The copper rose is an easy, affordable project that requires minimal time or tools to make.
I have always wanted to learn how to work with metal but never really had the tools or the time to practice making anything. So, when I finally found a project that is cheap, easy to make, and requires barely any tools, I started filling my house with them. These metal roses make awesome decorations for your house and even awesomer gifts to anyone worthy of your affection.
As far as materials go, all you need is 2 small pieces of 22 gauge sheet metal (1 copper and 1 steel) and a steel rod measuring 1/4" in diameter and 1 foot in length. You can buy both at Home Depot.
And for tools you will need:
2 pairs of pliers, 1 needle nose and 1 flat head
A drill with a 1/4" bit
And a friend with a welder
Step 1: Cut Out Pattern on Paper
Print out the attached file of the petals onto an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. The pattern should take up basically your whole sheet. Cut out the shapes given. On the petals, (the propeller looking thingees), cut down to the edge of the middle circle but don't detach the individual petals from the center circle.
Step 2: Cut Out Pattern on Sheet Metal and Drill Center Hole
After all of your petals and sepal (which is the leafy thing that hangs down from the bottom of a rose bud) are cut out, trace them onto your sheet metal with a Sharpie. Then cut them out of the metal the same way you did out of paper.
It will probably be easier to cut out each set of petals individually from the main sheet before cutting down the edges to finish them. You may need to use your file to smooth out the edges if they turn out rougher than you would like.
Tip: As you cut the metal, take care not to ever quite close the tips of your tin snips. If you close them all of the way with each snip, you will end up with a very jagged edge.
Using the center dot as a point of reference, drill a 1/4" hole in the center of each set of petals and the sepal.
Note: Forgive me for posing without proper safety gear on in these pictures but PLEASE remember to use gloves when cutting out the petals and clamp down the piece when drilling the hole in the center of them.
Step 3: Texture Petals and Sepal
Using a chisel and hammer, ding up the edges of all of your petals so that it looks like they have been scratched from the center out towards the edge. You don't need to texture the whole length of the petal since only the outer edge will be showing on the finished piece. Just texture the outer 3/4" or so.
Tip: if you have a hatchet, beveled hammer, or anything else with a sharp edge that you can swing, you may prefer to use that for texturing since the marks don't need to be deep or exactly placed. The sharp edge of a crow bar worked just fine for these petals.
However, the marks on the sepal need to be a bit more exact. Using a sharpie, draw out veins on each of the sepal's leaves as shown in the picture.
Once that is done, take your hammer and chisel and score the metal along all of the penned lines. Then wash off the permanent marker lines and you have your sepal!
Now clean off the sepal and all of the petals with a wire brush to shine them up.
Step 4: Fix Sepal and Petals to Stem
Using a hammer, pound the last 1 1/2" of your rod into a square taper. Making the tip of the rod square will make the petals fit onto the rod tighter so that they won't rattle around once they are in place.
Now, take your sepal and all 5 of the bunches of petals and place them on the end of the rod, making sure to put the textured edges up. The sepal will go on first, followed by the largest bunch of petals and then the rest in descending order of size. Tap them all down about 1/4" further to insure that they are on there tight.
Tip: I used a small socket to do this. I just put the open socket end over the rod and used it to tap down the petals so that they were tight.
Once the pieces are on there tight, weld them on. It only takes a few small spot welds to secure them on; a couple of spots on the bottom and a couple on the top. You don't need to try to do any welding on the middle bunches of petals.
Step 5: Bend Up First 2 Layers of Petals
The first layer of petals only has 3 petals and to form it, you simply need to bend the 3 petals up and in. Take the right edge of the first petal with your needle nose pliers and bend it up straight while twisting the edge toward the center. Do the same with the other 2 petals. This should make the 3 petals form into a spiral with the inner edges nearly meeting in the middle and the outer edges sticking out like a pin-wheel.
Now, take the left hand edge of one of the petals in your pliers and bend it in towards the petal to it's left. This should give it sort of a C shape when looking at it from the top. Do the same with the remaining petals and they all should be wrapping around each other. If they are still too wide, use your regular pair of pliers to squish them together in a tighter spiral.
For the second level, do the same thing. Bend one edge of each of your petals up and in and then bend the other edge in, giving the petals a "C" shape. However, this time take the top 1/8" edge of each petal in your pliers and curl it over just a little bit. This will make the petals more visible from the top and give the rose a more realistic look. Finish the second level by using your needle nose pliers to squeeze all of the individual petals a little more towards the middle, giving the rose a good tight look.
Step 6: Bend Up Last 3 Layers of Petals
Continue on with the third layer in the same manner as the first two. Bend the petals up and into a "C" shape. Then curl over the top edge a little bit.
However, this time curl over the left and right sides of the tip of the petal separately. This will give the tip of the petal a slightly triangular look which is a more natural look for a rose than rounded petals.
Form the fourth and fifth layers in the same way while making the pointed petals a bit more pronounced with each level. On the third level, the petals should be almost round with just a hint of a triangular look. On the fourth, they should be right in between round and triangular, and on the fifth, the ends of the petals should be distinctly triangular.
Also, on the fourth and fifth levels, use your regular pliers to grab each petal 1/2" in from the top edge and bend it out in an arc so that the petals do not stand straight out from their base. This gives the rose more volume so that it is not flat across the top.
Step 7: Bend Sepal Into Place
Now take the sepal in your pliers and bend all 5 prongs down towards the stem of your rose. Make sure to twist the points inward so you don't poke yourself when you pick it up.
Step 8: Polish It Up
Now just take a wire brush or steel wool or whatever and scrub it down to clean off the metal and shine it up. I would suggest getting a can of clear polyurethane and spraying a coat onto your rose so that it doesn't rust but hey, that's up to you. And with that you're done!
If you're feeling really fancy, you can cut some leaves out of your remaining sheet metal and weld them onto the stem however you like. If you make at least one leaf a little extra big and flat, you can make your rose into a pretty sweet candle holder.
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