How to Make a Metal Wall Hanging
If you’re anything like me, I bet you’ve got Pinterest boards brimming with DIY ideas for your home. I’ve got multiple boards and endless scrolls of handmade decoration ideas to have a go at one day, if only I found the time. It’s hard to prioritise the things we know will bring us joy right? But making things for our home should definitely be bumped to the top of all our lists because of the daily joy admiring our handiwork will bring us. I want to show you how easy it can be to make a modern metal wall hanging you can admire with pride everyday and treasure forever in this easy to follow step by step tutorial (you can even buy the craft kit here and get everything you need delivered to your door)
Ready to get cracking on making DIY home decor so good your friends will be asking where they can buy it?
What you'll need to make your wall hanging
Half Round Engineers File
Metal Hole Punch Pliers
Flat Nose Pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
0.5mm thick Brass Sheet (you could use Copper in the exact same way)
Brass Jump Rings
320 Grit Wet & Dry Paper
Steel Wire Wool (Medium & Fine)
Want to save yourself the hassle of looking for everything? You can buy everything you need in this kit and get it delivered to your door in one go. Simple!
How to make a Metal Wall Hanging Step-by-Step
1. Design your DIY wall hanging
Spend some time thinking about what you want your wall hanging to look like. Some time spend on Pinterest searching for wall hangings will do the trick. It’s brimming with handmade decorations for the home that you can get your inspiration from. Just make sure you don’t copy someone else's design directly.
2. Mark the shapes you want for your wall hanging onto the Brass Sheet
Mark the shapes you want in your wall hanging onto the surface of the Brass Sheet. Pencil will work fine but permanent marker would be even better as this won’t rub off while you work with the metal. If you’re creating geometric shapes you can use items from around the home to draw around.
3. Cut your shapes using the Metal Shears
Cut out the shapes you’ve decided on for your wall hanging with Metal Shears. Try keep the piece you want to keep on the left as you cut. It's good practice to cut on the waste side of your line, this means that when the shape is completely cut out you can still see the whole of the line you've drawn which will help in the next stage.
Top Tip. The stiffness of the metal can make cutting curved lines a bit tricky. When cutting curved shapes first cut off a rectangle, then snip off some of the excess in straight lines, before finally cutting around the curve.
The right Metal Shears cutting the right thickness of metal should be as easy as cutting butter. Don’t want to waste time and money looking for the right tools or materials for the job? Get everything you need delivered to your door in one go with this DIY wall hanging kit.
4. Flatten out any bends
Some of your pieces might now look a little bit bend from manoeuvring them with the Metal Shears, especially any long thin shapes. Flatten out the pieces by gently bending them in your hands (being careful not to bend them in the opposite direction!)
5. File the edges of each shape
If your cutting went a bit off path in the previous step now’s your chance to rectify it using the Engineers File. Resting the flat side of the file flat on the edge you've just cut, push the file forward to remove a small amount of metal at a time. The amount of filing needed will depend on what shapes you’re cutting and and how precise you want them to be. Remember that this is a handmade piece and imperfections show that you made it, so don't worry about how much you 'should' file off. It's up to you and how you want your pieces to look.
Top Tip. Files remove material on the forward motion, so if you don’t feel like the file is doing anything make sure you’re pushing the file forward.
The most important thing at this stage is to file away any jaggy bits (called 'Burrs') left from the cutting process. Using the flat side of the file still gently file the Burrs from the outside of the surfaces by holding your file at a slight angle. You don't want to file the surface, just remove any roughness around the edges.
6. Sand the edges
Using Wet & Dry Paper (I prefer 320 grit) give all the edges you've just filed a good sanding down. No need to wet the paper for this, just use it dry. The aim of this step is to replace all the rough scratches left by your file, with finer scratches left by the Wet & Dry Paper so you get a professional finish.
7. Create a brushed effect with Steel Wire Wool
Important Safety Information! Steel Wire Wool should be used with caution as it sheds tiny shards of Steel when used. It is important to do the following for yours and others safety:
Wear gloves to protect your hands.
Keep away from children and animals.
Do not have any food or drinks near when using.
Work somewhere that's easy to wipe clean.
Cover your work surface to protect it from getting scratched.
Clean up your work surface straight away after this process to remove any shards to avoid harm to you, children or animals.
An easy way to apply a lovely warm brushed finish to metal is to scratch the surface with Steel Wire Wool. Steel Wire Wool is available in different grades of coarseness. Here I’ve first used a medium grade and gone over that with fine grade. You want to apply this brushed finish to both sides of all your shapes.
Top Tip. The direction you move the steel wire wool over the surface of the metal will create different effects. For example if you move straight back and forward you’ll create uniform lines but if you move in circles you get a more random effect. Have a play to see what you like the look of.
Optional Step. If you prefer a polished look over a brushed look like demonstrated here you could use a Metal Polish Cream at this stage to shine up your shapes before you continue. You can still polish the wall hanging when it's finish if you want to, it's just easier to polish the individual shapes at this stage before you assemble.
8. Mark where you need holes to join your shapes together
The design of your wall hanging will determine where you need to mark your holes. In the design photographed all the pieces needed holes centered top and bottom apart from the bottom piece which didn’t need a hole on the bottom. You want your holes to be close enough to the edge of your pieces that your jump rings will be able to fit through and loop onto the chain.
Top Tip. The distance you place your holes from the edge of your pieces will depend on the size jump rings you're using.
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9. Create holes using Hole Punch Pliers
Line up the pin of the Hole Punch Pliers where you've marked and clamp the pliers closed to punch a hole. You want the pin of the pliers to be on the top of the metal punching down, so the tiny piece of metal pops out the bottom (and not up into your eye!) The pliers should punch the hole easily providing you're not using metal that's too thick.
10. Assemble your Wall Hanging with jump rings and chain
Start assembling at one end of your Wall Hanging. Cut the chain to the desired length with the Metal Shears. Bend open a jump ring using jewellery making pliers. Clamp the open jump ring with one pair of pliers, loop the open jump ring through the hole of your first shape and then through the end loop in your piece of chain. Bend the jump ring closed tight using both pliers. Repeat until the whole wall hanging is assembled. In this example a Split Ring was added at the top instead of a Jump Ring for hanging the piece on the wall.
Step back and admire!
Step back and admire your DIY wall hanging handmade by you and let it brings you daily joy and satisfaction. I hope you enjoyed learning to make your Metal Wall Hanging. It really can be simple (when you know how) to craft something for your home that will fill you with pride.
A note on Brass. Brass will naturally tarnish over time. Some people like the aesthetic of letting the metal develop a patina (what it’s called when it develops a mature tarnish) and some people prefer to keep it looking shiny. The good news is that you can let the metal tarnish to see what you think, and then clean it up if you prefer it looking shiny. Off the shelf Metal Polish (like Brasso) is available in most hardware or general stores and can be used to keep your brass looking tip top.
Ready to make your own?
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