I designed this sword pendant for my son, so it is teenage-boy-approved. This project has a lot of steps, but is fairly easy to follow - much like origami. Also, because you don't need more than 12" pieces of wire, it's a great project to use up scrap.
Step 1: What You Need
Note: This is a great project for using short lengths of wire you might otherwise throw out.
All wire is round, dead soft copper, which means you can buy it at the hardware store or use scrap, or use stripped copper wire. Gauges can be adjusted, but make sure your base wire is at least 18g.
10” of 18g wire for base
12” of 21g wire for ornamenation
3” 24g wire to attach beads
1 or more 2-6mm gemstone bead(s)
1 jump ring
Clear nail polish
Flat Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
A metal block for hammering
Step 2: Finished Sword Will Be About 2"
You can adjust wire lengths if you want a different size.
Step 3: Begin
Cut one piece of 18 gauge copper wire about 10 inches long.
Bend the wire at about 6 inches
Note: I'll show 4 pieces just to demonstrate variation in the swords. You only need one piece of (each gauge of) wire per sword.
Step 4: Make a Point
Use flat nose pliers to squeeze the end into a tight point.
At about 2" from the point, bend one wire at a 90° angle. Repeat on the other side.
Note: I show 4 pieces just to demonstrate variation. You only need one piece per sword.
Step 5: Starting the Handle (Cross-Guard)
Using the fattest part of your flat nose pliers as a guide for length, bend one wire at a 90° angle. Repeat with the other wire.
Step 6: Cross-Guard
Bend one wire over all the way and tighten like the point on the bottom. Repeat with the other wire.
Bend the wires at a 90° angle so that the ends point upwards back in line with the bottom of the sword.
Step 7: Cross-Guard
Step 8: Shape Cross-Guard
Using flat nose pliers, bent the cross-guard up or down, depending on the sword style you want. Make it slightly curved.
Step 9: Forge the Blade
Time to hammer your sword.
Using a metal block and chasing hammer (or use what ever you have), gently hammer each side of your sword blade so that it flattens. The more you hammer, the wider it will get. Try to keep the thickness even. Flatten out the sword until you have a thickness and shape you like.
You can also flatten your cross-guard if you want.
Step 10: Point the Tip
Gently hammer the point of the sword into a point. To get the ship more precise, use an emery board to file the rounded sword tip into a point. Don’t make it to sharp.
Pro Tip: Emery boards make great files for soft metals like copper.
Step 11: Pointy Sword
Step 12: Create the Grip & Pommel
Bend the tail of one wire end at a right angle, about .75" above the top of the cross-guard. Use flat nose pliers.
Step 13: Pommel Loop
With round nose pliers, hold the wire tail at the bend and loop the wire tail over the pliers and into a circle with your fingers.
Step 14: Make the Grip
Then wrap the remaining wire tail around the other wires in the space left above the cross-guard. Make at least 5 or 6 full wraps. You can wrap as much as you want after that if the wire is long enough and you can maneuver above the cross-guard. Use pliers on the grip to add stability. Cut excess wire if you want.
Note: Here are 4 swords that are all a little different.
Step 15: Patina
Add patina to the swords at this stage.
These are almost done and you can finish them now if you don’t want additional decoration.
Pro Tip: Add patina in stages if you want to be able to shine up parts that will be partly hidden later.
Step 16: Wash
When dark enough, rinse the chemicals off your sword. Pat dry.
Step 17: Buff
Using a Dremel or other rotary buffer, or hand buffing sheets, start taking off the heavy patina. Buff until all the high points are shiny and the low points are black.
Pro Tip: You can leave parts (like the grip or cross-guard) all black if you want.
You can decide your sword is done now and just add a jump ring - or keep going.
Step 18: Add Gems
Cut 3” of 24g wire to attach gem(s). Apply clear nail polish to the center of the wire if your beads are translucent. Allow to dry.
Pro Tip: When working with see-through beads and patina, apply clear nail polish to the wire before adding beads.
Step 19: Choose Beads
Choose beads and add them to the 3" wire. See how you like them around the grip, and/or cross-guard.
Step 20: Attach Gems
When you have a bead design you like, attach them firmly by winding the thin wire ends around the cross-guard. You can wind wire around the beads also for extra security.
Step 21: Decorative Points
Cut a 12” piece of 21g wire for ornamentation. This length is variable, so just use what you have. Bend the wire in half. Use flat nose pliers to squeeze the end into a tight point.
Measure about 1" from the point and bend one wire 90 degrees.
Step 22: Ornamentation
Bend the second wire 90 degrees in the other direction. Now line the decorative point up on the center of the blade. Wrap each end around one handle of the cross-guard. You will have about 4" of wire on each side to use as ornamentation.
This is where you get creative. Wrap the wires around the cross-guard, grip, and/or gems. Make up your own design or use my examples as a reference.
Attach jump ring to pommel.
Step 23: Examples
Fronts and backs of swords.
Step 24: Patina
Apply patina to the new wire ornamentation.
Step 25: Antique
Using a Dremel or other rotary buffer, or hand buffing sheets, start taking off the heavy patina. Buff the ornamentation until all the high points are shiny and the low points are black.
Step 26: Finished!
Your sword is done! If you want to protect the finish, apply a jewelry grade sealer.
Add a chain and wear.