Introduction: Hardware Store Steel and Copper Bracelet

Picture of Hardware Store Steel and Copper Bracelet


Steel tie wire

Romex copper wire

Step 1: Get Wire

Picture of Get Wire

Cut a piece of tie wire 25" long, and one piece of copper romex wire 25" long, both available at the hardware store. You will need to use wire strippers and/or a knife (careful) to strip off the insulation. Or you can just use the already bare ground wire.

Step 2: Twist!

Picture of Twist!

Fold the wires in half over the hammer, clamp it in the chuck of a hand drill, and twist it while standing on the hammer. Go slow, you will want a drill with a chuck key so you can clamp down tight enough. Cut the looped ends of the wires and pull it off the hammer.

Step 3: Hammer Time

Picture of Hammer Time

Hammer the twisted wire flat on a hard surface. Be sure to look at it sideways from time to time to make sure you have created a uniform thickness.

Step 4: Cut and File

Picture of Cut and File

Cut the bracelet to length and file the ends so they will not snag.

Step 5: Bend

Picture of Bend

Using a combination of pliers with cardboard or rubber, a hard round object, and your bare hands, bend the bracelet to a comfortable shape. Be contientious of the ends of the bracelet so they stay together. You can touch up the ends with a little sandpaper after you are finished bending.

Step 6: Wear!

Picture of Wear!

Nice! Keep in mind that steel will rust if it gets wet or salty. I protect mine by rubbing olive oil into it every so often, and if you take good care of it, over time the steel will age to a darker blue and the copper will glow a deep orange, something you can really be proud of :)

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psinnema made it! (author)2016-01-12

Turned out really nice! thanx for your guide ;)

asalam556 made it! (author)2015-02-11

thank you!

DIYdavis (author)asalam5562015-02-11


Corinbw made it! (author)2015-01-30

Great instructable I loved every bit of it so I just had to make it

DIYdavis (author)Corinbw2015-02-09

I like that one!

Badger4700 made it! (author)2014-12-31

Fun project:)

rock321 (author)2014-12-19

I don't have a hand drill, and I'm sure I could use needlenose pliers for this, but would a powerdrill set very slowly work?

MarcVanJ made it! (author)2014-10-28

awesome build, you have inspired me to start making these aswell. i tried my first one tonight. the result is ok but i dont have the right gauge wire. i also did a wet polish and all the black of the polish got in between the bracelet. How did you get such a distinct clean look?

DIYdavis (author)MarcVanJ2014-10-28

you can wipe off the black crap on the tie wire first. not sure what it is.

CraftD (author)DIYdavis2014-12-19

What do you use to remove the black stuff?

pointedspider (author)2014-10-26

Nice looking but copper and steel dislike each other. This will leave green copper corrosion on you. The steel will eat the copper unless it is coated with something.

mdeblasi1 (author)pointedspider2014-10-27

You could use Nickle wire I suppose,
some people are allergic to it, but it plays nicely with copper. Better still, they can both be annealed with a propane torch, making the twisting easier.

CraftD (author)mdeblasi12014-12-19

I believe nickel causes copper to oxidize faster.

suziechuzie made it! (author)2014-12-15

I love this project and the way you presented it. I banged out a "test" bracelet this weekend with wire I found in my house. It's not a keeper, but a decent first draft. I used thinner wire since I have Really small wrists and wanted it to be a bit smaller, but had some problems with breakage. I was using some jewelry wire I found at an estate sale and don't really know what it was made of. Very excited to try again, though. Thanks for the 'ible.

silvertank made it! (author)2014-12-12

Awesome instructable! You inspired me to make my own. I didn't know different twists would make so many patterns. Great job on describing all the steps.

DIYdavis (author)silvertank2014-12-12

oh awesome! my favorite so far

Eilermoon (author)2014-12-04

Is there a reason for the Romex copper wire? Whats the difference between that and regular copper wire? I have some leftove copper that I'd love to use. Thanks!

DIYdavis (author)Eilermoon2014-12-05

No difference :)

TDWay (author)2014-11-27

If you will Clean the oiles from the steel wire first. Then trist it and hammer it out as you described, and using a Propane torch, flux and silver Solder braze the ends togather you can then shape and smooth ends with no problem of it separating or snagging cloths in the future.

esenter (author)2014-11-20

Fun. Getting an even turn is difficult though.

giokoll made it! (author)2014-11-11

Nice and inspiring!!

DIYdavis (author)giokoll2014-11-14


keenanm16 (author)2014-10-26

It didn't come out as good as yours and I used some different wire tried to come up with a different style but if I do it again I know what to do.

dhague (author)keenanm162014-10-30

That is a great first effort.....keep going ;)

DIYdavis (author)keenanm162014-10-26

I like it! the first one I made was real rough, but it had this primitive feel to it. Keep on!

brynalan1 (author)2014-10-28

Went to Home Depot, but forgot to find out what gauge wire to use. Is it 14 gauge on the Romex copper wire ? And is the steel wire a standard gauge ?

Cheers, thanks

DIYdavis (author)brynalan12014-10-29

It doesn't say on the package but the copper is bigger

smalcolm (author)2014-10-28

Use Walnut oil instead of olive oil.

Walnut oil will not go rancid.

Azayles (author)2014-10-27

So absurdly easy, and such amazing results! I absolutely must try this!

Great instructable. Short and to the point. Beautiful end product. I will definitely try this one. Maybe experiment with some different metals also. Thank you!

LeslieGeee (author)2014-10-26

Davis, beautiful work thank you for sharing. A suggestion about the rusting, there is a product called Renaissance Wax. It is used in museums and other applications. A little goes a long way and keeps the steel from rusting. It is better than any oil or combination of oils for protecting metals that rust. Below is a Google link for your convenience :)

renaissance wax - Google Search

DIYdavis (author)LeslieGeee2014-10-26

Thanks! do you know if it is safe for prolonged skin contact?

LeslieGeee (author)DIYdavis2014-10-26

Hi Davis, yes it is I use it when I make jewelry with rebar tie wire and when I use copper wire. It helps to also retard the oxidation process.
Good Luck :)

DIYdavis (author)LeslieGeee2014-10-26

awesome thank you

Shaunashangrila (author)2014-10-26

You can paint the inside with clear nail polish to avoid turning you skin green. Good job; looks great!

DIYdavis (author)Shaunashangrila2014-10-26


ldenicola (author)2014-10-26

Love the look of this piece! On the allegation of therapeutic value, I checked my Net about it:

To wit:

"Copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps have no real effect on pain and swelling in rheumatoid arthritis, a new study finds. They also seem to have no effect in preventing the disease from getting worse."

Shaunashangrila (author)2014-10-26

Clear nail polish

BernardM (author)2014-10-26

Do not forget that a bracelet made of copper help against pains in articulations !! Well known medecine for many years !! Check your Net about it !!

jdumler (author)2014-10-26

What gauge wire did you use?

beadinggem (author)2014-10-26

Lovely design! Will share on my blog. I would use stainless steel - you can get the slightly softer stuff which is sold in jewelry supply stores. Same with copper wire.

NitroRustlerDriver (author)2014-10-26

One suggestion, olive oil can go rancid and smell. Use mineral oil made for wood cutting boards. It won't spoil and will provide the same protection. It's even safe to eat, so no worries about skin contact.

rippa700 (author)2014-10-26

I have tried and failed in different ways, so thanks for this - out to try it soon. Well done!

Pat_Maroney (author)2014-10-24

Very gorgeous, I'm going to try this for sure. About the rust dilemma; you could use liquid blueing found at gun stores, but does anyone know what it would do to the copper???

DIYdavis (author)Pat_Maroney2014-10-24

hmm... intereting. I wonder if the chemical is safe for prolonged skin contact.

Bowtie41 (author)DIYdavis2014-10-26

I'm no medical expert,but as a machinist,I used the liquid black for years,I had no ill affects.It is actually a form of iron oxide,a "controlled rust" if you will.Lots of products use it and have long term exposure on the skin(flashlights,key fobs,snaps,buckles,etc)Once dry it should not transfer at all.I would recommend rubber gloves only for the fact it can leave a slight black staing on the skin(while applying it,not when dry) and can leave a "metallic" smell to your hands until cleaned off.You could also use clear nail polish of clear polyurethane from a rattle can.

DIYdavis (author)Bowtie412014-10-26

oh cool! good to know I think I'll try that

Bowtie41 (author)Pat_Maroney2014-10-26

In my experience,it may have a tendancy to slightly tint copper(depends on the impurites in the copper),but most wire is pretty pure,so any stain/tint rinses off when cleaning after the treatment

jproffer (author)2014-10-24

I have one of these. The copper kind of sucks though - it stains your skin green with use.

masterpython (author)jproffer2014-10-26

Varnishing the inside will fix that.

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