Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rustic Winter Earrings Tutorial

Rustic Winter Earrings by Mary Harding

I have been making a lot of earrings lately for the 2 local shops where I sell my jewelry.  And I love to make ceramic charms and made quite a few of this little fir trees this month.

 Since I enjoy tutorials so much I thought it would be fun to combine my current "obsessions" into a project to share.  So here goes.

Rustic Winter Earrings Tutorial
2 Handmade ceramic fir tree charms by Mary Harding in my Etsy Shop
2 large copper washers ( about 1 inch in diameter)  (Harbor Freight carries these, so does Rings and Things)
4 jump rings 9mm  antique copper or brass
2 jump rings  antique copper  or brass 7mm
2 sterling silver earwires  or copper if you wish.

Tools and Supplies
Ball Peen Hammer
Metal Bench block
Hand held metal hole punch size 1.25mm  (Rio Grande has the heavy duty kind)
Chain nose and bent nose pliers
Renaissance Wax
Steel Wool size  000
Liver of Sulphur
Sunshine Cloth or Soft cloth
Tissue or cotton rounds (cosmetic)

1.  Use the ball peen hammer to pound and texture your copper washers

Pound them on a metal bench block.  This is what they look like before you texture them.

Head of the ball peen hammer and the copper washer partially textured.

Completely textured copper washers.  (they look gold in the photo but they really are copper)

2. Use the hand held hole punch to put a hole in the washer for attaching the earwires
TIP  the copper will be thinner after you texture it and makes it easier to punch the holes with the hand punch

This  is a heavy duty  handheld hole punch.  You could also use a drill press with a 1/16 drill bit.

3.  Patina your copper washers in a Liver of Sulphur solution made with a small chunk of liver of sulphur and some distilled water.  It does not need to be heated to work.   Be sure to wear rubber gloves or use a sieve to put them into the solution.  Make sure you are working in a well ventilated area.

                               Rinse in cold water once they turn black.  Dry with a paper towel.

                     This is how black they will get in the liver of sulphur.  Not to worry it rubs off.
4.  Use the 000 Steel Wool to rub off the patina until the desired effect is achieved.

This is how they will look after you use the Steel Wool.  Amazing difference!!                               

5.  Apply a small amount of Renaissance wax  with a cosmetic cotton round or tissue paper to each of the copper rings and let them dry about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile you can attach the 9mm jump rings to the Fir Tree charms using your chain nose and bent nose pliers,

and then the 7mm jump rings to the  9mm rings.

6. After the 30 minutes,  the Renaissance wax has had a chance to harden, so you polish it with your Sunshine Cloth or a piece of soft fabric.  It should keep that level of polish because of the wax.

7.  Now attach the last 7 mm ring to your polished textured copper washers. 

Using the 7mm jump ring already attached to your tree connect your assembly to the 9mm jump ring on the copper washer.  See pic below.
8.  Last of all attach the entire assembly to your earwire, close it, and your earrings are ready to wear.

An alternative is to make the same earrings smaller using a  3/4 inch diameter copper washer.  You will use all the other supplies and directions to make them.

Happy First Day of Winter!!!


  1. Oh Mary, those are so pretty earrings!
    thank You for sharing :)
    liver of sulphur is not available in Sweden but I did buy some from Etsy..but it smells yuuk..
    we have another solution over here in a small bottle that I buy from a silver craft does not smell so much but is expensive :(
    have a wonderful Christmas xxx

  2. Oh Mary, you are so inspiring!! And you know how I love banging with a ball peen hammer!! Those earrings are wonderful!
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Super cute, Miss Mary! I think that I would add a star charm to the top of the tree. I love seeing the texture created with a simple hammer.
    Enjoy the holidays!

  4. Lovely Mary! Thank you for sharing the metal tutorial, so many things I want to get into, so little time! have a great Holiday!

  5. So sweet Mary, and so festive...I love them!

    Wishing you a beautiful Merry Christmas, and a very joyous New Year!

  6. I love these trees, Mary, and thank you for the tute! The trees are just perfect! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. If I was really smart, I'd get the materials and make several pair next week and be ahead of next year's girting. May just head on over to your stay shop right now. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  8. You are such a great teacher, Mary. My New Years Resolution: make more jewelry! Thanks. Happy 2012! Linda

  9. These are the best Christmas earrings that I think I have ever seen. Good work.

  10. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I've never been to Ottery St. Mary but I would like to!
    Hope you have a great new year xxxxx


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