A cuff bracelet is an elegant adornment for the wrist. Unlike bangle or link bracelets, cuff bracelets tend to stay in place. They make a bold yet simple statement and can complement a variety of clothing styles. Cuff bracelets are suitable for both men and women. While they are available in a variety of materials, including leather, fabric, and beads, cuff bracelets fashioned from sterling silver have a beautiful, cool-toned glow. Sterling silver is a precious metal that is as durable as it is attractive. You can use it to make a cuff bracelet in any size you desire.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 20-gauge sterling silver sheet metal
- Measuring tape
- Leather-coated mallet
- Bracelet mandrel
Measure your wrist with measuring tape to determine the right length for your cuff bracelet. Remember that a cuff bracelet is an open circle; it has a fairly small opening which typically faces the inside of the wrist and allows the snug-fitting bracelet to be slipped on and removed with ease.
Determine how wide you want your cuff bracelet to be. Note that cuff bracelets range from less than one inch to several inches wide. Keep in mind that the wider you make your cuff, the bolder it will be.
Draw a simple outline of your cuff in pencil on a sheet of paper. Use the measurements for length and width that you determined in steps 1 and 2 when you draw the outline. Cut the outline out of the paper with scissors. Use the paper cuff as a template.
Place the paper template on a piece of sterling silver sheet metal. Trace around the template in pencil. Cut the cuff shape out of the sheet metal with scissors.
Soften the edges of the sterling silver strip with sandpaper. Smooth away any sharp edges and jagged bits, which will make wearing the cuff unpleasant.
Position the sterling silver strip against a bracelet mandrel, a cylindrical form made of metal or wood that is used to shape and size bracelets. Shape the strip into a circular form around the bracelet mandrel by hammering it with a leather-coated mallet, a special hammer that can shape metal without marring it.
Continue to strike the sterling silver strip against the bracelet mandrel until it is the ideal shape and size for your wrist. Note that a bracelet mandrel is conical as well as cylindrical; you can make your cuff smaller by hammering it on the narrow portion of the mandrel, or larger by hammering it on the wider portion of the mandrel.
Slide the cuff off the bracelet mandrel. Your sterling silver cuff bracelet is complete.
Tips and warnings
- Add embellishments to your cuff by hammering or stamping the sterling silver strip before you form it into a cuff shape. Strike the strip with a chasing hammer to add decorative indentations to it. Hammer letter, numeral or symbol stamps into the strip to mark the cuff with words, numbers or other designs.
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