Introduction: Soldered Paper Clip Bracelet

This Instructable will guide you through the process of making a (fairly good-looking) bracelet, out of simple paper clips.

Step 1: Background

Since I had some left over paper clips from making my girlfriend some duct roses( which i gave to her when i asked her out), and i also had to top the valentines day card i made her; I decided I should use my paper clips to make her something that i could give her when i asked her to go to my senior prom with me.

Step 2: Materials, Tools and Skills

Materials needed:
Paper clips
Solder

Tools needed:
Pliers (with somewhat rounded ends)
Soldering Iron
Wire Cutters
File

Skills needed:
Soldering Skills

Other things you will probably need:
Work space
Someone special to give it to

Step 3: Shaping Links (Part 1)

Making the smaller links

-Straighten out the paper clip (it doesn't have to be prefect, it just helps with the shaping)

-Grip the very end of the paper clip with the pliers

-Using the rest of the paper clip for leverage, bend the paper clip around the end of the pliers as tight as you can (make sure there is a little gap between the end and the part you bent over)

-Using the wire cutters, cut off the excess paper clip metal

Step 4: Shaping Links (Part 2)

Making the bigger shapes:
For the bracelet I made, I chose to make the bigger links into hearts; but you can make them into any shape you want. ( the only limit is your paper clip bending skills)

You start the same way as you did with the small links.

-Straighten out the paper clip (it doesn't have to be perfect, it just helps with the shaping)

-Grip the very end of the paper clip with the pliers

-Using the rest of the paper clip for leverage, bend the paper clip around the end of the pliers(this part is more freeform)

-When you have a 180 degree curve to your liking, Reposition the pliers farther down the paper clip (this is where the bottom of the heart will be made)

-Using the rest of the paper clip for leverage, bend the paper clip around the end of the pliers; until you have an angle to your liking

-Reposition the pliers farther down the paper clip (this is where the other side of the heart will be made)

-Using the rest of the paper clip for leverage, bend the paper clip around the end of the pliers; until
you have a curve that matches the other side.

-Cut off the rest of the paper clip, at the point at which the two meet.

(i think it is easier if you skip to the soldering part of the next step right now, but you don't have too)

Step 5: Close the Links & Assembly

Connecting the Links
If this is your first links then you don't have to worry about connecting it to the old ones (since there are no old ones)

(I started with a big link but you can start with a small one too.) Making the chain is pretty basic, just put that last old link through the gap in the new link.

Bending the links closed

Bend the links closed, so the ends are touching

Soldering the links closed
I have always hated when links on bracelets or necklaces come undone so i decided to solder my links to keep them from coming undone.

I have found there are two ways of soldering the links closed:

1.(The proper way) Heat up the links with the tip of the soldering iron, and apply the solder to the links and not to the soldering iron. It should flow around the ends of the links.

2.(The improper way, but it still works and might be a little faster) Put the tip of the soldering iron as close as you can to the ends of the links and apply the solder to the very tip of the soldering iron and let it flow from the soldering iron to around the ends of the links.

Sometimes when you pull the soldering iron away, you get a little bit of solder that want to stay on the iron and form a point on the connection we just soldered. What i did to fix this problem is before the solder completely hardened, i pushed the point (that was formed) in with the solder wire that didn't melt. (if you time it right, the left over solder won't melt but just push on the solder that did melt)

If there is any sharp bits on the connection, you can use the file to smooth away the tips (note solder files pretty well ,but paper clips don't)

For the bracelet I made, I had 5 small links in between any of the big links. I ended up needing only about 4 to 5 big links, and about 20 small links.

Step 6: Sizing the Bracelet

For this part there is two ways of doing it:

1. Have your special someone near by, and keep checking the length to see if it will wrap around their wrist.

2.(This is the way i did it, since i wanted it to be a surprise) Find something that is about the same size as your special someone's wrist ( In my case, i was lucky because my girlfriend and I have about the same sized wrists) and keep checking the length to see if it will wrap around it.

When it wraps all the way around its time to move on. If it doesn't wrap around yet, you either have to make more links and/or attach more links

Step 7: Making the Connector

Making the Connector

-Straighten out the paper clip (it doesn't have to be perfect, it just helps with the shaping) (or use the left-over bits)

-Grip the very end of the paper clip with the pliers

-Using the rest of the paper clip for leverage, bend the paper clip around the end of the pliers as tight as you can; until it is parallel with the end in the pliers

-Reposition the pliers about 1 to 1 1/2 cm farther on the paper clip

-Using the rest of the paper clip for leverage, bend the paper clip around the end of the pliers as tight as you can; until it is parallel with the part in the pliers

-Cut off the excess paper clip, leaving a tiny gap between the two ends

Connecting the connector

-Bend the ends of the connector apart (so that the gap is big enough to fit that last links of the bracelet though it)

-Slip the last link (from one of the ends)though the gap and into the connector

-Warp bracelet around your special someone's wrist

-Slip the last link (from the other end)though the gap into the connector

-Bend the ends of the connector closed

Step 8: Give It Away

The best part of making something for someone is giving it to them.

Comments

author
ladybgood made it! (author)2013-03-05

yea i'd love to actually see what it looked like

author
awesomemom made it! (author)2010-01-31

solder has lead

author
Timothy.Mehlhorn made it! (author)Timothy.Mehlhorn2010-01-31

 O well, Don't chew on it

author
cntlkbckwrds made it! (author)cntlkbckwrds2010-03-23

lead can be absorbed into the skin, long exposer to it, in any way, is bad

author
natospec made it! (author)natospec2011-06-16

use lead free solder then. and people have been playing with lead for thousands of years and there just starting to make a big deal about it now. a little exposure never hurt anyone. now breathing in the dust from lead paint being chipped of a wall, that is bad.

author
threadbare made it! (author)2010-01-23

This seems like a good idea. Is there anyway you can take clearer photos?

author
Timothy.Mehlhorn made it! (author)Timothy.Mehlhorn2010-01-23

 I'm sorry about the quality, it was on a camera phone. I can't take any more pictures becuase I gave it to my gf at the time and now we are broken up.

author
threadbare made it! (author)threadbare2010-01-23

Double bummer, gave it away and broke up.

About This Instructable

7,999views

11favorites

License:

More by Timothy.Mehlhorn:Soldered paper clip bracelet
Add instructable to: