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Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Colorize Metal Jewelry - Bracelet Tutorial

A few days ago, I promised that I would share one of my methods for colorizing metal jewelry components.  This is extremely easy to do and much less expensive than enameling.  Personally, I love the rich, expensive look that colorizing gives to plain metal components.  The sky is the limit with this technique - and I promise you - this will be the beginning of many colorized pieces you will make for your own projects.  It really is that much fun and an added plus is the results come together fairly quickly.



Cover your work surface.  For just about all of my projects, I use wax paper to cover my table.  It's cheap and a roll lasts a long, long time.  Since I craft just about every day, that says a lot. :)

Select your component.  I used one similar to the one pictured below:

Ideally, you will colorize you metal before you attach any embellishments to it.  However, I had already attached my cabochon of the Virgin Mary to my component before I decided to colorize it.

I knew that I wanted to use colors that complemented my portrait, and I wanted them to be metallic.  I didn't have any metallic red colors that suited me, so I made my own using Ceramcoat Acrylic Metallic Gold paint and Pearl-Ex Russet Red powder.

Squeeze a drop of paint onto the work surface.  Use a dry brush and scoop a small mound of Pearl-Ex onto the drop of paint.  (Use more or less depending on the look you want.  I wanted a deeper, richer color, so I added powder and mixed until I achieved the results I wanted.)

 This is what my paint looked like after I achieved the desired color:

Use the paintbrush to add details to your component.  I used red on my flowers:

and Dark Patina green on my leaves and stems.

  (I used DecoArt Dazzling Metallics for the green color.)   Let the paint dry.  Not shown:  To ensure your painted piece will not flake, lightly brush the colored areas with clear nail polish and let it dry for at least an hour.

I still wanted more depth to my bracelet, so I attached flat-backed Swarovski crystals to the center of each flower.  I used G S Hypo-cement glue because it has a fast-grab, a precision applicator and it's virtually waterproof; I applied the crystals with tweezers.

Here is the finished component:

Now you can complete your bracelet.  I attached a simple heavy bronze chain and lobster clasp to my bracelet, as I wanted it to be adjustable.

Please feel free to email me with pictures of your designs.  I'd love to see what you make with this technique!


Myléne Hillam said...

Gorgeous bracelet Wanda. TFS your tips for colouring metal.

Cindy Is Crafty said...

That's easy peasy Wanda, thanks for the tute! :O)

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