One of our very talented customers recently sent us pictures of her beautiful jewelry designs. We were impressed and wanted to show you. Also, we want to show you how to make a DIY cuff bracelet yourself!
Our customer wrote:
“Here are a few pictures of the brushed brass cuff bracelets that I create. Of course, each one varies in size to fit the wrist of the customer.
It is made of 16g brass, at 1.5″ wide and usually between 6-7″ in Length. The opening for the wrist is 7/8″. I use a rawhide jeweler’s hammer to shape it into a circle around a bracelet mandrel.
Next, I machine sand all of the edges and corners. Then I touch up the top and bottom with a fine-gauge sand paper. This gives the final piece a brushed look.
Finally, I coat both top and bottom with a polyurethane. This helps delay tarnishing and keep the skin from reacting to the metal.”
The Cuff Bracelet, Timeless and Classic
As simple or complex as you want it to be, cuff bracelets are one of the oldest pieces of jewelry in human history. 7,000 year old metal cuffs have been found in Egypt! Cuff bracelets were also popular with the ancient Greeks, Romans, Indians, Byzantines, Chinese, Mayans, Incans, and Aztecs.
Inspired by classical Byzantine, Russian, and French art, cuff bracelets of the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s tended to be extremely ornate and complex. But with the advent of the Art Deco period, sleek, futuristic, and cleaner lines became popular.
Now in the 21st century, there’s basically a cuff bracelet for any fashion style imaginable. And you can get in on that yourself with these DIY cuff bracelet instructions!
DIY Cuff Bracelet
- Jeweler’s Hammer or some type of non-metal hammer
- A round forming object, such as a mandrel, a piece of tubing, or even a bat
- Shears if you need to cut the piece to size
- Brass or Copper sheet, between .035” and .05” thick. Typically 1”-2” wide, and 5.5”-7” long, depending on wrist size
- Texturing hammers
- Stamping Sets
- Precision Hand Drills
1- Measure Wrist and Determine Size
Once you have the measurement of your wrist, you know how large to make your bracelet. The length of the metal should be slightly larger than the measurement of your wrist.
Everybody has their own preference on how tight they want their cuff to be. A good rule of thumb is that .25” is a tighter fit, whereas 1” is pretty loose fit.
2- Cut Blank
If you have ordered a custom-cut size piece you can skip this step. If not, cut it to the size you want.
3- Round Edges
Take your file and remove any sharp corners, lips, or edges. You can also bevel the edges for a more finished look.
4- Add Details
Any etching, drilling, hammering, stamping, and tooling should be done now. If you hammer or stamp it too much the metal can “work harden.” If this happens, it may make the piece difficult to bend.
If this happens, you can carefully heat the metal to make it pliable again.
5- Bend it
Take your rounding tool. Use your hands and bend the blank around the forming tool. When you get near the end, take your hammer and hit the ends of the blank. Continue until it is formed into the shape you want.
6- Finishing Touches
Use fine sand paper for a polished look. Use Scotch-Brite pads or equivalent for a satin finish. Once finished, coat the piece in polyurethane or renaissance wax. This will keep fingerprints off, prevent tarnish, and prevent any reactions with skin.
If you looking to add wire, leather, string, etc, do so now.
Wear your new DIY cuff bracelet with pride!
We want to see your work!
We hope that this is helpful and inspirational. If you decide to go ahead and make one of these DIY cuff bracelets, please send us pictures of your handiwork! We always love to see the amazing things that our customers come up with.