Rebar jewelry, it seems like an odd combination, but it can make beautiful jewelry. What better way to show off your fashion sense, and your love of Mother Earth on Earth Day, than to sport some upcycle jewelry you made yourself from rebar?
Rebar is everywhere. You can find it in junkyards all over the country. For this activity you don’t need much, so search your back shed or local junk heap and find yourself a rusty, old beat up strip of rebar.
Now to make rebar jewelry requires heavy adult involvement. In fact, it’s really an adult activity. Especially if you are using power tools. Always make sure you put safety first, use the gear and your head!
Using a hacksaw cut your rebar to approximately 2 inches in length. If you have the appropriate power tools, you can use those and save yourself a bit of time.
A file or bench grinder is needed to round off the ends to give it a nice bullet shape. Once rounded, use heavy duty sandpaper, and polish up the rest of the piece so it’s nice and shiny.
With a vice and a drill press put a hole through one end. It will be silver at this stage.
Now here’s the fun part, place it on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven at 450 degrees for an hour. This is called heat tempering and it changes the colour of the metal. After an hour your piece should be a gorgeous dark bronze or even into the purples. Using tongs and oven mitts, remove it from the oven and submerge it in cold water. This will cause the colour to stop changing.
Let it cool completely, then spray with a clear coat to seal it.
Thread a piece of leather, string or chain through the hole and wear your upcycle jewelry proudly!
Now if you happen to know a blacksmith like I do, they can do some pretty amazing things with a piece of rebar, like making their Doctor Who loving wife a bow tie necklace, tempered to a TARDIS blue! Because bow ties are cool!
This was made with a two inch length of rebar, just like the first design. Pretty amazing!
For Earth Day support your local blacksmith, they are masters at upcycling metal into amazing things!