Ads Top

How to Etch Your Own Copper Bead Caps | Tips and Tricks

How would you like to make your own beautiful copper bead caps?  I do not mean making the discs and punching holes in them. But rather, creating your own patterns on them.  This tutorial by Laura over at Chestnut Ridge Designs, shows you how easy it is to do so using a ferric chloride solution. She used PCB Etchant solution but you could also use other makes.

You can buy copper washers from many places - hardware stores, Princess Auto (Canada), Harbor Freight (US) -  in bulk too. Just be sure of the size before you do so.  These copper washers are generously sized and are thus ideal for use with large hole beads.

You can also make your own if you have a disc cutter and good metal punch like the Euro Power Punch Plier ( I have this tool myself and punching is so much easier). It can punch hole sizes 3/32 inch, 1/8 inch, 5/32 inch, 3/16 inch, 7/32 inch, 1/4 inch, 9/32 inch and up to as thick as 16G metal sheets. Very little effort needed.

Laura does not expand on how to patina copper.  You could use the tried and true liver of sulfur. But if you hate the stink, try Gun Blue like  Birchwood Casey PSP Gun Blue. There are several makes, not just this brand. Canadians can get it at Canadian Tire in the hunting division. See my past post on Gun Blue vs Liver of Sulfur where I demonstrate its use on different metals. It is very good for copper!

I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. This is a nice concise article on etching. I have tried the salt water/battery etching and find that the results vary from batch to batch. And you still have to dispose of the resulting liquid properly. So I think this method makes a lot more sense, especially since the results are so good. Of course, you have to check the progress periodically as you can etch through your metal if you are not careful.
    And I love the bead caps Laura has made!

    1. Yikes! That would be so disappointing if one forgot and let the etching go right through the metal. Most if not all etching solutions have to be properly disposed.

  2. I love etching! It's just so much fun and it definitely tickles the creative muse ....

    This is definitely something worth trying. I have a number of copper washers and will have to decide what size of bead caps I'd like to make. There are some that are really thick but etching takes away metal and might make them easier to dome...hmmm....the possibilities!


You're AWESOME! Thanks for the comment and feedback. You do make a difference on my blog!

Powered by Blogger.