Hey, folks! I’m taking a break from writing-related posts in order to have my friend, Ellana back on the blog today to show you guys how to make some awesome looking steampunk jewelry. I hope you all enjoy her tips, and feel free to check out her other tutorials at Bright’s Wanderings!
Today I have the joy of hopefully helping you achieve your secret dream of making steampunk jewelry!
*Tip: Some of these things can be bought cheaper in bulk. Or keep your eye out for sales/coupons that float your way. Often I’ve found cheaper options just by spending some time branching out through the entire store; not just the jewelry section. (There is a Hobby Lobby app you can download that gives you a “40% off on one item” coupon.)
-Gears (Tim Holtz “idea-ology” – found in the scrapbooking section of Hobby Lobby – Tim Holtz is a more expensive brand, but it’s very good quality and would be a better long term investment. If you’re not picky there are cheaper brands I saw at Hobby Lobby but they’re flimsier metal.)
-Jump rings, preferably a variety of sizes (Blue Moon’s is the cheapest I’ve found – I found mine at Jo-Ann’s)
-Chain (antique bronze/silver – try not to get tiny links though most any size/color is acceptable for this project, if you can fit a jump ring through the links then that’s a good size – you can find chain at any craft store in the jewelry section)
-Fishhook earrings (found in any jewelry section)
-a pair of flat nosed pliers (They don’t have to be jewelry pliers. For a long time I survived using my dad’s massive, broken, pliers that dented all of the metal I worked with, but they worked.)
Step One: Arrange the gears in a pattern you like. Feel free to play around with different looks and combinations!
Step Two: Attach the antique bronze chain to the fishhook earrings. You can use the pliers to open and close the links.
Option 1: Dangly Chains! This is something I thought would be fun. Here you could stop and have a lovely pair of earrings. You could even continue to add more chain strands of varying length.
Step Three: Link gears together. If you have a variety of jump ring sizes use the medium/large rings to link the gears together.
Option 1/Option 2: Steampunk links. These are pretty cool, and at this point, quick and easy to make.
Step Four: Tightening the gears. This is where it gets tricky. You have to use the pliers to tighten the gears (bend each ring so that where the ends meet isn’t even but instead “staggered” – then squeeze the ring). This part takes some patience and a bit of practice to get the technique down. But the result is worth it. You want the rings to be as tight as you can so that there’s minimal wiggling.
It can take time to get the ring wrapped around 2 spokes or 2 edges.
Step Five: Attach Gears to Earring + Chain. Ahh back to something far less stressful. Take another jump ring and use it to connect the gears to the fishhook earring.
I decided to loop the dangling antique chain to connect with the gear to get a “swoopy” look.
And voila! Finished!
If the tightening of the gears part didn’t completely alienate you from pliers and jump rings for all eternity, you can use the same method to create steampunk pendants and bracelets.
To view a few more ideas of what you can do with the “ring binding” technique, click here.
Here’s a link to my Pinterest board for jewelry- http://www.pinterest.com/ellana37/wires-and-gears/
I wish you the best of luck with your steampunk endeavors, and I would love to see your results!
Which of the variation of the steampunk earrings do you like best? If all of them… You now have the start to your very own steampunk stash + a whole pack of fishhook earrings. 😉