How to make a skull pendant with an old bullet a little wire and polymer clay.
Step 1: Materials Needed and Setup
First thing is I only use spent bullet shells I found while metal detecting. For safety purposes I advise against using any live rounds for this project. The bullet used was a .223 shell. Using a copper pipe cutter (bought at Lowes) I cut the beveled end of the shell off along with a portion to get my desired length. This not only gave me the size I wanted but also allowed clearance to punch the primer out with a metal punch (bought at Lowes).Using about 10" of wire (16gauge). The gauge is not as important as the stiffness since this is going to be the eyehole for the piece, the stiffer the better. Depending on what size wire you use you may need a stepdown drill bit (bought at Northern Tool) where the primer cap used to be you will need enough clearance to get two wires thru. Using the ring pliers (bought at Hobby Lobby) I made two wraps on the smallest side of the pliers in the center of the piece of wire. Next feed your two open ends thru the top of the bullet (primer cap side).
Step 2: Final Steps
Once you push the eyehole down snug you can trim your excess wire to about an inch sticking out of the bottom of the shell. Next you can use your pliers or needle nose to curl your exposed wire back up into the shell. I found that if the wire is just up inside the shell it tends to not hinder you as you sculpt your skull. Afterwards I pulled the eyehole back up enough to push some clay up into the shell. Once you have some clay in the shell you can push the eye back down to flush. This will allow clay to surround your wire and grip a bit better. Lastly add the desired amount of clay and release your inner sculptor!!!
Step 3: Lastly a Few Tips and Ideas
Hope you enjoyed my first Instructable, these are a few things I have made using this process. You can find most of what you need from hardware stores and hobby outlets. The polymer clay can be baked. laying down or hanging using the instructions from the manufacturer. Once again these shells were old ones found metal detecting and were already fired. DO NOT use live ammo (bullets not fired). Safety is the most important thing and if you have any doubts about putting a bullet shell in an oven im sure an air dry clay or similar medium would do the job. Thanks for viewing my Instructable and Enjoy!!!