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Browsing for the latest in jewelry designs is a favorite activity for fashion mavens and style dabblers alike, but sometimes a girl's shopping side gives way to her creative characteristics. Love to craft? Imagine bringing your jewelry dreams to life without the store-searching fuss. Whether a bauble-making beginner or DIY master, you can satisfy your thirst for style and your artistic yearnings by making your own simple, chic gold bracelet at home.
Cut a Fashionable Form
Make a pattern for your bracelet by drawing an oval shape onto a sheet of scrap paper. Make sure that the oval is as long as your wrist circumference, but you can choose any width you like. Keep the bracelet thin for a delicate look, or go for a thick, chunky bangle style.
Cut out your pattern and lay it out on top of gold sheet metal. Coat the pattern with a thin layer of rubber cement, affixing the paper to the metal.
Pull out your jeweler's saw and cut all the way around the edges of the pattern. Peel off the pattern, then get rid of the rest of the rubber cement residue with rubber cement pickup.
With a jewelry file and fine grit wet/dry sandpaper, file and sand the edges of the oval until they are smooth; otherwise, you might find yourself on the receiving end of some nasty metal splinters.
Set up a fire-safe area so that you can anneal, or soften, the gold oval piece. On your work table, lay down a large ceramic tile and a few fire bricks.
Mix together a jeweler's pickle solution, following the instructions on your pickle product packaging. Pour the solution into a pickle pot.
Shape the Style
Bring your oval piece over to the fire-safe area and place it on top of the fire bricks. Heat up a soldering torch to a low flame, then pass the flame over the top of the bracelet piece a few times.
Pick up the bracelet piece with the copper tongs -- not with your hands! Drop it into the pickle pot and leave it there for a few minutes.
Take the bracelet piece out of the pickle pot. You should be able to touch it with your hands now without getting burned, but the piece should still be slightly warm.
Hold one end of the bracelet over a ring mandrel and bang it into a curved shape with a wooden mallet. Keep rotating the bracelet until you have completely curved it, creating a round loop. Slide the bracelet onto your hand to check the fit. You may need to pull the loop open slightly, leaving a small gap between the edges.
Lightly sand the surface of the gold to remove any remaining fire oxidation or scratches. Finish off your gorgeously gold bracelet with a vigorous polishing, using a polishing cloth.
If the gold is soft enough after annealing, you may be able to help curve the bracelet with your hands. You can also use other iron or wooden forms to shape the bracelet.
Be cautious when working with the torch. Keep any flammable materials away from the workspace, and never touch the hot metal with your bare fingers.