How to Make a Flower Belt Buckle

Brighten up an outfit with this whimsical metal flower buckle.
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Materials and Tools:

22-gauge sterling silver sheet metal
14mm pre-made round bezel
14mm round fused glass
belt buckle findings
silver solder
paste flux
heated pickle (acid) in a slow cooker
torch
tweezers
copper tongs
bezel pusher or pliers
ball peen hammer
nylon hammer
tin snips
two-part epoxy
grey polishing wheel
motorized shaft drill
tumbler or polishing machine
steel shot and burnishing solution
polishing rouge
rolling mill
safety glasses: dark for flame-work and clear for polishing
flame-resistant gloves and clothing if preferred
felt pen
belt with snaps to attach buckle
flower template (e.g., puffy stickers)

Steps:

1. Prepare the sterling silver sheet metal (reticulation) by cutting a strip using tin snips.

  • Fire the torch to the silver four times to eliminate the copper, letting it rest for five minutes between firings.
  • Pick up the strip with tongs and place it in the heated acid. After five minutes, rinse it in water.
  • Wrap the strip tightly in a paper towel and roll it through the rolling mill.
  • Remove it from the towel and fire it three more times with the torch.
  • Clean it in the acid, then rinse with water.
  • Bend the silver strip into peaks and valleys (accordion style) on the edge of a table.
  • Fire again three times with the torch.
  • Place the silver in the acid, then rinse with water.
  • Hammer the silver flat with a nylon hammer.

2. Trace a flower design (own design, clip art, etc.) onto the sterling silver sheet metal with a felt pen to the desired buckle size.

3. Cut the flower shape with tin snips.

4. Texture the front and back of the flower shape with a ball peen hammer.

5. Cover the flower shape and pre-made bezel with flux.

6. Using the torch and silver solder, attach the bezel to the front of the buckle.

7. Drop the piece into the pickle (in the slow cooker) to remove fire scale

8. Rinse in water.

9. Turn the flower over and cover the back side with flux.

10. Cover the belt buckle findings with flux.

11. Using the torch and solder attach the buckle findings.

12. Drop the buckle into the pickle for at least five minutes to remove fire scale.

13. Rinse with water and dry.

14. Set the glass into the bezel and use the bezel pusher to set the stone.

15. Use two-part epoxy, if the bezel is not tall enough, to hold the glass.

16. Remove sharp edges and extra solder with the grey polishing wheel.

17. Place the buckle into the tumbler or use the polishing wheel to shine.

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