I made a new tool!

This entertained me. I joined a few jewellery / metal-smithing forums over the past year, and one of them mentioned using a clothespeg as a useful tool.

Now, I love to get something for nothing, and also to find something that is multi-functional.

I’ve wrapped an elastic band (thanks to Judith, our postie for that) round it and then it becomes a small clamp, perfect for holding flat things. The advantage this has over a traditional ring clamp is:


a) it was free

b) it’s easy to operate with one hand

c) I can rest it on my bench peg more easily

d) smug factor – did I mention it was free?!

Smug factor is a big part of my life, and I love to get a new moment of smugness.

I made these earrings using some scrap silver and the clothespeg. I was just using up a bit of scrap, from an early bangle I had made myself – it’s a bit too skinny for my personal preference, so I wanted to recycle it into something else.

I decided to run it through my mill, and flattened it slightly. This made for a very long piece of wire with a rectangular profile and the narrow edges having a delightfully battered finish making them less precise and rather more interesting than if I had used the rectangular wire sold by bullion dealers. I then coiled it into jump rings, using my new clamp to keep the rectangular profile from twisting and my mandrels, to make a coil, sawed it us and soldered the wonky ones at either end into closed jump rings. I’ve stretched them a little with my oval mandrel, and then soldered on earwires.

Finally I added a couple of interesting hematite beads I’ve had for ages, – I bought the strand because of the shape (interestingly shaped, decent quality, sustainable /fairtrade, gem, beads are surprisingly challenging to find), shaped and hammered the earwires and then sent then for a run through the tumbler for work hardening and shine. I think they look rather splendid, even if I do say so myself.

I didn’t think I’d make more than one pair (and these are intended as the tip for my hairdresser – if only I could actually pay for my haircut with jewellery!), but I love them, so I might make some more.

I’ve been late coming to the scraphappy party so I cheated and scheduled this ready for February – if you haven’t read any of the posts from the other contributors, take a look at the links at the end of this post.


Kate (who runs it), Gun, Titti, HelΓ©ne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Gwen and Connie

About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on www.DawnGillDesigns.com and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
This entry was posted in DGDCheeryUppy, geek, processes, ScrapHappy, silver, Tech Tip, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to I made a new tool!

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    What a pretty pair of earrings. Smug is a great place to be when using clothes pegs and elastic bands.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. magpiesue says:

    Oh, well done! Those are very cool earrings, and don’t we all deserve to feel smug from time to time? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. katechiconi says:

    Clever! I love a cheap hack too πŸ™‚ I got this in my in box on the morning of 16th Feb, started reading and thought “hang on, this is a ScrappyHappy post”, and sure enough… Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that everyone except New Zealand is behind us on the world clock. Cute earrings / scrap used / happy hairdresser!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. KerryCan says:

    Every time I read one of your metalsmithing posts, I want to go dig out my tools and do some of my own! Your earrings turned out really well and what a great ScrapHappy project!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dvberkom says:

    I love these posts–and good on you for repurposing! Lovely earrings, btw πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love it when we can re-use or recycle bits. Bring on the smug, I say! πŸ™‚ The earrings are beautiful. I happen to like silver and earth tones, so they would make me very happy if I received them – besides, that’s MUCH better than a cash tip!

    Liked by 1 person

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