Using found objects in jewelry


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I said my mind was a churnin’, and this is what I came up with. This bracelet is made out of these two items from my last post, and some of the leather that I picked up last time I went to the fabric district (more on that later).

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I experimented with different bracelet shapes and different combinations of the objects. I decided on the long, silver metal piece to give the bracelet more structure, and liked the circular piece as the focal point. Once I had a plan, I made a paper pattern.  When I was making the pattern, it helped me to draw half of what I wanted it to look like, then fold it in half and trace it to make it symmetrical.

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The bracelet is the length around my wrist, + 1 inch (about 7 inches). I made it fit snugly because the leather will eventually stretch out. I used the pattern to cut out a piece of leather. I also used a mallet to hammer the long piece of metal flat, and then bent it into a curve with my hands. I held the pieces together with tape while I stitched the objects to the leather, using a thick, sharp needle and some waxed upholstery thread. Finally, I added a snap and covered the stitching with another piece of leather.

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The key in using found objects in jewelry is in the planning. The time I spent experimenting with different ideas and coming up with the pattern was longer than the actual time I spent making the bracelet. Let your ideas flow, don’t focus too much on the perfect finished piece until you have a starting idea you like. Then come up with the series of steps you are going to work through to get from raw materials to the finished product. The process of construction will be faster, smoother, and less frustrating if you have a solid plan to work from. I find I am less likely to stop a project mid-way if I am working from a solid plan. This goes for sewing projects and most DIYs too.

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Good luck!

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