size guideline for my pendant design.
Then I sketched my arrowhead (going out of the lines of my box a little):
When you’re happy with your paper sketch, cut it out with scissors and place it on your metal sheet.
Then use your Sharpie marker to draw around your paper pattern on the metal:
Now your metal should look like this:
Use your metal-cutting shears to cut your arrowhead out of the metal sheet.
As you cut, don’t worry about making the edges and angles perfect (because later we’ll be texturing, smoothing, and wire-wrapping various parts of the arrowhead edges):
Now your cut-out pendant should look something like this:
Your metal is probably a bit warped from being cut, so let’s hammer it flat with a plastic, nylon, rubber, or rawhide hammer and steel jeweler’s block.
Hammer the pendant all over so it’s nicely flat:
Next we’ll punch the hole in the top of your arrowhead.
So hop over to my How to Punch a Hole in Metal (Tutorial) for that . . . and then come back here to finish the arrowhead pendant!
Now your punched pendant should look something like this:
Next we’ll texture the two straight edges of the arrowhead, to give it a bit of “flint-knapped” style.
I’m using the ball end of my chasing hammer to create this texture, but you might want to experiment with other metal-texturing tools.
Whatever tool you choose, use it right along the very edge of the arrowhead blade:
Now your “knapped” arrowhead’s edges should look something like this:
It’s time to smooth the edges of the metal pendant.
Use a small piece of #0000 steel wool to thoroughly sand and smooth every edge, point, and flat surface of the pendant, so that there’s nothing sharp or rough anywhere on the metal:
Next we’ll wrap a piece of wire around the neck of the arrowhead.
Cut a piece of wire that’s about 5″ (127mm) long:
Use your chain nose pliers to make a small hook in one end of the wire:
Now hook your wire onto one side of your arrowhead’s neck, with the short hook end on the back side of the pendant:
Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze the hook tightly around the arrowhead’s edge.
Then continue to wrap the wire tightly around the arrowhead’s neck – using your chain nose pliers to squeeze down the wire each time it goes around one of the pendant edges:
Keep wrapping till the end of your wire can be wrapped against the back side of your pendant.
Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze that final wire bend tightly against the metal edge:
Now your pendant should look like this:
Next we’ll add a bit of darkness to the pendant.
So hop on over to my How to Give Metal an Oxidized Look (Tutorial) . . . then come back here to finish off the pendant.
Other Ways to Color or Darken Your Arrowhead:
Or you can simply hang your pendant outdoors until it darkens or develops a patina naturally.
After applying the darkening procedure, your arrowhead pendant should look something like this:
Your pendant is finished now – so it’s time to hang it on a chain or leather cord.
To attach a cord to your pendant with a lark’s head knot:
Fold the cord in half, and thread the fold through the front side of the hole you punched in the pendant.
Pull the folded cord out through the back side of the hole, so that it forms a loop.
Then thread the two ends of your cord over the top of the pendant and through the loop in the cord:
You can finish off the cord ends with a clasp – or use my Adjustable Sliding Knot Necklace Tutorial to make a conveniently adjustable necklace.
More views of the finished metalwork arrowhead necklace: