Introduction: Falling Leaves Necklace

Picture of Falling Leaves Necklace

I love Fall, it's my favorite time of year. I wanted to do something fun and different to celebrate my love of the season, and since I have been playing with aluminum flashing, I thought it might but just the thing to make leaves with.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

I use pretty basic tools that you can easily find at the hardware store, and or craft store. We recently got a Lowe's and I was in hog heaven, like a kid in a candy store. Sorry, back to the project...
I use scraps of aluminum left over from other project.
paper chips
some chain from the craft store (just for variety, I had a very distinct look in mind)
my Drimal with etching and carving kit
18, & 22 gauge wire
a leave stamp and dye ink pad (scrap book supplies)
and an assortment of pliers and wire cutters
dust mask of other such item, protect your lungs.

Step 2: Making Your Leaf

Picture of Making Your Leaf

Stamp the design, then using your etching tool: start with the largest size first and do the outside outline, then going down a size I did the main lines inside the leaves. With the smallest size I added the detail. The first few that I did I didn't change the bit size and they looked nice, but when I changed the bit sizes it looked so much better.

Step 3: Getting Color

Picture of Getting Color

Ok so now for how you get your color...you add fire... Please use care, and do outside, it gives off a very unpleasant smell I'm sure isn't the best thing for you...Plus, fire is hot, and when you add it to metal it becomes hot too... it would be a good idea to have a small bowl of water near by just in case you may need it.
When I get the color I like I dip it in the water to cool it down. If you find you want more color in an area that was covered by your pliers, dry it off and fire away again.

After you get the color just the way you want it, you will then want to file the sides and corners down so there are no sharp edges...you want to look sharp, not feel the sharp...
You will need to place holes in your leaves...decide the way you want each leaf to hang. For this necklace I placed 2 holes in each leaf. I used a jewelry hole press, but a small metal hole punch will work for this too. (you can find these in the scrap book area, and stationary departments for stores such as Wal-Mart and Target.) The jewelry hole press I got at Hobby Lobby.

Step 4: The Swrils

Picture of The Swrils

For the swirls between the leaves I used gold paper clips...the main reason is it was the cheapest way to get gold looking wire. I didn't want to just spray paint my wired; I wasn't sure how that would wear, but figured the paper chips would keep their color better...so far so good.

The thicker paper clips are pretty difficult to manipulate, but they do hold their shape well once you get them the way you want them.
I used the thinner gold paper clips to make links, they work wonderfully for this.

To make the swirls, first I straighten the paper clips out this makes it much easier to twist around my wooden dowel. (which is actually the handle to a mallet. I use what I have on hand) After removing it from the dowel I pull it out at an angle and flatten the loops down. The pictures show how better than my words.

Step 5: Assembling

Picture of Assembling

Once you have all the pieces made, you assemble it as you would any other necklace... I tried it on and adjust it several times to get it to hang the way I wanted it. I also had to refile some parts of the leaves, after wearing it I could find parts that were a little sharper than I liked.

You can see in this picture that I used the color change of the leaves to transition from the gold paper chip swirls to the silver metal wire and then to my store bought silver colored chain. I also used more that one style of chain, but that was the look I was going for.
I hope this helps inspire you to take these ideas and crate something beautiful for yourself or someone you love.

Comments

mamasboi (author)2012-01-04

Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

lkitts (author)mamasboi2012-01-04

Thank you so much!

sammysaammmy (author)2011-10-31

This is GORGEOUS and so creative!! I have "etched" designs onto glass before, but I know nothing about etching metal. Do you have any specific website I could learn more about how to etch and cut the metal to make pendants like this? I wouldn't even know where to begin. Thank you so much!

lkitts (author)sammysaammmy2011-11-03

Thank you so much. I don't have a web site, but would love to do as much to help you as I can. When etching metal...it is basically anything that scratchs it. Well that's the way I do it. I 've just been experimenting and playing around with it cause I've always wanted to do it, getting to Drimal and etching kit made to so easy. The aluminum flashing is easy to work with to learn on. If I can be for more help just let me know.
I use the Drimal much the same way I use a pencil. It's heavier and a little more awkward but with a little pratice it was much the same.

waterbaby (author)2011-10-21

This is lovely, and I had no idea that aluminum flashing changes color when heated the way copper does! A great way to start playing with Dremel etching, too, something that's long been on my to do list. What do you use to file the edges and corners?

lkitts (author)waterbaby2011-10-21

Great question, thanks for asking. I have a small set of metal files. I asked my husband where he got them, and they came from Harbor Freight. The set I have, has some different shapes, you may want to play with them some; because it does make a difference in the results and shaping.

waterbaby (author)lkitts2011-10-21

Great, thanks for the info -- I always love having a reason to actually justify getting more tools!

sandgurl (author)2011-10-21

Beautiful!!!

lkitts (author)2011-10-20

Thank you all so very much...It really means a lot to me that you all like it!!!

scoochmaroo (author)2011-10-20

Oh my gosh, this is so lovely. I want!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2011-10-20

This is really neat. When I first clicked on this, I didn't realize you were going to make the leaves too! I love how it came out.

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Bio: I am a born artist, I have to create. Even while watching TV at night with the family, I have something in my hands that ... More »
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