I’ve decided to do a series of easy to make presents to give away this holiday season.
First up is a copper bookmark and this is a beginner project. No metalsmithing or metal arts experience needed. Best of all is that most of the supplies are available at your local chain Home Center or hardware store- or in your husband’s tool chest:
Hammer- any inexpensive household hammer will do
8 gauge solid copper wire- I found mine on large spools in the electrical section of Home Depot. They sell it by the feet. For a more expensive gift, you can purchase 8 gauge sterling silver wire from Thunderbird Supply.
Hard surface such as an steel bench block, anvil, or, in a pinch- concrete. If you want to buy yourself a bench block, I bought mine from Contenti Jewelry Supplies here.
Bastard File- 6 inch Hmmm… don’t ask me why it is called this, it is basically a flat file. I found mine in the tool section of Home Depot.
Sandpaper- I use a variety of sandpaper grits, pick one that is fine and very fine.
Wire cutter- to cut the wire into 8 inch pieces. You can also have the hardware store employee cut it as well. I borrow my husband’s :-)
Beading pliers, jump ring, beads, fiber, or other embellishment for decoration. You can get these from any craft or bead store.
Let’s Begin!! This project only took me about 10 minutes to make.
Step one: Using the wire cutter, cut the copper wire into approximately 8 inch pieces.
Step two: Take the hammer and pound the top 1/2 inch of the wire to a flatter shape that looks like this:
To get a flat even surface on both sides, you strike the first side with a few blows from the flat side of the hammer, then turn it over and strike the metal a few times, then repeat this process.
Step three: File both ends of the copper smooth, then create a hole for the jump ring in the top flattened section. The easiest way is to use an inexpensive metal hole punch tool like this and then sand/file any sharp edges smooth:
Step four: Now to bend the wire into the desired shape. I bent mine around a small diameter round shape that was around my house. I hold on with one hand, keeping the flat section parallel to the floor, and form the wire around like this:
Step 5: I do the same thing to create the wavy shape of the long wire side:
Step 6: Time to pound the metal wire flat on the long side using your hammer and hard surface to flatten the bookmark. Be sure to leave the candy cane top round, so follow the diagram to know where to begin striking with your hammer.
As before, you pound one side to flatten down the length, and then turn it over after a few blows in each area and strike along the back side of the bookmark you are flattening. I keep turning it over, back and forth, so that I flatten both sides evenly.
Step 7: Double check you do not have any rough places on your bookmark. if you do, then use the file and sandpaper to smooth.
Step 8: Almost finished, all you have to do is add your jump ring and beads or fiber like this:
And the finished project after adding your favorite bead, charms, recycled jewelry (old earrings, small pendants, etc) to complete this project:
I do hope you will take the time to try this project. You could easily make gifts for teachers, friends, neighbors for a very small price. Besides bookmarks, you can also make Christmas Tree ornaments.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, then be sure to check out my free tutorial page here. Happy Holidays to you!