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Cowgirl Rustic Flower Ring and Bangle Tutorial

Updated: Aug 30, 2020

This tutorial will walk you through the steps for making an adjustable bangle and ring with our Cowgirl Rustic Flower Bangles or Rings pressing.

PURCHASE A COWGIRL RUSTIC FLOWER BANGLES OR RINGS PRESSING FROM METAL MAVEN.

To purchase these pressings click on the pressings below.


For this tutorial, Metal Maven used an 18-gauge copper pressing and an 18-gauge sterling silver pressing.


With this pressing, you can make any size adjustable or soldered ring and bangle bracelets.



PREPARING THE BANGLE BAND FOR CUTTING WITH A GUILLOTINE SHEAR OR JEWELER'S SAW


Use a fine tip marker to draw a line along the outside border of the bangle strip you want to cut. This will help you see the edge when lining up the metal in your shear or when using a jeweler's saw.



CUTTING THE BANGLE STRIP

Place your marked pressing on your Guillotine Shear and cut at the line you marked along the border of the bangle strip. If you don't have a Guillotine Shear, use a jeweler's saw to saw along the line.


Metal Maven Tip: I use a Saw Blade Size of #2/0 when sawing 20-gauge metal, a #1/0 saw blade when sawing 18-gauge metal and a #1 saw blade when sawing 16-gauge metal. Check out this saw blade specification chart on Rio Grande's website for recommended Saw Blade Sizes.



Next, mark a line along the bottom border of the bangle strip and trim off the excess metal.



FILING AND SANDING

The bangle strip is now ready for the next steps. In order to make the bangle comfortable to wear, you need to round the sharp corners and smooth the edges with a file.


Metal Maven used a small belt sander from Micro Mart to sand the edges and round the corners. If you do not have a belt sander, use a #5 file to smooth the edges and round the corners.

Next, Metal Maven used a JOOLTOOL to further smooth the edges and the corners of the bangle strip. Use a Very Fine 3M Scratch Eraser on the JOOLTOOL to burnish the edges.


Here's a link to the Scratch Eraser


Click this link if you are interested in a JOOLTOOL Metalsmithing Kit.



If you don't have access to a JOOLTOOL, use 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth the edges of the entire bangle strip edges and the rounded corners.


Metal Maven Tip: An easy way to sand the sides and ends is to lay a piece of sandpaper on a clean flat surface, hold the bangle strip on it's edge and slide it back and forth. Tilt the bangle strip at an angle to round and smooth the edges.


Next, further smooth the edges of the long sides and ends again with 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper.


Here is a close-up of a bangle strip that has smooth edges and rounded corners and is ready for the next step. If you are making rings, skip ahead to the Making a Ring section of this tutorial.


ADDING A PATINA

This step is optional.


Adding a patina brings out the details of your piece and adds an antique-looking quality.

Oxidize with Liver of Sulfur or your choice of blackening agent.


Next use 2000 grit extra fine wet/dry sandpaper to very lightly sand the oxidation from the raised areas on the bracelet. Wet/dry sandpaper can be purchased at most home improvement stores.



FORMING THE BANGLE BRACELET

You will need to use a Oval Bracelet Forming Mandrel and a nylon hammer, a urethane hammer, or a rawhide mallet to form the bracelet. Line up the middle of the bracelet strip on top of the mandrel and push the edges down to form a U-shape. Next, hold the two ends from underneath so that the bracelet doesn't shift, and use your hammer or mallet to continue forming the bracelet around the mandrel by tapping lightly.


Metal Maven Tip: I prefer a Stepped Oval Bracelet Mandrel because each step on the mandrel has graduated sizes and a level surface instead of of being cone shaped.


If you don't have a bracelet mandrel, I can recommend the Cast-Iron Stepped Oval Bracelet Mandrel with Tang from Rio Grande. This is the one that I use. (Rio has not paid me or compensated me in any way for recommending their products.)


You can find the Mandrel here:


Metal Maven Tip: To protect the inside surface of the bracelet, cover your mandrel with a piece of soft leather so that as you hammer, marks from your mandrel will not transfer onto the inside of your bracelet.


Metal Maven Tip: You can also use Joni Kisro's Bracelet Bender for ring, bracelet, and bangle forming. I own one of these and I highly recommend it, it's a fantastic tool. Joni has given me permission to share her Youtube video showing how to use the Bracelet Bender.


Here is a link to Joni's website if you would like to purchase a Bracelet Bender.

Joni Kisro Bracelet Bender


Your bracelet should look something like this.


This tutorial shows making an oval shaped bracelet. Some people prefer to make them round, so it is up to you as to what shape you make your bracelet.




FINAL POLISHING WITH A ROTARY TUMBLER

Your bracelet is now ready to polish with a rotary tumbler. If you don't have a tumbler you can hand polish with a Sunshine Polishing Cloth.


When using a rotary tumbler, fill the tumbler barrel half full with stainless steel shot, add tap water just to the top of the steel shot, add a drop or two of Dawn, then tumble for at least 2 hours.


FINISHED PRODUCT

MAKING A RING

For this ring, Metal Maven used a strip from the Cowgirl Rustic Flower Bangles or Rings pressing and marked 2-1/2" using a Sharpie and cut the piece where marked. This made a size 10 thumb ring.



Metal Maven Tip: For other sizes, follow the steps for creating a Ring Template in our Adjustable Vine Ring Tutorial. Scroll down to the Making a Ring Size Template section in that tutorial.


FILING AND SANDING

The ring strip is now ready for the next steps. In order to make the ring comfortable to wear, you need to round the sharp corners and smooth the edges with a file.


Metal Maven used a small belt sander from Micro Mart to sand the edges and round the corners. If you do not have a belt sander, use a #5 file to smooth the edges and round the corners.

Next, Metal Maven used a JOOLTOOL to further smooth the edges and the corners of the ring strip. Use a Very Fine 3M Scratch Eraser on the JOOLTOOL to burnish the edges.


Here's a link to the Scratch Eraser


Click this link if you are interested in a JOOLTOOL Metalsmithing Kit.


If you don't have access to a JOOLTOOL, use 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper to smooth the edges of the entire ring strip edges and the rounded corners.


Metal Maven Tip: An easy way to sand the sides and ends is to lay a piece of sandpaper on a clean flat surface, hold the ring strip on it's edge and slide it back and forth. Tilt the ring strip at an angle to round and smooth the edges.


Next, further smooth the edges of the long sides and ends again with 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper.


ADDING A PATINA

This step is optional.


Adding a patina brings out the details of your piece and adds an antique-looking quality.

Oxidize with Liver of Sulfur or your choice of blackening agent.


Next use 2000 grit extra fine wet/dry sandpaper to very lightly sand the oxidation from the raised areas on the ring. Wet/dry sandpaper can be purchased at most home improvement stores.


FORMING YOUR RING

A Pepe Ring Bender was used to form the ring. If you plan to make a lot of rings, the Pepe Ring Bender is a good investment!


If you don't have assess to a Pepe Ring Bender, you can form the ring by wrapping the ring band around a ring mandrel as well as you can using your fingers. Then use a nylon hammer, a urethane hammer, or a rawhide mallet to finish forming the band by tapping lightly on the band to form it to the mandrel. Metal Maven uses a "stepped ring mandrel" for forming these types of rings because each ring size section is a level plane instead of angled like a regular ring mandrel.


Metal Maven Tip: If you don't have a ring mandrel, you can also use a wooden dowel that is close to your ring size.





FINAL POLISHING WITH A ROTARY TUMBLER

Your ring is now ready to polish with a rotary tumbler. If you don't have a tumbler you can hand polish with a Sunshine Polishing Cloth.


When using a rotary tumbler, fill the tumbler barrel half full with stainless steel shot, add tap water just to the top of the steel shot, add a drop or two of Dawn, then tumble for at least 2 hours.


FINISHED PRODUCT


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