Monday, August 22, 2011

Metal Monday: Making Your Metal Money Stretch

Yikes! Have you seen the price of gold and silver?!?  Especially silver which was my go to precious metal. I can't even afford that right now!

I'm sure many of you are in the same boat. One of the ways I make my money stretch is to use base metal and then cover it with silver fill wire. I wrote a tutorial last year on how to coil the double dips that's available to you for free.

If you're using base metals such as copper and brass, you can patina them to a dark finish which will unify the color of your base metals. I did this with the "Meandering Earrings" project that appeared in the summer 2010 issue of Easy Wire. The earrings were made with copper wire and finished in a dark, bark-like color.

When you've used a dark patina on base metals, it's important to seal in the patina so it doesn't rub off. There are several ways to do this. One is to seal it with Renaissance wax and another is to use a sealant like Midas available from Rio Grande.

Monsterslayer is the lowest priced silver fill wire I've found. If you've got a different source with lower prices, please share by leaving a comment.

Make sure you take some time today to create something!


BooBeads said...

Sterling is my favorite metal but copper is right behind it. I absolutely love the warmth of copper and the many ways it will take patina.

I save every scrap of both, sterling to be sent to suppliers where I'll get credit, and copper to the local metal recycling!

Nissa said...

What lovely advice. I was looking into metal prices as well, and I'm not sure I can afford it, this is the perfect solution!

Birthday gift ideas said...

Looks nice with the touch of this new metal with a nice gold hue and brightness yet nit exactly like gold.The little shapes are also very cute.

Marianna said...

Those are great!!

Monsterslayer is the best priced I've seen so far too.

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Good advice, Cat! Save those scraps and get some of your hard earned $$ back!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Nissa,

Like Cat said, copper is a lovely warm color but if you really want that silver look, you can get it with coiling - plus, it's very trendy now in the wire wrapping world! Just take a look at Etsy and you'll see so many pieces with coiling in it.

Thanks for commenting!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Marianna,

Yes, I think so too. I love Metalliferous for base metal and since I'm close, everything comes within a day or two. But they don't carry silver fill yet. I'm sure they will soon!

Thanks for commenting!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Thanks, Birthday gift ideas!

Kristen said...

I just discovered Monsterslayer and ordered some argentium sterling silver wire for half the price! I sell a lot of balled headpins and maybe now I can actually make some money. I will look into the silver fill stuff, too. So many supplies to try!