Introduction: Upcycled Faux Forged Silver Cuff Bracelet

Picture of Upcycled Faux Forged Silver Cuff Bracelet

This is my very first instructable, I hope you enjoy it!   It is really a very easy DIY, uses free and inexpensive materials, and it is light and fun to wear.  If you like it, please vote for me.  Thanks.

I love to make something out of nothing. I guess I have always been into Upcycling - even before it was cool. I make a lot of my own Jewelry, much of it from salvaged items, and things I find at garage and estate sales. I am an avid Angel collector, so many of my pieces are Angels.

I came up with this method of making "Faux Forged Silver" while trying to make some prop Roman spears out of dust mop handles for a Passion Play at our Church.   I used the Aluminum foil tape to make the spear heads, but they were just  too smooth & shiny. After crumpling and aging them, they looked just right.  I immediately decided to make jewelry with the same method and I have been doing so ever since.

My first projects were an Angel Pendant and a Bracelet similar to the one I am showing here. I get compliments on these pieces from complete strangers almost every time I wear them.  If I have time, I will try to create another instructable for one of my Angels.

FYI:  My instructions are on the photos as well as below them. Click on the smaller pics to see the enlarged version.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials

Materials:
Aluminum Foil Tape with Paper Backing (NOT Duct Tape)
Plastic Water Bottle (approximate wrist size)
Aluminum wire (16 Gauge or thicker)
Black Spray Paint

Tools:
Scissors
Razor knife
Disposable Gloves
Paper towels

Optional:
Hole Punch
Flat or Needle Nose Pliers
Magic Eraser (Mr. Clean)

Step 2: Upcycle a Water Bottle

Picture of Upcycle a Water Bottle

Create the base of the "cuff" from a water bottle:

  Make small slits with the razor knife at top and bottom of the flat section of bottle.

  Insert scissors and cut around to remove the top & bottom of bottle.

  Trim the cuff to be about 1/2 inch narrower than the Aluminum Foil Tape
  Cut the cuff vertically (I just cut along the label glue.)

  Try it on and cut off any overlap, if necessary.
  Use scissors to round off the corners.

Step 3: Add Wire for Stability

Picture of Add Wire for Stability

Cut a length of wire about an inch longer than the circumference of the cuff.
  16 Gauge wire will work but a thicker gauge (lower #)  will make the cuff sturdier.

Punch small holes near each end of the cuff.

Run the wire around the outside of the cuff, through the holes and bend it back over the ends
to lock it in place.   My bottle had a groove in the center for the wire to sit in, or you can use
a small piece of tape to keep it centered.

Step 4: Prepare the Foil Tape

Picture of Prepare the Foil Tape

Make sure you are using Aluminum Foil Tape with paper backing. 
  (NOT Duct Tape - this Foil tape is actually made for heating ducts.)
   I think a roll like this is about $7 - $9 at a hardware store.

Cut a piece at least 3" - 4" longer than your cuff.

Step 5: Create Texture

Picture of Create Texture

Leaving the paper backing in place, crumple the Foil Tape:
     Crumple along the length accordion fold style.
     Gently flatten back out - leaving as many wrinkles as possible.

    Pinch along entire length to crumple the other direction.
    Gently flatten back out again - leaving as many wrinkles as possible.

    Peel the paper backing back about halfway. 

Step 6: Add Foil to Cuff

Picture of Add Foil to Cuff

Gently apply the tape beginning at the halfway point (front) of the cuff.
     Make sure you have enough to overlap the edges and the end.
Remove the rest of the paper backing and repeat with the other half of the cuff.

Press the foil in place along the whole center of the cuff.
Fold the lengthwise edges over the plastic and into the inside of the cuff.

When you reach the ends, cut a little notch so that the edges fold over neatly.
and the tape doesn't stick to itself (sticky side to sticky side).

Cut away the excess flaps before folding over the ends.

Fold over the ends, manipulating the foil to smooth and round the corners.
Continue pressing and smoothing the inside edges to ensure a comfortable fit. 
 

Step 7: Add Patina

Picture of Add Patina

Try on the cuff to be sure it is comfortable and make any additional adjustments, if needed.

Prepare a well ventilated area and protect your surfaces.
    Wear disposable gloves and have paper towels handy..

Spray the entire outside of your cuff with Black Spray Paint.
    I used a Black primer, but pretty much any black spray paint will work.

Wait a few seconds and then dab and wipe away most of the black paint, leaving it in the
indentations and wrinkles.  You can re-spray & re-wipe any areas that need improvement. 

When you are happy with the overall look, set it aside to dry for a little while. 

After it is dry, you can brighten up the "silver" raised areas by polishing with a magic eraser
(Mr. Clean) or a stiff brush.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

Now you can wear and enjoy your new bracelet.

As I mentioned above, these are incredibly light and easy to wear. Obviously these are not "heavy duty" items, but I have been wearing bracelets and necklaces made with this method for a couple of years and they hold up pretty well.  If they get a little bent, just reshape them. They can also be painted again, if necessary. 

I hope you liked my first attempt at an instructable. If so, please vote for me.  I would love to win some jewelry tools, and I promise to put them to good use! 

Thanks!

Comments

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-06-07

So fun! I've never seen aluminum tape before! Love the texture :)

flyingpuppy (author)2013-06-04

Congrats on your first instructable! Pretty bracelet too.

Thanks!

annieannie (author)2013-06-04

I like the fact that you added the wire to the plastic, I have not seen that part done before. I have been making faux forged metal items for sometime now, and I haven't seen it done with the wire.. that deserves my vote :)

Thanks! I have also made bracelets without the plastic, using just squiggled wire as the base which gives a unique texture to the piece.