Inspired by a piece from Stella McCartney’s spring 2018 collection, I’m sharing a DIY hand necklace that I may never take off again. It’s also the first soldering DIY around here. So if you’ve always wanted to know how to use this illusive crafting tool, be sure to check it out.
Click through for the full tutorial (including how to create the wire hand from scratch, solder all the pieces together, etc).
So, here’s the mystery of the Stella McCartney inspo… A while back, Emma and I stumbled onto a brooch shaped like a hand that was really awesome and then did some digging on Instagram and discovered that there was a necklace version here.
But I couldn’t find it for sale anywhere on their site or anyone else’s? It looks they only sell a brooch version (and that brooch is over $300 in case anyone is wondering)…and now I’m thinking that the necklace photo is actually just the brooch that they added to a chain? I don’t know, but either way, I had to have a hand necklace, so we made our own and now my necklace dreams have come true.
Here’s how to make your own hand necklace inspired by Stella McCartney…
- solder iron set (make sure it comes w/ the solder, like this – mine was $18)
- flux soldering paste (mine was $7)
- 18 gauge non-tarnish brass wire (mine is from Amazon – $5)
- gold plated 16-18 inch chain (mine is from Amazon – $9)
- gold jump rings (mine was $5)
- jewelry wire cutters and needle nose pliers (comes in this kit together)
- small paint brush or q-tip
1. The hand necklace shown was formed freehand, but I would recommend drawing a hand on paper the exact size you want the wire hand to be, as a guide. Then pull a length or wire straight (instead of unwrapping it from the coil, pull it straight out from the spool to make it straight and not curl up).
2. Begin tracing the hand drawing with your wire, starting at one end of the wrist. You can use wire pliers to bend the wire easier if you need to. Don’t forget to create an extra loop on the end of each finger for the nails. You can make the loops loose when you’re going through it initially and then finesse each one at the end. I’ll explain later.
3. Work through bending the wire for the remaining fingers and nails. Now, go back and bend any details or tweak the shapes of fingers and nails to your liking. Then once it’s about done and you’re back to the wrist area, you’re ready to solder.
Note: Throughout the bending process, it was helpful to weight down the parts that weren’t be worked on, to flatten them. You can do this all at once at the end instead, if you prefer. Just put some heavy books on top to flatten the hand so it will lay flat once you attach the chain, etc.
4. Solder time! Make sure you purchase a solder kit, like the Amazon one I linked to (it’s the exact one I used). On a heat safe surface (we used a cement dish), get the two ends of the hand wire that need to be connected in place together. Then brush with flux using the paint brush to apply it to the material. Cut a very short piece of solder (like 1-2 cm) and hold in place with tweezers where you connect the two ends together. Then touch the heated soldering iron to the solder and it should start to liquify / melt. This will join the two pieces together, so the hand is all one piece.
*This part of soldering the two ends of the hand together was a bit tricky at first. And can be a little fragile at that point. So take some extra care to make sure the pieces are joined together really well before moving on. Just be patient (or practice on a scrap piece first) and you’ll get it.
5. I used a chain that already had a clasp attached. So if you go the same route, all you’ll need to do is figure out the placement of the hand in relation to the chain and cut with wire cutters to form two pieces.
Then solder a jump ring on the end of each piece of chain (making sure to steer clear of the opening so you can still attach to the hand later). Be sure to use flux before soldering, just as you did with the hand.
6. Attach the jump ring chains to two different fingers. Middle finger and thumb are good options. Now the necklace should be all one piece again and it’s ready to wear.
Crafting Emma Spear // Photography Brittni Mehlhoff
What do you think of the finished necklace? Yay or nay? Let me know!