Introduction: Hammered Copper Bookmarks - Easy

About: I like to fix, tinker, and make things from scratch. I also like to cook. mmmmmm... foooood.
I almost threw out a handful of scrap pieces of electrical wire I found at the bottom of a box in my garage this morning... fortunately the Maker in me took over in time!

We are avid readers in my family, and after a little thought I decided to try and turn the copper wire into some kind of bookmark. I'm not really sure why I thought this would be a good idea... but once the lightbulb lit, I had to give it a try. 

Besides... I would get to try my hand at the age old and uber-manly sport of hammering out metal!

Step 1: Tools

What you will need:
  • Electrical wire. I used standard, 14/2 home construction electrical wire. 
  • Wire strippers - to remove the wire jacket (don't use your teeth!) - not shown
  • Hammer
  • Metal surface to hammer against
  • optional - a pair of pliers to twist the copper. (I found, as I started hammering, that tightly wound wires worked better

Step 2: Design Your Bookmark

The great thing about copper wire is that it is nice and malleable, so grab one, or two or three lengths of your wire and start winding them together to create some sort of design. 

I am not showing how to strip the jacket off electrical wire. I am assuming that, if you have electrical wire sitting around your house, you likely know how to do this step and have the right tool to get 'er done.

This bookmark was for my daughter, so I made a nice little heart shape. 

I was a little concerned about sharp edges and almost sanded the cut ends, but this turned out to be a non-issue. 

Step 3: It's Hammer Time!

There may be a right and wrong way to go about this next step, but I don't know it. 

My metal beating assumptions: 
  • hold the hammer steady and hit the mallet face (or anvil, or whatever your metal surface is) evenly
  • don't hold back, beat it thin
  • beat the tips out first to 'lock' the wires together
  • run the copper between your fingers (carefully and slowly - in case there are any burrs) to find any uneven spots
  • have fun

Maybe I'm off, maybe I missed something here, but the above worked well for me!

* You can see in the pictures below that I retwisted the ends within the heart shape once I got started. They started to come apart as I hammered and I had to add some extra twists. The final result with 3 twists is very strong. The next one I make will be tightly twisted together the whole way up!

Step 4: Insert Into Book

That's it! 

In total, the first one took me about 1/2 an hour from start to finish. The second one only took about 15 minutes. 

If you try it out send me a comment, I'd love to see some more designs! I'm going to make a few more and will post the extra pictures too. 

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