Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Make a Stone & Elastic Belt (Made from Hair Bands)

Sometimes a girl just needs to renovate old jewelry. I had this necklace made of donut shaped beads carved from a green mystery stone. There was nothing wrong with the necklace....except that it was boring.  What's more, my daughter and I agreed that there was something icky about the way the wire showed through the center of the donut holes.

So we took the necklace apart and used the beads to become a stunning, 42-inch adjustable belt made with black elastic hair bands. We used 21 black Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics and twenty-two (22) 35mm donut shaped beads to create the belt. Here is how we did it.

Figure A
Step 1
Construct the belt link by link.

Step 2
Begin with one elastic hair band and one donut bead. Feed the elastic hair band through the center of the donut bead.

Figure B
Feed the right side of the elastic band over the donut and back through the center of the elastic band.

Figure C
Step 4
Pull the elastic band tight so it is snug around the donut bead.

Step 5
Feed the open side of the elastic hair band through the next donut bead and repeat the above procedure.

Step 6
Continue to create links until you have made a chain the length of the belt you need.

Step 7
Make the belt buckle.

Cut a four inch piece of 18-gauge sterling silver wire. Form the 18-gauge sterling silver wire into a circle and solder the wire closed using a soldering torch and hard silver solder.

If you do not know how to solder, follow the instructions in our tutorials How to Solder Using a Small Butane Torch, Soldering Tips for Jewelry Makers and Soldering Tips.

Pickle the soldered ring in a warm acid pickle bath to remove oxidation. If you do not know how to pickle silver, see our tutorial How to Make Pickle. Rinse the pickled silver in a solution made of a cup of water and one teaspoon baking soda to neutralize and remove the acid.

Form the soldered metal ring into a belt buckle. Use your round nose pliers to pull the soldered ring into an oval shape. Feed the silver ring through the last donut bead in your belt in the same manner you used the elastic hair bands in figures A, B and C photographed. Pull the silver ring tight as you did in figure C. Rather than add another bead, bend the sterling wire into a shape of a hook. Adjust the hook until it will fit through the donut bead on the other end of the belt and securely hold it.

Step 8
Test your belt. I plan to wear the belt with my LBD for Thanksgiving, but here it is with the sweater and jeans I was wearing when my daughter and I made the new belt.

We decided to add length to the belt so it drapes. We used an "S" link to hold the excess of the belt to create the drape. For instructions on how to create an "S" link, see our tutorial Make Your Own “S” Chain.

Further Reading
Tutorials by GeltDesigns
Hot Connections Jewelry: The Complete Sourcebook of Soldering Techniques
Step-by-Step Jewelry Workshop: Simple Techniques for Soldering, Wirework, and Metal Jewelry (Step By Step)
Art Jewelry Magazine: Precision Soldering Simplified; Give a Classic Ring a Twist with an Easy Forging Technique; Make a Basic Chain with Spring Links (Vol.3 No.1 November 2006)
The Complete Guide to Jewelry Soldering: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why!
Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing (Jewelry Crafts)
Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition

Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics
Forest Green Jasper Large Square Donut Focal Pendant Bead 35mm (1)
1 Ounce. (12 Ft.) Sterling Silver Wire 18 Gauge - Round-Half Hard

Blazer GB2001 Self-Igniting Butane Micro-Torch
Soldering & Annealing Pan
Pickle Pot Sparex Acid Soldering Jewelry Repair Tools

Day 4. Week 1. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
New Jewelry a Day. Join the adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment