Arte Es Vida

Copper Washer Pendent by arteesvida
December 2, 2006, 3:36 am
Filed under: Mixed Media, Non-Traditional Jewelry, Wire Work

From 2003: We recently moved from a house in the middle of nowhere, to a townhouse in the suburbs. The bad news is my 3-year-old doesn’t understand why he can’t go outside naked. The good news is I have unwittingly discovered the Mecca of junk. I learned very quickly to look at the ground as I am out walking around, and I come home with a pocketful of odd objects that make my husband wrinkle his nose with disgust. But I knew I had one person on my side when the aforementioned (and yes, fully clothed) 3-year-old stopped his trike on the way home from the park to pick up and present me with a squashed bottle cap. If you, like us, have a magpie’s eye for shiny found treasures, this is a project you will love!


A large metal washer (yep, mine was a found object…but you can pick one up at the hardware store too)

Copper paint made with ground copper and a verdegris copper patina solution (made with ammonium chloride and copper sulfate). You can buy these separately or in a kit. I purchased the Modern Options Patina Green Antiquing Set (available at Michaels) for this project.

Non-yellowing acrylic sealer


20 gauge copper wire

Wire cutters

Round nosed pliers

Metal file or rotary tool with file attachment

Clean up your metal washer. If it is new and still smooth, you should rough it up a little with some sandpaper to give the metal enough teeth to adhere the paint. Paint on the copper base coat. While the paint is still tacky (not completely fresh, but not dried yet), brush on (with a different or well-cleaned brush) the verdigris solution in the areas you want to antique. The more layers of the solution you apply the darker the patina will ultimately be. If your copper base coat dries completely before you apply the antiquing solution, the solution will not work. You will need to apply another coat of copper base before antiquing.

After it is completely dry, seal it will a non-yellowing acrylic sealer (a matte sealer will preserve the aged look better than a gloss sealer).

After applying at least two coats of sealer and giving them ample time to dry flip the washer over and paint and seal the other side.

When both sides are finished you are ready to wire wrap. For a simpler look you can use just enough wire to make a pendent loop, or you can wire wrap the whole piece. On this pendent I wrapped twice and then left a bit of space before wrapping again. It gave a nice contrast between the aged copper on the washer, and the new shiny copper of the wire.

If the pendent will be receiving a lot of wear, you might consider using more wire wrapping rather than less, it will provide a “cage” for the washer itself and diminish it’s rubbing against the clothes and skin of the wearer, making it less likely to wear the paint off.

Whether you wrap the whole piece, or just in one place to make a loop, make sure you leave an inch of wire hanging off the washer at the beginning of your wrap. This spot will be the top of your pendent. Use your round-nosed pliers to turn this piece into a loop. When you finish wrapping and return back to the top, wrap the wire several times around the bottom of the loop to secure not only the loop but also the wrap itself.

Snip off your excess wire and file any rough edges and you’re done!

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