Picture of Paintbrush and Palette Pendant
I made this pendant for an artist friend of mine. I chose the colors of the palette based on a painting she did. I placed them in the same order ,from top to bottom, as I saw them in her painting. Hope she likes it.

I used steel, brass and, polymer clay.
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Step 1: Mount a nail in a drill press

Picture of Mount a nail in a drill press
Spin a nail in a drill press. Use a file to make the profile of a paint brush. Once you have the shape you want hammer it flat. Continue the refine the shape with a file. Just like my steel butterfly pendant.

For the collar of the brush, cut a small piece of brass and wrap it around just above the bristles. Solder it in place. Solder brass wire above and below the collar to make it look more believable.

Step 2: Trace and cut

Picture of Trace and cut
When I was a kid, one Christmas, I got a paint palette calculator. I’ve longed since lost the calculator but I got a little laugh when I found the image online. I cut and paste it into Microsoft paint and reduced it to 45% it’s original size. I then used a pen, pressing hard, to cut out the silhouette of the palette.

I cut the shape out on my scroll saw and refined the shape with a file. For the inner hole I drilled a hole and used a file to shape it. I’m using 22 gage sheet metal from the Home Improvement store.

Step 3: Drill and mark, mark and drill

Picture of Drill and mark, mark and drill
Drill a hole at the top of the pendant and paint brush. Suspend the pendant as if it were on a chain to see how it hangs. Use a pencil to mark out the brush. Once you have that marked you can mark out where you’ll place the colors.

Use a center punch to mark the palette and then drill out the holes.
petalee2 years ago
What's/is there an alternative tool you can use to press the nail flat?
Mrballeng (author)  petalee2 years ago
The nail was hammered flat with just a common hammer. The only other tool you could probably use is a rolling mill but I think a hammer would be best even if you have access to one.
Took a while to get pictures, but I made these as a gift a month ago.
The pallet is aluminium rather than steel, so it polished a bit odd and scratches easily.
Mrballeng (author)  eggplanthunter3 years ago
This is great! Who ever gets your earrings will be thrilled to have them. My hat off to you for pulling it off.  
'structables won't let me upload pictures

CrLz3 years ago
Nawaz3 years ago
Will make this one for an artist when I find that clay.. :P hope she'll like it
kfavreau13 years ago
Hi, I've been looking at your pieces and can you tell me what kind of torch you use?
Mrballeng (author)  kfavreau13 years ago
I bought this propane torch at walmart in the plumbing section for $15 dollars.
MicioGatta3 years ago
I agree with what you say: "There's plenty of ugly duckling materials waiting to become swans, so get your hammer, light your torch, and get to making smiles.".... But I also think that you have to be very skilled to do something beautiful and complicated like this one. I think this is a bit too difficult, but the pendant is wonderful and the tutorial well done. :)
ShoutOUT3 years ago
You should sell this, seriously.
tinker2343 years ago
hey 2 paint brushes would make good earings
They'd be the perfect addition to this, good idea!
my sister wants some earings so i thought of this project have to get a drill press
You don't need a drill press to do this, it just helps. A standard cordless / corded drill clamped securely or even a dremel could work... I probably wouldn't try the dremel method at first though, the power in one of those isn't very high and you'd have a fair time trying to do this I should think.
ok thanks
tokichu213 years ago
This is simply beautiful! If you were selling this, I'd definitely purchase this as a necklace. Unfortunately, I don't have the proper equipment to make this myself =( Great and simply tutorial!
facklere3 years ago
Wow. I saw the picture and thought, "Oh my god, that looks really hard," but your directions were really easy to read and your pictures are excellent. I might try making this.
I enjoyed the process of making the pain pallet. Very nice piece.
sunshiine3 years ago
This is absolutely beautiful! I would chrish one of these even though I am not an artist. I am of a different breed. Have talent but not in that department. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. I will be looking for more of your wonderful works of art.
Mrballeng (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
Do tell. What's your talent?
I create. Sew, cook, quilt, and garden. I keep busy because I can't sit still. I actually enjoy cleaning. Anyway I saw this and had to comment because it was so unique. I may even try to make one. What I meant by I am not an artist is I can't draw or oil paint. My entire family are artist in that way but I missed that department by a long shot. I have talent in other areas that stand out.
Georgeous! I rarely work with metal anymore, however, you've given me inspiration! A lovely piece, and very thoughtful of you! (way beats a box of chocolates anyday!!!) Thanks for the awesome instructable!
Mrballeng (author)  bonecholampworks3 years ago
TheGeek19843 years ago
Quick question, re: step 4, picture 2 - does that piece of metal stay there forever, or do you remove it before it bakes?
Mrballeng (author)  TheGeek19843 years ago
It stays there. Otherwise I think the clay would fall out.
trophywife3 years ago
this is beautiful!!!
Mr.Sanchez3 years ago
As soon I get my Dremel Lithium-Ion cordless Stylus, I´ll Try this awesome project.
SOOOOOOO beautiful!!
foobear3 years ago
mslaynie3 years ago
I thought I was the only one to use a pen as a way of roughly cutting things out!
This is so beautiful! I love it so much, and the colors are perfect of course :)
tinker2343 years ago
dang it today my siter birthday and i found this i did not make her anything or buy soething ohwell chirstmas presen it is
ehudwill3 years ago
Bravo! My oldest daughter would love this.
poofrabbit3 years ago
As always plain AWESOME! I'm around some of these tools this summer, I might give this a try, In a week I'm doing your butterfly bracelet, I'm so excited! (still keeping my eye out for the right year pennies!)
Chirpoff3 years ago
That's so cool! I'm also an artist, and this was really cool to see as I was 'ibling around! I'm sure your friend loved it! Maybe I might figure out how to make one for myself...someday...:)