This is my first go at any kind of jewelry. It will end up being a wedding gift for my fiancé. It has been a fun project to see come together.
Step 1: Preparing Bullets
You may start with a bullet that is meant to be loaded or you can remove one from a live round. I removed mine from a live Russian 7.62x54R round from my Mosin Nagant. You can use what ever round you desire. The best and safest way to remove a bullet from the brass is by far a bullet puller. I tend to do things the hard way so I used a copper tube cutter. I do not recommend this do to the hazards working around live gun powered. Spend the money I didn't and buy a puller. Once I cut open the brass I punched the bullet out on a vise.
You can now take one of your spent rounds and first drill out the primer making sure the hole stays in the center. I used a 1/4" drill bit. Counter sink the hole to add a nice clean taper. Drill one more hole through the side near the primer to feed the chain through. The size will depend on how big your chain will be.
Step 2: Preparing Back End of Bullets
To add more to the necklace then just the bullet I wanted to use the back end of the brass to give more variety. For my project I needed 10 ends.(Only use rounds that the primer has been ignited. It is extremely unsafe to drill into a live primer. Thank you ralbert17) 4 for the necklace 4 for a matching pair of earrings and 2 for a matching pair of cufflinks for myself. You need to drill and counter sink the primer on all the ends before cutting the ends off. Use a copper pipe cutter to cut as close to the end as possible. Sand the cut end flat for glueing 8 of 10 ends into pairs and the remaining 2 onto cufflink blanks. I found some extra blanks at my work. I used gorilla 2 part epoxy to glue the ends together. You can solder the 2 ends together but i didn't want the ruff finish of the brass to change with the heat. Now drill a small hole in the seam of the the 2 ends after the epoxy has fully cured. I used a 1/16" bit. I could not find an eyelet that matched the finish of the ends and was the right size so I modified some jump rings to fit my needs. Use the same epoxy to glue the eyelets into the ends.
Step 3: Adding a Little Sparkle
I wanted some color added to this sea of brass. I found some glass gems pulled from a bracelet bought at my local craft store. They were just the right size to drop into the hole drilled into the primer. Use the same epoxy for this step. They will go into the main bullet, cufflinks, glued ends and earrings.
Step 4: Assemble the Necklace
I used a 30" brass/bronze chain. Start with feeding the main bullet onto the chain. Next I added some brass skulls using small brass jump rings to connect them to the chain. I then added the brass ends with glass gems using more jumps rings. To finish it off push the bullet you pulled at the beginning in the empty brass. I was lucky that my bullet "snapped" into place and stayed firmly in place. If you want you can glue it in place.
Step 5: Enjoy Your New Necklace
I hope my fiancé will love how I have designed and built this piece of jewelry for her. I plan on making a gift box to present it to her. I encourage you to add new and different items onto the chain to make it unique. I would love to see your creations.