Using loose stones is a great way to make a one-of-a-kind piece of jewellery. Almost any stone can be used, and there are several methods. One of the most popular methods is drilling the stones and stringing them together on jewellery wire. Since stones can be found in many shapes, sizes and colours, the possibilities are endless.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Stone tumbler
- Jewellery wire
- Crimp tool
- Bead board
Polish the stones. Most found stones have rough edges and are too dirty and dull to be made into jewellery, so they have to be polished. Place the stones into the tumbler and add sand and water as indicated by the instructions for your tumbler. Allow the stones to tumble for 24 to 48 hours, checking the stones periodically. When the stones are polished, dry them with paper towels or a jewellers cloth.
Drill holes in the stones. Place a stone on the base of the drill press. Slowly lower the drill bit until it is just above the stone. Carefully drill a hole through the stone. If the hold doesn't go through to the other side, flip the stone over and drill the other side to finish the hole.
Arrange the stones. Place the stones on the bead board in an appealing pattern. As you arrange the stones, keep in mind the type of jewellery you are making and the desired length of the piece.
Measure the wire and attach the clasp. Measure enough wire to make the length of jewellery you want to make, plus six inches for finishing. Run the wire up through a crimp bead, through the hole on the clasp and back down through the crimp. Attach the crimp by running the wire up through the crimp, through the hole on the clasp and back down through the crimp. Close the crimp using the crimp tool, first clamping the crimp in the round hole of the crimp tool, then turning the crimp 90 degrees and clamping the crimp in the U-shaped hole of the crimp tool.
String the stones on the wire. Slip the wire through the hole drilled in the stones in the order placed on the bead board. As you string the stones, keep note of the length of the piece.
Attach the other end of the clasp using the techniques from Step 4.
Tips and warnings
- Drilling a hole in the middle of stones will make them lay on their sides. Drilling top to bottom will make the stones lie flat when beaded. Drilling through the tops of stones will make them dangle from the wire.
- Other ways to make stones into jewellery: ball caps and epoxy, wire wrapping and bezels.
- When using the drill, always wear protective eye gear.
- When using the stone tumbler, you may want to place it in a secluded area of your home. It is rather noisy and can disrupt normal activity.
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