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Good Thoughts Barrette Tutorial
Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue
This alligator hair clip conveniently has pre-punched 1/16" holes, ideal for riveting.
A fine-point Sharpie marker works well for writing words and drawing designs for etching. An extra-fine-point Sharpie works well for marking dots through 1/16" holes.
With a fine-point Sharpie, draw a line about 70mm (2-7/8") from the end of the copper strip, and sketch your rough design. Adjust design or copper length if necessary. (Use rubbing alcohol to wipe off design.) Draw matching curves on all 4 corners, then carefully cut out shape with shears. The cleaner you cut, the less filing you'll have to do. File corners and any rough edges.
Use 400-grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface (so you have a good "toothy" surface for your Sharpie etching mask).
Clean with Penny Brite and rinse well, and draw or write final design. Make sure all lines are clean and solid. Add extra dots if desired. They can echo the shape of the rivets, plus help disguise any accidental dots you might get from bubbles that stick to your piece while it is etching.
Gently grip the copper sheet with the barrette (don't make any marks). From the skinny tip of the barrette finding, look at hole #1 (or #2) and hole #5. Are you happy with this potential placement of rivets in your design? or do you need to re-do your design? Consider where to place the stars or other embellishments.
When you're happy with the design, protect the 4 edges of the copper strip with Sharpie, and cover the back with Sharpie and/or duct tape. Attach to a "boat" of styrofoam and float it in a container of ferric chloride. Time varies depending on temperature. Wiggle the float a few times to swish off random bubbles that attach to the front of your design. When it's done etching (30 minutes to 2 hours), clean thoroughly with baking soda, a brass brush, and running water. Allow to dry.
Apply dots of color from the patina kit to selected spots of the design, and distribute color as desired with a paintbrush or a twist of paper towel. Allow to dry. (Wash paintbrush promptly!) Use a brass brush to remove excess paint, then clean off high points with the first 2 grits of polishing papers (first 400, then 600).
Use the barrette to grip the copper sheet down the middle, exactly where you are going to rivet it. Very carefully mark the spots to pierce. Draw the dots as large as you can through the barrette holes, keeping your marks exactly centered.
Punch the hole that is closer to the hinge, insert rivet through the layers, and set rivet with reverse rivet flaring accessory. (Follow the instructions for Crafted Findings riveting system.) Punch the other hole, and set the rivet. If you scuffed the rivet heads, give them a quick polish with 400 then 600-grit polishing papers.
To add star charms, first snip the loops off with flush cutters, then file rough spots smooth. Punch hole through center of each spiral star. Mark dots on the copper sheet, and punch. Run a rivet through a star charm and the copper strip. Set rivet.
Optional: Punch a hole near the very end of the barrette handle, and rivet another star. If the hole is more than 1/8" (3mm) from the end, it will be impossible to rivet securely.
Follow the manufacturer's directions spray seal the piece to protect the patina.Light coats are best, or your patina will change appearance.