If you want to make rings, then using a ring blank is pretty much an essential starting point. If you weren’t sure what they are, ring blanks are exactly what the name sounds like – blank forms of rings, that can be used as a base to decorate and craft your own ring.
Ring blanks can be found in a variety of styles, materials and sizes – from adjustable ring blanks, blanks designed to have decorations or stones fixed to the front, and mesh blanks that you can wire beads on to. There are really no limits on how to use blanks – you can be as creative as you like, and with a ready-made ring form to work with, it can be quite a quick process to get to a finished piece that’s ready to wear.
To whet your appetite for creativity, here are just a few suggestions on working with ring blanks:
Time for vintage
For a really unique and vintage inspired piece of jewellery, you can transform a piece of broken retro paraphernalia into a creative decoration. Old watch faces look especially evocative – the more battered and beaten they are, the better! For this idea, small, delicate vintage watch faces work really well.
You simply need to remove the original clock face from the casing of a watch, keeping, or discarding the hand fixtures. Using a strong craft glue, affix the watch face to a large flat fronted ring blank, and leave to dry. You can add a protective glaze afterwards to secure the watch face. Another steampunk-inspired alternative is to go behind the clock face, and use the inner cogs and gears of a watch instead – definitely a very eye-catching and original result!
You don’t always need to attach something to a ring blank in order to turn it into a work of creative art. Plain ring blanks can be transformed into something beautiful, simply by stamping or carving the surface of the blank instead.
To create stamped rings using blanks, it’s easier to use wider blanks, that allow more space for decoration. It’s also much easier to stamp a wider surface than a very narrow piece of metal. Hammer out the ring into a flat piece carefully – you may find that you need to sand down or polish any uneven edges. Once flattened, you can create a pattern using a metal stamper or textured hammer. If you’d like to add contrast to the stamped surface, try filling it in with marker pen.
Finally, create your ring using ring forming pliers, to shape it to the correct size.
If you fancy trying out cross stitching and have a knack for small and fiddly projects, then this ring idea may be right up your street. You’ll need some plain fabric, backing buttons and ring blanks with a large, flat surface to attach them to.
Stitch on your pattern or character onto the fabric and attach carefully to the backing buttons. Once this is fixed on, you can then glue the button to the front of your ring blank. For best results, you should try to keep the motif relatively small – no bigger than 20-30 mm. While the small stitches might be quite fiddly, the end result is really cute!