Nature provides some of the most stunning materials for jewellery. Rocks suitable for jewellery making can be found all over the world in or near rivers, mountains, beaches, woodlands or even at the terminus of glaciers. Making jewellery out of rocks means that each piece will be one of a kind. Here is how to drill holes in small rocks for use in jewellery and suggestions for how to incorporate rocks into necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Dremel tool and selection of drill bits
- Jewellery hardware
- Wire or string
Find the rock you wish to use to make a piece of jewellery. This is the fun part where you may stumble upon or purposefully seek a rock. Keep in mind that the size of the rock, stone or pebble used will affect what kind of jewellery it can be used for and that thinner rocks are easier to drill a hole through. Rocks that easily crumble do not work well.
Wash your rock in warm water when you get it home and let it air dry.
Decide what kind of piece you will make and how the rocks will best be incorporated in it. A flattish stone of 1 to 3 inches in length may work well as a pendant, whereas a smaller, rounder stone will work better for earrings or bracelets. If your stone has many angles and looks like it will be too difficult to find a drilling point, then review Step 6.
Use a bit for the dremel tool that will allow for the cord or wire you need to pass through the rock, but not much bigger. An aluminum oxide grinding stone with a ¼-inch bit diameter is helpful as is a diamond wheel point with a 5/64-inch bit diameter. Begin by using the larger aluminum oxide grinding bit to make an indent on the rock. Lightly press the moving bit to start a depression. Then use the finer point bit to start drilling the hole. It can take nearly an hour to drill through a 1/2 inch of stone while being careful enough not to break it.
Rinse off the rock in warm water once you have successfully drilled through the part through which to pass cord or wire. It can now be used for attaching to a necklace or looping wire through for earrings or incorporating into a bracelet.
Wrap a stone that you are unable to drill a hole through with jewellery wire. These come in silver, copper or a variety of colours if you wish to enhance the piece. Wrap the length of the rock in a spiral, or by crisscrossing the wire in an X to hold it to a necklace or earrings. This can also work for small rocks on rings, though generally rocks are faceted or glued to rings.
Tips and warnings
- Use caution when working with a dremel tool.
- Use eye protection when drilling stone.
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