May 26, 2015

Using Copper Embossing Foil and Beads in Jewelry Making

Foiled Again


Today is something a little different - part of a larger project that I am hoping to get done by the weekend.

How to use aluminum and copper foil sheets for bead and jewelry making craft projects

I am working with thin sheets of Copper and Aluminum Embossing or Tooling Foil. This is very fun stuff to work with and I have fond memories of using it in art class in elementary school.


I purchased the foil when my children were in elementary school and I volunteered to teach art.  It's pretty sad that there are no longer art teachers and art classes at our local schools - only parent volunteers - but I am glad I got to share so many of my favorite projects with my children and their classmates.

And I'm pretty glad I found this stash of leftover foil too.

How to use aluminum and copper foil sheets for bead and jewelry making craft projects

The foil comes in either aluminum (which offers a variet of colors) or copper - and varies from 36 - 40g thick. Using it is simple - you can cut it with scissors or use punches and emboss patterns on it with a wooden stick - or even use it for fold forming.

How to use aluminum and copper foil sheets for bead and jewelry making craft projects

These squares are aluminum with a copper color on one side.  The other colored sheets are also silver (aluminum) on one side.  I have solid copper sheets too.

There are a few things you should know about working with embossing foil.  First - it is relatively thin and can easily slice your finger open.

If you are going to use it to emboss a free form design, you must work on a surface that has give - like a notebook or piece of cardboard.  If you work on a firm surface, the foil will rip and will not impress the design. Click here for a detailed step by step look at the process of creating a pattern on embossing foil.

You have to be very gentle using the colored aluminum foil - the color scrapes off very easily.

How to use aluminum and copper foil sheets for bead and jewelry making craft projects

Here are a few examples of embossed and fold formed hearts.  All of the shapes are cut from folded foil using kids craft scissors.

The top left heart has a scroll or vine pattern drawn on it and then the piece is flipped over and the negative spaces are pressed on with the wood tool to make the pattern stand out even more. The top right and lower left hearts are also made by drawing patterns and embossing on the other side.

The bottom right heart is fold formed - randomly folded and then pressed with the wooden stick to give it a good crease.  After all the folds are made, the form is unfolded to reveal the design - which in this case looks a bit like a leaf.

How to use aluminum and copper foil sheets for bead and jewelry making craft projects

One other nice thing about the copper foil is that it is very easy to pierce with a needle - which opens up a whole bunch more possibilities.

How to use aluminum and copper foil sheets for bead and jewelry making craft projects

I finally finished my project using the foil hearts, strung them together with beads and published the free tutorial for the Garden Decor Wind Chime. I also made a separate tutorial for a simpler version that is a beaded sun catcher (and I have been happily hanging those babies all over the place!)

Also, if you've used the copper or aluminum foil for jewelry making projects, let me know how it went and any tips you have for working with it.


It's FREEEEEEEE.


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6 comments :

  1. Intriguing! I'm thinking about using gold leaf on wooden beads to jazz them up. Do you have any tutorials on that process I can use?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Intriguing! I'm thinking about using gold leaf on wooden beads to jazz them up. Do you have any tutorials on that process I can use?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where is the best place you've found to buy the copper and aluminum sheets?

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    Replies
    1. I bought mine at ENasco. Here's a link to their page of embossing foils: https://www.enasco.com/action/solr/select?q=embossing+foil and here's a link to their copper foil: https://www.enasco.com/action/solr/select?q=copper+foil

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  4. Where do you get those wooden pointed sticks? I'm making craft projects for kids.

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    Replies
    1. I got them as part of a set with embossing foils. There are a lot of them in the set. https://www.enasco.com/product/9703267
      They also sell them in packs of 12 - but I'm not sure if they are the exact same: https://www.enasco.com/product/2400291

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