It's really expensive to use precious metal sheets.  However, there are other sources of fun metal you can use for jewelry. Aluminum from pop cans is a great alternative as you can see from my recycled soda can earrings tutorial.    Also consider lovely vintage cookie tins.  There are so many pretty patterns out there.

Want to try making your own jewelry out of these tins?  Katherine Wadsworth of Natalia Designs wrote the tutorial on Jewelry Making Daily.  She goes through all the steps of how to cut out shapes - she uses metal snips not a saw - and make the edges safe for wearing.   The tutorial is in two parts -  Part 1 and Part 2.  Best keep your shapes simple.  (UPDATE : Links no longer work)

There is a big difference in the metal thickness of cookie tins compared to aluminum soda or pop cans. The latter is a lot thinner so design considerations have to take that in account. The book review below is definitely worth a look.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips