Make Your Own Silver Bling Ring


A beautiful sterling Silver Bling Ring, made using a Lampwork bead and Swarovski Crystal beads


Silver Bling Ring

Lancaster Jewellery School have a new teaching facility offering Evening Courses, Saturday Courses and Intensive 5 day training for those who wish to progress quickly. Today they will teach you how to make this gorgeous ring and give tips on how we can do this at home.





Materials & Tools:

Materials Needed

You will need a tape measure, ring mandrel, round nose pliers, straight nose pliers, side cutters, and a hammer.

4 cm of 1mm silver wire

2 x 2.5cm of 0.7mm silver wire

1 x flat bead 1cm length

4 x 4mm round beads


Step 1

Forming the Ring

Using the tape measure, measure the width of the widest part of your finger then slide the tape measure along the mandrel until it matches the measurement size of your finger, mark this point with masking tape or a washable marker. Wrap the silver around this point twice to make two circles and bend the remaining silver up at a right angle. You need a 1cm length to make a loop, using the side cutters remove the excess. Hammer the protruding ends flat on both sides.




Step 2

Loop Forming

Using the round nose pliers turn a loop in the hammered protruding ends in opposite directions. Make sure you use the widest part of the pliers so you get a nice large loop.

That’s the framework of the ring now finished.





Step 3

Turn a medium size loop in the 1mm wire using the round nose pliers, then thread on the lampwork bead and make a second loop on the other side, turning the loop in the opposite direction.


Step 4


Lampwork Bead on 1mm Wire

Using the straight nose pliers open the loop sideways like opening a door, do not uncurl the loop or you loose the nice shape.

Hook this on to the main body of the ring and close the loop again with the straight nose pliers. Repeat this for the other side.





Step 5


Now make a small loop on the 0.7mm wire using the pointed end of the round nose pliers to stop the beads sliding off.

Thread on the Swarovski Crystal Beads and turn a medium size loop in the other end to attach to the ring. Repeat this with the remaining beads and wire. You now have a finished ring!




Tips & Hints

Finished Silver Ring

If you don’t have all the tools look around at home to find things to use. Anything small & cylinder shaped can be used to wrap the silver e.g. a spindle on a chair, a wooden spoon handle.

String can be used to measure your finger. If you don’t have round nose pliers, use thin knitting needles to turn a loop.

Use any wire cutters they don’t have to be side cutters. Alternately you can buy a basic beading kit which will have the required pliers.

When you have the hang of it you can make this in less than 30 minutes!



Make a Pair of Ear Rings Using Silver Art Clay – A Pictoral Guide

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If you have visited our site before, you will be aware of how much we enjoy working with Silver Art Clay. In a previous article, we have explained what it is and how to work with it. In advance of the release of June’s online course videos, where we introduce you to Silver Art Clay for the first time, we have put together a project guide to making a pair of ear rings using this unique and versatile medium. You don’t need much equipment to work with Silver Art Clay at home, indeed most of the things that you will need are probably lying around in your house already. You don’t need to buy big expensive pieces of equipment and your workshop can be quickly assembled on the kitchen table, without forcing your family to eat in the garden. And whilst we use equipment designed specifically for working with Silver Art Clay, as we go through the project, we’ll make suggestions of alternatives you might find at home to use instead.

If you haven’t worked with Silver Art Clay before, or even if you have but you are embarking on something new, it can be a good idea to invest in some cheap modelling clay and practice with that first.

This project is made using a 7 gram pack of Slow Dry Silver Art Clay. Are you ready? Here we go.

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The first things that you will need are a smooth, clean and dry surface to work upon, a playing card will do; some spacers to determine the depth to which you will role your clay, again, playing cards will do for this and something smooth and round to use to role your clay flat, an old piece of plastic piping for example, as long as it’s clean, some oil, some water and some cling film.

As you work with clay, you will inevitably have scraps. These need to be kept moist so as you go along, squash your scraps together, mist them with a little water and tightly wrap them back in the pack and then wrap the pack with cling film to keep your scraps useable for later.

Rub a little oil on your hands,  on your work surface and your roller to avoid the clay sticking and then remove the clay from the pack. It is important to work it between your fingers first to ensure that it is free of trapped air that may ‘pop’ later when firing and spoil your piece.

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Now place your clay on your work surface, and use your spacers at even depths on either side to guide your roller as you role your clay, taking care to make sure that it is rolled out to the size and shape of the surface area that you will need for your chosen cutter. The purpose of using spacers is to ensure that the clay is rolled to an even depth all over and next, by removing some but not all of them, we can further roll the piece but also add texture.




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Remove some of your spacers to an even depth at either side and place your chosen texture over the clay. As you can see, we have used a texturing tile but you can use anything to texture clay, that you might have at home, sandpaper or lace are good for giving texture to a piece. When using a texture tile, it is a good idea to rub a little oil onto it to prevent it sticking to the clay and distorting the piece as you remove it.




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Taking care to ensure that the depth is even, use your roller to roll your chosen texture into the clay.







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Carefully peel away your texturing tile and you will be able to see the texture that has been imprinted onto your clay.







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Now we are going to cut our chosen shape from the clay. You can buy specialist cutters for use with Silver Art Clay but there are also a variety of other objects that you can use for the same purpose. Sugar Craft Cutters and children’s modelling clay cutters are good and we have even used a heart shaped pencil sharpener from a Christmas Cracker, just be aware of size as these do trend to be quite big.

Here we are using a circle cutter. A good tip is to look at the pattern in your clay and cut your shape from your preferred section of pattern. Also, with ear rings, it’s important to remember that if you want them to match; you will need to cut your second shape from the same part of the textured pattern.

Place your cutter over the clay, where you want to take your shape from and press down firmly but gently.

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Remove your cutter from the piece, taking care to ensure that you don’t damage the edges of your shape.







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Remove the scrap clay from your work surface making sure that you wrap it carefully to keep it moist and use a craft knife or any other implement with a sharp edge to lift your piece from your work surface. If you have used oil, then it should lift off easily. If you are having difficulties then work around the piece loosening the edges before trying to lift the whole.





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If you have used a large cutter, it is likely that you will have cut only 1 shape from your rolled clay. So now you need to work your left over clay between your fingers to remove any air and work it back into a ball. Now repeat the process of rolling, texturing and cutting to create your second ear ring.





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If your shape was smaller then you will have been able to cut 2 or maybe more shapes from a single roll. Here we have worked our scraps together after cutting out 2 large circles and have cut 2 smaller shapes to use in the same pair of ear rings using exactly the same process as described above.

For this pair of ear rings we have made 2 large textured circles, 2 smaller untextured circles and 2 smaller textured squares.

It will be necessary to have holes in the pieces that we have made so that they can be linked together to form the ear rings. Later, we will do this with a hand drill but if you don’t have one, now is the time to make your holes using a toothpick gently pushed through the wet clay in the place where you want the hole to be in your finished piece.


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Your pieces are now ready to be dried. There are a variety of ways to do this, air dry them over night, or if you are impatient to carry on like we are, then you can use a hair dryer, or 20 minutes in your oven.  It is particularly important to ensure that the clay is fully dry to avoid any popping during the firing stage which will damage your piece.




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It is now very important to take care of your pieces, once dried they become quite sensitive to knocks and drops and although broken pieces can be repaired using a little sliver clay paste, known as slip, applied with a brush, if you treat them with care, your dried pieces will be just fine as you continue to work with them to get the finish you want.




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When the clay is dry, but before it is fired, is a good time to work on your piece to achieve the finished look that you want. In particular, look at the edges, any uneven or pointed edges can be smoothed out using a fine grade of sand paper and smooth surfaces can be gently rubbed over to achieve a more satisfactory finish.





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Once you are satisfied that your piece is how you want it to be, it is time to fire it. We use a blow torch, you can also use a kiln. However, at home a kitchen or crème brulee torch will do the job just as well on pieces that weigh 25 grams or less.

Make sure to place your piece on a fire proof surface such as a soldering board. A fire brick is a cheap and easily obtained alternative. Place this on a heat resistant surface, such as your cooker top so that if your piece should roll off whilst still hot it will not damage the surface. We use vermiculate both to support the piece during firing and to prevent it from rolling away. And finally, before you start tie any long hair or loose clothing out of the way.


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Gently heat your piece using your torch. It will initially catch fire but don’t panic, this is normal, as the bonding agent in the clay burns away. As your piece gets hotter it will become peachy in colour. Depending on the weigh of your piece, you will need to maintain this colour for 1 to 2 minutes taking great care not to melt it! If it becomes too hot, the surface will start to take on a shiny liquid like appearance, move the torch away briefly, allowing your piece to cool back to a peachy colour and then point the torch back again.

Allow your piece to cool. Don’t immerse it in water or pickle, just leave it to cool for a few minutes.


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Once cooled, your piece will be white in appearance. Use a brass brush and some running water to polish the surface to reveal the silver.






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If you didn’t make your holes for connecting your pieces together when your clay was wet, now is the time to do it. You will need a centre punch, hammer, finger clamp and hand drill with a 1 mm drill bit.

Place the centre punch on to your piece, where you want to make the hole and gently tap it with the hammer. This will make a small indent in your piece to guide the drill bit through.





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Place your piece in the finger clamp to hold it steady and put the drill bit into the indentation made by the centre punch and drill your hole.








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If you have attended any of our silversmithing or wirework courses or viewed our online wirework course, you will know how to make jump rings. If you don’t want to make your own, they are easily obtained from craft shops and jewellery making suppliers.

Using pliers, open the rings, to the side, never unroll them as it will damage the shape, and slip the ring through the hole in your piece.



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Using your pliers close the jump ring allowing the piece to hang from it.







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To link 2 pieces together, open a jump ring as before and slip both pieces onto the ring using the hole that you have made. Close the ring and your pieces will hang one below the other linked together by the ring.






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Our ear rings have been made by linking the small textured square piece to the large textured circle  using a jump ring and then the large circle is linked to the small untextured circle using 2 jump rings, all put together as described above.






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We made our ear wires from 0.7mm sterling silver wire and you can see a demonstration video of how to do this on our website.


A Brief History of Jewellery

The first Jewellery finds date back to as early as 100,000 years ago.  In this case Nassarius shells were used and holes drilled in them with a flint tool. They were found in Skhul cave on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Isreal. They were thought to be strung on some kind of cord and worn by the person.  These were thought to be the earliest form of jewellery.

It is thought that jewellery was used as a sign of wealth or for showing others they were a member of a certain group.   Jewellery was important and had great meaning even thought to ward off evil.  It was also used as a way of holding hair up or to tie clothing.

Earlier pieces were made of natural objects, such as stones, shells, wood, bone and feathers.  Later precious metals were used as they are today.  They skills used to create this precious metal jewellery, by hand, have changed very little over the years and when you begin to make a piece of jewellery yourself, you really appreciate the skills of the people in ancient times.

BBC Science and environment website
All about gemstones website
Wikipedia - History of jewellery

Article on Using Silver Clay worth a read

Hello Everyone, if you're considering booking our 1 day course on making jewellery from Silver Clay then please take the time to read this article written by Adam Hunter from CooksonGold. It's interesting to read and may help you decide whether or not to sign up. Personally Silver Clay is my favourite medium, it's easy to use and the design possiblities are endless. Let me know what you think of the article.    Cheers Delia

(START)  Whether you are an experienced jewellery maker or a complete beginner, silver metal clay is by far the easiest of the metal clays to use. The possibilities are endless; you can twist it, roll it, bend it, sculpt it, pull it or cut it and when fired it becomes pure, 99.9% silver.

It's a fun and exciting material which means you can be as creative as you like and you can make anything from decorative necklaces to wear at parties to gorgeous drop earrings as a Christmas present for your mum. But there are a few basics you need to know before making a start.

You will firstly need a supply of silver art clay, which you can easily buy from jewellery suppliers. Silver art clay is the best clay for using at home as it requires a lower firing temperature than other metal clays. You will also need a wire brush for cleaning your silver clay after being fired, as there will be a remaining layer of clay that appears dull and uninteresting which needs to be removed before it is used or worn.

You will also need somewhere or someway of firing your silver clay creation, but this doesn't necessarily mean buying a proper kiln. Firing can be done at home with a pot that can be used with your gas stove or even a blow torch, meaning it is easier and cheaper than you might think. You will also need heat protective gloves, a kitchen timer and a special spatula or kiln fork so that you can add and remove silver from the firing process.

Once you have all your essentials, you need to start thinking about what you want to design, who it's for and what you want it to look like, as this will determine the decorative materials and tools you will need to create your silver clay piece.

There is everything from tiny jewels to gold leaf that can be used along with your silver clay, so that your design is unique and attractive. Once you have decided what your silver clay piece is going to look like, you need to decide how you are going to make it.

Cookie cutters are an easy way to shape the silver clay and are available wherever you purchased your clay from. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be used to make some interesting pieces. When it comes to effects on jewellery, again, the possibilities really are endless. After shaping your jewellery you can add your chosen effects. You can carve into the clay to create intricate details that will make it stand out from the crowd or you can use liquid silver for adding on details and shapes, such as flowers, snakes or initials. You can also add texture or embossing by using seashells or tree bark. This makes the jewellery look professional and different from just a regular silver item, adding intrigue and personality. Try not to handle the silver clay too much as it loses moisture as soon as it leaves the packaging and needs to be kept as moist as possible throughout moulding and decorating. You can use basic olive oil on your hands to keep the clay moist or a spray bottle filled with water for the odd top up when needed.

Once designed and created, your silver clay needs to be dried overnight or for 30 minutes when dried at 100°C (a hairdryer is fine for this) and then can be fired at a temperature of around 1600°F.

Once dry you can then brush off the remaining outer layer of dull clay revealing a sparkling, shiny silver underneath. You can then polish it and add any additional effects or polishes, completing your silver jewellery so that it is ready to wear.

Whether it is a single piece or lots of silver pieces put together, jewellery making with silver art clay is fun, easy and anyone can do it. It could save you money and you will own a unique piece that no one else has. And now is the perfect time to try it out for yourself. (END)

Adam Hunter - E-commerce Marketing Manager of