Beaded Bookmark Made with Hammered Copper Wire and Fimo Focal Beads

Hammered Copper Wire Bookmark

Did You Know… Beaded Bookmarks Are Also Called Book Thongs… Huh?!

Today’s photo reveals the answer to the true identity of the copper wire jewelry piece from the other day. And as most all of you so cunningly deduced, it wasn’t jewelry at all. This focal-bead-embellished, hammered copper creation, is actually a bookmark, or book thong as they are sometimes called.

I recently started making these stiff wire bookmarks and really like how they work as compared to the flexible wire beaded book thongs. Don’t know about you, but I still feel a bit weird referring to them as a thong.

In order to ‘work harden’ the wire and keep it from bending all over the place, the wire is first pounded flat using the flat side of a hammer, and then ‘dented’ with the rounded ball peen side. This hammering makes the wire surprisingly stiff and durable.

A dangle is then created using finer gauge copper wire, some glass beads and a polymer clay focal bead sculpted into the shape of a folk arty looking turquoise bird.

I really enjoy working with wire and plan to combine it with polymer clay more often. I’ll keep blogging about these copper creations as they happen… if it’s OK with all of you. Any specific requests for copper wire projects or techniques? Be sure to let me know in the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Sue Castle, 18 May, 2009

    I’ve seen something similar in the craft stores and thought it was a great idea, but didn’t even think of making them myself. What size copper “wire” did you use for the heavier part? I’m trying to imagine “hammering it flat”. Thanks, Sue C

  2. Jocelyn, 18 May, 2009

    I love it, no matter what it’s called, lol. The “hammering” process has me intrigued, sounds like it might be an excellent outlet for some frustration. Cannot wait for you to share the process.

    Still say it would make the coolest hair adornment, just change the bottom for a smooth entry and exit. Imagine that “thong” in a bun or french roll worn to a cocktail party in a matching silk sheath. Lovely!

  3. Ken H., 18 May, 2009

    S.C. – Copper shouldn’t be that hard to hammer. Probably somewhere in the 16 to 10 gauge range (lower the number the thicker the wire).
    Cindy – Could you do/show something on wire wrapping, either blog post or video, I just can’t seem to get the hang of it, especially the part of wire wrapping that goes around the circumference and looks like (and probably acts like) a bezel.

  4. Maria, 18 May, 2009

    Yes Cindy, I agree with Ken…I, too, would really love to learn about wire wrapping..thanks…

  5. Sarahwww, 18 May, 2009

    Love to see more copper work!
    I got a tiny (1 lb) anvil at Harbor Freight. I haven’t done alot with it, but it is fun to hammer wire flat.

  6. Lois, 19 May, 2009

    OK, you gotta love book thongs. lol. That’s great and as always your beads are delicious.

  7. Alan, 19 May, 2009

    Since you liked the “book thong” name, this style of bookmark is often referred to as a “hookmark”. And it looks great!

  8. Cindy Lietz, 19 May, 2009

    @Sue: I used 14 gauge copper wire I bought in the electrical department at Home Depot. You Could also use 12 or 10 as well if you could find it. It needs to be pretty heavy to keep from bending.

    @Jocelyn: I think it would make a cool hair stick! You’ll have to come up with something. As serendipity would have it, I had decided to make this weeks library video on hammered copper findings. You’ll find the announcement on it in tomorrows post.

    @Ken: Like I just mentioned to Jocelyn, I will be teaching how to make copper clasps this week. I will add the bezel to the list of future videos, since I think many would like it too.

    @Maria: Ditto what I said to Ken.

    @sarahwww: I want one of those. They are so cute! I just use a chunk of metal my dad gave me.

    @Lois: Thank you! Nice to hear you think the beads are delicious! :-)

    @Alan: That is so cool! I had no idea. You should know, since I see you are a bookmark collector. I bet you have all kinds of neat looking ones! The ones I saw on your site are fabulous! Didn’t see any hookmarks though. You’re going to need to make yourself some! :-)

  9. Cheryl, 22 May, 2009

    I love the bookmarks.

    What a great idea!! I’ve been designing some bookmarks with beads and this would be something i would love to try. Where can I get the block of steel??


  10. Cindy Lietz, 25 May, 2009

    Hi Cheryl! I got that block of metal you saw in the video from my Dad’s shop. Lots of places like Firemountaingems and Polymer Clay Express, sell steel bench blocks, anvils and chasing hammers for inexpensive if you want to get them online. They would be an improvement on what I was using. :-)

  11. Cindy Lietz, 18 July, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Hammered Copper Project Photos have just been added in a Spotlight Feature Showcasing Arlene Harrison. Click on the “Hammered Copper Wire Hookmark” link by my name above to see them now.

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