How to Make Filigree Jewelry

By Kayla Lowe ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • 20 gauge gold or silver wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Gold or silver solder
  • Ceramic soldering board
  • Borax flux
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Torch
  • Pickle
  • Metal casting
  • Cameo or gemstones (optional)

Filigree is a delicate, intricate and fanciful type of ornamentation that is usually made from gold, silver or another precious metal. It is formed by twisting and bending wire to create detailed designs. Filigree bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings are often adorned with a gemstone of fine cameo, adding to its delicacy. Making filigree jewelry is time-consuming and challenging.

How to Make Filigree Jewelry

Shape several pieces of wire into arches, using the wire cutters to bend and twist the wire. You can be creative with the arch forming, creating them as large or small as you wish.

Cut the gold or silver solder into fine chips.

Place the arches to be soldered together on the ceramic soldering board.

Mix a tablespoon of borax flux with a few drops of water until it forms a watery paste.

Dip a paintbrush into the flux solution and use it to apply the flux to the joints of the arches to be soldered together.

Use the tweezers to pick up the solder chips and place them atop the flux solution on the wire arches.

Turn on the torch and begin heating the solder pieces. Heat them gently from a distance so that they do not blow off the wire.

Move the flame closer to the solder as the flux begins to turn clear. The solder will heat and slump before flowing onto any metal it is touching, causing the metal to surge together.

Ensure that the wire arches are positioned how you want them. Use the tweezers to reposition them if need be.

Allow the metal to cool, and then repeat this process for each piece of wire that you want to solder together.

Use the tweezers to pick up the completely soldered and cooled piece of jewelry and place it in the pickle solution, which will remove the flux residue from the metal wire.

Tip

Solder a metal casting to the top of the wires, and then place a cameo or gemstone within the casting.

Warning

Apply heat to the solder evenly so that the wires meld together correctly.

About the Author

Kayla Lowe has been a freelance writer since 2008. She writes for various online publications and is also the author of the book "Maiden's Blush," a Christian-fiction romance novel. Lowe is pursuing a degree in elementary education.