Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bullet Casing Pendant Tutorial

Bead Soup update.....

I have been working hard on my bead soup and am pretty happy on how my pieces are coming along. I decided to keep the fairy piece for myself and have made it into something that I LOVE. That's all I can say for now. But I have some beads left and I still have to use the toggle so I am going to work a couple of more pieces.


Now for the tutorial.....

I have been wanting to try my hand a making a tutorial. So I decided to give it a shot. How to make a Bullet Casing Pendant. My husband and brother in law are both hunters and love guns so for me the bullet casings easy to come by. For those of you who don't have anyone that shoots,you can contact your local shooting range,sometimes I have seen them at flea markets,or even store's like Cabela's sell empty unfired bullet casings that hunters and marksmen use to fill and make their own bullets. I have chosen to show you how to make one's that I have added patina to. The patina adds a lovely verdigris finish to the bullets. 

First off I use a metal wire brush to remove any residue left on the bullets. I then soak them in a solution of salt water overnight. This helps the patina to oxidize the metal and change it to that lovely green finish.

After they have soaked 24 hours I then remove them from the water put the in my vise and use a dremel/rotary tool with 1/64" titanium drill bit to drill a whole in the top of the bullet. When using fired bullets they have a little indentation which is a perfect mark on where to drill.

Please remember to wear eye protection when drilling!!!

  I then drill a hole in the top of each bullet.After the drilling I add my patina solution. Some people choose to use gilders paste,I prefer not to as it's not a true patina and I hate the look of brush strokes,and how it tends to flake. It just looks a bit fake to me.I use a patina solution that combines ammonium chloride and copper sulfate. I just brush it on the bullets and it slowly turns that green color that makes me happy. If the first coat doesn't give you the appropriate color you can add more coats until you reach your desired color.

I then add a sealer to make sure that they keep their color . I use one by triangle crafts which is considered a primer and clear sealer. But I am sure Mod Podge would also work well.
Once they have dried. I then gather all of my goodies to start the process of making them into pendants. So the list includes long headpins,and/or wire, Crystal beads, bead caps,spacer beads whatever suits your fancy really.
Then the beading begins I try to find beads that will pretty much fill or stop the end of the bullet casing and add whatever other beads until it turns out to my liking.
I then wire the bead/beads on the wire through the drilled hole in the top of the bullet casing add a wire wrapped loop,I choose to make the loop at the top so that I can run a neck chain right through the loop.

The finished one that I was showing how to make.

And now some others that I have made too. I have left the others in their original finish just using the wire brush to clean them and give them that brushed finish.

I do hope you like this tutorial and if you have any questions please feel free to comment.


1 comment:

  1. Great pendant! I’m part of the bead soup party. Looking forward to the reveals. I'm now following you. I have a new blog. Please consider following my jewelry blog. Thanks.