We had a really old digital camera lying around, that didn't work anymore so my boyfriend decided to take it apart. When he had alle the parts scatteret across the dining table, I took my pick of the parts that I thought had jewelry potential. Here I'll show you how I made a simple necklace of a Circuit and earrings of and old memorycard that we salvaged from the camera.
Other electronic parts can also be used, it's only up to your imagination. Be aware though, that there can be nickel and other nasty stuff in electronic circuits and parts, so avoid wearing these jewelry too close to your skin or coat it with a laquer/resin. Clear nailpolish is a cheap alternative, but I'm not sure how well it works, so use at your own discresion.
With that out of the way, you'll need:
salvaged electronic parts (as mentioned before I used a circuit and a oldstyle memorycard)
Metal wire, I used sterling silver
ear posts with pad (I made my own, I'll go through that in the 'structable)
needle files, jewelry grade preferably
fine steelwool grade 00
pliers, both flat and round nosed
Soldering station (if you're goin to make your ear posts yourself)
a square rod to make Square jump rings around (I used an old toothbrush)
leather cord, about one and a half length of your head circumference
a 3-4 millimetre diameter rod, if you use a thicker leather cord, the rod should also be thicker
Step 1: Starting on the Earrings
The memory card had a really intricate design in gold on it. Now I'm no tech wizard, but I guess that it was there it was connected to the camera. Anyhow I thought it would become a nice set of earrings, so I began to cut all the other plastic away. Using a jewelers saw, I cut as close to the gold as I dared. Don't worry about rough egdes, those will be sanded in the next step.
Step 2: Sanding Away
With the half round and flat needle files, I sanded all the edges of the plastic until I was almost at the gold. I also rounded the corners, as they had gotten a bit sharp. Then with a bit of steel wool it gently sanded so it was smooth to the touch. Next was the ear posts.
Step 3: Making Ear Hooks
Now it's time to make the ear posts, unless you've bought some. I you have you can skip these next two steps.
I took some silver wire I had lying around and, with the round nose pliers, bendt it into shape like the pictures above. The reason that I didn't make the straight ear posts, it's because I don't know how to make ear nuts and so I found hooks a better alternative.
When I had bendt the wire I cut the excess off and made another hook, thus having one for each earring.
Step 4: Soldering
Now, I had access to a soldering station, but if you don't then just sand the hook a bit flat where it's going to be glued to the earring and jump to the next step.
I'm soldering some flat wire to my ear hooks, as it will give me a bigger area to glue on to the earring and thus better adhesion. I'm not going to cover the finer parts of soldering here, as that is a large subject in and by itself.
First sand the part of the hook that is going to be soldered, that way you improve the strength of the soldering. Then place the sanded part onto the flat wire, if possible using a helping hand to hold it, and add a drop of flux to the area. Now having the solder ready, begin to heat the area. After a little while add the solder and keep heating the area carefully until the solder has melted and covered most, if not all, of the area. Drop the soldered ear hook in water and then, if you are working in precius metals into a acid container. Do the other ear hook and take the first one up of the acid and make sure to clean it under lots of Water. then use some of the steel wool to polish the earhook before going to the next step. The ear hooks shouldn't lie in the acid for more than 10 minutes.
If you haven't soldered before, please look at this instructable:
Step 5: Gluing and Finishing the Earrings
Press some of the glue out on a piece of paper or another piece of scrap and blend the two components together. Make sure you have the bits for the earrings ready, for it take 10 minutes to dry solid at max. Place a drop of glue on the flat wire of the ear hook and press down on the earring, making sure that the hook is proberly and not on an angle (unless you want that). repeat for the other earring and let the glue set. Sand the end of the ear hooks so they aren't to rough and voila, they're done!
Now for the necklace.
Step 6: Working on the Necklace
Sitting with my Circuit the first decision I had to make, was which set of holes, that it already had, I would use to insert the jump rings. One set of holes where a bit to one side and would make the Circuit tilt when hanging, so I choose the other set. Then I found some jump rings, unfortunately they were too small and larger round rings would look bad, so I decided to make square rings. To make them, I had to find a square rod to coil the wire around. What I found was the end of and old toothbrush. After the wire had been coiled, I cut the rings to make them separate. As I had used a wirecutter, I had to sand the ends of the square jump rings so they became flat. This was to make sure that they wouldn't scratch me or others upon wearing. Then I shaped the jump rings a bit more with more with my pliers to make sure that they was properly square and would close without a gap.
Then I inserted a jump ring into each hole and the pendant have been made.
Step 7: Simple End Caps
I simply love this style of end caps, and not just because they are easy to make yourself.
Fit the round rod into the power drill. Make a bend on the wire, no more than 2 cm from the end, and stick it into the drill besides the rod. On the lowest speed, coil the wire about 5-6 times around the rod. Cut the wire as close to the coil as possible and remove it from the rod.
Then pry the outermost ring up on a 90 degre angle from the rest of the coil, while twisting it slightly so there is a gap at the end that the jump rings from the pendant can enter. When the jump ring is attached you can twist the ring back and hide the end inside the coil. It can be a tight fit and require a bit of fiddling.
Remove the protuding wire from when you coiled it. Again as close to the coil as possible and sand it round, so they won't scratch your skin.
That's how I make them, you can also buy som. Now for the rest of the necklace!
Step 8: Knotting the Leather Cord
I wanted for my necklace to be resizeable, so I decided to make two knots on my leather cord that would them slide along each other.
First I divided the leather cord in two. Then I placed the one cord along my thump and then wrapped the other one around my thump and cord 3 times. Then I took the end of the wrapped cord and brought it back over the coil and stuck it under the coil in the opposite direction, same direction as my thump. I removed my thump from the coil, avoiding pulling the end of cord one and two. Then I slowly pulled in each end of the coiled cord to tighten the knot, easing each coil down beside the former so it looks tidy. After I made sure the first knot was good and thight and won't give way, I repeated with the other cord around. Then I tried if they slided effortly along each other, there was a bit of friction, but it wasn't too bad.
Step 9: Gluing the Last Parts
Lastly I went back to the glue in order to attach the cords to the end caps. Blend the two components for the glue and quickly add a drop or two into each end cap, before pressing the ends of each cord into it's respective end cap. There may ooze a bit of glue out the top and bottom, just remove it with a tissue and let it dry.
There; the necklace is done.
Step 10: All Done
You may want to polish your new jewelry up with a bit of polishing cream and soft cloth and then cover the circuit parts with some laquer as mentioned in the intro. Other than that, enjoy the result, I sure do.