Introduction: Teardrop Pendant

Picture of Teardrop Pendant

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

Step 1: Flatten a Nickel

Picture of Flatten a Nickel

Take a nickel and hammer it out. Make sure to hammer on a smooth surface with a smooth faced hammer. Other wise you'll end up with deep gouges that take alot of sanding to remove. The smoother the coin is in this stage the less you will have to sand in another.

Step 2: Cut the Shape Out

Picture of Cut the Shape Out

Use tin snips or metal shears to cut out the shape. It may be eaisier to hold the disc with a pair of pliers while you make the cuts.

Step 3: Convex the Shape

Picture of Convex the Shape

Find a piece of wood. Then find a convex shape. In this case I used the ball section from the spindle of a headboard. You could use a spoon or the head of a carriage bolt too.

Take the convex shape and place it on the piece of wood. Use a moderate blow with a hammer to indent the wood with the convex shape. I rubbed black crayon on the depression to show you guys how the wood took on the shape.

Once that is done, take your cut piece and place it between the wood and your convex tool. Use a moderate blow with a hammer. Keep at it until the metal becomes convex. It should only take a few blows.

Step 4: Shape

Picture of Shape

Using a rotary tool, shape the teardrop. !CAUTION! this gets hot! I used my drill press with a sanding attachment. 

Step 5: Form the Eyelet

Picture of Form the Eyelet

Take some vice grips and clamp a drill bit on the edge of the teardrop. Use light blows from a hammer to shape the loop.

Next, shape the eyelet into the teardrop.  

Step 6: Soften the Edges

Picture of Soften the Edges

Sand or file the edges down. This helps the teardrop look more like a droplet and less like a hammered nickel. 

I used a sanding disc on my drill press but you could use a file, sand paper, or rotary tool.  

Step 7: Polish

Picture of Polish

Starting with 500 grit sand paper start smoothing out the teardrop. I found it eaisier to place the sand paper on a piece of carpet and rub the teardrop on it.

Move to 2000 grit sand paper to further smooth it out.

Finish with a polishing wheel and polishing compound.

Step 8: Gift It

Picture of Gift It

Happy Valentine's Day, Birthday, Mother's day or just because.


pyrophyro made it! (author)2016-06-25

Still one of my favorite things to make on a bored afternoon when someone has a gifting occasion coming up. I've made a dozen. So awesome.

WhittVT (author)2011-11-15

I want to Engrave a treble clef into the front, does any body have a suggestion on how to go about it? I have a Dremal and a bench grinder. I 'm looking for techniques here

vm11238 (author)WhittVT2014-07-27

If anyone wants to add a design to the front you might be better off etching it on before you start the polishing process.An easy way to do this is using peroxide and vinegar(equal parts) and salt (Lots of salt. Rock salt is great ,but table salt will work) Heat it up ,keep it warm on something like a hot plate. to get the design etched out (NOT RAISED) color the whole teardrop back and front using a sharpie ,or nail polish making sure you get the edges too. The scratch a CLEF design where you want it ( for example c/o WHittVT) using something pointy like a nail or strong pin etc. (or whatever design you want). Place the teardrop glass jar with your liquid mixture. Use tongs or connect a string to it beforehand to pull it out . keep checking till it is deeply etched as you would like it. Rinse it well with water. then follow the rest of the 'ible as far as polishing it. PS the liquid can be used room temp but seems to work faster when warmed up. Dispose of the liquid in toilet and flush repeatedly a few times. good luck! great ible!!

Mrballeng (author)WhittVT2011-11-16

This takes practice but it's do-able. Print out the right size treble clef onto computer paper. Cut it out and super glue the image onto the pendant. Use a diamond burr bit to gently remove the treble clef image until you've engraved it. Remove the glued on paper with light sand paper and continue to clean up the image with the burr. Good luck! Don't forget to post a picture.

natis413 (author)2014-03-02

you must really hate nickels I count at least five ibles that use nickels lol anyway my fiancé loves this one but I'm gonna use pennies

tomsmac (author)2013-07-13

could you imprint a design like on the basketball cufflinks......except a little more fancier?

poorjohnn (author)2013-07-12

Nice! going to find time to make one or two.

sboodaghians (author)2013-02-02

Where did you hammer out the nickel? Like, what kind of environment. I tried doing it in a basement with a penny, and I only managed to get it slightly flatter and slightly larger before I couldn't take the ringing in my ears and was afraid to chip a hole in the concrete floor.

Mrballeng (author)sboodaghians2013-02-02

In order to flatten a coin you have to hammer it between two surfaces that are harder then the coin itself. The hammer is one surface. I use an old sledge hammer head for the other hard surface. Conrete will just absorb the impacts from the hammer blows. Don't forget to wear ear and eye protection.

osk_rin (author)2012-11-02

thank you very much for the tutorial.
Here I show my earring drop, I hope you like it
Best regards from mexico. thanks

JCoffey (author)2011-02-17

Thanks SO MUCH for this instructable! While mine didnt come out quite as perfect as yours did, for my forst attempt it turned out pretty good! Hopefully my friend will like it when she gets it!

JCoffey (author)JCoffey2011-02-17

My attempt

JCoffey (author)JCoffey2012-10-03

Here is a picture of my friend wearing it

JCoffey (author)JCoffey2012-10-03

Might help if I actually uploaded it

Mrballeng (author)JCoffey2011-02-18

Awesome! Thanks for posting a picture. And thanks for the heads up. You should check out what this guy is doing.

JCoffey (author)Mrballeng2011-02-18

WOW, that is amazing!

phoenixflight (author)2012-09-29

how long would it take to make this

Mrballeng (author)phoenixflight2012-09-30

About an hour.

phoenixflight (author)Mrballeng2012-09-30

what year coin should i use

phoenixflight (author)2012-09-29

dose any one know what year and kind of coin to use

Pumpkin$ (author)2012-08-01

When you have a hammer.. you make excellent jewelry with it (Your subconscious quote!)

TheBoxInside (author)2011-12-11

Can you expand on step 5? How do you shape the loop using those tools? Thanks in advance

Mrballeng (author)TheBoxInside2011-12-13

When the trail end of the tear drop is clamped in, you can bend it around the drill bit to form that loop. When I did it I used a small hammer and tapped it around.

hechao (author)2011-09-04

Check the piece I made, I feel difficult to polish it.... 

Mrballeng (author)hechao2011-09-04

Looking good. Were you able to find the fine sand paper?

hechao (author)Mrballeng2011-09-05

I have 1500 grit sand paper, but using it to polish by hand is very low efficiency, I did half an hour.

Mrballeng (author)hechao2011-09-05

It's important you move up in progreesion with the grits of sand paper. If the 1500 is taking too long then go back down to 1000 grit or even 400.

howl225 (author)2011-02-08

How flat should the nickel be??

Mrballeng (author)howl2252011-02-08

Hammer the coin until it's about 1" in diameter. I guess about 5 pieces of paper thick.

zen of zappa (author)Mrballeng2011-06-04

not even close. what kind of hammer did you use? rawhide? jeweler's? it is taking longer than expected to flatten it...

Mrballeng (author)zen of zappa2011-06-04

Check this out. It show my hammers a little better.

It's just a couple of ball peen hammers. One is homemade but there's nothing special about it.  Good luck.

zen of zappa (author)Mrballeng2011-06-04

what do you mean homemade?

mdog93 (author)2011-04-22

I had a go at this myself- not 100% happy but still good for my first go I think. And i didn't stick to the lines I drew perfectly so it's not symetrical. I Drew the design freehand anyway so it would never have been great cause i didn't draw it symetrically in the first place. Take a look if you like :p

Bass Teardrop Pendant

DidymusB (author)2011-04-19

What kind of wood would you use? I've got some redwood lying around, but it doesn't seem to want give for any moderate blow that i give it.

Mrballeng (author)DidymusB2011-04-19

I used a piece of pine. But any soft wood should do. You may want to try hammering the carriage bolt on the wood first to make the indentation and then place the piece of metal over that for hammering.

wcgems (author)2011-03-02

I have been making RINGS from coins for a while. Never thought about this or some of the other ideas such as the locket. Gonna definitely give those a try.

Nesbitt11 (author)2011-02-24

Wow! that's amazing. although, just so you know, it's illegal to destroy money... coins, notes whatever. :)

wcgems (author)Nesbitt112011-03-02

No.... It is NOT illegal to deface coins BUT they can no longer be used anywhere for currency or you would be breaking the law. It is perfectly legal to drill a small hole in a nickel, paint a quarter, or bend a penny if you want. But you cannot use it to help buy that new video game or drop it in a Coinstar machine! Coins that have been defaced are only good for keepsakes or can only be sold as novelty items.
So you got a two-headed quarter from the gas station, every person that keeps using that quarter as currency would be breaking the law since it was not minted like that and somebody defaced it to be a novelty item.

According to U.S. code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331:

Charlie13 (author)2011-02-23

done everything except I can't seem to get the beautiful polish you have in these pictures. any tips on sanding?

Mrballeng (author)Charlie132011-02-24

If I still see scratches after using polishing compound I go back to 2000 grit sand paper. All the stuff I use is in the auto section at walmart.

Charlie13 (author)Mrballeng2011-02-24

Thanks very much

DidymusB (author)2011-02-22

So if i don't have a convenient sledge around, what would you suggest using for an anvil? I'm trying the cement floor of my garage, but if you have a better suggestion it would be great. Thanks!

S.Leung (author)2011-02-19

Here is one that I made yesterday. After cutting out the shape and filing it, I didn't really have enough material left over on the top to fold over so I just superglued a bent bit of paperclip to pass the string through. If it falls off later I'll have to solder it, but I don't use lead-free for electronics and didn't really want to buy any at the time. Thanks for the great instructable!

Mrballeng (author)S.Leung2011-02-20

Looks great!! Thanks for posting your pictures and also for the comment.

howl225 (author)2011-02-13

Can you make one for me? I'll pay.

Mrballeng (author)howl2252011-02-15

A few people have asked about buying stuff but, I wouldn't even know where to start transactions like that.

I hear there's a site called "etsy" where people sell stuff they make. I'll check it out and let you know if I get it going.

JCoffey (author)Mrballeng2011-02-17

You would have to be careful if you start selling them. I believe you can do whatever to a coin, unless you do it for payment. I'm not sure what the exact laws are, but I'd check before you sell them.......

swede7son (author)2011-02-12

Thank you Mr. B for sharing your techniques, knowledge and creativity! The piece is very attractive and inspired me to spend a couple hours in the shop making one for my wife for valentines day. It tuned out nice so I had to give it to her right away. She loves it. I've never commented on an 'ible before but now that I see you can add an image too I'll do it if you want to see my finished product. I also checked out your ring making 'ibles and suppose I'll have to try one of those too!
Thanks again for taking the time and effort to share....much appreciated!

Mrballeng (author)swede7son2011-02-13

Thanks a million. I would love to see what you made, please post it. I think it shows folks you don't need special tools or know how to make something nice.

Keep the light in your shop on because I'm posting a new instructable soon. It's taken me about 20 hours to figure out the process but it'll be worth it when I know someone actually made it.

About This Instructable




Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
More by Mrballeng:Duct Tape TP DispenserDuctanium BandageBarn Door Baby Gate
Add instructable to: