Introduction: Silver Seahorse Bookmark

About: I'm a biologist interested in all things sciency. I love to figure out how things work and to make my own stuff, be it food, woodworking, electronics or sewing.

This is a decorative bookmark that is pretty easy to make.

It looks a lot more classy than a scrap of paper in your book.

You can choose to make it simple, or add eyes, mouth and as much detail as you desire.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

I'll present two options for making this. One without soldering and one with.

2.5 mm Silver thread
1.5 mm Silver thread

Ring pliers
Wire cutter
Peening hammer
Anvil or similar
Gass torch
400 grit sandpaper
Glass of water

Soldering silver
Borax flux
Rolling mill
Jewelers saw
Second hand
Wax soap

Step 2: Eyes

If you want to make eyes, this is how I did it.
First, I shaped two attached eyes with a file from a 1.5 mm thick silver thread.
Shaping them like this makes it a lot easier to solder them onto the wire than if you make two beeds.

I am assuming you know how to solder silver if you have the tools for this.

If you want to learn about soldering silver, have a look at this instructable

Step 3: Make the Mouth

To make the mouth, put the wire in a vice, and saw the mouth as deap as you like it.

After sawing hammer the sides of the mouth carefully with the peening hammer. This streches the silver, and makes the mouth open.

Step 4: Shape the Neck

Now use the ring pliers to shape the head and neck.

Step 5: Roll or Hammer Flat

If you happen to have a rolling mill, that is the easiest option for flattening the wire. If not, a hammer does the job too. Wether you use a rolling mill or a hammer, you will need to heat the silver quite often during this process. As you roll or hammer the wire, the silver becoms stiffer and more brittle. To soften it again, heat it with the gass torch until it glows, and quickly cool it in water.

As you flatten the wire, it is going to grow quite a bit in length. When using a hammer, it can easily warp because of this if you hammer one side more than the other. this can be used as a way to shape the silver if you pay attention too it.

When the silver is suitably flat, cut it to the desired length.

Step 6: Pattern

If you used the rolling mill, now is the time to add some patterning with the peening hammer. You can also give the silver additional texture by putting it on top of some rough sand paper when hamering it.

After hamering, sand it lightly with fine sand paper. I used 400 grit. This sands the oxidation of the high points and brings out the pattern.

Step 7: Pollish and Use

Lastly I add a little polishing. I use a wax soap made for jewelery, but I guess a wax soap made for cars will do a similar job. This leaves the silver very smooth and shiny.

Happy reading.