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How to Make a Mixed Metal Bracelet: Easy Jewelry Tutorial

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

How to Pick Jewelry : Mixing Metal Jewelry

I am a huge fan of mixing metals. I frequently wear combinations of gold and silver. Typically I work with beads and buttons for my own jewelry making. However, I've been eying some hardware designs lately and decided that I need to step up my game and make a piece myself. I am so excited about the result and am happy to share it with others.

I give you the basic steps that you'll need to put together this project. The hardware that you choose and specific combinations that you put together are entirely of your choosing. If you have any questions about anything, don't hesitate to leave a comment. Happy creating!

I did not invent this concept and am simply sharing my insight about it. I welcome you to sell your mixed metal hardware creations if you desire to do that.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Supplies and Tools

  • One pair of needle nose jewelry pliers.
  • One jewelry clasp of your choosing.
  • Selection of open jump rings in different finishes, sizes ranging anywhere from 6-12mm. The number that you need will depend on your specific jewelry design. The larger the mix of sizes and finishes, the better.
  • Selection of genuine hardware, such as washers, in at least two different finishes. Again, the specific number will depend on your original design. I used 7 different designs in a variety of sizes and two different metal finishes.

How to open and close jump rings

Scout the local stores for neat hardware pieces.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Some people will benefit from using a bead board for this type of jewelry design.

I chose to freestyle this piece and designed it as I went without laying out a lot of pieces ahead of time. However, sometimes I choose to lay out my designs before I start the assembly work and know that others do, too. A bead board is a perfect tool for this process. If you don't have a bead board and aren't interested in purchasing one, a flat, padded surface, such as a piece of felt, will also work well.

easy-wire-coat-hanger-craft-projects-ideas
how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Grab your trusty needle nose pliers.

The only tool that you need to make this piece of jewelry is a pair of needle nose pliers. If you don't already own them, they are an inexpensive investment that will last through many different projects. They are available at any craft store.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Select your jump rings.

I used 4, 6, 9, and 12mm jump rings in silver, gold, and brass finishes for my mixed metal hardware bracelet. You can purchase all of the these jump rings at Michaels. I didn't have any black, copper, or brass hardware and liked having the brass jump rings to give my piece a third metal finish.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Select your clasp.

The most popular clasp options for bracelets are lobster and toggle. I have provided a few examples of common toggles in different finishes in the photo on the right. It's entirely up to you what type of clasp you'd like to use. Don't feel limited to lobster or toggle. There are lots of other options as well. If you will be giving the bracelet as a gift or enjoy having an adjustable piece, consider using a lobster clasp and a small length (1-2") of extender chain.

I bought these hardware packs from Home Depot. They were just under $1.00 each.

I bought these hardware packs from Home Depot. They were just under $1.00 each.

Gather your mixed metal hardware components.

If you're buying hardware, you can either opt for packs like I did, purchase individual components, or a combination of the two. Many people like to use random hardware that they already have at home and/or pieces that they have re-purposed, which is fine, too. I encourage you to use at least two different metal finishes.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Experiment with different hardware combinations.

It can be helpful to lay out different combinations of hardware before you break out the jump rings. See what sizes and finishes fit well together. Don't be afraid to scrap your design at any time. If you aren't happy with it, take the time to start over.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Starting putting together jump ring combinations.

As you can see in the photos of my finished piece, sometimes I layered two jump rings together with a piece of hardware or as a linking component. It is entirely up to you if you want to do this. I wanted to create a full piece with a lot of texture, but if you want a more minimalist look, you can opt for single rings instead.

how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Then put it all together.

You're ready to start assembling your piece. As I mentioned previously, you can wing it, assembling one hardware component at a time, or you can lay it out ahead of time. Whichever method you choose, I urge you to stop from time to time and evaluate your progress to make sure that you're happy with the piece as it progresses. It is easier to undo work in the middle of the project than to take a big chunk of it apart later. Make sure that you keep mixing up the metal finishes to create a varied look for your piece. My close up photos of my finished before will you give you a lot of inspiration and direction for putting your piece together. As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Final Considerations

  • Length. I sell a lot of bracelets and can confidently say that wrist size varies widely. If you'll be giving your piece as a gift, make sure that you get a length measurement. I chose to make a double stranded piece that I could wrap around twice. If you would like to make a double or triple length bracelet, make sure to adjust the length accordingly.
  • Converting this design into a necklace. This design converts easily into a beautiful necklace by simply making it longer.
  • Making matching earrings. It is also easy to make coordinating earrings for this piece. Check out some beautiful examples of mixed metal hardware earrings from Valerie of additionsstyle.
how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial
how-to-make-a-mixed-metal-bracelet-easy-jewelry-tutorial

Do you enjoy making metal jewelry? Check this out: How to Make A Pair Of Textured Metal Earrings

Great resources for purchasing mixed metal jewelry.

More Jewelry Making Tutorials

Comments

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 21, 2012:

Thanks, Zipper! That's awesome. Enjoy. :)

Pat from United States on December 21, 2012:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I intend to try this in the near future, I love bracelets and this would be a fun hobby.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 19, 2012:

Thanks so much, Cyndi! I certainly didn't invent this jewelry concept, but I had fun experimenting with it. I hear you on the hobbies. :)

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on December 19, 2012:

Awesome hub! You're really good at this - I can totally see why you do so much jewelry - you're genius! Beautiful design. Perhaps one day I'll try it out; I have so many hobbies and things I like to do that I wonder if I'll get a chance, but it is fun. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 19, 2012:

That's great, vibesites! Thanks for sharing.

vibesites from United States on December 19, 2012:

I will share this to someone who makes "jewelry" (for now with small beads) to her hobby. She will learn something new! Thanks for posting. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 01, 2012:

That's awesome, Cassy! Thanks. :)

CassyLu1981 from Spring Lake, NC on October 01, 2012:

LOVE this! My daughter is going to have a great time getting it all together and done! Thanks for the awesome idea! Voted up and shared!!!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 24, 2012:

Thanks, Tammy! This piece definitely has an industrial aesthetic.

That's great, Judi. :)

Judi Brown from UK on September 24, 2012:

I love the look of these - a few of my friends could be getting unique Christmas presents this year!

Tammy from North Carolina on September 24, 2012:

This is really interesting. This bracelet has the beautiful steampunk- industrial look that is so popular. Sharing!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 23, 2012:

Thanks so much, Glimmer Twin Fan!

Claudia Mitchell on September 23, 2012:

Wow - these are really beautiful and each one is unique. Voted up and pinned!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 22, 2012:

Thanks so much, Cyndi! I hope that I am able to inspire others to give it a try. Thanks for the votes and shares!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 22, 2012:

Beautiful! You are so talented with beading/jewelry making. I've never gotten into it that much, but you inspire! Perhaps I'll give it a try sometime. In the meantime, voted up/pinned/tweeted. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 22, 2012:

Terrye, you're right that this piece is so versatile. You can dress it up or down for so many different occasions.

watergeek, you'll have to pull them out sometime! Jewelry making is so relaxing.

Thanks so much, Carol! This is a good project for a beginner. It doesn't require too many tools or skill sets.

Marisa, that's awesome. :) Have fun with this project.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on September 22, 2012:

Yes! Love this! I am so going to raid my hubby's toolbox! haha I really do like this idea and I do have an interest in industrial type style - weekend wear. Great hub! voted up and pinned.

carol stanley from Arizona on September 22, 2012:

I have never attempted making jewelry of any kind. I am impressed with the outcome of your bracelets..They are amazing. Your photos are excellent as well as instructions Maybe I will get brave.

Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on September 21, 2012:

I have a bead board and a bunch of colored beads and sundries, but never take the time to make anything. :( These are attractive, randomcreative!

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on September 21, 2012:

I love the look of your mixed metals, random! It would go with just about any fashion. Voted up, more and sharing.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 21, 2012:

That's awesome. :) Have fun with this project.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on September 21, 2012:

I love the look of the mixed metals! Very eclectic! I like the one with the flower links - I love bracelets and will have to give this one a try!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 21, 2012:

Thanks, RTalloni!

RTalloni on September 21, 2012:

I enjoy mixed metal jewelry and found this look at making various kinds interesting. My friend is going to enjoy seeing this too. :)