Thursday, February 10, 2011

Copper Bail Tutorial

I've been waiting and waiting on some bails to be delivered for my Scrabble charm project. If you know me then you know it's a big deal when I order something online. I tend to like to find what I need locally. The glue on bails are hard to come by so I Etsy ordered, keep it in the family as much as possible. In the mean time I made more charms than I ordered bails. Do I order more??? I started thinking, you can hammer copper, I should try making my own bails?

I started with a 2 - 2 1/2" piece of 18 gauge copper wire, you want some thickness.

Sorry, I'm working with rustic tools here but they work! My vise works fine as an anvil along with my small hammer. Hammer the center of your wire, just in that one spot. Do not over hammer this spot because it will become weak. You can tell if this has happened when you bend the wire and it forms a crease in the loop. You'll need to start over with a new piece if this happens.

You can either use the round nose pliers to bend your loop or...

...a skewer. For me this worked better because it doesn't taper.

This is where you can go wild but to start you off, twist your wire under the loop.

Here I've made a circle shape.

I used the longer bit to secure to the top and nipped off the shorter bit.

Not the same one but I held all the pieces by the dowel or pliers and hammered until they were completely flat below the loop.

Hammered flat...

...and lookin good!

Each one comes out different and as you do more, more design ideas come.

I will not need to order bails any longer. You could do this with silver also.

Ok, now comes the gluing part.

I bought super glue. I think I need something thicker next time. This went on wet and of course you're paranoid that it will dry in a second. Well for this application it was wet longer than I thought it would be. I even wondered if it was going to dry and then all of a sudden it was dry. Disconcerting for sure. You have the whole gluing your fingers to stuff also!

It's done though, they're stuck on real good.

Here's an example of what you could do with them. I made the bracelet a while back.

Go wild!


  1. I am always impressed about how clever and creative you are. I look forward to all of your new pursuits. Another successful project!!! Love, FM

  2. This is definitely a clever idea! I will definitely link in a future post so others can come visit! Pearl

  3. Wow! Very nice! Love them on the bracelet!
    Did you do a tutorial about the bracelet?

  4. Vicki, I just made you the bracelet tutorial! Thanks everybody.

  5. Thank you so much for this tutorial. The only color glue-on bails I can buy here are silver, and I use so many other types of metals in my designs! Now I can make my own in brass and copper. I will be using this immediately. Thanks! Mary Anne