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The unlimited creative design of a unique DIY brooch


Broadcast your identity with a unique brooch featuring your own name and monogram. Acrylic sparkles atop fine silver and tiny rivets hold the layers together in style. Prepare the materials, tools and follow the steps as below:

Materials: papers; rubber cement; 1/8 inch thick acrylic sheets, two colors, covered in protective papers; beeswax, wet and dry sandpaper; 24 gauge fine silver sheet; transparent film for laser printers; permanent markers, fine point; cellophane tape; 21-auge sterling silver wire; base metal pin back.
Tools: scissors; jeweler’s saw; rubberized sanding block from hardware store; polishing machine; flexible shaft; plastic polishing compound; polishing buffs and white diamond polishing compound; metal scribe; hand files and needle files; soft cloth; craft knife; wood block and clean scrap paper for drilling; wire cutter; center punch; riveting hammer; lint-free cloth; steel block.

Project steps:
-    Making the top layer, draw a template of any letter on paper, or enlarge a computer font and print it out. Trim the template with scissors, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the design. Cut it in two, one half for each color of acrylic. Apply rubber cement to the reverse side of the templates and to the acrylic pieces. Wait 30 seconds and then adhere the templates to the plastic.
-    Without removing the protective film, cut out the acrylic pieces using a jeweler’s saw and a 4/0 saw blade, sawing to the outside of the line. As you work, swipe beeswax on the saw blade to keep it gliding smoothly.
-    Sand the edges of the acrylic pieces with wet/dry sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block for smoothing out areas that are too small to use sanding papers on. Occasionally dip the pieces into the water while sanding to prevent the sandpaper from gumming up.
-    Using either a polishing machine or a small polishing wheel on a flexible shaft, polish the edges of the acrylic with the plastic polishing compound on muslin buff.  

Making the black layers.
-    Place both acrylic pieces onto the silver sheet in the complete form of the letter, and carefully scribe around the shape to draw one single silver back plate.
-    With the jeweler’s saw and a saw blade, cut the silver sheet, sawing to the outside of the scribe line. File the edges of the silver with hand files until the scribe line disappears.
-    Place the acrylic pieces on top of the silver plate to make sure the edges of both layers line up exactly. File away any excess material on the large silver plate rather than adjusting the acrylic layer.
-    Send the front back and edges of the silver plate with white diamond polishing compound on a separate polishing buff. Wipe off any excess polish and clean it.
-    Create the imagery for the middle transparency layer of the brooch. The shape of this middle will be the same of the silver plate.  

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