How-To: Easy Engraved Bracelet

May 20, 2013

Looking for an easy way to add a word or phrase to your next jewelry project? Recently I tried out the Micro Engraver from Bead Smith and learned a few tricks by making this easy mixed-media cuff.

To make a similar cuff, you'll need the following:

  • Blank metal cuff (mine is 10mm wide)
  • Lucite, resin, or plastic floral embellishment (I used a vintage-style 34mm matte mustard plastic rose cabochon from MK Beads)
  • 12" of ribbon that is 10-11mm wide
  • Multi-purpose adhesive
  • Micro Engraver tool
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Patina inks (optional)
  • Paper towel (optional)
  • Metal reliefing block (optional)

Mark the placement of your flower so you'll know where to start your lettering. (I wanted my flower slightly off center.)

Holding the engraving tool like a pencil, carefully write your word(s).

The finished phrase. You can leave it like this, or highlight the words using a little patina ink.

Apply a dot of patina ink and then spread with a paper towel, making sure to rub the ink into the engraved letters.

Once the ink has dried, use the metal reliefing block to remove the ink from the non-engraved areas.

Use the adhesive to apply a strip of ribbon to the non-engraved half of the bracelet.

Cut 3 short sections of ribbon and fray the ends; adhere in an "x" fashion to the cuff where the flower will be placed.

Glue the flower on top of the ribbon sections.

One side of the bracelet, showing the engraved lettering.

The other side, showing the ribbon and flower.

I found it difficult to make smooth letters with the Micro Engraver. Once the tip touched my cuff, I felt the need to move the tool quickly, otherwise my letters seemed wavy. And I couldn't quite tell how much pressure was appropriate--a fairly light touch seemed to do the trick. Both of these situations could easily be remedied with more practice.

The other challenge I had was applying too much patina ink the first time, dabbing it onto all of the letters using a paint brush. Once the ink had dried, it was nearly impossible to remove all of it from the non-engraved areas of the cuff. So on my second try, I simply placed a dot of ink on the first letter (straight from the bottle), then used a paper towel to spread the ink to the remaining letters, allowing for a much lighter application. This time it was so much easier to buff off the dried ink using the metal reliefing block!

I encourage you to give it a try! Having the tool allows for endless possibilities in customizing your jewelry with whatever your imagination holds!

Happy crafting,


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