Silhouettes in Silver

Bend it, wrap it, twist it, love it! These easy glittered and beaded ornaments and package toppers, made from soldering wire, bring new form to your holidays.
Solder Wire Ornaments
Sihouettes in Silver
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On a frosty window or Christmas
tree, these shapely icons hold
up best when the joints are
soldered. As an alternative,
they can be joined with wire
and a strong adhesive and the
joints hidden by colored wire
and beads, or by silver sequins.

With just a few practice pieces of solder wire, you'll discover how easily you can create beautiful handmade ornaments. For all the projects shown here, start with these basic materials, then let your hands and imagination do the rest.

What You Need:

For all ornaments

Sihouettes in Silver
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Ornaments can range from a simple
twist of wire ...

  • Patterns
  • 1-pound roll of stained-glass, lead-free solder (pewter finish)
  • Small bottle of flux for soldering
  • Clear acrylic gloss spray
  • Soldering iron with small needle point (optional)
  • Round-nose pliers (for sharp curls and twists)
  • Side-cutting pliers (for cutting flat edges)
  • Tack hammer

For glittered ornaments

Sihouettes in Silver
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... to glittering confections ...

  • Mehron Glitter Dust (fine cosmetic glitter dust)
  • Elmer's Spray Adhesive

For beaded ornaments

Sihouettes in Silver
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... to beaded loops and swirls.

  • 26-gauge bead wire in colors of your choice
  • 2-inch silver-head pins
  • Assorted beads and other embellishments (ribbon,
    jewelry pieces, etc.)
  • Extra-strong adhesive such as Superglue

Instructions:
Sihouettes in Silver
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To make the glittered ornaments
spray with adhesive, then
immediately sprinkle with a
cosmetic glitter dust.

Glittering Ornaments Note: The snowflake and candle designs are created in sections and soldered together (the solder locations look like silver dots). The reindeer is soldered at the base of the antlers, and the tree requires no soldering. 1. Download the free pattern for this project. Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

2. Cut and bend the wire into the needed shapes following the pattern and using the pliers, then solder together (see Bending and Soldering Techniques). 3. Lay the ornament onto a paper towel and spray with adhesive spray, then move it to a clean piece of paper and sprinkle with glitter. 4. Allow 24 hours to dry; then apply two coats of clear acrylic gloss spray.

Sihouettes in Silver
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The beaded ornaments are wrapped
with wire, and the dangles are
made from head pins strung with
beads.

Beaded Ornaments Note: Three of the ornaments are made from one continuous piece of wire, and one is made from three separate pieces of wire, curled on the ends, and soldered in the middle (wire and beads were wrapped around the soldering later). 1. Download the free pattern for this project. Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

 

2. Using the pliers, cut and bend the wire into the needed shapes following the pattern, then solder together if required (see Bending and Soldering Techniques). You will need to lift the piece to create a three-dimensional section. Note: The ornaments with three-dimensional sections were formed around household objects, for example, a wooden spoon, a bottle, or a cone fashioned from heavy cardboard. 3. If desired, hammer select areas on a hard surface with a tack hammer to add texture. 4. To attach beads, use silver or colored wire and work from the center of the pattern outward or from the top downward, depending on the ornament. To curl the wire, wrap it around a bamboo skewer. Use a small amount of extra-strong adhesive to secure the wire and beads. To create dangling beads, use a head pin strung with beads and wire it on using the pliers. 5. When finished, apply two coats of clear acrylic gloss spray.

Continued on page 2:  Bending and Soldering Techniques