Copper Bracelet

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List

    Materials found in the Learnary kit:

  • 18-gauge copper piece - approximately 2.5 x 15 cm (1x6 inches)
  • Sandpaper (5 different grits)
  • Steel wool
  • Small nail for marking
  • Soft cloth
  • Optional Extras

  • Metal snips
  • More marking tools
  • Torch
  • Clamp
  • copper polish
Tool list
  • hammer
  • dust mask
  • safety glasses
  • gloves
  1. If you would like to change the size or shape of your copper strip, use a pair of metal snips to cut the copper.
  2. The edges of your copper will be very sharp. Wearing safety glasses, gloves, and a mask, use the roughest piece of sandpaper to sand all the edges and round the corners of your piece.
  3. Now for decorating! There are lots of ways to mark copper. You can use the sandpaper and nail to scratch an image or make indentations. Using the flat head of a hammer, you can pound a pattern into the metal (the metal will curl up, just turn over and hammer flat again). You can also look around and see what you have that you think will make marks.
  4. Optional torching step

  5. Ask an adult with experience using a torch for this step. Place your copper on a piece of scrap wood or a flame-proof surface, and wave the torch flame over the bracelet to change the colour of the copper. Please be careful! The piece will be hot afterwards so let it cool before moving to the next step.
  6. Now it’s time to form the bracelet. Copper is soft, but it is still metal, so this may take a little strength. You can form it around the handle of a hammer or other hard round object. Starting at one end, use your hands to shape the copper slowly and gently. When you get to the ends, press each one between the table and the handle, slowly forming a curve. Remember that the middle will stay flexible, so you can open and close the bracelet around your wrist once it is the right shape to fit. If you have access to roll formers, you could also use those.
  7. Now sand the top of your piece with a fine-grit sandpaper, followed by the wire wool. This will remove any colour change, highlight the hammer work you have done, and give a clean buff to the surface. Double check for any rough bits and sand these too.
  8. Finally, apply some copper polish (or mix up a small amount of the simple DIY copper polish recipe available with the kit) and give it a good shine. Time will give it a lovely dark colour, called a patina, or you can continue to shine it whenever you like.
Extension Challenges
  1. Use metal stamps and a hammer to add letters, words, or numbers to your bracelet.
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