Rustic Cuff Bracelet Tutorial

by Rena Klingenberg.

Rustic Cuff Bracelet Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rustic Cuff Bracelet Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Rustic Cuff Bracelet Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This rustic cuff bracelet tutorial is an easy two-part project.

Brass rustic cuff bracelet by Rena Klingenberg

Brass rustic cuff bracelet by Rena Klingenberg

Here in Part 1, we’ll make a simple, comfortable cuff bracelet from brass or copper:

Copper cuff bracelet

Then, in Part 2, we’ll use a super-easy homemade patina to give our bracelet metal a fascinatingly rustic look:

Copper rustic cuff bracelet by Rena Klingenberg

Copper rustic cuff bracelet by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • A piece of copper or brass sheet – 22 or 24 gauge.

    Your piece of metal should be as long as your wrist measurement minus half an inch (1.2 cm), and anywhere from 1″ to 3″ (2.54 cm to 7.62 cm) wide – depending on how wide you want your cuff bracelet.

    Example: if you want a 2″ (5.08 cm) wide bracelet and you have an 8″ (20.32 cm) wrist, your copper or brass sheet should be 2″ x 7.5″ (5.08 cm x 19.05 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 bracelet, make sure your copper or brass has NOT been varnished. Many craft-store and hardware-store metals have been varnished).

  • Ruler.
  • 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 – here’s what mine look like:

    tin snips

  • #0000 steel wool – a small piece.
  • Bracelet mandrel (or dowel, PVC pipe, chair leg, vitamin bottle, or other sturdy item that’s about the same circumference as your wrist).
  • Nylon or rawhide hammer for shaping your metal around your bracelet mandrel.

How to Make a Rustic Cuff Bracelet:

First, get out your piece of sheet metal. I’m using copper for this tutorial:

Copper sheet

Use your ruler and super-fine Sharpie pen to mark your bracelet measurements on your metal sheet:

Measuring for rustic cuff bracelet

Use your jeweler’s saw or tin snips to cut out your bracelet metal:

Cutting copper sheet with tin snips

Your bracelet should now look like this:

Copper for rustic cuff bracelet

We don’t want sharp corners on the finished bracelet, so now use your jeweler’s saw or tin snips to cut a smooth, rounded corner on each of the four corners of your bracelet:

Cut rounded corners

Use a small piece of your #0000 steel wool to “sand” and smooth every edge and corner of your bracelet.

When you’re done, each edge should feel smooth and rounded, with nothing to snag or cut your skin:

Smooth the metal edges with steel wool

Now wrap your bracelet around your mandrel (or whatever you’re using to shape your bracelet).

When your metal is wrapped tightly around the mandrel, there should be a small gap between the two ends (so you’ll be able to put the finished bracelet on your wrist):

Forming the copper bracelet

Holding your bracelet metal tightly around the mandrel, use your hammer to bang the metal all over, to work-harden it into a nice C-shape:

Hammering the copper bracelet on the mandrel

Be sure to hammer both ends into a nice curve too:

Hammer the ends of the copper bracelet

When you’ve finished hammering your metal into a nice sturdy bracelet, it should look like this:

Copper cuff bracelet

. . . and this:

Handmade copper cuff bracelet

Now let’s go on to Part 2 – Easy Patina Finishes for Copper and Brass, where we’ll give our new cuff bracelet a cool, rustic look that’s something like this:

Rustic Cuff Bracelets by Rena Klingenberg

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